01 Moto Guzzi California Special discussion forum: I love this bike....
I love this bike....
Rich Richer said 2003-11-25 05:27:01
I started riding in 1974. And stopped after three years. In 1996, after a 19 year hiatus due to kids, mortgage, marriage, and just plain old being "responsible", I figured I owed it to myself to get back on the saddle and see if I liked it as much as when I was in my twenties. To make sure, I started with a 15 year old Honda 750 (there´s that old conservative responsibility rearing its ugly head again) and figured that if I could handle that for a year then I´d get the bike I really wanted. Five years later, when the marriage fell apart, I realized the bike I had always wanted since being a teenager was a Moto Guzzi, and it might just be the only thing I could get that I wanted, so the Honda went in May 2001 and I bought this bike in July 2001, seven months old from a misguided chap who thought he wanted a Harley. One only has to look at the styling and the performance to know he made a seriously bad decision! His loss is my gain... I have put only 4000 miles on it since then, as here in New York we don´t get much riding in over the winter and demands of kids, home and job take time away from riding, but it is kept ready to go at a moment´s notice and in good weather is found on the road, even in January. Fortunately my new significant other finds time on the passenger seat comfortable and enjoys two-wheeling as much as I do, so that encourages my activity rather than hampers it. ´Nuff with the romantic fluffy stuff...
For a big displacement bike it handles well and is comfortable for longer rides once you get used to the width of the seat. You can move around on it to stay comfortable. I guess skinny Italian butts are better at this than my fat American ****, but I manage to keep comfortable enough to go 100 plus miles between gas fill-ups without a problem. A Hepco Becker passenger backrest keeps everyone in place and very secure. A Pacifico fairing/windshield makes it very comfortable in colder weather yet the venting keeps it reasonable in the summer as well. Don´t even try to ride a shorty helmet without a windshield. The high version of the windshield keeps helmet buffeting to a minimum (I´m six feet tall) and only the tops of my legs gets any wind blast or cold. A throw-over set of saddlebags finishes the bike for convenience, although I am working on large fiberglass touring bags and trunk for longer haul travel next summer. Plenty of power for two-up riding and the brakes are capable of good stopping power even with the extra weight. It is reliable and has never let me down.
We don´t have as many Moto Guzzis here on the east coast due to relatively poor distribution and few dealers as compared to the west coast. Yet the bike gets stares, admiration and respect from others, both rider (regardless of make) and non-rider alike, wherever I go. No, it does not have the outright power of the crotch rockets or the noise of the American hogs, but Moto Guzzi has a cachet of style, power and sound like no other. And best of all you don´t see another one of yourself on every street corner, like Harley and the Japanese bikes... I will happily buy another Moto Guzzi!
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