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Why Should I Trade My Harley for an Audace

Discussion in 'Cal 1400 8V' started by moparnut72, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. moparnut72

    moparnut72 Tuned and Synch'ed GT Contributor

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    I am considering trading my Harley Davidson Slim S for a 2016 Audace. I have yet to ride the Audace but have ridden an Eldorado over two years ago. I had some mixed feelings about it. The dealer wasn't very knowledgeable about the Eldorado. I couldn't see the instrument panel very well in the sunlight and the salesman had no idea on how to go through the menu. The dealership had an Audace in stock but it was way in the back of the showroom and no interest in getting it out saying it wasn't prepared to ride yet. I rode a Triumph Thunderbird at the same dealer but wasn't too excited about it. So I wound up buying a the Slim.

    After owning my Harley for a bit over two years I am not totally thrilled with it. I have done some modifications to help with some of the deficiencies, such as Rockouts and aftermarket lifters to quiet the top end noise. I have used different lube in the trans to get rid of some of the clunk, helped. I have tried a couple of different fluids in the primary with no help in quieting all the chain noise and and whatever else No joy. I absolutely hate the racket. My other disappointment is the horrible surging in the two lower gears at light throttle. So I am looking at MG's again. The dealership has changed hands and now is part of a 3 dealership group.

    They have one Audace in stock. It is a new 2016 with 542 miles on it. I went to ride it about a month ago, but the manager took it out to make sure it was ready for a test ride. Well it wasn't, it sucked a valve. The engine has been rebuilt and is in the process of being reinstalled. I am going to ride it this Thursday, but I have a 150 mile or so trip to the dealership.

    I really like the looks and Audace attitude this bike has. The more aggressive style and riding position appeals to me. The Italians build some of the nicest products from agricultural equipment to exotic sports cars. My concerns are as follows.

    1. Rebuilt engine. Should I trust it?

    2. Reliability? I have seen some posts on the cracking of exhaust in the crossover area. A problem on this model? Aftermarket parts are available at a reasonable cost and I have a very good welder friend. So probably not a big issue. I am a good wrench. Any other issues? Can I trust this bike out in the middle of nowhere? Italian products unfortunately are not some of the most reliable in the world. But are these bikes reliable enough? The owner of my independent bike shop said even though he has a soft spot for Moto Guzzis he wouldn't recommend one as daily driver.

    3. Parts availability. Dealers are far and few between. Do they stock the common parts? If not how long to get them. In the US or do they have to come from Italy? Harley dealers are on almost every corner but their parts supply is pretty limited but everything is pretty much available in a few days.

    4. The big blocks are rumored to be going away. Will there be support for these if they do? Is there or will there be aftermarket support if the manufacturer doesn't.

    Positives
    1. Design and looks. Super. Harley should get a clue. Cutting edge design but still have a traditional overall motorcycle look.

    2. Mechanical design and functionality. Dual disks, remote reservoir shocks, driveshaft drive, several different maps among many other things.

    3. Moto Guzzi appeals to me as I am a non-conformist and always root for the underdog. I would rather not be a part of the crowd, My Harley is not mainstream Harley but still a member of the majority.

    Sorry to be so wordy but I don't want to do something I will regret down the road. The dealer will be giving me a heck of a deal. They get a Harley they can sell in fairly short order in exchange for a Moto Guzzi they have had on the floor for a long time. I know I am speaking to the choir but tell me why I should get the Audace. If it makes any difference i am 74 years old. I rode Airhead BMW's so I am very familiar with longitudinal layouts in motorcycles so that is not a concern.

    So tell me why I should buy this bike.
    kk Short for krazy karl
     
  2. My name is Jeff

    My name is Jeff Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Guzzi is one of those motorcycles that if you buy one and don’t really like it your going to have
    a bit of a hard time getting rid of it.
    But if you get the model that suits you I don’t think you will want to get rid of it.
    I own a 2015 V7 and for me it’s heaps of fun better than any big hp sports bike and
    I’ve owned a few. The V7 is Only pushing out a Big 50 hp LOL sound crazy but with suspension upgrades it’s
    Funny just how hard you can go in the tight stuff.
    As for reliability I’ve done 16,600ks on mine since new and have never had a problem it’s
    been awesome.
    As for the Audace I can’t comment so I can only let you know how happy I’ve been with the 750.
    Anyhow I’m 63 and have owned 25 motorcycles from 1970s bikes right through to big
    HP sports bikes just so you know the Guzzi an’t my first motorcycle.
     
    sir fred likes this.
  3. vagrant

    vagrant High Miler GT Contributor

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    simple answer is to go ride it and see what you think. then drive down to malibu and rent a V7 for a couple of days. At 74 you have the time and it's a cheaper investment than buying something you don't like again. You might just find out you don't need such a big bike anymore. I own two V7's a 2001 Ev thats getting too big for me and a Kawasaki versys 1000 that for sure is too tall for me. I loved the engine but there wasn't enough ground clearance on any of the 1400 series. I'm 71 and only 5' 7"and although I might get a V85 if I can touch the ground I'm in love with the latest V7III.
     
  4. whatthe

    whatthe Tuned and Synch'ed GT Famiglia

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    I also had a 2016 softail slim gave the bike to my son and I purchased a 2016 Eldorado. I live in Pleasanton flew done to Orange County and got the bike for $12500 OTD. I really liked the looks of both the Audace and Eldo have never owned a Guzzi am 71 years old and it was time to try one I went with the Eldo for the looks and riding position I have not been disappointed in the least. Dealer support is sketchy. I have been able to do all the maintenance myself so at this point no need for a dealer. Power is about the same with maybe a slight edge to the Guzzi. Handling is much better with the Guzzi over any Harley I have ever owned I am talking about the Eldo as I have never ridden the Audace. The stock shocks leave a lot to be desired I put a lot of preload on them and it's ok will eventually get some new suspension parts. I took the bike down to Todd Egan's and he put on a complete exhaust system and fueling package bike runs a lot better and more power. I plan on a long trip later this month and do not feel any reservations about the reliability of the motorcycle. Have outfitted large saddlebags and small windshield for comfort and convenience. The Guzzi motor is very noisy shakes quite a bit at idle but is very smooth once you take off. The 1400 motor does seem to be going away so parts might be a problem. I am under 2000 miles on the bike so really do not know about dependability down the road. There are members on the forum that have had many miles on their bikes with no issues. Mr. Egan sells a new crossover exhaust section for a reasonable price and I can attest to his workmanship. There are several well written articles on both the Audace and Eldo they make for good reading. On Cycletrader there are several new or almost new Audace's for cheap your Slim is worth much more on the open market than the Audace. This took me forever to type so here is my phone number 9259634366 my name is Steve
     
  5. groundhog105

    groundhog105 Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    I have a 2014 California with almost 45 thousand miles now. I have Todd’s exhaust and fueling package. If you want to ride one that runs right your welcome to come down to Temecula, Ca and ride mine. You can take it out for the day in the canyons and wine country where I live before you buy.
     
  6. moparnut72

    moparnut72 Tuned and Synch'ed GT Contributor

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I have done quite a bit of further research since my post . I also spent quite a bit of time on the phone with watthe. I am now convinced that I need to move on to the Audace. I listed my bike on the usual sites in the event someone is looking foe this particular model in the next couple of days. If not it is trade bait, the dealer offered me a decent price. He really wants to get rid of the Audace so I am kind of in the drivers seat. The one thing I am going to insist on is that they provide me with a loaner in the event that their rebuild goes south. I am excited about getting some fine Italian design and craftsmanship under my butt. My only concern is the handlebars but they can be changed easily enough. They didn't feel real good sitting on the broken bike in the repair shop but out on the road maybe not so much. I had to laugh about some of the reviews that said the Audace had to be muscled around due to the wide bars. I always thought that wide bars gave you more leverage to control the bike but what do I know, I have only been riding for 54 years. My first Moto Guzzi, here I come. Wahoo. I almost bought an Eldorado in 1970 but went with a R75/5 instead. My loss but they were both a kind of a red headed step child back then. Thanks again guys, I appreciate it muchly.
    kk
     
    davewrites likes this.
  7. anmagu

    anmagu Tuned and Synch'ed GT Contributor

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    Had the audace, went over to the olive softail slim s. A year later, back to guzzi. Now the audace carbon. Did never regret it, never missed the HD.

    Here are my personal answers:
    1. If they know what they're doing, everything's fine.

    2. They are great reliable bikes. Have never seen a cracked H Pipe except on this forum:)

    3. Agostini mandello or stein-dinse online store usually have spare parts for years to come. European shops (i am swiss) thougg. Takes a few days or weeks, but the parts will arrive.

    4. They might diacount it cause of the coming european emissions norm (euro 5). However, they have to support the bikes for a few years afterwards.

    5. Buy it;-)
     
  8. vagrant

    vagrant High Miler GT Contributor

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    Parts are no issue. If GT doesn't have what you need Harpers and Mg cycle do.
     
  9. Dan Brooks

    Dan Brooks Tuned and Synch'ed

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    There is only 1 reason to buy any bike.---
    You want it.
     
  10. GuzziMoto

    GuzziMoto GT Reference GT Contributor

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    I agree. And the best way to know if you want a Guzzi is to ride one. There are like no other, so they either speak to you or they don't. If they don't speak to you, if you don't ride one and think "I need this bike", I would not suggest buying one. However, if they do speak to you they are an amazing motorcycle. I first rode one back in the early 90's, a friend of mine bought one and let me ride it on the way home with it. I told him right then and there if he ever sells it I want to buy it. Some 20 years later he sold it, and I own it. It was the third Guzzi we bought. Between the wife and I we own four Guzzi's all told. Each one special in its own way.
     
  11. moparnut72

    moparnut72 Tuned and Synch'ed GT Contributor

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    Quick Update. I have had less than satisfactory communication with the sales person, who seems more interested in keeping me on the hook. One text message said that I would be the first one he called when they got it repaired. Like there is a line of people wanting to buy it after it has been in the showroom forever. Sure! He told me it would be ready by the end of the week or month. Three week difference. He said the motor was rebuilt and ready to go back in. I was also told one of the techs had to go for a two week training so they were short handed in the service department.
    Anyway I got to bypass him and talk to the service manager on Wednesday. She was a lot more enlightening as to what is going on. She told me that they hadn't rebuilt the engine at all and that Piaggio had sent a new engine for it and was being installed. The bike should be finished today and that it should be ready tomorrow. She wants to have it test ridden and have it sit overnight to verify no leaks or any other problem. I had told her I was 90%+ buying the bike so that may have pushed it along.
    After having talked to a number of people, feedback here and watching some review videos on MG's in general I am buying the bike for sure. I've got to have a more refined bike with some character rather than the two wheeled tractor I am riding now. I feel that the MG fits that bill to a T. Due to a family commitment I can't go Saturday, the dealership is 164 miles away according to Google. Because of my part time job it will probably be Wednesday or Thursday. I can't wait much longer. I had told the service manager there were 3 others in Southern Cali and that I was about ready to make that trip. That might have sped it up too.
    kk
     
    John L likes this.
  12. GuzziMoto

    GuzziMoto GT Reference GT Contributor

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    Good luck. I hope after all this you actually like it.

    Odd, a salesman who is full of Sh!t.....
     
    PaulDavies and Trout like this.
  13. moparnut72

    moparnut72 Tuned and Synch'ed GT Contributor

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    Further Update: I need to keep this kind of short, I am having to type this one letter at a time as my keyboard gave up the ghost. I purchased the Audace on Thursday. Got a decent deal. I was trailering it because my wife wanted to go and she doesn't ride. The next day I ran a few errands with it. Then that afternoon I prepared to take a nice longer ride. The red warning light was on with the oil can in the info display. So I parked it and called the dealership, 5 hours away. They said they would have to get ahold of the district service rep or someone like that.

    I called the local dealer and between our two schedules they could take care of it on Wednesday. They are part of the same company. Anyway I checked it again Saturday morning. No light, so off I go. The owners manual indicated that it was a sensor problem anyway so I wasn't too worried. I rode about 150 miles. Wow, what a bike. I love it. My Harley was a tractor compared to this bike. No insult directed towards fine Italian agricultural machinery, the best in the world.

    Well the warning light has been an intermittent thing. I posted in the Ask a Wrench about my problem. Todd suggested that I pull a valve cover and look for oil flow. I did and there was, even got on my glasses. So I buttoned her up. The light was out again anyway. So I rode for about an hour and then took a refreshment break. After the break the light was on again. So I think the sensor is failing after a heat soak.

    Anyway this bike is absolutely fantastic. I wish that I had been able to buy it two and a half years ago when I was looking for a new bike after my fire. I think this may be the same bike I was looking at then but the dealership was being uncooperative. They sold to the company I got it from.

    So I will be taking it to the dealership to have it checked out, the one fairly close by. One funny thing is that I think this bike was destined to be mine. The last four digits in the VIN are the same as the last four digits in my Social Security Number. What does that tell you?

    I am thrilled to be a part of the Moto Guzzi family. I was going to make this short but I couldn't help myself.

    Karl Bishop
     
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  14. Blaufeld

    Blaufeld Cruisin' Guzzisti

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  15. CCosby

    CCosby Just got it firing!

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    The 1380cc moto guzzi's are great bikes, sounds like you have some small things to work out with yours which has sat a few years but after you work through those it should treat you well.

    One thing I'd do is bug your dealership and see if they will give you a copy of the service manual. Mine downloaded the pdf and gave it to me. It helps if you need to get it serviced somewhere else(or just do the work yourself like me).
     
  16. moparnut72

    moparnut72 Tuned and Synch'ed GT Contributor

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    Thanks for all of your kind and supportive replies. It turned out that the connector to the oil pressure sensor wasn't plugged in completely. All is good now. This bike is amazing. I can't believe how powerful it is but due to being I am behaving myself. The suspension is terrific and the handling is excellent. I am as happy as can be. I wish that I had been able to get this bike when I first looked at it. I have only a couple of complaints, one will be easily fixed and the other I will just live with. The handlebars are too straight but not terrible but they can be changed easily enough. The speedometer is hard to see in certain lighting conditions but the tach needle is visible so I am using that to judge my speed. Fueling at low speeds in low gear isn't great but no worse than my Harley was. EPA to blame on that one but easily cured. All in all, great bike and I have no regrets. It is far away a better bike than the one I had and they are both very much the same type of bike. I have always had a soft spot of MG's and now fortunately I have one. I am glad I got a Big Block before they went away.
    Karl
     
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  17. Hobbs Guzzi

    Hobbs Guzzi Just got it firing!

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    I recently purchased a 2017 Cal 1400. What is the Todd's exhaust and fueling package you refer to? BTW, I live in Corona, maybe we can get together for a ride sometime.
     
    groundhog105 likes this.
  18. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Lucky you, both on the bike and being so close to my GTM shop in Orange! Congrats! Hope you'll add your info to the Registry; https://www.guzzitech.com/forums/threads/cal1400-registry-pics-thread-add-your-bike.11538/
    Exhaust options here; https://gtmotocycles.com/collections/exhaust/model_california-1400?sort_by=best-selling - my brand built in house at my workshop is GTM. You can read the dyno charts and more here; https://www.guzzitech.com/forums/threads/guzzitech-gtm-modded-cal-14-dyno-vs-stock.13773/ -- Fuel kit here; https://gtmotocycles.com/products/gt-rx-pc-v-at300-ecu-flash-tool -- cheaper for you since you're local without a need for the flash tool. Email me direct any other questions; Info at GuzziTech.com
     
  19. groundhog105

    groundhog105 Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    I see you bought a 1400. Congratulations. I sold mine to my niece and her husband and they love the bike. Send me a PM about getting together. Right now I’m on a tour of western US
     
  20. Meldrew

    Meldrew Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    I tried an Audace but it wasn't for me, now the Eldorado that ticked all the boxes. Booked a trip to LA and in the process picked up the GT fuelling kit from Todd's shop in orange that I had ordered prior to my trip. Kit all fitted along with the air box mod and Agostini mufflers. All I can say is go see the man, get the kit and enjoy a transformed bike, you won't regret it.
     

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