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Anyone in the Colorado Springs area that could check out a Guzzi California Vintage?

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I've been casually keeping an eye out for a California Vintage, and ran across the following listing:



But I'm a bit leery of considering a big purchase via Facebook, especially a vehicle, without being there in-person to see the bike and meet the seller.


So I wouldn't ask anyone to take a special trip outside of their immediate area, but if anyone is in the Colorado Springs area and willing to maybe drop by to check out the bike and seller, it would be appreciated.


@biesel:  Could you offer a quick "checklist" of things to easily check or ask about with regard to a California Vintage since I think you are our resident expert on a CalVin?  :thumbsup: 

(BTW, I've watched your YouTube videos regarding your California Vintage)




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4 hours ago, footgoose said:

that looks nice!

7800 miles….it’s not even broken in yet.

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I spoke to the owner, who is very nice, and now too elderly and ill to ride anymore.  So although I don't think he wants to sell the bike, he has decided it is time to let it go.

The bike has been sitting for about 5 years, and hasn't run since then.  As you can see, there are only a few lower resolution photos in the FB Marketplace ad, and he's not able to move the bike around to get better photos.  He says it is in very good shape, but does have some minor rash on the left hand engine and pannier guards, and a chip in the paint of the left bag from a stationary gentle drop some time ago.  One of the side covers is cracked, but he says he has a NOS replacement. 

It is interesting that it doesn't have the "skunk stripe" seat, which would have been normal for the black CalVin.  The all black seat typically came with the white CalVin.  I forgot to ask him about why his black CalVin seems to have the white CalVin seat.  It wouldn't surprise me if it came from the factory that way, as we've seen other inconsistencies with MG products.

It currently doesn't have a battery, drained of fuel (good), but some wiring is chewed through by a rodent in the battery compartment. 

So currently it doesn't run, and he isn't in a position to get it running.

Given that I'm nowhere close to give it a close in-person inspection, and he can't verify that it will run, I told him it probably isn't for me, at least not for $5000-5500.

He wondered what I would then offer, but I told him that I really couldn't offer anything that he would find reasonable for what is currently a non-running bike with unknown issues.  I told him that just about any prospective buyer would likely have similar concerns unless he can get it to at least run.  And he agreed that he'll probably need to get it running to get any serious buyers interested.  So I just asked him to reach out to me if and when he gets it running, and then maybe if I can find someone from the Guzzi community that is local and willing, perhaps they can go by and inspect the bike and get better photos, etc... then see if we want to go from there.  So we'll see.

If there isn't anyone from here in the Colorado Springs area, maybe I'll see if someone from MGNOC or Wildguzzi is in the area.




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"IF" You're in the market for that type of bike,I'd be on that like a fat kid on a smartie :D

The story & history sounds legit. He's got a major headache on his hands right now, I'd be inclined to offer 3.5-4K,as is,where is, and have a shipper get it to you for $500? It's too bad it's not closer to you.

The rodent damage should be relatively easy to solve,it should be very apparent what needs repairing,and the wiring on the CalVins is much easier to work on compared to the V11s once the seat,covers,plastics are removed etc.

If the rodents chewed through 1 or 2 wires,not that big a deal,,,if they had their family over for a buffet on the whole harness,,,that may be different:D

I'll share some of the details on my CalVin, it may help you decide yeh or nay.

I always kept tabs on local guzzis for sale,my CalVin 15k kms was first listed at $9500 about 6 yrs ago,it was over priced and there's not much market for guzzis here,so it never sold. Every 6 mths the seller would drop his price by $500,and after a while,he finally got down to $6500, about the same time my DL1000 VStrom let me down for the final time.

My CalVin had already had the dissolving in tank fuel line replaced,so that headache was taken care of. They usually go within the first few years and are replaced then;it would be nice if that job has been done on the bike you're looking at.

I offered my seller 6K,loaded it on the trailer and took the headache off his hands.

I thought California Vintage, meant "vintage" wiring,so when I only got one key with the bike,I thought it would be simple to have a copy made.

Wrong! Because the engine management system is from the Breva 1100,there is a chip hidden in the plastic part of the key,I was luckily able to get the 2nd key from a previous owner.

If you buy the bike,make sure you get 2 keys,if you don't, it's a pita to get a 2nd one married up to the ignition system/ECU.

When I bought the CalVin I had read about it being the last of the Tonti Frame bikes, and due to the racing heritage,it was reviewed as being a very good handling cruiser. So I threw it around back roads with that mindset and was extremely disappointed,it's too heavy,it wallowed like a whale.

All I changed was my mind set,and learned to ride it like the fine leather Italian couch that it is;over time it's become my favorite,steady dependable ride.

I was initially very hesitant,about the heel/toe shifter floor board set up,but grew to like it so much, I picked up a set of floor boards to put on my G5.

Everybody's back is different,mine does best with a curve leaning forward helping to absorb road shock,the sitting straight up cruiser position on my CalVin would jar my back every now and then;I added an AirHawk & rolled the bars as far forward as possible,it's very close to perfect for me now.

The seat on the bike you're looking at looks like it's been reworked or it's a custom;the foam seems thicker & the vinyl panels & stitching don't match my skunk seat. idk

The values on the CalVin were dropping,but it seems like they've bottomed out and are starting to rise,all of the older Tonti cruisers,seem to be holding their value & rising.

That bike looks like it's missing the lower leg shield plastics (they're fragile af) it should have new tires,battery,wiring repair,possibly the fuel tank line repair(which is a pita),but it could be a very good bike for you "IF" that's what you're looking for.

fwiw ymmv good luck


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Thank you for all the helpful information.

I'm tempted to pursue it, however questions such as any additional damage to the wiring from rodents and if it actually will run still bother me.

Plus although the photos look "OK", they are a bit low resolution, and one can only see a single side of the motorcycle.

So, I'll probably post something on Wildguzzi and GuzziTech as well to see if there is someone local that wouldn't mind taking an hour or two to run over, give the bike a good look, and maybe drag a battery along and some gas to see if it will start.  I'd be happy to compensate them for their time and any materials within reason.

If everything looks good after that, then maybe...  I can't risk $4-5000 without clarifying those basic things though.  Now if it were reasonably local to me B)


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So . . . I don't suppose starting a bike like that (especially with known rodent presence) would be prudent without inspecting the airbox and intake tracts.

Sure, it might start, but what gets sucked into the engine could be a big disappointment . . .

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Docc makes a good point about sucking in rodent nests,,,

I'd also be afraid of hooking a battery up,hitting the starter button and watching all the magic smoke escape from the wires if the rodents have chewed in the wrong spots:D

bring marshmallows just in case,,,:D

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Yep, you need to get eyes on it. Better to find out whether it is a $2800 or a $4800 bike before the sale. Have you checked out shipping? Prices have went through the roof for that service. Might be the dealbreaker right there.

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