Moto Guzzi California 1400: new pix

Cruiser styling! A transverse V-twin! All this, and more, from Moto Guzzi ...
Cruiser styling! A transverse V-twin! All this, and more, from Moto Guzzi ... Photo: Visordown

Moto Guzzi is taking their sweet time in bringing the California 1400 to market, but now we’ve got some more pictures of the machine’s prototype that show the direction designers are headed in.

Last winter, we showed you some spy pictures of the bike that suggested it would be water-cooled.

According to pictures of a more refined prototype, snapped at a Piaggio dealers’ meeting, that isn’t necessarily the case.

Those cooling fins and the absence of plumbing suggests you're looking at an oil cooler bolted on to the engine. Photo: Visordown

The photos show the latest prototype of the California with an oil cooler installed, but no liquid cooling, although there are rumours that Moto Guzzi is still working on that idea. Supposedly, this 1400cc engine will be Moto Guzzi’s new powerplant of choice, so a liquid-cooled version would make sense.

The rest of the bike’s styling should be pretty familiar – it looks a lot like your standard North American cruiser, except, of course, with a transverse V-twin. And you can call us picky, but we think it’s kinda ugly.


  1. I love my 2002 California Stone, it’s performance and handling are amazing for a cruiser. That 1400 just may be my next bike. Once you’ve owned a ‘Guzzi, other bikes just don’t seem as fun.

  2. You MUST give Moto Guzzi its due. The only bike that has remained true to its form and identity – while other makes prostitute themselves on the design table. There are the family of Moto Guzzi cohorts, sure. But to ride them is to understand why these fans are so minded. While manufacturers bring out all sorts of fanciful modifications (can we warm your hands with our new space age grip?) the Motor Guzzi has been righfully staid. Having said that they are offering certain mods for those who cannot cope with how biking used to be. It is all in pusuit of the almighty dollar.

  3. well the dealer network is a bit sparse, true, but I haven’t had any problems.  My Breva V1100 is a simple air-cooled pushrod v-twin – pretty easy to do most stuff oneself…   And dead reliable – have had exactly zero issues in 40,000 km.   That said, mine is a “modern” Guzzi – a 2007 built _after_ Aprilia bought M-G in 2003 and brought Guzzi kicking and screaming into, wel, if not into the 21st century, at least into the 80’s.   Earlier Guzzi’s,  well, they’ve always been pretty reliable – particularly compared with the breakdown-prone and very expensive bavarian alternatives…    And I won’t mention the ridiculous products of “the tee-shirt company”  (I don’t look good in a pirate costume).  regarding parts and stuff,  I haven’t had any problems getting parts and accessories from Echo in Edmonton or  Blackfoot in Calgary – they have no dealers in Sask or Manitoba…     So check out a Goose – it may not be as high-tech as an Ape or a Duck, but simple and reliable goes a long way in my book….

  4. The lack of dealer presence and reliable parts/service is a show-stopper for any but the most dedicated enthusiast in Canada.
    Too bad, really. I think they have some nice machines.
    Unfortunately they won’t be anything but a fringe element until they can provide a solid dealer base with dependable service.

  5. Just to be completely clear.  This bike (as with all Guzzi’s0 has a LONGITUDINALLY-MOUNTED V-twin.  i.e. the crankshaft orientation is longitudinal.  It is all the other cruisers that are transverse.  Or perverse, because for an air (aor air/oil) cooled bike, putting the engine in the frame sideways (like the tee-shirt company does, as well as all its imitators) makes absolutely no sense.  Rear cylinder overheats, so the whole thing has to be tuned down…   Not an issue for the LC twins from aprilia, KTM. ducati etc, but an air or oil cooled twin  should have both cylinders cooled equally. 

    Besides, you can get at the valves easily and on a cold day, warm your hands at stop lights. 

    • Rightly or wrongly, I’ve always heard them called transverse V-twins – whether or not that’s correct is another matter.

      I had two of them, a GL500 and a GL650 Honda. The heads were easy to get at, but the waterpump, not so much. Not, of course, that you’d have that problem with an air-cooled Guzzi.

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