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Automotive » Motorbikes & Scooters

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Moto Guzzi California Touring

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Like many Californians, Moto Guzzis stalwart Cruiser. The Californias trademark longitudinal 90-degree V-twin now displaces 1, 380cc, up from 1, 064cc, making it the largest engine ever built by Moto Guzzi. And in the notoriously analog Cruiser segment, the California stands apart with a full slate of digital goodies: throttle-by-wire, riding modes, traction control, electronic cruise control, dual trip computers and an anti-theft alarm. Thumb the start button and the big V-twin rumbles to life, rattling the mirrors and sending seismic vibrations through the grips and seat. Blip the throttle and the longitudinal crank twists the bike to the right. Sounds and feels just like a Cruiser should. That is, until you ease out the clutch and roll on the throttle. Beyond a walking pace, the Californias shudder-n-shake melts away and the engine relaxes into a smooth, quiet cadence. At cruising speeds, barely a tingle creeps into the grips and floorboards, hardly a bellow emanates from the twin howitzer-size pipes. Grab a handful of throttle and the Goose will honk loudly, but otherwise it purrs like a kitten. Californias 1, 380cc power plant kicks some serious asiago. Throttle response is immediate, torque is generous, bursts of acceleration are a guilty pleasure. This is the first Moto Guzzi with throttle-by-wire, and the Marelli 7SM ECU does a superb job of managing engine modes, traction control and cruise control. In Veloce (Fast) mode, the Californias air/oil-cooled, four-valve, twin-spark V-twin spun its 200mm rear tire up to 87.7 horsepower at 6, 500 rpm and 78.5 lb-ft of torque at 2, 900 rpm.

Blenheim, Marlborough

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