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2016 Moto Guzzi Eldorado 1400
Price: $13,490.00 plus feight, setup, and tax, $50 document fee, and title transfer / tab renewal unless verifiable out-of-state residency. All prices reflect a 2% discount for payment by cash, check, wire transfer, direct deposit, debit card, or through financing. Original MSRP: $16,490
Save: price listed reflects a $3,000 reduction (includes Guzzi's rebate) good through June 30, 2017.
Financing: 6.59% for 24-36 months, 7.39% for 48, 7.59% for 60, 8.59% for 72, or 9.09% for 84 months OAC (rates based on 715+ credit score, higher rates for lower scores) through Freedom Road Financial.
|Type||Four-stroke V 90 twin, four valves, dual ignition, Ride by Wire with 3 engine maps, 3 level adjustable traction control, Cruise Control as standard equipment|
|Maximum power||95 HP (71 kW) @ 6,500 rpm|
|Maximum torque||88.5 lb-ft (120 Nm) @ 2,750 rpm|
|Fuel system||Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection.|
|Exhaust system||Three-way catalyser with lambda probe|
|Gearbox||6-speeds with final overdrive|
|Final drive||CA.R.C. Compact Reactive Shaft Drive|
|Clutch||Dry single plate with flexible couplings|
|CHASSIS / SUSPENSION / BRAKES|
|Frame||Double cradle tubular frame in ALS steel with detachable rear subframe|
|Front suspension||standard swingarm Ø 46 mm, with radical calliper mountain bracket and telescopes on the stanchions|
|Front wheel travel||120 mm|
|Rear suspension||swingarm with double shock absorber adjustable spring preload|
|Rear wheel travel||120 mm|
|Front brake||Dual 320 mm stainless steel floating discs, Brembo radial callipers with 4 horizontally opposed pistons: ABS as standard equipment|
|Rear brake||282 mm stainless steel fixed disc, Brembo floating calliper with 2 parallel pistons: ABS as standard|
|Rear wheel||16 in polished aluminum, spoked with tubeless system, 180/65|
|Front wheel||16" in polished aluminum, spoked with tubeless system, 130/90|
|Front tire||Metzeler Lasertec 100/90- 18 56H TL|
|Rear tire||Metzeler Lasertec 130/80 -17 65H TL|
|Height||43.8 inches (1,115 mm)|
|Saddle height||29.1 in (740 mm)|
|Curb weight||692 lbs (314 kg)|
|Fuel tank capacity||5.4 Gallons (20.5 liters)|
|Reserve||.66 Gallons (2.5 liters)|
"If Roman gods had ridden motorcycles, the Moto Guzzi Eldorado would have been chosen by Bacchus." This was how Cycle World magazine concluded their test of the luxurious Italian bike, the latest evolution of the 90° V-twin with cardan final drive introduced in the States in the late sixties by the importer Berliner Group. The metaphor effectively highlighted the intoxication experienced on a modern, powerful, luxurious and fast bike, painstakingly studied down to the smallest details and extremely satisfying to ride. Forty years later the experience is repeated in the shape and substance of the new Eldorado.
Staying on the theme of mythology, the new Eldorado leads us to Janus, the two-headed divinity who is the keeper of all passages and transitions. By looking at it one can see clearly how this Moto Guzzi has preserved the personality of its ancestor, drawing it from the past to the future along the path of technological evolution and stylistic continuity.
The flashback effect comes out in the details: the spoke wheels, the fuel tank with chromium sides, the oversize saddle, the rear mudguard with the gem-shaped taillight, the bullhorn handlebar, the passenger grab handle.
With a lower setup thanks to the new sixteen inch spoke wheels that mount whitewall tyres (130/90 on the front and 180/65 on the rear), attention is drawn to the new wraparound mudguards. The front has a particularly "clean" design which enhances the powerful front end, whereas the rear, on the other hand, is the element that draws the most attention on this ultra elegant Moto Guzzi. Its smooth and generous shape integrates with the new full cover shock absorbers, the gem-shaped rear light cluster and the classic rounded turn indicators.
At the front the Eldorado, like the Touring and Custom models, is also distinguishable by its original complex surface headlight with polyelliptical light equipped with LED daylight running light (DRL). Speaking of digital technologies, the instrumentation is particularly satisfying, contained in a 150 mm diameter circular panel with the analogue rev counter scale finding its place along the external circumference and a multifunction full-matrix suspended display at the centre, all packaged neatly, like a luxury watch, in a bright chromium housing.
You never get on the Eldorado, but rather you settle comfortably into the saddle. Positioned just 724 mm from the ground, the new saddle, together with the generous floorboards an the comfortable bullhorn handlebar grip, is an invitation to take a seat, press the start button and let the asphalt roll under your feet for at least 300 kilometres, which is the minimum range guaranteed by the sculpturesque 21 litre fuel tank.
If the road is a never-ending Interstate Highway you can activate cruise control by pressing the button on the right-hand electric block and sail along as you listen to the throbbing 90° V-twin filtered by the big block's elastic-kinematic mounting system, knowing that if you need or desire it, the cardan final drive will be ready to unleash up to 120 Nm onto the tarmac at 2,750 rpm. Technically unchanged, the twin cylinder confirms its monumental architecture enhanced by the polished valve covers with Moto Guzzi silk-screened on them and the tight and smoothed cooling fins. The engine is an absolute benchmark in its category for engine capacity-performance-consumption ratio thanks to excellent thermodynamic performance combined with advanced Ride-by-wire multimap electronic management. This technology allows the rider to choose one of three engine management maps: Turismo, Veloce and Pioggia. And that's not all: the dynamic performance of the vehicle is also kept under control by its latest generation traction control system (MGCT) which can be adjusted on three actuation levels in order to increase active safety without impacting performance and riding pleasure.
The California name has long baffled some people. Why would an Italian motorcycle have an American name? It’s because all of Italy was proud of Moto Guzzi for selling police motorcycles to the California Highway Patrol. And since the early 70s, police-style Guzzis have born this name. But here’s a dirty little secret: ever since the 1976 T-3 police introduced the California name, the bikes have really just been dressed up sport bikes. I say this because the frame has been the same basic design as the old V7 Sport and original 850 LeMans. So there were compromises. Sure, the bikes were sporty but ergonomics could be cramped and it seemed like if you were under 5’ 6” you could hardly touch the ground and if you were over 5’ 10” you didn’t have much leg room.
So for the 1400s, Moto Guzzi designed a new bike from the ground up.
The engine, in simplistic terms, is the 1200 8V from the Griso, Norge, or Stelvio with a bigger bore, raising displacement from 1151 to 1380cc. But of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. The 1400 also gets two spark plugs per cylinder and its intake ports are about half the size of a 1200s. Plus, the 1400 has longer intake runners and a single throttle body. The idea is to maximize response, especially at low speeds. And it sure works, as this bike honks! You’d probably bet it’s much bigger than a 1400. And that’s the idea Guzzi had: make big-cruiser power but keep the engine flexible. Some really big twins seem ponderous and unable to freely rev. The Guzzi 1400 maintains the sporty nature of past Californias while competing with the big boys in acceleration.
The rest of the engine management system is a big step forward for Guzzi, and big cruisers, for that matter. This is the first cruiser with the ride-by-wire system, popular on sport bikes. It’s a much more responsive system, so bikes like the Cal 1400 have three switchable response curves, leaving the rider to choose the right feel. Unlike other bikes I’ve ridden with this system, even the least-responsive mode is very useful.
The electronics package also includes ABS brakes, traction control, and cruise control. I sort of laughed at the idea of a Guzzi with traction control, as that’s what I always thought a big flywheel was all about! I’d never ridden a bike with cruise control before and didn’t think I’d care for it but I found it useful and quite intuitive to use.
Starting the bike, it’s a bit rumbly. I hear that this was purposefully done to make the 1400 feel like other big-twin cruisers. I don’t know if it’s engine balance, mapping, or the rubber engine mounts, but once the bike’s revved up just a little, it becomes the smoothest of all current Guzzis.
It’s a sure handling bike and will cut the corner with the best of them. It’s just not quick transitioning in a chicane, nor would I expect it to be. Here we see the tradeoff of a big heavy bike: it’s tremendously stable on an interstate but obviously can’t be as nimble as smaller, lighter bikes. But those lighter bikes don’t leave you as relaxed on a long ride.
I’ve noticed some interesting responses from owners of these new models. The people who have had several Guzzis often go on about this being their favorite Guzzi ever. Now, everyone loves their newest bike so that alone isn’t noteworthy. But it’s the strength of their enthusiasm that stands out. I’ve also asked Guzzisti looking for a bike to try one, even if it’s not their type of bike. They rarely change what they want but they always come away impressed. Something equally interesting about customers previously riding other brands: we have several of them. And by that I mean that we’ve had an unusually high response from riders of other brands.
Specific to the Eldorado: this is a style variation of the California 1400 Custom, with 16" spoked wheels and different handlebars, fenders, and seats.
Less Reduction: -$2,000.00
Less Rebate: -$1,000.00
Sale price: $13,490.00
Freight to dealer: $500.00
Document fee: $50.00
License (est.): $270.00
*Tax and license fees apply to Washington State residents only.