Tag Archives: moto guzzi

My 2014 Moto Guzzi Touring Motorcycle gets an upgrade!

Yep, we’ve put a man on the moon around 50 years ago and my 2014 Moto Guzzi touring motorcycle still does not have self-canceling turn signals. How is that possible in this day and age? Three out of the four motorcycles that I own have self-canceling turn signals. The other three were manufactured in the United States. I own a Harley-Davidson, an Indian and a Honda. The Honda is a 2008 Gold Wing with an airbag. This was the last year that Honda assembled Gold Wing’s in the United States.

I know that there are a lot of less expensive motorcycles that do not have self-canceling turn signals. I’m going to guess this is some type of cost-cutting measure to make the motorcycles more competitive in the marketplace. But, it’s hard for me to imagine why my 2014 Moto Guzzi touring model doesn’t have this modern feature. For God sake, it’s the Moto Guzzi damn flagship!

I’m really surprised that, to my knowledge, the European Union doesn’t require self-canceling turn signals on all of the motorcycles used over there. They have all kinds of other regulations. It just seems weird they left self-canceling turn signals off of the rulebook.

I also find it kind of weird that Harley-Davidson, Indian/Polaris and Victory/Polaris all have self-canceling turn signals on their models. Since I brought up Victory motorcycles, let’s take time for a moment of silence. Polaris, in its great wisdom, has decided to make the Victory motorcycle line go the way of the dinosaur. With all this said, I’m going to guess that these manufacturers have determined that self-canceling turn signals are a plus for schlepping those brands out of the dealer’s showrooms.

And let’s not forget the average age of the individuals piloting these motorcycles. In that age bracket, which I am familiar with, you start to lose your memory, your car keys, your cell phone, and so forth. The idea that you activate your turn signal and have to go back to remember to turn it off is a bad idea. In my case, the turn signal might not go off until I remove the key from the ignition. So, it sure would be nice if there was a gizmo to turn my turn signals off on my 2014 Moto Guzzi Tourer.

Well, it looks like I’m not the only one who reads my blog. Apparently, they’re lonely on the other side of the planet and they decided to read my blog. I got an email from a company called Smart Turn System. We volleyed a few emails back and forth and the next thing I know, this package arrives at my doorstep. In this package is a device which will automatically cancel my turn signals without my interaction.

I’m not going to lie to you, I have not opened the package yet. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Why haven’t you open the package?” The reason I haven’t opened the package is because there’s a high probability I’ll lose the parts. So it’s just best to leave it on the box and wait until I take motorcycle to my ”Moto Guzzi Guy” to have it installed.

Stay tuned for updates. But in the meantime, check out their website at Smart Turn System

2014 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring Almost Got Deported!

It was Sunday morning and I was slipping on my motorcycle boots getting ready for a ride. With my boots on I headed down the hallway trying not to step on our dog. Molly is our Golden Retriever who loves to lie on tile floor in the hallway to the garage. I give her a quick pet and carefully step over her trying not to wake her. Once I’m on the other side of our 80 pound fuzzy bumpy roadblock I headed for the door into the garage. I quickly passed through the door into the garage.

I pretty much had my heart set on riding the Moto Guzzi that morning. I started transferring all of motorcycle stuff from the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited’s saddle bags to the Moto Guzzi’s saddle bags. Once everything was transferred I got on the Moto Guzzi and rolled it to middle of the garage. I got off the motorcycle to press the garage door opener button on the control unit mounted on the wall in the garage. Up goes the garage door. I walked back over to the motorcycle.

I turned the key in the ignition switch and pressed the start button. The next thing I know all hell was breaking loose with my trusted Italian best buddy in the garage. The engine started “surging” as though it was trying to dissemble itself. Not groovy! No way dude! I didn’t wait for the pistons to come flying out of the engine. I hit the kill switch and turned the key to off position to end the suffering.

It was so loud that the wife came into garage from the second floor to see if I was okay. I was fine but my Italian best buddy was not. I put the kill switch to on position then I turned the ignition switch to the on position and looked at the speedometer. It had the word “service” in the LCD display. “No shit, no fucking shit” I thought to myself. One other weird thing, the emergency flasher LED was lit on the speedometer, too.

Did I bump the emergency flasher switch near the handgrip? Pressed the emergency flasher switch a few times and no change. WTF! Italian piece of crap, double WTF! I turned the ignition switch to the off position. Waited a few minutes and started the motorcycle again. The engine was now running like it normally did, yeah! I looked at the speedometer and the word “service” was still in the LCD display and the emergency flasher LED was lit on the speedometer. Triple WTF!

Okay, Kelly Blue Book and NADA here I come. How much can I get for Italian best ex-buddy? Maybe, I’ll trade this sucker in for a Honda? Or maybe, it’s time to deport my Moto Guzzi! Nope, that isn’t going to happen. Owning a Moto Guzzi is all about a test of wills. You’re thrown into an epic battle that you must win at all costs. Once the Moto Guzzi sees the fear in your eyes, you’re screwed.

Well, knowledge is power, so off to the Google I go. I typed in my sad story on the computer and boom, there it is. Some other owner had the same problem as me. This dude is the “man” and he understands inner workings of Moto Guzzi motorcycles. As I read his post, it all becomes clears to me. My Italian best buddy has a sensor problem. I now realize that I need professional help to win this war.

I picked up the phone and called Jim at Rose Farm Classics in Woodstock Illinois. After speaking with Jim, he tells me to bring the motorcycle in on Monday. Jim’s shop is about 50 miles from my house. So I ask Jim “Do you think it will make it?” He responds, “I guess we will find out.” Note to self, don’t ask Jim to predict the future again. So Monday morning rolls around and off I go at 4:30 am to beat the traffic.

I arrived at his shop around 6:30 am. Right around 7:00 am Jim shows up. We pushed my Moto Guzzi into his shop to the lift and up it goes. He connects his computer to my Moto Guzzi’s computer and tells me the throttle position sensor had an error. I ask him, “Should it be replaced?” He responds, “Nope,” and follows up with “I’m going to upgrade the software.” He then tells me this should solve my sensor error problem.

I asked Jim if he can do the 6,000 mile service with 5,000 miles on the motorcycle. He says “Sure, but I’ll still need to come back at 6,000 miles so he can reset the computer.” Okay, fine, I’m here, let’s get it done. I wish I could tell you what was done on 6,000 mile service. I can’t, Jim has a really nice leather couch in the showroom. The next thing I know it’s 11:30 am and I’m waking up from a nap on the couch.

I got up off of the couch, walked into the shop and asked Jim if we’re all good, he responded “Yep.” We rolled my Italian best buddy out of the shop. I turned the ignition switch on and up pops Veloce in LCD display. The emergency flasher LED was no longer lit on the speedometer either. Yeah! Veloce is an Italian word which means fast, quick, and speedy. I now have my motorcycle in the sport mode and I hope it’s ready to roll. I hit start button and my Moto Guzzi comes to life. Sweet!

Yep, my Moto Guzzi will remain in the USA in the garage with dual citizenship for now!

My Moto Guzzi is Well!

I picked up my Moto Guzzi from the dealer last Saturday night and rode it for a couple hours. My two hour ride was to make sure everything was groovy. There was no charge for the repairs because my Moto Guzzi was still under warranty. The warranty period ends in June 2015. So I guess I just made it under the wire. I was very glad to see my mechanical friend again after a painful 6.5 week separation.

When I got home I popped open the garage door and rode my motorcycle into its assigned parking spot on a rubber mat. Put the kickstand down and turn the ignition off. Walked over to where a flashlight is a plugged into an electrical outlet to keep it charged. Grabbed the flashlight and walked over to the Moto Guzzi and inspected it for any type of oil leak. After my careful inspection I didn’t see any type of leak and I noticed that the dealer did a really good job of cleaning up the oil mess on my motorcycle.

I rode it for about eight hours the next day Sunday and again inspected the motorcycle for leaks when I brought it into the garage again. Everything was groovy, no leaks. I got pelted with a little bit of rain during my ride today because I forgot to put my rain suit in one of the saddlebags. For some reason I remembered to pack all my tools and supplies for any possible road mishap. But no rain gear! I think I’m going to develop some type of personal checklist to make sure my motorcycles are ready for anything that the road throws at it. Yep, that’s going to happen!

Okay, how am I going to rate my first issue with my Moto Guzzi motorcycle. To be perfectly honest, I’m not very happy about the 6.5 weeks to make the repair. Second thing in the hopper is that I’m not very happy about the response from the home office. I made several calls to the home office without a single response. This is the first time that I’ve ever called the home office of a motorcycle manufacturer, so I don’t know what kind of response I would’ve gotten from the others and have no data to make a comparison.

One of the reasons that it took 6.5 weeks to make the repair was the availability of parts. This would seem excessive except this is relatively a brand-new model for Moto Guzzi. I did a little research and found out that this is a problem regardless of manufacturer. Also, Moto Guzzi does not produce the same amount of motorcycles as other manufacturers. This fact has a lot to do with the availability of repair parts.

To make matters worse, the Piaggio computer system was experiencing difficulties due to a migration of data into the servers. Piaggio is the parent company of Moto Guzzi. Thinking rationally now, this could possibly be a reason that none of my phone calls were returned from the home office. I’m pretty sure the computer system is tied in with customer service.

Okay, what was wrong with my Moto Guzzi? There are two breather hoses connected to each cylinder head which connects to a Y-tube. The Y-tube connects to another device which returns the oil back to the crankcase. The connection parts on the right cylinder sitting on the bike had failed. Also, the Y-tube developed a crack and was leaking oil that was supposed to be returned to the crankcase. If you have a Moto Guzzi that is similar to mine, you might want to have the dealer inspect the breather system.

I’d like to thank Windy City Triumph in St. Charles Illinois for their communication skills, cleaning my motorcycle and making the repairs in a timely fashion once they had received the parts.

Wear your helmet! I don’t want you to get hurt. I need as many people as possible to read my blogs. As far as I can tell, dead people don’t read blogs. Be safe!

My Moto Guzzi is Sick!

I guess I may have pulled my Moto Guzzi out a little bit early this year. The very first ride of the season! Usually I take the Goldwing out on the first ride of the season.  The Goldwing is the flagship of my motorcycle fleet. It’s tradition to ride that motorcycle out first. But this year I decided to switch it up. Plus the fact the Goldwing battery is still on the charger. I must be slipping, I had all winter to put it on the charger, but I waited until the last minute. I think my brain is starting to fail me.

I pulled the Moto Guzzi out of garage and fired him or her up. I’m still not into determining the sex or naming my motorcycles yet. I wonder what that says about me. No time to psychoanalyze myself now. I rounded up all of my tools and supplies that I carry with me on motorcycle rides. I like to be prepared, must be the Boy Scout in me.

I know what you’re thinking. What does coolcycledude carry on a motorcycle ride? Okay, here goes:

An air compressor

Two flashlights

Tire repair kit, plug type and that squirt in stuff.

Toolkit Harley Davidson

Toolkit Metric

Pressure Gauge

Wire ties

Wire

Tape

LED road flares

Jumper cables

Rain gear

A second pair of gloves

A light long-sleeve shirt

An extra pair of socks

First aid kit

Two towels

Water

Okay, back on track. I packed the Moto Guzzi up and did the finial walk around to make sure everything is “groovy.”  I throw my leg over and drop my butt in the seat.  Lifted the kickstand up, pull in the clutch, tap the gearlever down and off I went.  Yeah, first ride of summer! Good bye winter! Looked at the speedometer and the temperature display is reading 39 degrees. Okay, not quite summer yet.

Yep, not quite summer yet so I turned on the heated grips. Nice! I had about an hour ride to meet the group that I was riding with that day. I arrived at the my destination parked the Moto Guzzi . Took one more walk around the motorcycle.  Walk over to the group and introduced myself. First time riding with this group! You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone and meet new motorcycle people. That’s one of my life rules.

One of the guys from the group had brought pecan rolls for everyone. That was pretty cool. We all started the motorcycle chit-chat for about twenty minutes. Then the destination, route and safety protocol was discussed.  Everyone mounted up and off we went.  About an hour later we arrived at restaurant that had a train car incorporated in it. What in the hell else would you do with an old train car?

After eating lunch we went outside for a photo-shoot. Then we proceeded towards our motorcycles.  I put all my gear on and again walk around my motorcycle.  On the left of my Moto Guzzi there was a small puddle of oil. WTF! There was oil on the engine casing and the saddle bag. Double WTF!! Yep, my Moto Guzzi is sick, damn! I pulled out the smart phone and looked for the nearest Moto Guzzi dealer.

I fired up the Moto Guzzi to see how bad the leak was. It looked like it was seeping out of the cylinder head. The air traveling through the cooling fins must spread oil on the engine casing and the saddle bag. Okay, cool, not the end of world. The nearest dealer was about eight miles away. Now I need to make a decision, do or die time. Will it make it to the dealer before losing its life blood? After several moments of deep thought I came to this conclusion. It better!  So off I went.

Once I hit the dealer which happens to be Harley Davidson dealer that sells Moto Guzzi motorcycles. I just can’t keep my ass out of a Harley Davidson dealerships. I parked my Moto Guzzi near the service garage door. Got off and went to look for the Moto Guzzi doctor. Found the service writer dude and he tells me “The Triumph guy won’t be in until midweek.” “Okaaaay” I’m thinking.  Before I had the chance to say anything else he proceeds to tell me” he also works on Moto Guzzi motorcycles too.”

So my Moto Guzzi motorcycle is at a Harley Davidson dealership wait for “Triumph guy” to fix it. Does anyone else see how the forces of the universe are working against me?

New 2015 Moto Guzzi Motorcycles

Moto Guzzi is bringing several new models to the marketplace for 2015. I guess if Moto Guzzi wants to be a world player like they were back in the day, they’ve got to pick up the pace. I own a 2014 California 1400 Touring and I believe it’s a very competitive product. I’m not just saying that because I own one. If it was a piece of crap, I’d let you know without hesitation. I’m the guy who has never been employee of the month, if you get my drift.

I’m going to be upfront here. I was little leery about buying a Moto Guzzi. I kept hearing the same thing over and over again. If you’re not a motorcycle mechanic, a Moto Guzzi motorcycle will make you one. I’m not a motorcycle mechanic, nor do I have time to wrench a motorcycle.  I’m the dude who buys warranties and knows the names of people who run the service departments at the motorcycle shops. That’s how I roll!

The 2015 California 1400 Touring S.E. is a variation of their California 1400 Touring platform. This motorcycle is all decked out with a two-tone paint job. This is going to sound odd, but I was never a fan of two-tone paint jobs. But for some reason, as I get older, two-tone paint jobs are starting to appeal to me. I actually use the word “cool” when I see a two-tone paint job now.

The Touring SE comes with a built-in passenger backrest and grab handles around the back of the seat. States in the USA are passing laws requiring “grab rails” around the passenger seat for safety. I hope there’s a rack accessory to attach to passenger backrest.  Moto Guzzi is definitely looking to capture some of the bagger buy frenzy.

 

The 2015 Moto Guzzi Eldorado is a variation of their California 1400 custom platform.  Moto Guzzi is going for the nostalgic look with this motorcycle. This motorcycle is equipped with chrome spoke rims and whitewall tires. The whitewall tires really highlight the chrome spoke rims. I hate cleaning white wall tires, but they do enhance the look of any motorcycle.

The handlebars are high and rolled back. Give the rider an upright riding position. The rear taillight is round and protrudes from the rear fender. The turn signals are installed at the bottom of the rear fender. This setup provides a purposeful and cool non-techno look. The rear shocks are also throwbacks from the old days. The springs on the shocks are covered just like they were in the Fifties.

This motorcycle has pin striping graphics on the on the fenders and tank. Also, there’s some cool graphics on both side covers. The cylinder heads are blacked-out instead of polished aluminum. The speedometer housing is all chromed up and centered between the handlebar base

 

The 2015 Moto Guzzi Audace is going for the drag bike look and is using the California 1400 custom platform. The floor boards have been replaced with foot pegs. You can’t have floor boards on a drag bike! Also, no passenger seat on this baby either. I have no idea why the passenger pegs are still there. Starting to get the picture here?

The front forks are brand new and different from the other two models. The oil cooler is wrapper in some type of housing to give the motorcycle a “badass look.” The handlebars are pull-back Tee bars. There doesn’t seem to be any chrome on this motorcycle. Okay, cool, I guess. The exhaust system has been modified to provide a more aggressive look.

Moto Guzzi has also added a scrambler version of one of their models. The scrambler stuff seems to be the rage nowadays. I don’t get this whole scrambler business, but I guess the “Youths” like it.

No Moto Guzzi For Me!

I finally got to ride a Moto Guzzi. Sort of a life long dream for me to ride this brand of motorcycle. Was really looking forward to it. This was supposed to be one those moments in my life. I hate to use this analogy, but I will any way. It’s like losing your virginity with someone  is one of those moments. Losing it by yourself doesn’t count by the way. I don’t care what they told you. Those are one of the moments we’re taking about here. Hopefully it lasted longer than a minute for you. Oh, don’t you pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about either. I have one word to describe this losing my virginity-like moment: primitive.  That’s right, primitive. I thought for a moment that I had slipped back into time and was riding my very first mini-bike.

Before I go to far into this blog I need to frame a few things. The motorcycle had 16,000 miles or 26,000 kilometers on it. There was oil seeping from bottom of the cylinder and the tires needed to be replaced. Also, there’s possibility that I have been spoiled because I ride mostly Japanese motorcycles. Just in case you don’t know it, I can hear what you are thinking. “Coolcycledude, you suck, you loser. Why don’t you own a Harley Davidson?” I can answer that. Yes, I sure can. I did own a Harley Davidson during the AMF years. Enough said!

Well, let’s start with problem number one. When I used the center stand, the foot peg smashes into my calf. Ouch! I tried three different approaches to keep from hitting my leg. Still ouch! Even though I like the idea of a center stand, I don’t like the one on this bike. Just to make sure that there wasn’t something wrong with me, I had the shop owner put the motorcycle on the center stand. From the other side of the motorcycle, I saw the look on his face that said “ouch!” This stand punishes you when you use it.

This is my own personal bias but I don’t like motorcycles with dry clutches, never have, never will. They’re noisy making that clanging racket. Like something is lose or about ready to fall off. When you are in neutral or pull in the clutch lever the clanging starts. It’s on the loud side. Dry clutches never seem to grab just right always very very touchy. Tough to use in stop and go traffic. You might as well get off the motorcycle and push it in these situations. The clutch lever pull was very light so that wasn’t a problem.

Engine vibration, oh, I mean whole motorcycle vibration. Don’t bother trying to use the mirrors anywhere from 2,000 to 4,500 rpms. Looking at the mirror during those RPMs was like watching a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. Things in the mirrors were moving side to side, up and down, all over the place. You couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on behind you. The foot pegs vibrated like they were connected directly to the engine. The whole motorcycle vibrated like on of those beds you put a quarter in. It might be more money now, it has been a long while since I’ve been on one of those.

Steering the motorcycle didn’t seem right either. As the turns got tighter, it got harder to turn the handle bars. It was like driving  a “Total Work Gym” or what ever in hell that thing is called. You know, the thing that Chuck Norris pushes late at night. I didn’t try to lean the motorcycle into the corners. The feedback seemed delayed or something. It reminded me of driving a  snow sled on ice. I think the engine is mounted too high in the frame. This raises the center of gravity. Gives it an old feeling in the corners.

Okay, let’s talk about the good. I liked the instrument cluster, really liked the analog  gauges. The seat was nice and comfortable. It comes with Belimo brakes and they work well. That was pretty much it.

Let me make a prediction, Moto Guzzi will never advertise on my blog or website. I would not buy this motorcycle, period. But that doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t. Riding a motorcycle is a very enjoyable experience and everyone has different tastes. Thank you very much for reading my blog. Oh, by the way I’m still trying to get you paid when you read my blogs.