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mikie

California Vintage

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Anybody own one of these and have some opinions for me? I took a new 2009 out for a test ride yesterday, and it felt much more comfortable for my sometimes aching right shoulder than any of my other bikes. I'm being offered a decent deal on it, but am having some difficulty making up my mind as it's a radical departure from any other bikes I've ever owned. It does seem to handle reasonably well on the mountain roads here (I went on a fairly long ride), but shows its weight in the tight stuff. Any comments appreciated.

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Anybody own one of these and have some opinions for me? I took a new 2009 out for a test ride yesterday, and it felt much more comfortable for my sometimes aching right shoulder than any of my other bikes. I'm being offered a decent deal on it, but am having some difficulty making up my mind as it's a radical departure from any other bikes I've ever owned. It does seem to handle reasonably well on the mountain roads here (I went on a fairly long ride), but shows its weight in the tight stuff. Any comments appreciated.

One of the cycle mags tested it against a harley and some other similar bikes and they really loved the Vintage. If you're going to get that type of motorcycle the Vintage is one of the best there is. The other cruiser type bikes weigh as much as 100 or more lbs than the guzzi. I test rode one and it seemed fine to me, although the shifter would take some getting used to.

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I had a 2003 Cali for a couple of years that I recently traded off for a BMW r90/6. In short, I really miss it. It's a great bike, and I'll be getting another one at some point. I loved the handling, braking, and power of it. So I guess I'll second your opinion, and say "go for it".

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cheap steel rims w/tubes... fuel pump hose comes off inside tank... needs after market shocks... My friend Ryan had one w/a bad ECU, he had to take back to dealer about 6 times (dealer was a jerk,, said they all run like that) Finally Piagio stepped up and completely replaced it w/a new Vintage, here he is..

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Borrani rims are not cheap <_>

I was in summer 10 days in Alps two up and loaded, and the bike was much fun.

Good brakes, torque, comfortable, easy to live with.

Screen aerodynamic is good up to 120- 140km, cases have no handles, cannot be easily removed,so you need soft bags.

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Well I think you answered your own question - you had a long shot and liked it, so your view the main one....Who cares what your head says, it's what your heart wants...

 

I had one for just over a year and 10,000 miles. Have a mixed view on it. A bit agricultural but charming. A bit unique - cruisers not usually my cup of tea, but it does look special. I don't really like the cali, but the vintage looks much better. Capable at touring, but underpowered for rapid touring (the cut and thrust of European motorways). Gear change fine for leasurely pottering, but annoying during spirited driving. Panniers are good, but the hinges are flimsy so need careful handling. I always had trouble with the fairing, even changed it for a larger one - always noisy and buffeting, but it never stopped me doing big mileages, just annoying. At the end of the day I much preferred riding the V11, so I sold it.

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Thanks much, your comments are appreciated, and after reading them as well as a number of blogs and reviews, and sleeping on it for a couple of days I decided to pull the trigger. I just got back from ProItalia and a very pretty white one is now mine. Hopefully I'll fall in love with it and have no regrets. I also hope that I'll be able to talk my wife into doing a bit of touring on it with me, as the only riding I've been doing for years now has been solo in the canyons. This bike may open up some new vistas. Now, as it's a cruiser, I'll have to get used to riding in a half helmet, wife beater shirt, and flip flops, and then maybe the Harley guys will wave at me. <_>

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I have several Tonti framed Guzzi's...older ones, but they are kind of similar. I love 'em.

Others are right- it's not a canyon carver, but the cruisers have their place. I enjoy riding big sweeping roads on mine- that's where it excels.

So, broaden your horizons, take a ride up 95 or something. Be sure to wear flip-flops to complete the look!

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cheap steel rims w/tubes... fuel pump hose comes off inside tank... needs after market shocks... My friend Ryan had one w/a bad ECU, he had to take back to dealer about 6 times (dealer was a jerk,, said they all run like that) Finally Piagio stepped up and completely replaced it w/a new Vintage, here he is..

That be 35 dub going into minne napolis. Would love one of those but they do look a bit cramped in the legs for my 6'3" frame.

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Borrani rims are not cheap <_>

I was in summer 10 days in Alps two up and loaded, and the bike was much fun.

Good brakes, torque, comfortable, easy to live with.

Screen aerodynamic is good up to 120- 140km, cases have no handles, cannot be easily removed,so you need soft bags.

Naaahhhh, just get bag inserts, work like a champ its like duffel bags that fit right inside open them and yank out your contents with handles.

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Guest Cantaloop

Unfortunately the Vintage is the last California - (they will launch a new model - may be next year) and it is the worst. In our german guzzi-forum we had e few people riding a vintage. Most of them were shocked about the bad quality. The wheels are cheap. A lot of drivers had problems with rust.

 

The luggagebags look nice - but there is not much space in it. The cases are very fragile and get easily scratched.

 

The engine runs very lean, which can lead to stuttering.

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Unfortunately the Vintage is the last California - (they will launch a new model - may be next year) and it is the worst. In our german guzzi-forum we had e few people riding a vintage. Most of them were shocked about the bad quality. The wheels are cheap. A lot of drivers had problems with rust.

 

The luggagebags look nice - but there is not much space in it. The cases are very fragile and get easily scratched.

 

The engine runs very lean, which can lead to stuttering.

 

The only thing you said that I agree with enough to do something about is the fueling. It does run lean (as do most new Guzzis), so I'm having Todd Eagen flash the ECU, install & program a PC-V and autotune, replace the airbox and put an H-pipe on the exhaust. I have a couple of friends with Vintages and these mods change the bike very much for the better.

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Just joined here, hello fellow Guzzi riders. About the California Vintage, I bought a new one in '08 (an '07 left over). I continue to love this bike. I highly appreciate the sport bikes, but am not a sport rider, so maybe take that into account, but it is a highly enjoyable ride and I recommend it. I'd be happy to answer in more detail if anyone needs.

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I have added a Vintage to the Griso. For me this is the perfect combination. Some years ago I would never have thought to drive a bike like this, but it really has a lot of charme.

I didn´t like the "Softchopper" looks of the later Tonti Californias but the "Calvin" really hides this with the stripes on the tank and the bags.

The one I bought is 12 years old and has just minor optic issues (the ones we know from almost all Guzzis). The wheels fit perfectly to this classic bike,  I cannot stand the looks of the Cali EV wheels for tubeless tires.

 

The motor is the one from Breva 1100 with less HP but a bit more torque. What it really needs is an ECU with different mapping.

The original one is a bad as the stock ones we know from the later V11s mit catalytic converters.

 

The real problem is that spare parts became extremely expensive meanwhile.

 

Maybe this video ("Moto Guzzi California Vintage Fog Beam Reflector Replacement") helps other Calvin owner:

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I like the Cali Vintage. If I was going to get a cruiser that would be in the running. It is, in my opinion, a cruiser built to be ridden. And it is really easy on the eyes, nice looking bike. But Guzzi's often are.

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