2013 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom – Quick Ride

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2013 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom.  I recently had a chance to test ride Guzzi’s latest offering, the California 1400 Custom.  Big, brawny and oozing style, Moto Guzzi’s new California marks the Italian company’s bold re-entry to the lucrative cruiser market.  The V-twin 1400 c.c. engine puts out a solid 96 horsepower and shudders like a big, friendly dog at idle.  There’s enough mechanical ‘liveliness’ in the cross-frame V-twin to give the California a solid dose of ‘character’, and that’s a good thing.  Underway, the big V-twin has plenty of torque to move the big cruiser with authority, but unlike Harleys which perform best at low-to-mid range rpm, the Guzzi eagerly revs to its 6500 rpm redline.  The Guzzi’s engine runs like a cross between a small-block American V8 and a Ferrari V12 – the best of both worlds – and suits the cruiser style very well.  The engine’s fueling is perfect, and the major contact points (handlebars and floorboards) are rubber-mounted, preventing vibration from reaching the rider.  Smooth, beautiful and powerful, the shaft-drive Guzzi is a desirable motorcycle that stands apart from the cruiser crowd.  MSRP $15,490.  Demo unit provided by Echo Cycle, Edmonton.

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