I am entering my fourth year with my Moto Guzzi. Drumroll, please. Yup, four rotations around the sun. I don’t know how many dog years that is either. Somewhere around 6,500 miles on the digital odometer, or clock as they call it across the pond. On its second set of tires. This motorcycle is probably one of my all-time favorites in my 45+ years of riding motorcycles. I bought this motorcycle in June of 2013. I went to a Moto Guzzi dealer that is about 45 miles northwest from our home.
This motorcycle actually started out as a California 1400 Custom. Moto Guzzi has since dropped the California 1400 Custom from the lineup. The California 1400 Custom was touted as the Italian V-Max. Referring to Yamaha’s V-Max, I owned a red 2010 Yamaha V-Max. The Yamaha V- Max would blow by the California 1400 Custom like hurricane. But it was nice marketing ploy.
In my great wisdom, I decided not to get the touring model. I thought to myself, the touring model is just too damn expensive. No way is Moto Guzzi going to get this kind of money out of me. Plus, I’ve already got a Honda Goldwing if I desired to go on any long trips. Perfect logical, critical thinking that any Vulcan would have been proud of. I bought the Moto Guzzi for short hops, back and forth to wherever.
Day five of ownership, I drove it across the state of Illinois. Roughly 250 miles from our home to Iowa and back. As I pulled in our driveway, I already had a list of changes in my head to make to the motorcycles. One of changes was driven by pain in my shoulders. Top priority, the handlebars have got to go. Hasta la vista, baby! Italians must have longer arms than me. Went right to af1racing.com and I started perusing the Moto Guzzi area for available parts.
As I scrolled through the page, I came across touring handlebars for that model. Click! Next up was the windshield and mounting bracket. Another two clicks! As I further scrolled down the page, hey, this passing light looks cool. Click! Damn, they’re not LEDs like on my Harley Davidson. Unclick! Okay, whatever, they still look way cool. Click! Mounting brackets? Nope. Off to the checkout part of the page. Entered all of my data and hit the checkout button. My iPhone immediately buzzed from a confirmation email. All good now, 10 to 15 days to wait for the delivery of my Moto Guzzi parts.
About a week goes by and I’m back on af1racing.com. More perusing in the Moto Guzzi area for available parts. Hmm, look at all of these parts. Hard saddlebags, brackets, and saddlebag guards. Click! Heated grips? Got them on the Honda and Harley. Click! Engine guards. No brainer. Click! A hard trunk with a very cool Moto Guzzi emblem on the back of it, same color as the saddlebags? Click! Ruh-roh, trunk bracket required. Click! Leather seat? Click! Hit the checkout button, once again, an immediate buzz on the iPhone.
Okay, now it dawns on me that I should have bought the touring model instead. Well, good decisions are sometimes elusive from the human thought process. But, now it’s time for a good decision. I contact the vendor and asked if I could change the shipping address. Good news, nothing had shipped yet. Changed the shipping address to the dealership where I bought it. Sent the dealer an email to forewarn them of the upcoming deliveries of parts and a request to get all of this stuff installed. They were on board with this gig. But they told me I needed to change the brake and clutch lines to accommodate the new handlebars. Yup, more parts. Five weeks from my first click on the vendor’s website, I was riding around on my converted California 1400 Custom.