Moto Guzzi California and V7 Scrambler make surprise debut in Monte Carlo

Moto Guzzi California prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery

Moto Guzzi, the other, other Italian motorcycle manufacturer, used its latest dealer meeting in Monte Carlo to pull the wraps off its two latest prototypes: a brand new version of the long-running California and the V7 Scrambler.

Moto Guzzi V7 Scrambler prototypeEach of these models would appear to be a direct assault at a specific machine from Triumph; obviously the V7 Scrambler would go toe-to-toe with the Triumph of the same name, while the California would be a logical competitor to the British brand's reborn Thunderbird.

Unlike most modern Guzzis, this California sees the displacement of its air-cooled transverse V-twin bumped up to 1400cc, which is about the minimum displacement these days to be considered a 'big' bike. Styling is spot-on, especially the fuel tank, which wraps around the dual chrome cylinders.

As befitting a Scrambler-style motorcycle, this V7 prototype looks capable of straying at least a little ways off the beaten path courtesy of its spoked wheels and raised side-by-side mufflers. The style side of the equation has been nailed, and the 750cc air-cooled small block V-twin is nothing if not a willing partner, as we found out when we reviewed the V7 Classic.

Check out both machines in our high-res image gallery below, then check out the press release after the break. Oh, and don't forget to let Moto Guzzi know if you want them to bring these bikes to the States in our Comments section.

Moto Guzzi California prototype
Moto Guzzi California prototype
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[Source: Moto Guzzi]
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31 January 2011 – A brand new white Moto Guzzi California and a Scrambler version of the V7 provided an exciting double surprise from Moto Guzzi at the Piaggio Group international dealer meeting in Monte Carlo on 27 and 28 January.
The annual event for almost two thousand Piaggio Group dealers at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo ended with the unexpected preview – presented by Group chairman and chief executive officer Roberto Colaninno – of two prototypes offering a foretaste of the Eagle brand's future product strategies.

The new California prototype, with an original 1400cc transverse V90 twin-cylinder engine, carries on the tradition established by a bike acclaimed in five continents for its comfort, reliability and performance, delivering a re-styling that enhances the architecture of the powertrain and the comfort assured by a generously sized saddle and tank. Fitted neatly around the cylinder unit, the tank heightens the impact of the new valve covers, helping to create a new style element on this irresistible California. All the technical components –wheels, brakes, suspension – are new too, proclaiming the California's membership of an eagerly awaited new generation of Moto Guzzi bikes.

Much more of a classic but equally fascinating, the Moto Guzzi V7 Scrambler is built on on the famous frame of the V7 Classic fitted with a 750cc small-block engine. Chrome trim, spoked wheels and sports tyres create a bike that, in the 1960s, would have qualified as a "Regularity" model like the famous 175 Lodola, which this Scrambler recalls with its low headlamp and integrated instrument panel. The exhaust system with its two raised side-by-side silencers is a distinctive feature of this Moto Guzzi Scrambler.

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