Moto Guzzi California 1400 (2013-2020) Motorcycle Review


  • A fantastic Italian cruiser
  • Big, flexible V-twin engine
  • Well equipped for its age

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £280
Power: 95 bhp
Seat height: Low (29.1 in / 740 mm)
Weight: High (743 lbs / 337 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The new Moto Guzzi California 1400 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

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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…


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

On the move the Moto Guzzi 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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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

Our Moto Guzzi California 1400 owners' reviews show a few minor mechanical issues but nothing that should put you off taking one for a test ride.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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


4 out of 5 (4/5)

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


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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Annual road tax £101
Annual service cost £280
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 13 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 95 bhp
Max torque 88 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 180 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 1993: The Guzzi California 1100 is launched.
  • 1995: Fuel injection is added to the California.
  • 1997: The California is updated to the 1100EV model.
  • 2001: Another update sees the California lose 1bhp to meet emissions laws.
  • 2002: Guzzi unveils a naked roadster prototype called the Griso and powered by the firm’s 4-valve engine.
  • 2005: Guzzi launch the Griso 1100 using the new 4-valve V1100 Evolution engine.
  • 2007: A prototype Griso using the new 8-valve engine is displayed at the Milan Show while the Bellagio is launched.
  • 2008: The Griso increases in capacity to 1200cc and gains the Quattrovalvole (4-valve) engine from the 1200 Norge.
  • 2013: Moto Guzzi unveils the brand new California 1400, which replaces the 1100 in the firm’s model range, and the Bellagio is also dropped from the line-up.

Other versions

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

Other Moto Guzzi California reviews on MCN

Owners' reviews for the MOTO-GUZZI CALIFORNIA 1400 (2013 - 2020)

3 owners have reviewed their MOTO-GUZZI CALIFORNIA 1400 (2013 - 2020) 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 - 2020)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Equipment: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £280
5 out of 5 The Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring is a sports tourer disguised as a cruiser
02 April 2019 by JayMac

Version: Touriing

Year: 2014

Annual servicing cost: £350

A fantastic touring bike.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

This is a sports tourer. The handling is fantastic. The floor boards are easily dragged and you can keep leaning until the hero blobs mounted on the chassis start to drag. There are no chicken strips on the tyres. Brakes are sportsbike level.

Engine 5 out of 5

The engine is exceptional, it revs freely and power delivery is linear. The engine is flexible enough to dawdle around town, to cruising down the freeway, but it excels in the twisties.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

I have had two problems, firstly a rubber plug came off the oil pump in the engine which resulted in low oil pressure at idle, $600 to fix. Second problem was headlight not working a result of poorly installed wiring that caused a wire to rub through and short. Also a $600 fix. The bike was out of warranty, but there was zero support from the factory.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

The original Dunlop tyres are noisy (thought a wheel bearing was failing) and don't last well. Change to Metzler ME888 ultra marathon tyres. Make a huge difference.

Equipment 5 out of 5

I have added the following accessories: Agostini exhaust - fantastic sound particularly without dB killers Heated grips - a must for winter 50 litre Top Box - holds two full face helmets, only downside is another key Wind deflectors - great addition, smooths air flow and results in no turbulence behind screen

Buying experience: Great dealer.

5 out of 5 The way the Vee is meant to be
13 August 2018 by The Mr Darcy

Version: Custom

Year: 2013

The Guzzi I've waited 25 years for. A superb lolloping torquey engine that NEVER fails to put a smile on my face be it a bimble around the north York moors or rolling down the pyrenees from Spain into France. The big bird has an awesome presence.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brembo 4 pot radials. Need I say more? Big bike, big rider and still inspired confidence on alpine twisties. switchable traction control and Abs are nice additions but I don't think necessary on this class of motorcycle. The bike and it's handling inspire confidence and I must admit I have touched the running boards down on twisty downhill mountain sections, however the boards are mounted in such a way that they move and some spirited Italian design guru had the foresight to mount replaceable sliders under the boards!

Engine 5 out of 5

Awesome! This is the 11th Guzzi I've owned and the 58th overall and it's fair to say it's superb. A whole different ball game to my earlier guzzis, it just oozes finesse and flexibility. It moves like it has absolutely no right to from the lightest twist of the "fly by wire" throttle. It's a stonking motor. I've tried all three of the engine modes but the 'only' one to use is Veloce. I think it's Italian for Grin!

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

I've only knocked one star off because of the failure of the clutch micro switch. A component designed to be exposed to the elements should not fail after 5,500 miles. There are lots of tasteful and we'll designed aspects to the Cali from art deco cooling fins at the rear of the headlight to the way the tank is sculpted around that superb motor. Apart from the niggle over the clutch switch I've not experienced any other problems in 5,500 miles.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Tyre changes (rear) can be expensive, if you take it to a dealer it's a good hour or more labour as the silencers and rear shock all need unfastening. However, basic servicing is competitivly priced. Fuel consumption for such a big bike has ranged from 45mpg (making progress officer) on motorways/fast A roads to mid 50's on and around mountainous areas. The bike is physically heavy, as am I and I think the overall Mpg is easily on a par or better than dedicated 'touring' bikes

Equipment 5 out of 5

It has to be that engine. The way all Vees should be. I love the build quality and after market gel seat. I fitted a Guzzi 52 litre top case and although expensive £380 it's enormous and easily large enough for a weeks touring. Currently running Avon cobras and using them to their maximum extent.

Buying experience: I bought this 2013 model with factory seat and OE gel seat thrown in. It also came with a superbly chromed rack. The bike had 1500 miles showing and I paid £8700 from a non-franchised dealer.

5 out of 5 A sweet handling cruiser with a stonking engine
23 July 2016 by Ivankent

Version: Custom

Year: 2013

Annual servicing cost: £200

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.

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 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.

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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's coiled up and tied underneath the fuel tank near the headstock left hand 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

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