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MOTO-GUZZI ELDORADO (2015-on) Review

Published: 06 July 2015

It’s impossible not to embrace the brashness of the design

MOTO-GUZZI ELDORADO  (2015-on)

It’s impossible not to embrace the brashness of the design

  • At a glance
  • 1380cc  -  96 bhp
  • Medium seat height (740mm)
  • New: £15,635

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Moto Guzzi do style in an effortless, not-trying-too-hard kind of way. It’s fashionable but not because it’s trying to strike a pose, to be the centre of attention, but because it’s the big, bad boy in the bike sheds smoking instead of toiling during double history.

The all-new Eldorado is a throwback to the famous 850 which followed the 750 California in the early 70s and was a success in the US. The American influence is evident from the whitewall 16in tyres to the huge fenders – mudguards to normal people.  

You can’t help but be won over by the attitude. Climb on and it’s smooth, comfortable, comes with rider modes, traction control and Brembo ABS, what’s not to like? Cheaper than a Harley with more soul than anything from Japan.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The footboards are a nice touch. Featuring a traditional heal-and-toe gear change, they are comfortable and not a huge stretch. The bars are also well-proportioned, and you don’t have to be a gorilla to ride the bike. I may look a bit like a kid who’s nicked his dad’s cruiser, but with such a low seat 740mm (720mm is optional) and a low centre of gravity, it’s easy to move around.

The new Eldorado carries its weight well as the majority of the bulk is low in the chassis. Ground clearance for a bike with footboards isn’t half bad and the huge V-twin has enough torque to plough fields. Peak torque hits at 2750rpm, so you really don’t need to rev; in fact you barely need a gearbox! It will pull from just over 1000rpm in fifth no problem, so just leave it there and enjoy the ride. It will labour a little in top at low speeds as sixth is more like an overdrive.

Engine 4 out of 5

One press of the starter button and the promise of something special is delivered. The distinctive Guzzi rock from the V-twin is reassuring and quirky. The motor is actually hung in the chassis to reduce vibrations, almost rubber-mounted – Guzzi call it ‘elastic-kinematic mounting system’. But some vibrations have been allowed to surface and it all adds to the experience. You don’t really go for a ride on the Guzzi, it’s more like an episode, a chapter in your biking life. It’s an emotional thing, rather than a functional one.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

There’s a lovely balance of chrome, not so much to be garish but enough to keep onlookers interested. The pros list is long, but I’m determined to put something in the cons column. Okay, so I’m slightly clutching at straws, but the chrome detailing on the meaty, 20.5-litre fuel tank worries me… a bit! If I’d handed over £15k I’d be concerned about its ability to withstand wear and tear from leathers or jeans.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

At £15,635, the Eldorado – like it's siblings – is neither cheap, nor expensive against a landscape of similar large-capacity cruisers. The biggest benefit of owning one is that you're unlikely to pass another on the road - and that individuality can be very attractive. 

Equipment 4 out of 5

But don’t go thinking the Eldorado is all show. Moto Guzzi is leading the way in this category with rider aids and safety. Changeable traction control comes as standard, as does ABS backed by huge radial Brembo stoppers. There are three rider modes, which change the fuelling, power and throttle response. These can be changed on the move with a closed throttle via the starter button. Being a Guzzi it’s not straightforward as there isn’t an 

English translation. The three modes are: 
Torismo - touring mode, Veloce meaning performance and the enigmatic Pioggia translated as safety, or the rain mode to us Englanders. 

Meanwhile a switch on the left bar enables you to scroll through the huge menu with the information displayed on the centrally mounted clock which also shows current and average MPG.  You can scroll through to change the display language, too. 

Switchable traction control and three rider modes could be seen as little over the top on a cruiser with such a long wheelbase, but the Guzzi does have a huge amount of torque. Although grip wasn’t a problem in Italy in perfect conditions, it might be a different story in the wet or on the cold cobbled city streets late in the evening. The ABS radial Brembo stoppers do an excellent job of hauling down the 317kg cruiser to legal speeds with ease, which is almost unique in this category. A big air-cooled cruiser with efficient brakes and rider aids? Now there’s a thing.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2015
Year discontinued -
New price £15,635
Used price -
Warranty term 2 years
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £200
Performance
Max power 96 bhp
Max torque 88.51 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 1380cc
Engine type Air-cooled V-win
Frame type Steel double cradle
Fuel capacity 20.5 litres
Seat height 740mm
Bike weight 317kg
Front suspension 45mm fork, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Swingarm with double shock absorber with adjustable extension and spring preload with remote tank
Front brake 2x 320mm stainless steel floating discs, 4-piston Brembo radial calipers
Rear brake 282mm disc, 2-piston Brembo caliper
Front tyre size 130/90 R16
Rear tyre size 180/65 R16

History & Versions

Model history

New for 2015.

Other versions

This is the heritge version of the existing California 1400. There's also a street-brawler inspired Audace version. 

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their MOTO-GUZZI ELDORADO (2015-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 ELDORADO (2015-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 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Logical Choice For An Open Mind

07 February 2017 by MostlyReasonable

I am 6'6"/2.00m tall and I wanted a physically big bike but that wasn't an Adventure Bike, the only alternative meant a cruiser. I also wanted a bike with some decent touring capability should I need it. After having test ridden an Indian Chieftain, Triumph Commander and a Harley Davidson Softail, I want tempted. I then tried a Moto Guzzi Eldorado. 10 seconds after turning the ignition a broad smile entered my face. 240 miles of a test ride later and I bought one. The best bits are it has more power, it breaks and handles better than all the others. Most of all it has so much character as to make the others feel fairly mundane in comparison. The engine is as smooth as butter over 15 mph and its a real pleasre to ride. It's also a looker. London Cabbies arent impressed by much but the amount of windows that have been wound down and compliments made doesnt do any harm either. Would I recomment it to a friend. Yes, totally. The worst feature about this bike. The bike is well finished but the plastic mudguards grate me slightly. They should be metal.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
This bike is no sportsbike but it handles better than it has any right to do. I have taken it round Bavrian mountain hair-pins and ground clearance was not bad at all. You get the hang of it and it left every cruiser/tourer behind of which there were plenty. The brakes consist of 3 Brembos and are as you would expect. A slight criticism is the real suspension that can give you a bit of a jolt when encountering poorly maintained roads. Two things are often written by journalists. One is torque reaction which is commented on elsewhere and the other is the alleged heat from the cylinder barrels. I did a near 240 test ride in high summer and even with my long ( 36" inside leg ) legs I did not find either the barrels being obstructive to my riding position or that they were barbecuing my legs. On winter days you can notice some warmth and wish it were more
Engine
5 out of 5
The overriding reason i bough the Eldorado was because of the engine. It has good spread of torque where you need it but had more power than any of the other cruisers I had tested. At tick-over to 1200 rpm, you feel the feedback of the engine but without it being tiresome. Once you hit 1500 rpm the engine completely smooths out and there virtually no engine vibes at all. I have taken the bike up to 115 mph for a short burst and would imagine that about 125 mph is about the maximum you cold get out of the engine. So many times I have heard journalists talk about the torque-reaction where the bike 'lurches' to the left side under acceleration. I personally hardly notice it at all.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
I am a real stickler for quality of engineering, fit and finish and material quality. I'll be honest, only a Brough Superior at 3 x the price is something that would satisfy me in ideal terms. The casting and welding of the bikes components are to a very high standard. The wheels, swing-arm and Instrument brakets/Yokes are all nicely machined / cast. The parts I would criticise is the perol tank which is made up of the tank and the two side panels which incoprate the cut-outs for the cylinder rocker covers. I would prefer a one piece tank if that were possible to manufacture. Plastic mugauards as previously mentioned I would prefer in metal. The bike is still relatively new and I have yet to encounter any reliability issue to date and no signs of corrosion.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
I compared the Eldorado value to the HD softail, Indian, and Triumph Commander. I completely ignored the equation that anything that is comparable to a Harley has to be cheaper than a Harley because is a Harley. The Eldorado is well made and offers a shaft instead of a relatively cheap to produce belt that the other 3 have. I also measure VFM in term of enjoyment, comfort, character and a feel good factor. I could have afforded any one of the bikes I tested. That I chose the Eldorado made it best value if that makes sense
Equipment
5 out of 5
My bike came with several accessories. Thus included cast alloy items - mirror stems, handle-bar grips, break pedal and toe &heal gear shift. They are beautifully engineered but very expensive in my view. The electronics offer trcaction control and 3 ride modes, one for rain, touring and veloce for more spirited power deliver. I find the touring mode completely adequate for day to day riding. There are also options which I have not utilised yet including a mobile phone -app that enables your phone to become a satnav and display various bike related stats and touring information.
Buying experience

People sell bikes to make a living. I would make an assumption however that those that sell Guzzis have an appreciation for what they are. I bought my bike from Slocombes in North West London and the buying experience was excellent. There also a number of dealers who really know about these bike and a lot of very active forums, blogs and clubs

Photo Gallery

  • MOTO-GUZZI ELDORADO  (2015-on)
  • MOTO-GUZZI ELDORADO  (2015-on)
  • MOTO-GUZZI ELDORADO  (2015-on)
  • MOTO-GUZZI ELDORADO  (2015-on)
  • MOTO-GUZZI ELDORADO  (2015-on)
  • MOTO-GUZZI ELDORADO  (2015-on)
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