MOTO-GUZZI CALIFORNIA 1400 (2013-on) Review

Published: 19 March 2014

The new California is fabulous looking, sophisticated and sexy, too

MOTO-GUZZI CALIFORNIA 1400  (2013-on)

The new California is fabulous looking, sophisticated and sexy, too

  • At a glance
  • 1380cc  -  95 bhp
  • 38 mpg  -  180 miles range
  • Insurance group: 13 of 17
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  • Low seat height (740mm)
  • New: £16,132

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The new California is a fabulous looking bike, it’s sophisticated and, dare I say it, sexy, too – it’s a successful modern twist on a classic design. In short it has that little something extra that Japanese, and even American, cruisers can’t match in standard form. What’s more, the big transverse V-twin has typical Guzzi traits, but is far smoother than any previous Guzzi once on the move, and makes fat torque from the smallest throttle opening. It’s just a shame that in standard form it lacks any soulful noise which would give it more character.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The handling is far better than its ‘on-paper’ weight and bulk suggest; ground clearance isn’t bad for a custom and the radial Brembo stoppers aren’t half bad either. And let’s not forget that ABS comes as standard, and there are rider modes and traction control too. Despite the California’s 337kg wet weight, it is surprisingly manageable at low speed and the only worry comes from you burning your calf muscles on the hot exhaust…

Engine 4 out of 5

On the move the California’s big transverse V-twin is impressively smooth. There’s so much torque the rev counter isn’t really needed. The big Guzzi will happily pull from as low as 2000rpm in the first five gears. Sixth is more like an over-drive. Cog down the heel and toe shift and, for such a heavyweight, the Cali has an impressive turn of pace, too. You can feel the traction control working in the wet as the fat 200-section rear tyre fights for grip.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The build quality seems high and the heel boards even have plastic sliders to protect them should you start to corner hard.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The California is cheaper than a Harley but more expensive than a Japanese cruiser.

Insurance group: 13 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Touring comes with panniers, three fuel modes, traction control and cruise control as standard.

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their MOTO-GUZZI CALIFORNIA 1400 (2013-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your MOTO-GUZZI CALIFORNIA 1400 (2013-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

A sweet handling cruiser with a stonking engine

23 July 2016 by Ivankent

This bike has to be a class leader....sorry but a Diavel is not a cruiser....this bike is a proper cruiser but handles better than it should be allowed to....brakes are amazing for a cruiser and it's comfy too. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
The ride quality on the Custom is fantastic for such a big heavy bike,even two up with luggage I haven't encountered any real issues aside from ground clearance....I scrape the boards pretty much everyday but they have replaceable sliders....the brakes are awesome and must be class leading...as for distance I've ridden for 135 miles without stopping with no aches and pains
Engine
5 out of 5
The engine is top notch and in my Guzzi experience ( Stelvio and Griso) this is by far the best motor they have produced.....torque is always available through the Rev range and in any gear and 6th gear is like an overdrive for motorways......I like the cruise control although a little bit awkward to set but nothing to difficult.....the 3 engine maps are all useful in my opinion.....I actually use them all the time and for their intended purpose....the rain mode is useful when it's tipping it down.....touring mode is my preferred map to use but if I'm getting a shift on round the lanes I always stick it in veloce but you have to keep an eye on the revs as it revs up much quicker and you can easily hit the limiter.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
I've covered 6000 miles in my first year of ownership and I haven't encountered any real issues at all aside from exhaust heat shields can shake lose but a bit of loctite and they are fixed.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
The mpg wasn't great when I purchased mine (ex demo 1000miles on ) it was struggling to hit 40mpg but after 7000miles covered in averaging 43-45 which for a twin this size and weight I think is more than respectable.....the servicing is cheap as the old fashioned design of Guzzis means even a valve clearance service is quick and easy in comparison to any other bike....I've found an amazing independent in south London,who's knowledge is second to none and is super cheap and has 30 years experience and has the pads software (Baldricks Workshop) rear wheel removal is prob the only nightmare on these bikes hence my 4/5 rating
Equipment
4 out of 5
The handling is prob my favourite thing about this bike but if I bought another the first thing I would do is ditch the oe Dunlop tyres....they are very noisy and vibey and do not last very long at all...I managed 3000 miles out of them before the rest was square and the front was stepped......I swapped to Avon Cobras and the transformation was instant.....the lower gel seat is definitely a good purchase for me as I ride with a pillion a fair bit and the standard custom seat isn't the best for a passenger!! The bike comes factory pre wired for the Latest tom tom sat nav which was very handy....it's coiled up and tied underneath the fuel tank near the headstock left hand side....you need the mount bracket which is a genuine Guzzi part and a tad pricey (£69.99) for a piece of metal but the fit and the quality are top notch
Buying experience

I paid £10.999 last year (2015) for a 2013 custom in Mercury silver with 1000 miles on the clock from a main dealer in Kent who I wasn't that impressed with if I'm honest as brand knowledge was pretty much non existent

Read all 1 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £16,132
Used price -
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £200
Performance
Max power 95 bhp
Max torque 88 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Specification
Engine size 1380cc
Engine type Four-stroke, air-cooled DOHC, 8v V-twin
Frame type Steel double cradle
Fuel capacity 20.5 litres
Seat height 740mm
Bike weight 337kg
Front suspension 46mm inverted forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Twin shocks, spring preload adjustable
Front brake 2x320mm discs. Brembo four-piston radial calipers. ABS
Rear brake 1x283mm disc, Brembo two-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 130/70ZR17
Rear tyre size 200/60ZR17

History & Versions

Model history

New for 2013

Other versions

The sportier Custom model comes without the panniers or screen and costs £14,732.

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  • MOTO-GUZZI CALIFORNIA 1400  (2013-on)
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