Download video: 2016 Moto Guzzi California Eldorado - FIRST RIDE Review

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Moto Guzzi continues to refine and expand its California big-cruiser lineup, facing off the arresting Audace (see 2016 Moto Guzzi Audace First Ride here) with something you pretty much always expected (hoped?) Guzzi would do: replicate one of its most famous and desirable models, the Eldorado.

This newest California Eldorado—heir to the 850cc full-dress version that debuted in the States more than 40 years ago—dives headfirst into the retro theme, with classic touches like chrome inserts on the fuel tank, aluminum spoke wheels wearing tubeless whitewall tires, and a plush, outsize saddle with passenger grab rail and removable pillion, sitting just 29.1 inches above the ground. (An optional low seat drops height by 20mm, to 28.3 inches.)

Other wayback bits include elegant double pinstripes on the tank and fenders, full rider floorboards, and a buckhorn handlebar. In addition to ABS and the standard electronics suite found on all Californias, the new Eldorado has cruise control as standard equipment. Like the first Eldorado (and the Ambassador before it) this is a plush, comfortable motorcycle, meant for open roads and long days in the saddle.

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