California Vintage: Guzzi tales pt.2

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What model was it?
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Bad points?
Would you get another?
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Mawsley
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California Vintage: Guzzi tales pt.2

Post by Mawsley » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:21 pm

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Where was I? Oh yes, I was saying "I was left with a feeling that Guzzi were clueless, had no idea of quality control or customer service and that only a total bloody fool would ever consider owning one of these things..."

Yeh. Only a total bloody fool.

Ten years changes many things: we went to live abroad, we had kids, the world revolved. Two towers were blown up, we fought terror in ever corner of the world and we returned home to find that nothing need ever be your fault anymore thanks to AmbulanceChasers4U.net.

"Time is a healer" they say, "time helps you to forget".

This is probably the very same "they" who bragged about all the damn changes on the Cali EV because they got me again.

"I need a bike, the wife", I proclaimed. I'd allowed her to buy a house just near the peak of the housing market, we'd settled with roots and everything. "And if you are having this house I need to throw money at something equally pointless which will lose value faster than jewellery from Argos".

"What type of motorbike do you want then, honey-dearest?" she inquired, while multitasking.

"I shall get <insert pregnant pause for dramatic effect here> A GUZZI."

For a second the world stopped, looked at me, raised its' collective eyebrows and then carried on.

It was interest-free, which meant it had that word "free" in the advert - that was the first thing which made me want one. Then there was the throughback to the original Cali with the paintwork. Then there was my total lack of brains.

I reckoned that through the various buy-outs, takeovers, changing management structures and all-round messing about that Guzzi had been through they'd have learnt their lesson. Surely, if I'd could go out for a meal with my (now) wife and train myself not to notice other womens' tits or wipe my face on the tablecloth then this company would have corrected everything wrong with their product?

The wife failed to grasp the train of logic.

I informed her that it was because I was a man and as such knew best and so she'd just have to go along with it.

Nursing my still bruised body, we drove to somewhere Yorkshirey where they talk funny and I collected it to ride home. I remember touching it more than an inquisitive teenage boy and his bits after puberty. I stopped at every service station just so others could look at it too. I do not recommend the later to inquisitive teenage boys ever since an incident involving Leicester Forest East and a WI party from Luton in 1981.

Let's be honest - Guzzi have changed.

The build quality can resist not just English summers but winters too - this one survived intact, in pristine condition, with the odd dab of ACF50. The sound is still rorty, the engine still feels alive but the odd bits and pieces are class too.

And the seat. It's armchair comfort for hundreds of miles at a time - a realistic target considering the size of the fuel tank and the frugality with which it sips petrol, like a vicar at a tea party.

So what went wrong? It was my only bike, that's what.

Three times it simply cut out - once while doing 80mph in the fast lane of the M40, which left me with a very tight arse. The kind which would interest vicars at tea parties no doubt.

And the seals on the shaft went, covering the rear wheel in oil every ride - which got more hairy by the day leaving me less inclined to ride it. [Insert third and final smutty vicar reference here]

How about goldfish? When I was a kid you could win goldfish at every fete or fair that came to town. Nowadays it's all banned because it's "cruel" or something. Seeing as fish have minds like your average Guzzi buyer I wouldn't have thought they'd be able to remember the cruelty anyhoo.

What was I saying?

Aha! Fish. The Vintage was designed to accommodate the wishes of fish lovers everywhere. Go out for a little ride in the rain - thirty seconds later and you have 60 litres of water slooshing about in the panniers.

The box problem I can live with. Having the bike in the workshop being repaired or waiting for parts for four of the twelve months of ownership twisted my nipples.

Even now I reckon the EV is sex on a stick. It looks like the bike I want forever. It's like Alison Jones who took my innocence then ran off with my mate...although I'd never tell that to my wife.

It was during a four week wait without loan bike that I gave up.

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...but would I have another one?

Almost absolutely. Guzzi is like crack cocaine to me - it makes no sense, it messes up my life but I struggle to see an existence without it.

Once my finances are settled down I'm getting me a second-hand Vintage. A white one.
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Re: California Vintage: Guzzi tales pt.2

Post by Throttled » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:46 pm

Brilliant reviews and despite the issues, I want one as well :cheers:
Audiophile/biker/sceptic

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Re: California Vintage: Guzzi tales pt.2

Post by mealexme » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:48 pm

The wife failed to grasp the train of logic.
... me too!
And why the hell do you want ANOTHER one?!?!?!? Mad!
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California Vintage: Guzzi tales pt.2

Post by Mawsley » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:32 am

mealexme wrote:
The wife failed to grasp the train of logic.
... me too!
And why the hell do you want ANOTHER one?!?!?!? Mad!
Because it's not like any other bike, it has a soul. The engine lives and gives you a sense of entity. Other bikes are just transport, a Guzzi a road partner.

If I hadn't had to rely on it as my only bike I'd still have it, the issues would have been sorted and we'd be in love.

After writing all that I spent the night browsing MCN. :D
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Re: California Vintage: Guzzi tales pt.2

Post by cruz » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:41 am

Mawsley, Brilliant review, I know just how you feel too. And after that read then I too shall be looking at them in the spring (subject to pennies being available). I have needed a Guzzi since the last one (1000 Millie) was sold.
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stevepolard

Re: California Vintage: Guzzi tales pt.2

Post by stevepolard » Fri May 11, 2012 11:00 am

It's look nice. The California Vintage is available in one color, black with a two-tone black and white-paneled seat, white pin-striped tank and classically styled locking hard panniers with white pin-striping.

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Re: California Vintage: Guzzi tales pt.2

Post by keith565 » Sun May 13, 2012 10:51 am

fab tale. (i know a few vicars too!!)
I know it's not a classic, but I love my norge. it does indeed have 'soul'.
'senility is the accumulation of all knowledge' (pearson,k, 2001)

Honda goldwing 1800
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BMW R1200RT (sold)
Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 2007 (stolen)
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theory passed 05/05/11
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Mawsley
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Re: California Vintage: Guzzi tales pt.2

Post by Mawsley » Thu May 24, 2012 5:49 am

stevepolard wrote:It's look nice. The California Vintage is available in one color, black with a two-tone black and white-paneled seat, white pin-striped tank and classically styled locking hard panniers with white pin-striping.
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Image

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Re: California Vintage: Guzzi tales pt.2

Post by Mawsley » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:28 am

So here I am five years down the road after illness. My bikes were taken away from me during that time but I've grabbed a couple of cheap ones to tide me over - and I'm hunting down another Vintage. Some people never learn, eh?! :lol:
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drzhooner

Re: California Vintage: Guzzi tales pt.2

Post by drzhooner » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:22 pm

Mawsley wrote:So here I am five years down the road after illness. My bikes were taken away from me during that time but I've grabbed a couple of cheap ones to tide me over - and I'm hunting down another Vintage. Some people never learn, eh?! :lol:
Did you get another?

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Re: California Vintage: Guzzi tales pt.2

Post by Mawsley » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:33 pm

drzhooner wrote:
Mawsley wrote:So here I am five years down the road after illness. My bikes were taken away from me during that time but I've grabbed a couple of cheap ones to tide me over - and I'm hunting down another Vintage. Some people never learn, eh?! :lol:
Did you get another?
Common sense prevailed. That, and the family spent all my money on rubbish like food, clothes and cleaning products. Stupid family.

I'm saving up again properly, but it won't be going on a Guzzi. Probably.
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