Ridemalibu Motorcycle Rentals & Tours – Los Angeles CA
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California 1400 Reliabilty Opinions?

Discussion in 'Cal 1400 8V' started by roadventure, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Eldo1400

    Eldo1400 Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Mine is a paint shaker at idle, then exceptionally smooth once moving. At lights I just put in in neutral (which is always easy to find) and take my hands off it. Otherwise the shaking is annoying. I put my hands on the tank and people sometimes give me funny looks.

    But it is really quite smooth once moving, silky smooth. I don't get the bucking thing. I only ride in Veloce mode and I never have a problem. Other than the weight it's really easy around town, since the clutch effort isn't too bad, the torque just pulls you along and it's fairly nimble steering. My Eldorado has smaller wheels and tires so it's perhaps more nimble than the other C14 models.

    I second the advice to ride another one. Seriously, this is a bike you can just get on and get used to fast. I've ridden quite a few Harleys over the years and found the MG to be even easier to get used to, more like one of the metric cruisers in that respect.
     
  2. Davetac1

    Davetac1 Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Good afternoon gentlemen and a Merry Christmas.I have not been on here now for awhile,but still haven't lost interest in the California 1400 Tourer. In fact,I've recently road tested two brandy new 2017 models,onewith 6 miles on it,and the other with 300 miles on it,but from different dealers and "DAM" they do ride well,but could not be lugged [they bucked] without droppina a gear or two.One dealer gave me the standard answer "THEY ALL DO THAT"without any explanation, while the other dealer told me "as long ya I keep the RPM above 3000,the bike should run smooth"and for the most part,he was right.So I'm back in the market for one again.Now I have been mounted on two wheels for 56 consecutive years now,covering close to,if not more then,a million miles,meaning,I am quite well experienced on two wheelers.My current ride is a 2010 Thunderbird SE,bought brandy new in 2010,which recently turned 125,000 miles and is STILL running as good,if not better then, it did when it was new.But since I'm now in my 70's,I would like one more new bike before I croak and the Guzzi is "AGAIN" what's caught my attention.As I said,I road tested two new 2017 Tourers,and they did run better then the Guzzi's I rode several years ago.And since I am a mechanic by trade,[retired of course] but still do ALL my own work on everything I own,not to mention everyone elses', lol I bought a CD of the factory SM so I could learn more about the machine,and maybe make it run even better.So we shall see.But ,right now,I am once again,leaning towards a new 1400 Tourer.And I will keep reading to listen to any and all problems you seasoned Guzzi riders had or have had with your bikes.So keep the pro's and con's coming as I WILL be listening[reading].And again,I thank you gentlemen for the info and advice I have learned about this machine from this site.Well done gentlemen!! Dave!!!
     
  3. PaulDavies

    PaulDavies Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    re: bucking below 3000 rpm - my Audace certainly did that when it was new, now that it has more than 10 thousand Km on it, it has loosened up and will happily pull from 2000 rpm and coast down to 1500 rpm without serious complaint. I wouldn't lug it at less than 2000 rpm however as those big vibrations really rock the bike as you'd expect from a big V. Twin with cylinders sticking out the side
     
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  4. Davetac1

    Davetac1 Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Thank you for your come back Paul.Now,aside from that,are you or anyone having any problems[concerns] what so ever,even the most minute,with your Guzzi's?? In other words,anything that I should be concerned about?????? And my reasoning is because I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on a brandy new 1400 Tourer,so I wanna be sure I'm not making a mistake.I mean,I do like surprises,but not one that just cost me 20G's,lol ,which,BTW, will be the most I've ever spent for a new two wheeler. Follow me?? Thank you again gentlemen !! Dave!!!
     
  5. PaulDavies

    PaulDavies Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    The only "issue" (if that is the right word), has been getting used to the general engine noise these big air cooled v-twins make. Coming from a long line of silky smooth Jap in-line 4's, the general clatter (character?) coming from the engine was disconcerting and had me wondering if there was something wrong (valve clearance for example), but it seems that it really is a case of "they all do that sir". You either like it or you don't (or get used to it). Otherwise I've not got any complaints - it's a real looker. Everywhere I stop people come and talk to me about it. Actually that really is the biggest draw back for me. Sometimes I just want to get off and have a coffee or fill up with gas, but no, some old guy, or another biker wants to chat for 20 mins and look it over, including several "cops" who were genuinely interested. Never had that with any other previous bike I owned.

    It helps if you are a bit useful with a wrench, if only to keep your eye on the fasteners, as they have a tendency to come loose, the exhaust in particular. The rear wheel is a serious pain to remove (especially with panniers) and it normally needs to come off to change the "diff" oil. Changing engine and gearbox oil is a messy affair as it goes all over the frame, but generally maintenance is very easy, especially the head valve clearance. Watch out for soft fasteners though, they can be easy to round off. If you are at all interested in doing your own servicing, buy one of those ATV jacks for about $100 to lift the bike off the ground. This will help rotate the back wheel when setting valve adjustment and also removing rear wheel. Some folks with earlier (Non Euro 4 - pre 2016 I think) models say the valves can be adjusted by turning the Nut on the crank (without rear wheel off the ground), but on my Euro 4 compliant Audace, there's all sorts of complex emissions stuff in front of that nut so rotating the rear wheel in gear is the easiest solutions.

    Otherwise, go buy and enjoy !!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
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  6. Davetac1

    Davetac1 Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Regarding the motor noise,I believe I can fix that,or atleast quiet it down substantially.Ya see,I had [past tense] that same problem[loud motor]with the Tbird I now own,and after 10,000 miles of listening to a cement mixer,I tried a little experiment and it worked.Just about all new vehicles,cars,trucks,boats ,motorcycles,whatever, built today, call for synthetic oil,including my Tbird.WHY?? Because the government says so.So what I did [which I also did with my last three bikes and every new car/truck I own or have owned] was dump that synthetic sh**,and switch to 15/40 Shell Rotella T oil in the bikes,and 5W30 regular oil in my four wheelers and small equipment,[ lawn mowers,snow blower,generator,tractor,etc.], and wola,quiet motor. So If I should buy this machine,I WILL do the same.

    Regarding lifting the bike for service,I used to have a Pit Bull MC lift but sold it several years ago to a friend of mine who owns one of those foreign machines [Harvey Dickenson,Henry Donaldson,or something like that, lol] because he's ALWAYS fixing it. I then transformed my portable car lift,which has a 6,000 lb. lifting capacity and lifts 28 inches high, to a MC lift.I drive or push the bike up a small ramp on to the lift, then use a wheel vise on the front and tie down straps on the sides to secure it in place when lifting and or working on it while in a STANDING POSITION.[Plus, It can easily be changed back to a car lift when needed] It works great because there is no more crawling around on the floor,bending down,or making up four letter words that mankind has NEVER heard before!! lol lol This lift has made my life SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier.

    Anyways,with my experience,my tools,equipment,and that CD of the shop manual [10 bucks on line],I believe I have a pretty good shot at servicing and or repairing this machine myself and correcting some of the problems I've read about,and the reason I'm asking these questions,which I again,thank you gentlemen, for answering. Dave!!!
     
  7. LuftWolf

    LuftWolf Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Sorry guys, but the " shaking ' below 3000 rpm is there to stay. The story goes that when they introduced the 1400, a bunch of Harley guys were there and their opinon of the bike was asked. They liked it but.... thought it needed to rumble at idle. And so the shaking was added in to the computer negating what otherwise was a perfectly balanced engine. Anyway, I wrote the designer, asking for confirmation if that story was true, & if so could they reflash the computer and eliminate it? Never heard back. A darn shame too, as it makes attaching a GoPro useless due to that below 3K vibration. I do my own wrenching as well and the machine maintence is fairly easy to do with the exception of the Air Filter which is a bitch to change. The OEM Service manual makes it look so easy, just 4 clips to deal with and they show you a nice picture. What they aren't saying is that the battery and elctronics are sandwiched in all arount the airbox making the bottom clips inaccessible, unless removed. Another tip is to purchase a OEM style oil filter wrench as the number of flats and the ultra tight clearance demands it. You would fine one at your local auto parts store. On balance, I have 20K miles on my 1400 and still love the machine. I was told it takes 15K to really break it in and that has proven true, I am now getting 41 - 47 mpg.
     
  8. Davetac1

    Davetac1 Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Thank you sir for your input.I recently road tested a 2018 HD Road King with the new M8 motor, a 2018 Indian Springfield,and two brandy new 2017 California 1400 Tourers.

    The HD had the typical rumble but was pretty smooth until ya tried to lug it a little because it shook and vibrated pretty good ,unless ya dropped a couple gears to get it to run smooth again,meaning,ya gotta wind the motor up to get it going and keep it up on rpm to get it to run smooth,WHICH BURNS GAS.But it did ride really nice and went like the hinges of hell, but was just not for me.Every new HD I've tried out over the last 50 years ,atleast to me,seems to be the same old,same old,just like that Road King,hence I passed on it.But they must have wanted to sell it to me pretty badly because they offered me 1 1/2 times the fair market value of my Tbird towards a trade on that 2018 Road King,even though they new it had 125,000 miles showin on the clock.lol

    The Springfield,road just as nice,if not better then,the HD,but ran smoother thru out the rpm range,even it ya lugged it.The problem I had with the Indian was #1, its' weight [curb is 852 lbs. ] #2, the price tag [it will put ya into shell shock,lol,[and #3, it does NOT go.] In other words,if ya wanna climb a hill or ,you're on the highway and wanna over take a slower moving vehicle,ya need a good distance to build enough speed to get by it or drop a couple gears.But for another 10 G's or so,they'll upgrade the motor for you to either a stage III or stage IV kit to fix that.Of course any economy you may have had,is now GONE.Well I don't think so!! lol lol

    Then I took out the two different 2017 California 1400 Tourers,from two different dealerships,and BOTH ran VERY WELL indeed,except for a small roughness if the motor was lugged below 3000 rpm.But everything else on both machines was "SUPURB",hence the reason I'm asking all these dumb questions because I'm pretty close to pullin the trigger on one.But I wanna get it right this time because this machine could very well be my LAST machine.So I'm not tryin to be a wise guy or anything asking these questions from you experienced guys who own one of these machines!!! So once again,I thank you gentlemen for your input!! Keep em comin!!! Dave!!!
     
  9. MJPTexas

    MJPTexas Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    I now have 22,000 problem free miles on my Cali 1400 Custom. Regarding vibrations and lugging the bike: the Cali 1400 is really happy above 3,000 rpm, but it will run pretty smoothly down to 2,500 rpm. Below that, not so much.

    Being happy with this bike requires the right mindset. It's a Moto Guzzi first, and a cruiser second. All of the Moto Guzzis I have owned love to rev, and the Cali 1400 is no exception. Keep the revs up a bit and everyone is happy. If you want to lug it like a cruiser you'll be better off with a different bike.

    I have a friend that just bought a new Touring. He absolutely loves it. He has been struggling a bit getting the windscreen sorted out so the buffeting doesn't drive him crazy. This is a very common issue for Cali 1400s. My friend tried out an MRA X-screen extension, which fixed his problem. There has been plenty written on the windscreen turbulence so I won't say any more about it.

    My friend also had a issue getting the security system sorted out. Took an extra trip to the dealer to get it right. Beyond those two things he simply raves about the bike. He commutes on it daily (a Cali 1400 would not be my first choice for a commuter bike) and is more than happy with the results.
     
  10. LuftWolf

    LuftWolf Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Ah yes.... I tried out all the Indian Chiefs and found in addition to their " lag " when you crack the throttle (same with the HD's) requiring a downshift to get moving, the Chiefs rear Cylinder cooked my right thigh. I understand this can be fixed by removing the catalytic converter which was cited as the source of the heat, but why should you have to do that on a new machine? With the Guzzi, twist the throttle and upshift, and the Guzzi leaps forward! I have had a long list of bikes and currently also have a vintage BMW R80. The Guzzi is going to be a " forever " bike, given I am 70 & will ride it until one us can't go anymore. The Beemer is a nice bike, but switching back to the Goose... it's like be strapped to a rocket! The only thing I found fault with the 1400 was the OEM Dunlop Tires. The Dunlops had a center line grove that followed ruts, expanded metal bridges and heaven help you, scarified roads prior to being paved. Upon switching to Avon Cobras the handling greatly improved as well as banished the above faults. As a bonus, the tire milage tripled as well. Best of luck!
     
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  11. Davetac1

    Davetac1 Tuned and Synch'ed

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    I'm currently running the Cobras on my Tbird [3rd set] and they work really well.I run 38 PSI in both.However,the back tire[200/55/17] does NOT do very well on mileage.[10-12,000 and that's about it] But the front tire[120/70/19] is doing real well,giving 17,000 plus miles.So I have no complaints about the front,but the vote is still out on a back tire.On my last bike [a 99 Yamaha RSV ] which I drove over 200,000 miles before selling it because it was just gettin too heavy for me as it had a curb weight of 869 lbs.,had Dunlop EIII's [bias tires] on both ends ,which I put on,and was giving me 25,000 miles out of BOTH tires.So my point is,ya might wanna try an EIII,bias,or American Elite[radial],on the back as that may solve your short tire life problem.Whadaya have to lose?? Dave!!!
     
  12. LuftWolf

    LuftWolf Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Davetac1, that is crazy good mileage on those Dunlop Elite 3's. ! I have never got anywhere near that on any bike, not even half of that! Good for you. I have to say though, that a big factor is the roads you ride on. Down here, the roads I favor are farm to market roads which although they are full of curves, hills and scenic, their surface resembles a commericial potatoe peeler. I ran the Dunlops you mentioned on my Goldwings and the best I could manage on the rears was 6K. In fact the Goldwing forums were awash in stating the tires were terrible, so I switched over to Michelin radials. By the way I have a friend that rides a T-Bird Commander and he goes through tires at the rate of 6k max so the old adage: " your results may vary " seems to be in full force here.
     
  13. Davetac1

    Davetac1 Tuned and Synch'ed

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    That "commercial potato peeler"road surface,as you call it, is what we have around here too.[they call it "POPCORN" hot top] Not to mention,all the bumps,pot holes, and patch work on the roads due to the cold weather we have here at this time of the year.[for ex: the temp outside right now is a blistering 1* F] So,I think I'll take alittle ride on the bike down along the seacoast and take a nice coooooooooooooooool dip in the cool oceanl!! lol lol

    On my two older Ventures,my 83 and a 93,also bought brandy new,I was running Dunlops' Elite II [bias tires] on both ends and those were also really good mileage wise,but not as good as the EIII's are.The problems with these radial tires used on the bikes today is,"THEY DON'T LAST" worth a sh** [real short mileage],not to mention the outrageous price they charge ya for em,plus labor.[I do my own} Dave!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  14. Davetac1

    Davetac1 Tuned and Synch'ed

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    LuftWolf: I too,had that same short tire mileage problem with the original tires that came on my Tbird.[4-6000 miles, and both were done. GRRRR!!] Hence I went shopping,and thru trial and error, discovered that Avons' AV71 Cobra, lasted the longest [17000 plus miles] and handled as well as,if not better than, the original front tire.

    However,as I said,the vote still isn't in yet on a rear tire that will yield decent mileage.But ,because I've changed so many rear tires on my bike alone [16 in total,do the math, GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!] I don't think ANYONE,including the STEALERSHIPS, can change, balance the tire,then install and align the rear wheel and belt on the machine so the "INFAMOUS CHIRP" that so many riders have, does not occur,yet still do the job within a reasonable time frame.

    And the only way I was able to achieve a good belt alignment, was to buy and use a laser!! I've now also changed a rear tire and or aligned the belt [correctly] for a few guys who also own Tbirds,[because the STEALERSHIP couldn't get it right], and even gone to a couple of stealerships to show them HOW to align that back wheel and belt, correctly. [As the old sayin goes,EXPERIENCE IS the best teacher!!] Dave!!!
     
  15. LuftWolf

    LuftWolf Tuned and Synch'ed

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    And that my friend is why I purchased a No-Mar tire changer & balancing system. Having worked at mortorcyle shops in my youth, I found that the tire changing was normally done by the low man on the totem pole. Now, I have no scratches on my rims and they are balanced perfectly. And of course there is also the added bonus of being able to order tires cheaper and change tires on your own schedule.
     
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  16. Davetac1

    Davetac1 Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Don't need a special tire changer or balancing system.I've been mounted on two wheels now for the past 56 years and have always done ALL my own work including mounting and balancing my tires,not to mention all my buddies as well,and,without any special equipment.However, about 20 years ago,I bought a small beed breaker made specifically for motorcycle tires,and for short money,which works pisser!! For the real big OH MY GOD tires,I use an old fashion car beed breaker which works very well,indeed, on those bigger rear tires.
     
  17. Martin DG

    Martin DG Tuned and Synch'ed GT Contributor

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    Hi Kirk,
    I know we are three years later but considering the gip change myself.
    Can you please confirm these are the 32mm grip part numbers which fit our Cal 1400:

    Caponord/Griso
    AP8118579 LH hand grip
    GU01603480 RH hand grip

    Thanks,
    Martin
     
  18. LuftWolf

    LuftWolf Tuned and Synch'ed

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    I have the OEM heated grips for the California Custom and they are 34mm in diameter. I have the exact opposite problem in that these grips cause my hands to cramp with the small radius. I have ordered some grip Buddies Super Shark Grips Wraps in hopes of increasing the diameter. I have no problems with cramping on my BMW R80 equiped with Emgo GT Touring Grips.
     
  19. Touringman

    Touringman Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Martin, as I recall, the Caponord part was for the throttle side. This was for a 2014. both the 1400 and the Cap were 14's and the switch box on that year for the drivers side was identical. They both had the cruise control button. The left side was different somehow, but I dont remember exactly why the Cap left hand unit would not fit (or, as is more likely, I thought it wouldnt) The Griso either a 13 or 14 had the same switch box as the 1400 for the left side. I had the advantage of discovering this at a dealer where I had all three side by side for comparison.
    I am almost certain the Cap grip was for the throttle, Griso on the clutch side. Sadly after 4 years the part numbers are no longer to be found.
    Good luck,
    Kirk
     
  20. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    On which side of a motorcycle does the driver sit, I ponder?
     
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