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.
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.