MOTO-GUZZI CALIFORNIA 1400 (2013-on) Review

Published: 19 March 2014

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


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

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

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Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £16,132
Used price £9,500 to £14,800
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost -
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
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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