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15th November 2005

Guzzi and Morini at the Milan Motorcycle Show

Two Nuovi Real Classics (maybe) have been announced at the Milan Show; the Moto Guzzi California Vintage and the Moto Morini 9. Martin Gelder attempts to interpret the press kit bulsh*t...

Moto Morini Nine and a Half

The resurrected Moto Morini factory announced the 1200 Corsaro at last year's Milan show to mixed reactions; it wasn't exactly what owners of the classic seventies 350 twins were hoping for when they heard that Morini would be producing bikes again. The press launches were delayed a couple of times, and the bikes finally made available to select journos were apparently more prototype than production models. Have Morini now got it right with the 9?

Like a Hyosung. But much cooler. And with 105hp.

It's less-focussed than the Corsaro, described by factory as "the most touring bike that Moto Morini could ever produce". Despite being called a "nine and a half" it's fitted with a similar 1187cc engine to the Corsaro, developing 105hp at 8000rpm and 105Nm of torque at 5700rpm, and weighing in at a claimed 198kg. It'll certainly be livelier than the new California, perhaps reflecting the different approaches of the original factories. Available in black, red or white, with a two year warranty. No news on prices yet, and production is scheduled to begin in May 2006.

9 1/2 on the left, Corsaro on the right.

In isolation I couldn't really differentiate between the 9 and the Corsaro, but side by side they're obviously aimed at different markets, harking back to the Sport and Strada versions of the earlier v-twins.

Underseat bazooka fitted as standard.
Random Morini Stuff on

Press Release Summary: "A distinctive trait of the 9 1/2 is its dualism of performance and accessibility. This motorcycle combines a classic, reassuring style with the performance of a powerful and agile bike. Its setup is comfortable and the componentry adopted is 100% Italian of undisputed quality.

"It is a motorcycle that will be appreciated for its style and riding comfort even during long journeys, and that packs the emotion of a powerful and reliable twin-cylinder engine. It is a motorcycle with a big personality, not easily classified according to market segment definitions, but that insists on interpreting the road in its own way. It is, in other words, a motorcycle that will be valued for the qualities that reflect the needs of its owner."

Click to go to the Morini site...

Moto Guzzi California Vintage

Moto Guzzi have been pumping out variations on the police-styled California v-twin for at least as long as I've been riding bikes. For 2006, they've gone as far back to their roots as is practical, with the California Vintage attempting to convey the style of the original while holding onto the improvements that come from thirty (count 'em) years of development.

To me, it looks a bit melted from some angles...

The Cali Vintage comes with spoked wheels, steel mudguards, crash bars, panniers, footboards, a pair of chromed fog lights mounted on either side of the chromed headlight, hugely wide handlebars and a sumptuous looking two tone seat that echoes the original while almost certainly being more suited to carrying two people.

...but perfectly okay from others.

The engine comes from the Breva 1100, with an improved alternator, new flywheel, twin spark heads and hydraulic tappets. It pumps out 74hp at 6400rpm and 94Nm of torque at 5000 rpm. The Cali is also fitted with an improved braking pressure distributor for the simple but effective linked braking system, and weighs in at a claimed 263kg.

Leg shields. Hmmm...
Random Guzzi Stuff on

Press Release Summary: "The discreet charm of tradition. Technology and tradition have inspired the numerous changes defining the character of the California Vintage, a cult object even before its market launch. The reference to the past is obvious in the delightful spoked wheels, in the newly-designed steel mudguards, in the new Brembo front callipers with black finish and in the supplementary fog lights, controlled by a switch on the right block.

"In this model, attention is paid to the smallest detail - the windshield is decorated with a stainless steel strip and both the handlebar and two-tone seat are exclusive to the model. The classic engine is protected by chromed steel tubes with integrated. The special bags are fixed, made from rotational nylon, waterproof, lined and again protected with chromed steel tubes. The luggage rack is also chromed for a high-class touring look. The California Vintage is a precious object to be looked after with love and attention. Moto Guzzi has therefore also designed a special bike cover for this motorcycle where luxury is standard."

Click to go to the Guzzi site...

What does the team think?


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