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Old 04-18-2013, 06:02 PM   #286
JustKip
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I had a test ride today, so here are a few brief observations.
First, for comparison, I ride an R12GS - like a sport bike mostly, but also 500-800 mi days are fairly common.

The Guzzi is low, as you would expect from a cruiser, and the riding position and floor boards remind of a Road King....but it's pretty nimble compared to the King. I was very impressed with lean angles, but didn't get a very long ride. Overall, it's quite light and nimble on its feet.
My problem is that I don't like my feet that far forward. My left foot kept ending up resting on the shift lever, and I'd have to move it forward again.

I'm 6'-1" and have a 34 inch inseam, and my left knee was usually resting on the throttle body guard just behind the cylinder head. In that picture mentioned in the last page or so...yeah. It's almost that close.

The engine is a beast for its size! Lots of thrust right off the line, and pulls steadily to just over 6K. I think it would probably keep revving but it's flat and there's no real pull left.

On the freeway at 65mph the roll on power is as disappointing as my GS, and for good acceleration it wants the same 2 gear down shift.

Will I buy one? No, it took this ride to convince me not to stray any further from sport bikes, even at my age (57) but I'm really glad they make 'em! This is one gorgeous cruiser, with enough power and lean angle to actually make it fun.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:38 PM   #287
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Thanks for the report, JustKip.

It's not really my bag at this stage, but I've really liked the look of this thing since it came out - especially the cleaner-looking Custom version, and I'm glad Piaggio seems to be intent on furthering Guzzi's inroads into the US market.

Out of curiosity, would the cylinders prevent the use of highway pegs, or are they high enough to not interfere?
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:23 PM   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unleaded View Post
Out of curiosity, would the cylinders prevent the use of highway pegs, or are they high enough to not interfere?
I wasn't thinking about that while riding, but it seems like you wouldn't have room to get your legs under the jugs
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:29 AM   #289
buck80mph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker59 View Post
Guzzis are geared tall since the engines only turn 8,000 rpm and they're geared for 140 - 150 mph depending upon model...

Top gear on any Guzzi beginning with the 1100s in the 1990s is TALL! You really don't need it below 80mph.
Lmao!! C'mon man! 150mph on a 1100 Bassa??Where's the BS flag when u need one?
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:58 AM   #290
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Guzzi BS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moronic View Post
Thanks for the tip.

The author, Bruno de Prato, has not been reluctant to criticise Italian iron in the past, especially Guzzis. A rave from him carries some weight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by buck80mph View Post
Lmao!! C'mon man! 150mph on a 1100 Bassa??Where's the BS flag when u need one?
I was traveling at about 100 mph on a Basso 1100"they will do 115mph" and came across a small bridge in the middle of a LA. Swamp. It had a rise and asI hit it Icaught air as seen from the rider behind me! LOL!
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:10 AM   #291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker59 View Post
Guzzis are geared tall since the engines only turn 8,000 rpm and they're geared for 140 - 150 mph depending upon model...

Top gear on any Guzzi beginning with the 1100s in the 1990s is TALL! You really don't need it below 80mph.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buck80mph View Post
Lmao!! C'mon man! 150mph on a 1100 Bassa??Where's the BS flag when u need one?
"Geared For".

The Californias don't have enough power to pull red line in top gear. They're geared way too tall.

120 mph +/- at around 6,000 rpm. That's leaving 2,000 rpm on the table.

Many people go to the 7/33 gear set from the 1000cc bikes to lower the gearing.
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rocker59 screwed with this post 04-19-2013 at 07:17 AM
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:20 AM   #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker59 View Post
"Geared For".

The Californias don't have enough power to pull red line in top gear. They're geared way too tall.

120 mph +/- at around 6,000 rpm. That's leaving 2,000 rpm on the table.

Many people go to the 7/33 gear set from the 1000cc bikes to lower the gearing.
Understood.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:29 AM   #293
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustKip View Post
I had a test ride today, so here are a few brief observations.
First, for comparison, I ride an R12GS - like a sport bike mostly, but also 500-800 mi days are fairly common.

The Guzzi is low, as you would expect from a cruiser, and the riding position and floor boards remind of a Road King....but it's pretty nimble compared to the King. I was very impressed with lean angles, but didn't get a very long ride. Overall, it's quite light and nimble on its feet.
My problem is that I don't like my feet that far forward. My left foot kept ending up resting on the shift lever, and I'd have to move it forward again.

I'm 6'-1" and have a 34 inch inseam, and my left knee was usually resting on the throttle body guard just behind the cylinder head. In that picture mentioned in the last page or so...yeah. It's almost that close.

The engine is a beast for its size! Lots of thrust right off the line, and pulls steadily to just over 6K. I think it would probably keep revving but it's flat and there's no real pull left.

On the freeway at 65mph the roll on power is as disappointing as my GS, and for good acceleration it wants the same 2 gear down shift.

Will I buy one? No, it took this ride to convince me not to stray any further from sport bikes, even at my age (57) but I'm really glad they make 'em! This is one gorgeous cruiser, with enough power and lean angle to actually make it fun.
Thanks.



I think the only issue for me will be the comfort for the passenger. My sweetie enjoys some comfort, and I am not convinced the rear perch will cut it for her. We shall see...
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:36 AM   #294
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I really like the white one...
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:08 PM   #295
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^In today's Wall Street Journal, Dan Neil (their car guy) rode a white California Touring and liked it.
Basically said it was large, likable and beautiful. Also, it tended to freak out California cagers, as they thought he was a CHP.

(His "estimated 0-60mph" time was 7.5 seconds.)
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:18 AM   #296
mtiberio
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I have posted links to the owners manual and shop manual. I also have the accessory catalog, reviews, links to videos, etc.

you will have to join the following yahoo group to get them...

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/GuzziCalifornia/
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:47 PM   #297
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Last Wednesday I was at a Pro Italia event that featured Miguel Galluzzi. I've spent time with Miguel and his wife (she rides a Ruckus around Pasadena) previously and wanted to talk to him a bit more about the California 1400 as I'd scheduled to borrow one from Thousand Oaks Guzzi (Vespa) on Friday and take it to the Rock Store for the Friday crowd to see. He asked me to let him know what I thought. Below is my email back to him.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

So today I borrowed the demo Custom from Thousand Oaks Vespa/Guzzi and rode it to the Rock Store. I put a total of around 50 miles on the bike today; some freeway, some canyon, some surface streets. I expected the bike to handle well, and to be a Guzzi. What I was not prepared for was just how well it performs, how smooth it is, how quiet it is and how much I like it.

I should digress a bit and tell you that besides my ’07 Norge, which I dearly love, the bikes I have in my garage include a Honda Shadow 750 ACE and a ’98 EV that I’m storing for a gentleman from the Netherlands. These are sort of my baselines for cruiser types of motorcycles. I’ve ridden Harley-Davidsons and while I like the looks of them, I do not enjoy the riding experience. Somewhat the same for the EV. It runs well at 70MPH but lets you know that it’s running hard. Not smooth at all. The heal and toe shifting on the EV leaves a lot to be desired. The gearbox is clunky and you really have to use the heal shifter to upshift. While it handles well, it does not feel “comfortable” when being pushed around Mulholland Highway. The Honda likes 55-65MPH and is not really happy at 75-85. Again, it is not a machine that is built for cornering, but rather for highways and sweepers. Now my Norge is my standard for pure riding enjoyment, and my ’88 Kawasaki Concours is my fall back when the Norge is out of commission for whatever reason. The Honda Helix is a scooter. What can you say about scooters? That’s a whole different kind of two wheeled fun.

Back to the ride.

Leaving TO Guzzi, I made an immediate right turn onto the freeway. Great acceleration – it’s deceptively fast and quick. I was amazed to find myself in excess of 80MPH before shifting into 6th gear. The bike is smooth – smoother than my Norge and definitely smoother than the EV or any H-D I’ve ridden. The mirrors were rock solid. Those same or similar mirrors on the Norge vibrated to the point of not being usable, which is why I switched to the 1200 Sport mirrors. Shifting is wonderful. Both heal/toe and conventional shifting were a breeze. The gearbox is very smooth – not a missed shift all day – and positive shifting as well. I think it may be smoother than the Norge, but I’m not sure. I gave the cruise control a try. It takes a bit to get it to engage with the gloves I was wearing (lightweight leather Alpinestars similar to their SP-S Leather Glove if it matters), but once engaged it was spot on. Very impressive, but I worry that heavier gloves would have a difficult time engaging the cruise. Turn around and head back down the 101 to Las Virgenes Road and Mulholland Highway. I was running in Touring mode and Traction Control 1. For today, this seemed perfect. Good power control and nice overall feel. I did put it in sport mode for a while, but I think one would have to be more comfortable with the bike, or not worried about being over enthusiastic, before it really worked well. I could see sport mode being nice for running a bit harder, but for cruising the canyons it was too abrupt in power delivery. The difference was most noticeable during downshifting and initial acceleration.

One thing that I found very surprising, was how quiet it was. Much quieter than either the Norge or my Concours. It didn’t feel like I was getting so much wind noise as to block out everything else, it just seemed quieter than I expected. Nice. Also, the dash board/gauge cluster was readable even with the sun shining directly on the gauge – not like the Norge which is unreadable a good percentage of the time.

The Custom felt very stable and planted at all times. There was no drama, the bike just went where it was pointed. I found that I was riding only 3-5MPH slower than I would be on the Norge when I’m cruising and enjoying the sights rather than playing keep-up with my friends on their Ducattis, and the California wanted to go faster and be pushed harder. I did get the floor board pucks down a time or two, but it never felt as if I was in danger of losing control. I think if I owned one for a while, the speed difference would disappear. Very reassuring.

When I got to the Rock Store, I did an initial pass at about 4500 RPM in third then returned to the parking lot and put her on display.

Everyone had positive things to say about it. The Harley guys did a lot of pointing and poking and asked a bunch of questions. Most were familiar with Guzzi and several had owned one at some point. While these guys were pretty much died in the wool H-D riders, they still said good things about the bike and were impressed with the lack of vibration compared to their steeds. The California 1400 will definitely outrun those guys from the get go, and roll on acceleration from 70MPH in 6th gear was pretty even initally, then the 1400 started pulling ahead. I think the Custom compares quite favorably with the Fat Boy or the Dyna series. Handling is certainly much better, and price wise, it’s a bargain compared to the Fat Boy. I'm anxious to thy the Touring as that is my target. I suspect is will give the Road King some serious competition for those who are not married to teh H-D brand. There was one guy with an old Eldorado who asked a lot of questions and will probably be test riding one next week. Boy, is he in for a shock.

The sport bike guys were interested more from an academic perspective and were curious how it handled as most of them know me on the Norge. I doubt any converts were made from that bunch but I could see interest. The sport touring guys were all very interested in it, even though they professed to be not cruiser guys. Most of these riders also have a vehicle for riding with the wife/girlfriend, etc. and thought this could be a contender – which is where it is on my list.

There were three little – ok, two little and one big – things that bothered me. The big thing was that I don’t have one in my garage (I’d prefer the Touring version however). The little things were the blinking cruise control light when the cruise is on but not engaged. This is probably not much of a concern and I can’t see riding the bike in that condition for very long. The other is the turn signal indicator. I prefer one light for each direction. Neither is a deal breaker, just something to get used to.

I like the lighting, as did most people. I’d love to get it out in the evening and transition to night to see just how good that lighting really is. I suspect it puts out a lot of usable light as it is very bright in daylight.

Styling got more positive comments. No one disliked the look. It really looks much better in the flesh. The fit and finish is excellent and was commented on a number of times.

Sadly, I had to take the bike back to Thousand Oaks – I’d have love to have kept it for a long weekend and put some serious miles on her.

In short – WOW! I think this is going to be a big winner for Guzzi.

jdg


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


The other things of interest (at least to me) is the width. I don't know how wide a Harley is with bags, but the Touring 1400 is just about the same width as the Kawasaki Voyager - roughly 39". The rails around the bags is a bit wider than the handlebars, so that will be an adjustment, as the Norge for all practical purposes is not any wider at the bags than the bars. I think what makes it look so wide is nothing up front for comparison. If it had a bat-wing fairing, I'm sure it's wouldn't seem wide at all.


The other thing was gas mileage. As shown on the computer, the 1400 at steady state, cruise control on, flat freeway and 65 MPH was in the high 30s. My average for the day was 29 and a bit. My Norge has a running average of 39.7 over the last 12,000 miles. I suspect the mileage will get better when the motor is broken in, but I don't know how much.


I wish I had a spare $18K to spend on one. Anyone have a nice infrastructure project they need handled? I'm sure I can bring it in for around $18K in consulting fees plus expenses


jdg

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Old 04-29-2013, 03:51 AM   #298
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http://hellforleathermagazine.com/20...lifornia-1400/

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"The Harley crowd is going to be able to relate just as well as the blind people who were once told the Diavel is a good looking bike and believed that."


Shots fired.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:20 AM   #299
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A great report, thanks for sharing.

----------------------------------------------------

What’s Good
The handling! Seriously, you won’t believe you’re riding a cruiser. While outright pace is going to be a bit lower than that of a sportsbike, feel is actually superior to many current Japanese performance bikes. The California has light, neutral steering that just rolls into corners, tracks a line with utter stability, then lets you rocket out on that fat torque curve.

----------------------------------------------------

Cool!

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Old 04-29-2013, 07:59 AM   #300
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I was at AF1 and saw one. I thought it was a fine looking bike and felt comfortable when I sat on it. I just bought a Griso so I'm not in the buying mood but I think the Cali would be a good minimalist touring bike.
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