A Lighter Goose: Moto Guzzi California 1100 Cafe Racer

Moto Guzzi California Cafe Racer

In 1971, Moto Guzzi introduced the very first California — an Italian V-twin cruiser originally developed for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Traffic Division, featuring a bulletproof Lexan windshield, sirens, radio, lights, and a left-foot gearshift. The California has now been in continuous production for 50 years, receiving various updates along the way.

Moto Guzzi California Cafe Racer

The California 1100 came along in 1993, boasting a 74-hp air-cooled V-twin, a 1/4-mile time of 13.2 seconds, and the Italian charisma that’s been drawing Guzzisti to the brand for generations.

“An Italian with real history – the Moto Guzzi California 1100EV hasn’t changed hugely since the 850cc version of 1972. But it’s still a machine well worth considering. The California 1100EV is a cruiser / tourer that actually handles.” —MCN

Moto Guzzi California Cafe Racer

Our friends at Lisbon’s Unik Edition Custom Motorcycles recently heard from a customer who had a ’94 California 1100 that was in solid shape mechanically, but the owner just hadn’t been riding it much.

“The engine and bike were fine, but he wanted something more modern and up to date. The original bike is very big, so we wanted to make it clean and lighter.”

Moto Guzzi California Cafe Racer

To that end, the Unik Edition crew outfitted the bike with a lighter subframe, lightweight flat-track fender/seat, new spoked wheels, updated electronics and key location, rear-set foot controls, clip-ons, and more.

“Being able to ride this bike proved to be the best part of this process. The bike has spectacular torque and sound. Very comfortable. We are very satisfied with the final result.”

Moto Guzzi California Cafe Racer

Below, we get a few more details from Tiago at Unik Edition, along with more shots from photographer Miguel Velasco
and rider Juliana (@_ju_rider_).

Moto Guzzi California Cafe Racer: Builder Interview

Moto Guzzi California Cafe Racer

• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?

Moto Guzzi California 1100, 1994

• Why was this bike built?

Customer project.

Moto Guzzi California Cafe Racer

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

The customer had a Guzzi motorcycle for many years that he hadn’t used. The engine and bike were fine, but he wanted something more modern and up to date. The original bike is very big, so we wanted to make it clean and lighter.

Moto Guzzi California Cafe Racer

• What custom work was done to the bike?

Rear set foot controls (very demanding), new spoke wheels and tires, new sub-frame, new flat track seat, new headlight, completely new electronics, relocation of key, clip ons adaptation, new exhaust, paint job, etc.

• Does the bike have a nickname?

“Vitality.”

Moto Guzzi California Cafe Racer

• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?

Being able to ride this bike proved to be the best part of this process. The bike has spectacular torque and sound. Very comfortable. We are very satisfied with the final result.

Moto Guzzi California Cafe Racer

• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

What makes us happier is the moment we look at the original bike and then look at ours. We must be proud of the bike in general.

Moto Guzzi California Cafe Racer

Follow the Builder

Web: www.unikedition.pt
Facebook: @unikedition2016
Instagram: @unikedition2016

Pics @miguelvelascopc
Rider @_ju_rider_

2 Comments

  1. Miguel Sousa

    What a beautiful job, the bike looks amazing. Congratulations to all.

  2. Dar Kundersyde

    Such a Tasty reno! Even the car tires and Quasimodo gas tank look right this time.

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