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2012 Moto Guzzi California 90

2012 Moto Guzzi California 90

The career of the glorious California 1100 culminates with a prestigious commemorative version for the 90th anniversary of Moto Guzzi. Built as a limited edition, the California 90 boasts the most luxurious accessories every realised on this glorious model.

After a long and glorious career the California 1100 dedicates a final, precious version to its many fans which celebrates two important events: the 90 year anniversary of Moto Guzzi and the 40 year anniversary of the California model. Introduced in 1971, the first V7 California was built based on the technical specs of the V7 Special, with the difference of a saddle which was as comfortable as an armchair to allow the rider to enjoy the scenery protected from the wind, protected behind the large windshield which, like the saddlebags, was standard equipment. This was the recipe for a successful bike, loved both in Europe and overseas, where the services of the V7 California were enlisted by the L.A.P.D. (Los Angeles Police Department) and later in other American states, besides becoming the official mount back home for the Cuirassier in the service of the President of the Italian Republic.

This legendary Italian bike has evolved continuously, always respecting the original philosophy, in numerous and esteemed versions developed on subsequent increases of engine capacity, going from 750 to 850 with the T model (1973) and then the T3 (1975), famous for its renowned “integral braking”.

The 1000 engine size (948cc) was reached in 1981 with the new "square head" engine on the California I, while the public would have to wait until 1994 for the current 1100 engine size version (1064 cc), when the California 1100i made its debut, a model which, decked out in numerous accessories, accompanies us to the present, thus becoming the most successful Moto Guzzi California of the more than 50,000 manufactured on the Mandello del Lario assembly line.

Made with the care and attention of an artisan, the new Moto Guzzi California 90 introduces a brand new, two-coloured chromium plated concept called "Anniversario" which matches the metallic "California" orange colour and the "Diamante" white. The first stretches across the lower part of the California 90, while the white dominates the upper part represented by the top of the tank, the front mudguard and the saddlebags which are elegantly connected by a black line. A distinctive element of this new livery is certainly the logo on the tank, which reproduces the writing used by Moto Guzzi in the early 1930s, the years characterised by the legendary Omobono Tenni. In addition to this, the saddle is hand made from cowhide and on the steering yoke, right in front of the rider, there is an identification plate which certifies the numbered production of this final edition of the California 1100.

The “Anniversario” graphic has the privilege of enhancing the beautiful spoked wheels, the steel mudguards and the supplementary fog lights, elements which were inherited from the Vintage version along with the windshield with its stainless steel support and the typical cow-horn handlebar, besides the characteristic hard saddlebags with velvet lined interior and the solid, chromium plated luggage carrier.

The beating heart of the California 90 is the standard two cylinder, big block engine, the latest evolution of an engine which was introduced in 1994 and became famous for its tremendous torque and proverbial reliability. With a bore and stroke of 92 and 80 mm respectively, the 1064 cc unit features aluminium alloy cylinders and pistons with a special wear-resistant graphite coating. Fuelled by the Weber Marelli IAW electronic injection system with 40 mm diameter throttle bodies, it boasts low emissions and a weighty thrust even at low RPMs which stems from a maximum torque output of 94 Nm at just 5,000 RPMs, and further capacity to stretch out to 6,400 RPMs where it puts out its maximum power of 74 HP.

Just like the engine, the chassis aspects of the Moto Guzzi California 90 also share the same characteristics as the Vintage version. The frame is a faultless modular double cradle with a steering radius of 29° which ensures stability and precision in turns. Comfort is guaranteed by quality suspension components. At the front is a Marzocchi fork with 45 mm stanchions and 140 mm wheel travel while at the rear there is a swingarm linked to two shock absorbers, featuring adjustable spring preload and offering 104 mm of wheel travel. The braking system boasts the best components available on the market: it consists of 320 mm dual front floating disc operated by two precious Brembo callipers with 4 pistons and a 282 mm rear disc with Brembo two-piston callipers. It is also characterised by the famous Moto Guzzi integral braking. Other standout features are the spoked wheels, with 18 inches at the front and 17 at the rear to cater for high profile tyres, providing outstanding agility and superlative feel.


  • 90° V-shaped twin cylinder, four-stroke, air cooled engine
  • Engine capacity 1,064 cc
  • MAX Power 54 kW (73.4 hp) at 6,400 rpm
  • MAX Torque 94 Nm at 5,000 rpm
  • Exhaust system in stainless steel, 2 pipes connected to 1 expansion chamber, connected to two chromium plated steel silencers; 3-way catalytic converter and oxygen sensor.
  • 5 speed transmission, permanently meshed gears with built in flexible coupling
  • Cardan shaft final drive, ratio 8/33 = 1:4,125
  • Front suspension Marzocchi hydraulic telescopic fork, Ø 45 mm, adjustable separately
  • Rear suspension swingarm, 2 hydraulic shock absorbers, adjustable hydraulic response
  • Front brake dual 320 mm stainless steel floating discs and Brembo callipers with 4 differently sized pistons
  • Rear brake 282 mm stainless steel fixed disc, Brembo calliper with 2 parallel pistons. Combined Moto Guzzi braking system.
  • Tyres 110/90 VB 18” (front) – 140/70 VB 17” (rear)
  • Max. Length 2.380 mm
  • Max width 815 mm
  • Height 1,150 mm
  • Saddle height 780 mm
  • Dry weight 251 Kg
  • Tank capacity 19 litres (including 4 litre reserve)