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  • December 18, 2013
  • Dirck Edge
  • Chris Rubino
  • 92 Comments

MD Bike of the Year: Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom

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After our ride at the press launch of the Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom and 1400 Touring, we brought you a fairly comprehensive report detailing the features and specifications of this impressive new Italian brute. To say we were impressed would be an understatement.

After the press event, we got a California 1400 Custom for a more thorough test, put more than 1,000 miles on it, and are preparing our long-term evaluation report that we will present to you shortly. There is no doubt in our mind that the California 1400 Custom deserves to be MD’s Bike of the Year. For all the reasons stated in our report from the press launch, and reinforced in our longer term relationship with the machine, this bike represents something very special.

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If you are fond of Moto Guzzi motorcycles (and we are), you have accepted their quirky, frequently unrefined nature as forming a significant part of the riding experience. More recently, Moto Guzzi has found a way to retain all of its lovable characteristics and combine them with more refined, modern performance. We first noted this in our review of the 2011 Norge GT 8V sport tourer, but the California 1400 takes things to a whole new level.

In our opinion, the Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom defies categorization. It looks like a big muscle cruiser, but its handling and engine performance set it apart. Frankly, we can’t think of another engine we enjoyed more this past year in terms of its character (feel) and performance. Twisting the throttle for the first time on this bike is shocking, because the engine responds in a far livelier fashion than expected of a big v-twin. We also think the bike just looks Bad Ass.

Stay tuned for our long-term evaluation.

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92 Comments

  1. drbyers says:

    Lame choice. This bike didn’t register on the radar of most motorcycle publications and sites.

    I think the electric Mission RS is the bike of the year. The guzzi is hardly groundbreaking at anything. Period.

    This place has gotten lamer and lamer. I’m off to RideApart, where they actually take motorcycle riding and reporting objectively.

    Report this comment

    • Tank says:

      RideApart named the California runner-up for cruiser of the year. I guess they are “lame” too!

      Report this comment

    • MGNorge says:

      Because a site or publication doesn’t seem to agree with you makes them lame? Take a look around you, we’re not all the same, well at least not most of us, and we have all sorts of tastes and choices in what we like. How boring if we all agreed on everything. Granted, if I had an opposing view on most everything that a publication or website had I probably wouldn’t visit it much but MD is pretty mainline.

      Report this comment

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “This bike didn’t register on the radar of most motorcycle publications and sites.”

      re: “I think the electric Mission RS is the bike of the year.”

      ok, but how many SOSUS alarms did that trip…?

      Report this comment

    • fast2win says:

      Cycleworlds best cruiser MCN, best cruiser, motorcycle dialy best cruiuser, and even rideaparts runner up. Which puzzles the hell out of me being beat by a Bolt?. and you want an electric bike that aint on anybodys radar.

      Report this comment

    • notbyers says:

      Really? All the Motorcycle publications & sites I frequent noticed this bike, and none of them had anything bad to say about it with most of them praising it highly and at least one other also selecting it as their ‘Best Cruiser of 2013.’ Oh, and this is after they actually rode it. I wonder if maybe you’re not as well read as you imagine.

      And by “objectively” I suppose you mean moto-journalists should pick bikes based on manufacturer claimed specs, or use of innovative technology that best meshes with your personal financial or political circumstance?

      I’m not sure what’s so impressive about a $56k bike that most of us will never see on the road. Most riders will care about electrics when they have 80-90% of the performance characteristics of gas powered bikes for a similar TCO — that day is coming, but we’re not there yet. Perhaps as a doctor you simply find Motorcycle Daily, and the vast majority of other moto-rags, too plebian for your tastes? Well, more power to you if you can afford to buy a Mission RS. The rest of us salute you for helping to advance the state of the art in motorcycle tech, but the best bike is the one you enjoy riding the most not one with the most impressive (or “groundbreaking”) manufacture claimed spec sheet.

      By the way, I can’t help but notice the Mission RS is on the cover of the pending Robb Report Luxury Preview. This same magazine helpfully suggested to its obviously classy readers that already rare and hard to find Pappy Van Winkle 20-year bourbon makes a fine addition to a vanilla milkshake. Maybe that’s the sort of publication you’re really looking for?

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  2. paul says:

    I’m wondering about that lower rads’ position. No real problem with normal riding as the front fender is carried down low enough. However, if one were to encounter a rough gravel surface, such as a section of highway construction, there is a serious possibility of damage as the front wheel is forced to travel upward while going over the bumps. It will only take one errant pebble to ruin your day.

    Another thing, what sort of comfort is the pillion going to have on this bike? Doesn’t look too accomodating.

    Report this comment

  3. LarryC says:

    I’ve got five Guzzis (and one Triumph) in the garage. All told, I’ve owned nine. All sport bikes. McNorge is right, there’s something about Guzzis that just gets under your skin. I just traded a KTM for my latest edition…a V11 café sport with Ferracci pipes and a Power Commander. Sweet.

    My wife loves them too. Their charisma definitely extends back to the pillion. She get to listen to those lovely pipes.

    Trouble is, I’m just not a cruiser guy.

    So near, yet so far….sigh…

  4. Nero says:

    Well a choice from left field although certainly has had plenty of positive reviews the local dealers are firing them out the door as fast as they can get them in. Certainly the first cruiser with multimode traction control ABS ride by wire etc for those worried about heat on the knees don’t, I have ridden around on some of their “sporting models” never had an issue all year round and it gets a tad warm on occasion here in oz, take one for a ride you might even actually like it.

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  5. BOSCOE says:

    @scotty: guzzi is a fringe brand a best – and this machine breaks no ground.

    Report this comment

  6. Bill says:

    When I bought my last bike, I wanted a Guzzi. But dealers are just too far away.
    Every review I’ve read of the California says exactly what Dirck has said.

    Report this comment

  7. Hair says:

    Some might say that you missed them the mark this year.
    I say that it’s your rag. Therefor you can do whatever. You want. But that doesn’t turn this goose into a swan.

    Report this comment

  8. Ty says:

    I’m not reading all of these posts; I have a life dammit. However, if anyone said “put that engine in a Breva-esque bike, I am with you cash in hand.

    Report this comment

    • GuyLR says:

      I totally agree. Put that wonderful engine in a bike with a standard riding position and the ability to add to it from a long list of actually accessories to make it the way you’d like and that would be a great bike. Probably wouldn’t sell any better than previous Brevas though because it doesn’t stroke buyers egos like a “look at me too” cruiser or phony, “ain’t I fast” race replica.

      Report this comment

  9. Sean says:

    That engine layout looks cool but does it interfere with rider comfort???Leg room, heat issues, etc?

    Report this comment

  10. goose says:

    The Guzzi is a bold chose but it is great to see a smaller manufacturer get some attention. I haven’t gotten a chance to ride the new California but I hope I can make that happen. The reports I’ve read really very, some first hand experience seems like a good idea. Guzzis seem to be about as addictive as nicotine, I sold mine two years ago and still miss the beast.

    Looking forward to the next report,

    Goose

    Report this comment

  11. Rich says:

    Baked patella, anyone?

    Report this comment

  12. david says:

    This will make all the guzi people happy…….no one else though.

    Report this comment

  13. Doug says:

    Great to read and learn about what it’s like to ride. I’m a Guzzi fan, well hell a motorcycle fan. I’ve been riding a Super Glide for years, and always admired those Guzzi’s. So it’s good to know about their qualities, and look forward to reading your long term report. Someday maybe when it’s time, and my funds are in agreement…… There are some sweet cruisers out there, Thunderbirds, California, Judge…….

    Report this comment

  14. Buzz says:

    I tested one and really liked it. My only nit to pick was that the bars are too far forward. A little more pull back on the risers would be perfect. It’s a little too C Clamp right now.

    I couldn’t spend 15k on it though. It would be tough to sell come resale time.

    You’ll always be able to sell a Harley because there is a huge market. This is a niche bike but I might snoop around for one when the prices drop a little. The paint and chrome isn’t anywhere near a similar bike like a Wide Glide for example.

    Report this comment

    • Tank says:

      Used Harleys don’t sell as easy as they did a few years ago.

      Report this comment

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I couldn’t spend 15k on it though. It would be tough to sell come resale time.”

      curious, why resale value…?

      always been fascinated with how these thoughts managed to get confused and entangled with the pleasure of riding. if you think enough of a bike to purchase it in the first place, how do back end financials factor in to the equation (before the transaction even occurs) for goods that are CLEARLY niche and CLEARLY luxury…? isn’t this like proposing to the love of your life, and then handing her a pre-nup and a pen along with the ring…?

      i’ll rephrase the question. why do you not derive enough enjoyment from motorcycling such that you feel you have to try and achieve 2 objectives rather than be content with a single objective…?

      or here’s a thought, why not just keep it…? what unseen force dictates that resale time even has to come…? is it commitment phobia…?

      again, if you thought enough to buy in in the first place (and no other external factors exist), why not just keep putting gas in it, putting tyres on it, keep changing the oil, and keep riding it…?

      Report this comment

      • Buzz says:

        I’m not concerned as much with value as I am with the number of potential buyers out there. I keep bikes rotating through my garage every few years.

        I’ve had 3 H-Ds, 2 BMWs, 2 Ducatis, MV Agusta, and Yamaha in the garage.

        If I buy a California, will I be able to find someone to take it off my hands once I want something new? That’s why I’d prefer to buy it at a discount because I’ll likely have to offer a pretty good discount to move it when I want something new.

        Report this comment

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “That’s why I’d prefer to buy it at a discount because I’ll likely have to offer a pretty good discount to move it when I want something new.”

          right then, what that means is there was a COST associated with those “miles of smiles” you enjoyed. they weren’t free (a shocking epiphany I know).

          much in the same way all vehicles have a cost of ownership, there’s also a price to be paid for being “first on the block”. I fully expect the 2015 ‘stang I’m buying to cost me all the money. it is what it is. as I’m sure you’re aware, the CPA and bean counter types refer to this as depreciation. unfortunately, it applies equally to business as it does to one’s “personal economy”.

          now if it’s any consolation…? just know, you won’t be taking ANY of those bikes OR the money you save with you. it would be one thing if you were saving MILLIONS…? but if you’re engaging in the consumption of toys, i doubt a couple hundred (or even a couple thousand) is going to be missed one way or the other. actually, if you REALLY want to save “thousands”, there’s a better approach…

          don’t buy motorcycles. (full stop)

          Report this comment

      • MGNorge says:

        I wanted to add that I sure do read of those owners who have owned just about every make and model of bike in their garage, or so they say, but that’s not me. It’s interesting to think about it but my commitments are longer these days. When I was young and just getting into the sport, you know, when time was an eternity, I had a new bike every few years or so. Because of space and money it was just one at a time. I never even thought of resale value.
        I guess to me it would have been like preparing for the day of divorce while living my life today! Money foolish? Perhaps, but I enjoyed every mile I put on the one bike I had at any given time.

        Report this comment

        • mickey says:

          Motorcycles are tools. Some are basic transportation, some go better in the dirt, some go better around corners, some go really fast straight, some go long distance in comfort. If I was only enjoying one aspect of motorcycling, I would only need one at a time. However I enjoy all aspects which therefore requires many motorcycles at one time. Wife says ok with her, so all is good. Maintenance is the hardship, something always needs oil changed, battery, tires something adjusted etc. wish I could be happy with just one, life would be so much simpler.

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          • MGNorge says:

            So with many bikes in the corral at once do you swap them relatively often and because of that watch their trade in value?

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          • mickey says:

            MG.. personally I have a mix of new and used. You can sometimes find real deals on a used bike that suits your purpose, keep it several years and sell it for nearly what you paid for it. The new ones I have to really want, and usually keep for a long time or else you take a real bath on them. My last FZ-1 I bought used for $3000 kept it 4 years, put a little over 10,000 miles on it and sold it for $2850. So besides upkeep, which was basically a couple oil changes and a couple tires, it cost me $150 to own for 4 years. My ST I bought new as a left over for $10K in 08, I’ve had it 6 years, put 36,000 miles on it, but even buying it as a new left over if I tried to sell it now I’d take a $5,000 hit. Find the right used bikes and you can own a lot of them for very little.

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        • Buzz says:

          Once again, I’m not talking about money as much as I’m talking about finding potential buyers.

          A niche bike takes a niche buyer.

          The dealers are already discounting the California models and they just came out. I love the bike but it’s going to be a hard sell.

          I didn’t get all those bikes and cars in my garage by being stupid. It doesn’t mean I’m a member of the milk crate brigade. It means I do a little research and make wise decisions and still get what I want every time.

          Report this comment

  15. Jupiter says:

    This is a brilliant choice for bike of the year. And I suspect that anyone who doubts that has not actually ridden one.

    I’m not a cruiser guy–I ride an Aprilia RSV4–but I had the opportunity to ride a California Custom for a couple of hours last summer. It was fast, it handled, it felt great to ride and it looks the business.

    I didn’t want to give it back. It’s a surprising bike.

    Report this comment

    • Dirck Edge says:

      When an RSV-4 owner describes a Moto Guzzi as fast, that really confirms this new 1400 is no ordinary Moto Guzzi. I was just as surprised as you, and I ride just about everything.

      Report this comment

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I’m not a cruiser guy–I ride an Aprilia RSV4–but I had the opportunity to ride a California Custom for a couple of hours last summer. It was fast, it handled, it felt great to ride and it looks the business.”

      this reads like my take on a Rocket3 fitted with the accessory pipes.

      Report this comment

  16. Tom says:

    To each his own, I suppose. For me, all I need is one quick glance at that first picture. The rider’s feet are waaay out to the front, and resting on floor boards. And the rider still has to lean forward slightly to reach the handlebars. With no way to put weight on the feet, and yet still having to lean forward a little bit, I just don’t see how this could be at all comfortable. And the rider’s shins are practically in contact with the hot cylinders, which has got to hurt. It has been many years since I’ve ridden a goose, but when I did, the thing that most stood out for me, that I still haven’t forgotten, was how severe the shaking was, and how the bike rolled abruptly to one side whenever the crankshaft accelerated. Maybe this bike is highly evolved and a very different riding experience, but the pictures do not suggest to me that it is.

    Report this comment

    • KenHoward says:

      I think we’ve been reading and appreciating Dirck’s reviews long-enough, now, to have some faith in the man. Personally, I don’t think he’d so-highly rate a machine that’s basically uncomfortable to ride. Looking forward to the comprehensive review (I’m one of the few with a local MG dealer).

      Report this comment

      • Tom says:

        It isn’t that I don’t have faith in Dirck’s reviews. We each have individual preferences. I’ve ridden more than enough to have a pretty good sense of what is and isn’t comfortable, for me. For me, there just isn’t any way that any bike where your normal, default foot position is way out to the front could be comfortable. It would be comfortable intermittently, to keep you from having to stay in the same position always and especially to allow you to straighten out your knees every once in a while. But not for the ordinary, default position that applies the majority of the time. For that, you want your weight directly over your feet. For long-term comfort, the adventure-tourers that most riders make fun of are hands down better than everything that is different. They put your feet directly under you and still give you slightly less bend in the knees. And it is not very difficult to rig a way to support your feet out to the front, for intermittent use when you really want to get your knees straighter.

        Report this comment

    • stinkywheels says:

      You can’t have the bars back as far as you guys seem to like them if you don’t put on a windshield. Shaking and torque reaction depends on how many years ago and if the bike was in a good state of tune and if it’s the old heavyflywheeled ones. Guzzis and Beemers are a little sensitive to carb/FI sync and the flywheels get lighter all the time. I’ve not ridden as many Guzzis as BMWs but they’re an aquired taste, now it seems less so. The riding position seems like my Road King or maybe change the bars(doubt it). I’m really not a cruiser guy but I own one.

      Report this comment

    • goose says:

      In the picture the rider is choosing to slide his feet forward for whatever reason. The rider can also move his feet back nearly a foot. If he moves his feet back to the back of the floorboard (I often ride my Road Glide in the twisty bits with the balls of my feet on the back of the ‘boards) he can have a pretty standard riding position, rider’s choice. I think having more options is a good thing.

      As to vibration, like others say, it varies. My V11 Sport was really smooth in the seat and pegs but vibrated quite a bit through the ‘bars. Part of the personality of the bike. That is all moot with the 1400 since engine is rubber mounted.

      Goose

      Report this comment

  17. BOSCOE says:

    You guys have been smokin” too many “tires.” A Guzzi? Really? Ridiculous!

    Report this comment

    • Richard says:

      I think we can trust they’re judgement…the crew at MD have probably ridden more bikes than you or i put together in our life time.

      Report this comment

      • Scott the Aussie says:

        Aye Obediah.

        Report this comment

      • BOSCOE says:

        I’d guess not, richard.
        Right now I own: 2008 CBR600RR; 2011 GSXR600; 2011 GSXR 750; 2011 CBR1000rr; 2012 848 Corse Le; 2012 Harley V-Rod; 2007 CVO Fatboy; Ducati 1000 SS Dual Spark; 2008 Yamaha TTR 110 a 2009 Yamaha R6 – and a couple scooters.
        And that’s just what’s in my garage at the moment.

        I’ve had a similar-sized fleet, with bikes coming and going, for the last 20 years. And I have been riding since 1968 – and regularly test riding vehicles.
        I ride every single day. And race, too.
        That said, the Guzzi breaks no new ground and for most of America is “unobtainium,” which frequently figures into these selections.
        Sometimes, you do this for controversy and buzz.

        Report this comment

  18. Jeremy in TX says:

    I must say that I am surprised with this pick. I’d have to disagree that the Guzzi “defies categorization”, though. It is definitely a cruiser – handling prowess and engine character don’t change that.

    However, a cruiser that can negotiate a curve, stop effectively AND tempt its rider to repeatedly snap the throttle “just because” is certainly something entirely new to the genre (unless the Diavel and VMax are considered cruisers). It defies paradigm if not categorization.

    Bold choice. Good job, MD. Gongrats to Guzzi. Now hotrod that engine and stick it in a Griso.

    Report this comment

  19. Gman says:

    BOTY? Really? Did you guys ride it in warm weather? The proximity of the cylinder head to the leg would preclude it from consideration in the SouthWest!

    Report this comment

  20. sl says:

    My guess is that emotion had something to do wth this decision. This is a good thing, lets face it, this is why most of us ride. Wether you agree or not I find it nice that a publication is able to give an honest answer instead of one drivin by advertising dollars etc. This site has liked lots of bikes for lots of reasons, but the seat of the pants meter went with the Guzzi.

    That said I have become a fan of Moto Guzzi because of this bike. I read about it went to a dealership to see it. I am not a cruiser guy, it just interested me. Now the Griso is on my short list.

    Report this comment

  21. Scotty says:

    Thanks MD for recognising the strides that Guzzi have made in recent years. Onwards and upwards for my favourite brand of bike, “proudly going broke since 1921″ :-)

    Scotty – 2004 Breva750

    Report this comment

  22. Gary says:

    Did not see THAT coming …

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  23. Montana says:

    Cruiser of the year — sure!
    Motorcycle of the year — come-on?

    Report this comment

  24. Yoyodyne says:

    FZ-09, no contest.

    Report this comment

  25. mickey says:

    Guzzis are cool..in a weird way.

    My younger brother bought a new 73 850 Eldorado. It was a great bike. Earlier this year we talked about going to look at a couple Guzzis. Went to their website and clicked on find a dealer near me. The website couldn’t even suggest one.

    Report this comment

  26. adaleb says:

    Where I live and ride in North Georgia, we have European Motorsports in Dahlonega. Great people running the shop, and they move a ton of Guzzi’s. Too bad Piaggio can’t clone them around the country.

    This was a great pick for MD Bike of the Year. (Although I did think it might have been the 2014 green Ninja 1000 with the new hard bags, ABS, and TC…).

    Report this comment

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I don’t think a 2014 model would qualify for 2013 Bike of the Year, though I must admit I don’t know whether are not MD goes by release date or model year for that determination.

      I suspect 2014 will be the toughest year in a long time to choose a winner.

      Report this comment

  27. Cinderbob says:

    The 1400 is especially appealing in white.

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  28. jake says:

    This bike may be one of those which is far more beautiful and proportional without a rider and his imperfect, all to human shape cluttering up its exquisite details, impressive fit and finish, and its near perfect lines. I would fear that every time I rode the thing, either I was making the bike look bad, or worse, the dang bike was making me look bad.

    I fear my ego may not be able to take the repeated, daily blows. Aside from that, the points against both the custom and the touring are far and few between.

    Nice pick for BOY, MD.

    Report this comment

  29. Eric says:

    Hey Dirck – as others have already stated the Guzzi dealer network and Piaggio’s product support it flat our terrible. Can you ask your contact in Piaggio if they have any plans to improve things in the US market? I’ve delt with one lousy dealer after another but still ride my Cali. Love the bike – hate the lack of support!

    Report this comment

  30. allworld says:

    I really like Guzzi’s and Aprilia’s as well, but………. they have little to no dealer support. Perhaps Piaggio should open some dealerships of their own to fill the gap till they build up their dealer network.

    Report this comment

  31. Colors says:

    Cool bike, I don’t know if I would have picked it for BOTY, but it is at least interesting so it eliminates a lot of compitition on that one quality alone.

    Report this comment

  32. randy says:

    Look, I’ve had a soft spot for Guzzi’s all my life (45 years on a multitude of rides)and
    I’ve always wanted to own one. But BOTY? With what else is out there? I think this tarnishes somebody’s reputation.

    Report this comment

    • MGNorge says:

      I have to admit that I was surprised also of the MD BOTY award and I even own one! Not that it doesn’t have its virtues but because Guzzi seems to get passed over more than it should. But let me tell you there is just something about these bikes that gets under your skin and draws you in. I have found myself off in dream land just looking at them. They have a very purposeful and manly look without looking like they’re trying too hard. Some bikes are all over in your face and their riders seem to need that projection. Guzzi’s by comparison are a gentleman’s ride but calls to you like a beautiful woman.

      They, like all bikes, need to be ridden to understand them fully. Five years ago I did just that and the hook was set. I have other bikes too but it’s this one that seems to call me the loudest. I am also lucky as my closest dealer is about 45 minutes away although I’ve only used their service for the first checkup and oil change. Servicing is very easy too and that probably has as much to do with limited need for the dealer as it overall reliability. Nice rides and I really hope more people come to experience them. Ride safe. -Rick

      Report this comment

      • Scotty says:

        Cant afree more MG! A short test ride is no good on a Guzzi, 100 miles is probably ideal…..Guzzis are very special bikes, and if you like them nothing else comes close. The big Cali is a revolutionarly bike in some ways – not as much power as a V-Rod but far better all-round handling, and much more mumbo that the traditional HD touring twins (plus better handling).

        Report this comment

        • mickey says:

          Probably the issue I had with older Beemers. LOVE the look. To me the late 70s R75/R90/R100 were the most beautiful motorcycles ever produced, but three times I tried to buy one and each time a short test ride told me I wanted nothing to do with them. People said you have to have faith, ride one for 300 miles and say you don’t like them, but I couldn’t get past the first 5 miles. No faith ha ha

          Report this comment

      • todd says:

        So the Guzzi might be the only “manly” bike that “calls to you like a beautiful woman.”

        Report this comment

  33. Mark says:

    As previously stated, there just aren’t enough dealerships for this brand of bike. I would love to own one but no dealerships are near by. Hence, if it needed repairs that I couldn’t perform I would have to truck it too far to justify its purchase.

    Report this comment

  34. Buckwheat says:

    Bravo, good choice. It is indeed a fantastic-looking bike (though I’d prefer a round headlight) and I’d love to ride one.

    Report this comment

  35. Motorhead says:

    I agree. Most distinctive bike made this year! Love that square, boxy looking radiator placed low in front of the engine. EVERY other manufacturer would have curved it, rounded off the lower edge, tried to hide it or make it some fake aero-dynamic thingy. Guzzi basically said, “Screw it, we need a radiator, put it right there and don’t be bashful!” The whole design is like that: wherever you see something, it appears to have an obvious functional purpose, and it’s not some ornamentation or cover. I love it!

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  36. traveleraa5 says:

    I test rode one of these when the factory brought some demo bikes to the local dealer. If I didn’t have a wife, I would have one of these today.

    Report this comment

  37. Karlsbad says:

    Amazing to me why anyone would buy a HD or the new Indian after taking a ride on one of these.
    I recently had the opportunity to go for a small ride and have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. The handling and feel of the bike belies its size. I tend to lean more the Stelvio, GS, KTM,V-Strom side but if I were after a cruiser this one would surely make my short list.

    Report this comment

  38. paul says:

    That pig needs a home, glad someone else will give it one.

    Report this comment

  39. joe b says:

    “Bike of the Year”? I guess I need to go back and read the test, what is it about this bike that makes it deserve that, I wonder.

    Report this comment

  40. motowarrior says:

    So you really think this bike is more deserving than a motorcycle like a liquid-cooled BMW R1200GS? I am a fan of Guzzis, having owned and enjoyed a couple in recent years. I agree that this is quite a nice bike with much more appeal to motorcyclists (as opposed to bikers) than most cruisers. Still, I think it is a stretch, given the obvious competition.

    Report this comment

    • jake says:

      Looks alone should disqualify the GS relative to the Guzzi. Based on looks alone, no one would be crying if the GS dropped off the face of the world, aside from those overly attached to beaks. But should the same happen to the Guzzi, the world just became a little less beautiful and the worse for it.

      Besides, there was a time, a long time ago now, when the GS and bikes like it needed to be popularized and appreciated more for what they offered. Those days are no more. Now it is mainstream. Guzzi needs the award more than the dang Beemer, cause the world would be a little bit better place if there were more Guzzi’s on the road.

      Report this comment

    • Richard says:

      think were talking new models for BOTY…the Gs is an old dog…been around for ages..a great functional bike ..agreed….not really that pleasing to the eye though..awkward and bulky.

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  41. vato_loco says:

    The California bikes have always been known for their handling compared to other cruisers, and this good-looking iteration apparently is no different. As a former Moto Guzzi owner this comes as no surprise. Congrats to MG for pushing the envelope!

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  42. Peter says:

    I’d have a Guzzi right now if they would just step up and create a dealer network. Every time I see a V11 sport (especially a rosso or ballabio)I drool!

  43. bad Chad says:

    I completely agree!!

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  44. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    The one “cruiser” I would consider owning

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