Moto Guzzi California 90 Grand Finale Cali

October 9th, 20119 Comments »

Moto Guzzi California 90 anniversary editionMoto Guzzi California 90 is a limited edition California Vintage commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Moto Guzzi company.  The special features that make it unique are the metallic orange and white paint scheme, a brown leather seat,  a special nameplate, and Anniversario logos.  So this is it?  Yup.  Apparently how the traditional Moto Guzzi California will end its production run of the 1064cc design.   All dressed up for the farewell party and positioned to be replaced by the California 1400 very soon.

Guzzi California 90 side coverWhile the California 90 anniversary model does have a quite a cool factor, this owner and lover of the California series is kind of struggling with the special paint scheme.

Is it a little too gaudy?  I’m not sure. My wife loves it. I’m reminded of that funny line from Seinfeld episode 37 when an older man described a painting of Kramer by saying “He is a loathsome, offensive brute,  yet I can’t look away.”  Maybe just slightly true.  The paint scheme grows on you after a while.  I do absolutely love the California Vintage motorcycle hiding below the surface. I very happily and proudly ride mine almost every day.

Using the 1930’s “Guzzi” logo on the fuel tank was a fantastic idea!  Maybe the huge size of the logo perhaps diminishes it’s value somewhat?  Sometimes less is more.  The 75th Anniversary California was much more subtle and continues to retain a very loyal following.  The California 90 reminds me more of the EV 80, an 80th Anniversary California that was also boldly dressed.  Nothing is wrong with the EV80 or the California 90, but they are just a little too bold for me, but I truly do admire both.

Guzzi California 90 tank logoOrange is an interesting color choice also.  Metallic orange paint has appeared as a fad on some production cars and trucks over the past few years.  It was a popular choice in the custom car world a while back.  I personally don’t think of the color orange when I think of Moto Guzzi or the the 90th anniversary of Moto Guzzi, but it sure gets my attention.

Metallic orange paint and a brown seat.  Well, it is definitely a tribute to the Guzzi California models of decades past, and to Carlo Guzzi’s marque name for sure.  I do respect that fully.  I also believe we all admire Moto Guzzi for releasing an Anniversario model to celebrate 90 years of continuous motorcycle production and choosing the California model to highlight the occasion.

Guzzi California 90 brown leather seatOne thing is for sure.  This anniversary model California certainly works perfectly to distance the old Guzzi California well into the past when compared to the new California 1400.  I’m not sure that the old California is going out with all of it’s dignity or not, but at least it has been recognized for its years of work-horse service to the Moto Guzzi brand and to the Guzzisti of the world that continue to ride it and love it, like I do.  To me, this is the Grand Finale Cali!Moto Guzzi California 90 nameplate on handlebar clamp

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About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotoGuzziCalifornia.Com. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding and maintaining his Moto Guzzi California Vintage.

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  1. Jaremi says:

    Hi again, I’am NOT thinking about Cali 90 (my recent mail to you). Since four years I’m the proud owner of it. Special serial number 168 .


  2. Delmont Day says:

    Colors a funny thing……first Guzzi I ever saw back in the late 60s was a white one. Back then it looked like a white wail some old man would want…….now I own one and feel in love at first site because it was white and reminded me so much of that first one I saw.

  3. John says:

    Jaremi, unfortunately, I don’t know how many of the 2012 California 90 were actually produced. Limited edition Moto Guzzi California anniversary models in the past often had numbered nameplates on the handle bar clamp. The California 90 has a special nameplate there, but I do not see number xxx of xxx anywhere. If anyone knows the answer, please share.

  4. Jaremi says:

    Hi, I thinking about California 90, how many bikes were produced as “limited edition”? Greetings from Gdansk, Poland.

  5. Mike Cignarella says:

    MG website says in dealers March 2012,I guess MG can’t count.1921-2012=91?
    I don’t mind the colors but the Guzzi on the tank sucks.

  6. Bob Hadden says:

    I think it’s the choice of paint, more than the design, that turns me off. Dark cherry pearl over black or platinum may have toned this busy, swirley, and hard on my eyes paint scheme down some. I agree the Cali is the perfect platform to pay homage to such a long run of great bikes. I hope the 1400 is tastefully done. Solid, no nonsense stance and voluptious lines, along with plenty of torque and the typical California rock-solid handling is what I’m hoping for. Think we’ll see any progress made or more examples during this year’s bike shows?

  7. Bill Hagan says:

    Love my HDM ’98 EV, but have to say that this version is stunning. Showed my wife just now — she humors me about Guzzis, and is more indulgent than I deserve. Anyway, her reaction was “Wow! I like that. How much?”

    Hmmmmmmm. Think fast, Bill.

    Actually, I can’t see getting what is, essentially, simply a new version of the HDM. I love that machine. Besides, after selling my Ballabio, and still in mourning, not sure I can ever sell another motorcycle. Buy another? Yes. Sell? No.

    So, $15+K for this new beautiful Italian art for my garage gallery? Probably not. But I sure do like it. Look forward to seeing one in the flesh. Suspect even more intoxicating than the pix. Most flesh is. 😉


  8. Steve UK Calvin says:

    I have just bought a California Vintage in Black and love the classic lines which the colour scheme compliments in many ways. I looked at a white model and thought it just looked “flat” and boring. This beast is hideous, it’s a real shame I think, as you say great that they choose the Cali as the 90th anniversary model but was the guy on crack or something….

    Still I guess variety is the spice of life and it seems James just loves it. That’s thing I guess we all have different views and long live the choices in this world.

    I wonder if they will sell them though, over here in the UK the White is very unpopular with many dealers discounting to cost just to get id of them.


  9. James says:

    Love it. Where do I sign up?