Beware Harley-Davidson, Moto Guzzi Could Whip Up A Big Cruiser Soon


  • The Moto Guzzi California may be making a comeback, with a renewed trademark application hinting at future plans for the cruiser.
  • The California previously featured a powerful 1,380cc engine, but may need a new mill to meet emission norms if it returns.
  • With impressive features like traction control and cruise control, a new version inspired by the MGX21 Flying Fortress could elevate the cruiser’s appeal.

The Moto Guzzi California is one of the biggest names in the Italian giant’s lifeline. It was a motorcycle built to encash the ever-so-popular American cruiser segment. And the design team even looped in the Los Angeles Police Department for inputs to make it perfect for the States. Although the cruiser was discontinued in 2021, it seems a resurrection could be on the trot. It’s a move that would make total sense, given the success of big metric cruisers like the BMW R 18 and Guzzi’s recent soaring popularity.

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Moto Guzzi Has Renewed Its Trademark For The California

Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom studio shot
Moto Guzzi

The rumor of the cruiser’s comeback stems from the Italian bikemaker’s application to renew its ‘California’ trademark in America. Now, you must be wondering “So what? Several companies hog trademarks to keep their previous monikers away from competition”. And while that’s true, the story is a bit different here.

You see, hogging trademarks is a much more common practice in Asia and Europe than in the States. Here, a trademark needs to have a clear intention of use. So Guzzi’s application for renewal hints the California’s comeback is certainly in its future plans. To cement these claims a little more, the trademark application mentions the company has “a bona fide intention, and is entitled, to use the mark in commerce.”

The Moto Guzzi California Employed A 1,380cc Big Block Engine

Moto Guzzi California 1400
Moto Guzzi

The last iteration of the Moto Guzzi California drew power from a 1,380cc, Big Block V-twin engine. It had 96 horsepower and 90 pound-feet of torque, all sent to the wheel via a six-speed transmission. Although a capable engine, it couldn’t keep up with tightening emission norms. So if the California is indeed coming back to life, it would need a new mill. Lucky for us, Moto Guzzi’s impressive new V-twin seems perfect for the job.

We’re talking about the 1,042cc mill present on the Stelvio and V100 Mandello. It’s a liquid-cooled engine, good for 115 horsepower and 78 pound-feet–an output that’d make the upcoming cruiser more powerful than the likes of the Harley-Davidson Nightster and Indian Scout. Everything else, meanwhile, can be carried forward from the previous generation and the cruiser still won’t feel outdated.

That’s because it already came with some impressive bits, both in terms of mechanicals and features. Some highlights include:

  • Traction control
  • Cruise control
  • Dual front disc brakes with Brembo calipers
  • Dual-channel ABS
  • Comfortable, upright ergonomics

Bonus points if there’s a version inspired by the stunning MGX21 Flying Fortress. That was the bagger version of the California, loaded with an aerodynamic fairing, belly pan, and saddlebags. These, along with the fenders, were all carved from carbon fiber!

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As exciting as all this sounds, we’re yet to receive official confirmation of the California’s comeback. We believe an official teaser should come by the end of 2024 if the project is indeed a reality. Moto Guzzi confirmed its Stelvio adventure bike in a similar fashion, posting a subtle teaser at the EICMA.

Source: Cycle World

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