Moto Guzzi California 1400 Flagship Cruiser | California 2.0

It's no secret Moto Guzzi has been burning the midnight oil even after its 90th anniversary last year; the storied marque's new California 1400 flagship cruiser was one of the most anticipated motorcycles unveiled at the recent EICMA show in Milan.

Although initially announced back in February of 2012, the wraps officially came off the new Custom and Touring versions of the California 1400 at November's EICMA event. Judging by the photos, Guzzi looks serious about getting back in the cruiser game.

Both bikes will be powered by a bored-out 1380cc V-twin engine (claimed to be the largest Vee from a European manufacturer) fitted into the closed double cradle steel frame with an all-new "elastic" support system. The system claims to allow the engine to shake around its own center of gravity and minimize vibrations. That redesigned cam-in-head, four-valve engine has the same 81.2 mm stroke as the previous-generation 1151cc unit, but pushes the bore to 104 mm. Finned cylinder heads suggest the traditional look of air cooling, but Guzzi supplements it with a thermostat-controlled oil cooler and fan. The tweaked induction system now gets a single 52mm throttle body. Combine those elements and you get some impressive numbers: Piaggio quotes 96 hp at 6500 rpm and despite the larger displacement, a 15-20 percent improvement in fuel economy.

Both versions will also use a six-speed transmission versus the five-speed gearbox on the previous model, and carry a 5.4 gallon fuel tank, 46mm telescopic fork and a rear suspension with double shocks featuring adjustable preload. The new aluminum alloy wheels sport dynamic ribbed spokes, with the 18-inch front wrapped in 130/70 rubber and the 16-inch rear wearing a chunkier 200/60 tire. Dual rotors with radial-mount Brembo calipers can be seen up front and ABS is standard.

The California 1400s are the first Guzzi cruisers with ride-by-wire technology, available in three engine mappings: Turismo (touring), Veloce (Fast) and Bagnato (Wet). They are also equipped with cruise and traction control.

The two bikes diverge from there. On the full-boat Touring version, you get a two-tone seat, windshield, saddlebags, engine and saddlebag guards, and chrome-covered driving lights. The California 1400 Touring is also equipped with the Piaggio Multimedia Platform (first seen on the X10 scooter), an accessory you can plug your iPhone into and use as a supplementary dashboard.

As you'd expect, the leaner, gray and black Custom comes with a different attitude, manifested in its drag handlebars and low saddle. The 28.3 inch saddle height is about an inch lower than the Touring's 29.1 inches. Piaggio claims a dry weight of 661 pounds for the Custom with the Touring weighing in at 710 pounds.

The bikes will allegedly be available in May of 2013, with pricing yet to be announced.

Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring /Custom
Type: Air/oil-cooled, 90-degree V-twin
Displacement, bore x stroke: 1380 cc, 104 x 81.2 mm
Valve train: 4 valves per cylinder
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: Shaft
Length: 96.2 in.
Wheelbase: 66 in.
Rake/Trail: 32°/6 in.
Front suspension: 46mm inverted telescopic fork; 4.7 in. travel
Rear suspension: Dual shocks, adjustable spring preload
Front brake: Dual 320mm floating discs, 4-piston Brembo radial calipers
Rear brake: 282mm disc, 2-piston Brembo caliper
Front tire: 130/70 R18
Rear tire: 200/60 R16
Seat height: 29.1 in.
Curb Weight: 743 lbs. /694 lbs.
Fuel Tank: 5.4 gallons