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Living With the Moto Guzzi California Vintage vintage motorcycle One week with Moto Guzzi California Vintage Street Cred without "wannabe" Moto Guzzi has more "cruiser street cred" than most give it credit for. They have been around continuously since 1921; beyond anyone else than Harley Davidson. But for Harley Davidson, Guzzi has built cruisers longer than anyone else - their first cruiser in the incarnation that you see above comes out in 1967 with the V700. Guzzi has always wanted to build "big" bikes, but we have to adjust the scale. Italy, which was Guzzi's largest market for most of its life, had the manufacture of street bikes with less than 100cc for decades - a cycle over 300cc was considered "great".Guzzi was at the top of the pile early with the production of 500cc bikes that were reliable and sporty. The 50's Falcone in the 50's is an excellent example of this, a bike with incredible reliability, to the point where an American Guzzi Club member is an original owner of two, both of whom were driven close by for more than 50 years! Guzzi builds cruisers, and they have built them for a long time. This is not a late-coming, with me, bandwagon cruiser, built to exploit a niche that came from Harley-Davidson's Renaissance. Moto Guzzi knocked it out for several years when companies with better resources and larger dealer networks went everywhere.The thing is, they never gave up, they never stopped building the platform, and they were true to their mission. The current "cruiser" platform is built around the laterally mounted V-twin engine (originally 700cc, now 1100), which runs through an in-line, car-type transmission straight through to a drive shaft and waste operation. After more than 40 years, it is a highly refined system. The engine can best be described as a "two-cylinder small block, American V-8". This is really not a stretch. The comb is in the way, there is a conventional swamp, it has a hemi-head with pushrods and rockers.It also makes gobs and gobs torque, is incredibly easy to work on, and is dead-nuts reliable. California Vintage is a celebration of this linage, from the first V-twins, through the Police Cycle era and up yesterday today. The first California appeared on the Eldorado platform, all white striped blacks with a white trimmed "buddy seat". So what did the Moto Guzzi do with this (argument begins here) most popular platform cross cycle ever from Europe? The second oldest ever built cruise platform? They continued to refine it continuouslyThe refinements are many. Brakes are sport-bike standard Double Brembos front and a single rear. The 1094cc engine has a smooth, random injection system. The exhaust gas meets the tough Euro-3 standards, and the standard bags are of the highest quality and perfectly integrated into the design. The seat is just plain sweet. The windscreen has been tested to ensure an even flow around the rider. The suspension is supplied with a Marzocchi hydraulic telescopic fork with reset and compression adjustability. The rear suspension is ubiquitous shock.