Hi Guzzi riders,I’m a newly registered member and would like to ask any Guzzi California owners if they reckon a 5’ 7" slim (read skinny) person would be able to comfortably manage a Guzzi California, probably an 1100EV. I have owned big bikes in my time but always find them a bit top heavy for me.I know the Cali has a low seat height but from previous experience with a BMW K100 the width of the seat and bike makes as much difference as height.I have never been close enough to one to try to gauge it, never mind sat on one.The older I get the more a relaxed cruiser style bike (that actually handles well) apeals to me.Amongst my collection of old junk bikes I have a V35 so I am aware of Guzzi foibles and quirks.I look forward to reading any thoughts you may have.
No -one can tell you that buddy go try one it is the easiest way, a shop/mate or local Branch you should at least be able to sit on one
Well I know enough people who answer to that description who ride Californias. None report problems, though one has commented on the difficulty of reaching the side stand when it’s down due to short legs. Early sidestands had a peg on them, later ones don’t. Not insurmountable though. But best thing is to try one.
Thanks for the replies Guzzibear and Brian.Of course you are right Guzzibear about trying for myself as we all have different perceptions of what is heavy, high or wide, etc.But also Brians response was what I wanted to hear. If others manage OK then I should. At least no one has said, “forget it, you won’t fit”.The reach to the side stand is easily overcomeable (is that a real word).I have a grinder and welder, and I’m not afraid to use them.But seriously I have modified and fabricated lots of things for bikes in the past and actually quite enjoy doing it.There is a Cali 3 1000cc for sale not too far from me to try.Are there any real disadvantages with the 1000 over the 1100 bearing in mind I am by no means well off and budget is a very real consideration for me.
I am 5’9" and I managed my Cali without any problem at all. The side stand was a bit of a stretch but you have thought about that.
I am 55, fit and strong but the Cali was getting a bit heavy for me, especially when 2 up and loaded with touring gear, which it was most of the time.
I had the Cali for 15000 miles, totally trouble free riding. A brilliant bike.
I sold it this year and have now bought a Breva 750 which is much lighter. This could be an alternative for you, especially as you can get a lowered seat for them.
Taller people sometimes find the Cali cramped, so I suspect you’d find it suitable; certainly, the Cali owner who recommended Guzzis to me was a similar height to you. If you are able to do your own maintenance, then I don’t think you’ll find an older Cali has any disadvantages. I would have kept mine if I’d had the skill and time to do the work myself.Graham UK2014-01-03 11:59:56
Taller, older, not as physicaly fit (but not too bad) but apart from that I agree.
The Cali isn’t top heavy, but it is heavy, and I’d often wondered if I’d ever switch to a Breva 750 as a lighter and very pretty alternative; in the end, I went for the Breva 1100, which is lighter than the Cali, but more spacious than the 750, and I’m lovin’ it.
Well I found a Cali 3 to try for size and I can touch the ground fine and the controls are all in comfortable reach but my god it’s heavy.I am not in the best of health so I know it will not get any easier over time to man handle in the garage, parking spaces, etc.I think a Nevada or V65C/Florida would be a better bike for me, although I do prefer the style of the California.When did the Nevada go over to FI, (FI is all foreign to me. Carbs good - FI confusing) I get conflicting info off the web.Thanks for all your input chaps.