The new California 1400 may be impressive, but it marks only the beginning of Moto Guzzi’s return to the splendors of the past because we have just learned some very significant news: A totally new 90-degree V-Twin engine is taking shape on the computers of Chief Project Engineer Federico Martini and his assistants.
This is not a further refurbishing of the old faithful V-Twin designed in the 1960s by legendary Chief Project Engineer Giulio Cesare Carcano. No, this engine is totally new, a compact, liquid-cooled design that is said to meet tightening future emissions requirements and be immensely more powerful than anything currently coming out of the Mandello del Lario factory.
Producing possibly as much as 140 horsepower, this new 1.3-liter V-Twin will reportedly have enough grunt to bring back the myth of the Moto Guzzi Le Mans models. As on the old Honda CX500, the gearbox of Moto Guzzi’s new liquid-cooled V-Twin will rotate in the opposite direction of the crankshaft to kill the torque reaction generated by any motorcycle engine with a longitudinal crank.
In contrast to the current air-cooled pushrod V-Twins (photo above), the new liquid-cooled Moto Guzzi V-Twin will be a double-overhead-cam engine with four valves per cylinder and inlet runners facing each other inside the Vee. Work is in progress, but the new liquid-cooled Moto Guzzi powerhouse is expected to be ready no earlier than 2015. Might we see this liquid-cooled motor in a new Moto Guzzi Le Mans sportbike? Stay tuned.