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2014 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Review: No Translation Necessary

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2013 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom and Touring Review: Introduction
2013 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom and Touring Review

The Custom (top) and Touring (bottom) variants of the 2013 Moto Guzzi California 1400.

Photos © Moto Guzzi
Moto Guzzi is an Italian motorcycle brand that's better known for its quirks than its penetration of the mainstream market: rather than trying to compete with the likes of other nostalgic-minded manufacturers like Harley-Davidson and Triumph, Moto Guzzi has spent much of its nearly 100 year history simply being themselves, producing unique offerings like the low-slung Griso and the V7 Café Classic, naysayers be damned.

But a funny thing happened on the way to their new cruiser: though the 2014 Moto Guzzi California 1400 harkens back to the V7 model which was adopted as police bikes by the LAPD years ago, this newest offering has been thoroughly modernized to compete against the best and the brightest in the cruiser world. Though it still maintains Guzzi's traditional transverse cylinder layout, which makes the cylinder heads look like they're jutting out of the fuel tank, the 1400 California represents a new step for the brand, incorporating a ton of modern electronics and features which have been adopted from Aprilia, which also happens to be owned by the Piaggio group.

This big bore Moto Guzzi is available in two versions: the California 1400 Custom (seen above and priced at $14,990), and the $17,990 California 1400 Touring (seen below), which gains a windscreen, 9.2 gallon hard saddlebags, an engine guard, closer handlebars, and a friendlier saddle for passengers. Both are powered by a 90 degree, air-cooled v-twin producing 96 horsepower and 87 lb-ft of torque, mated to 6 speed transmission which connects to the rear wheel via shaft drive. A ride-by-wire throttle enables three riding modes, and power is managed by traction control (which can be switched off); ABS-equipped 4-piston front and 2-piston rear Brembos perform stopping duties.

What's it like to ride Moto Guzzi's California 1400? Click "Next" to find out.

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