Moto Guzzi announced the California Vintage touring motorcycle,
the newest in a line that stretches back 35 years to the original V7
California, introduced in 1971.
The California Vintage is, by design, reminiscent of
the Moto Guzzi California Police motorcycles used by (
you guessed it) California Motor Officers in years gone
It has the perfect blend of retro and modern; it
seems perfectly proportioned and it's got loads of
style. This should be a huge hit for Moto Guzzi if
and when it comes to the U.S.A.
No sales plans or prices have been announced, but
U.S. sales are a near certainty. Following is an
edited version of the California Vintage information
released by Moto Guzzi, followed by more photos and the
technical specifications. We'll keep you posted as
we learn more.
The California Vintage uses Moto Guzzi's 1100cc 90°
V-Twin, which is the company's signature design.
Apparently, the engine components in the California
Vintage have undergone a redesign, lowering their weight
and improving efficiency.
Connecting rods and pistons have been made lighter
and the ratio between rod length and piston stroke has
been improved to reduce inertia and vibrations.
Moto Guzzi claims that touring will be made more
pleasant, helped also by the modifications made to the
valves. The sintered guides guarantee constant
tappet gap and the Nymonic exhaust valves offer
increased resistance to high temperatures and wear,
extending the working life.
The timing system is entrusted to the well-proven and
reliable solution of mechanical tappets (not sure why
Guzzi uses hydraulic lifters in some of the new bikes
and not others), the alternator has been upgraded from
300 to 350 watts and the flywheel has been modified.
The construction of the crankshaft has been changed
to achieve greater efficiency in terms of sliding and
lubrication. The brakes use the distributed linked
"On a Guzzi California, you traveled - and you travel
- in total relaxation. The seat, as comfortable as
an armchair, enables you to enjoy the landscape
protected from the wind in the shelter of the large
windshield, fitted as standard together with the
panniers, a clear sign of its vocation for travel.
These qualities enabled the V7 California to
triumphantly cross the ocean where it was adopted first
by the L.A.P.D. (Los Angeles Police Department) and
subsequently by other U.S. states."
"The rest is history - and legend. A familiar
presence in films and advertisements, the California has
every right to be considered as one of those industrial
design objects which have left their mark on our
history. Its two legendary wheels have never
stopped - and neither has its evolution. Year after
year, the look and technology has been updated, without
altering its original personality and spirit. Now,
35 years after its birth, Moto Guzzi has decided to pay
tribute to this extraordinary model by creating an
exclusive Vintage version, dedicated to those who want
to go on dreaming."
The reference to the past is obvious in the spoked
wheels, in the newly-designed steel mudguards (love
those!), in the new Brembo front calipers with black
finish and in the supplementary fog lights, controlled
by a switch on the right block.
In this model, attention is paid to the smallest detail
- the windshield is decorated with a stainless steel
strip and both the handlebar and two-tone seat are
exclusive to the model. The classic engine is
protected by chromed steel tubes with integrated.
The special bags are fixed, made from rotational
nylon, waterproof, lined and again protected with
chromed steel tubes. The luggage rack is also
chromed for a high-class touring look.
While externally the California Vintage retains the same
unmistakable look which brought it success throughout
the world, technically it has been profoundly changed
over the years and for the 2006 season it has undergone
radical treatment. The engine has been almost
entirely imported from the Breva 1100, with a
considerable improvement in performance.
The heads, cylinders, conrods, pistons, sintered
valve seats and guides and Nymonic exhaust valves come
from the Mandello del Lario model and inherit its power
characteristics. The alternator has also been
improved and the flywheel is new. Combustion is
more efficient thanks to the twin spark cylinder heads,
while the timing system is entrusted to the well-proven
Other minor technical modifications include the new
throttle body guards and cableways between the cylinders
and tank. As far as the mechanics are concerned,
the braking pressure distributor has been modified to
improve efficiency. More powerful, easier to ride
and safer, the look of the California Vintage has also
been radically changed.