So it was time to give the European press a taste of the American take on the Moto Guzzi legend. The idea came to life in July, when fifty journalists – from Italy, France, Britain, Germany, Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland and, of course, the USA – travelled to Pasadena to meet Miguel Galluzzi at the new Piaggio Advanced Design Center Corporation (PADC) and try out the Moto Guzzi California 1400 range.
PASADENA, THE SMART CITY
For soccer fans, Pasadena means the Rose Bowl, the huge stadium built in the 1920s, sadly familiar to Italians as the ground where Roberto Baggio missed a penalty kick twenty years ago, giving the 1994 World Cup to Brazil. More notably, this city with around 138,000 residents has one of the highest average densities of scientists, researchers and students in the USA; it is home to the Caltech (California Technical Institute), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the NASA space agency and the Art Center College of Design.
When you come in from Los Angeles, just ten miles away, Pasadena is an immediately welcoming sight: broad green expanses, in the background the mountains of the Angeles National Forest and, in the centre, City Hall, a symbolic building inspired by Spanish and Mediterranean colonial architecture.
ON THE ASPHALT TRAIL FROM PASADENA TO MALIBU
Mulholland Highway is an incredible, perfectly smooth, asphalt ribbon, which zig-zags through the canyon, the scent of eucalyptus in the air, bend after bend, each one with a different curve radius: not surprisingly, it is commonly known as "the snake". It would be difficult to think of a road that would be more fun to ride, especially during the week when the only traffic you meet are vintage cars and supercars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. When Mulholland intersects the Malibu Canyon, the scenery changes and from the mountains we head towards the ocean.
Moto Guzzi California - Discover the international press review
THE GREAT ITALIAN BIKE AT PARADISE COVE
A steep descent takes us to Malibu and after a few miles riding towards Santa Monica we reach the sign for Paradise Cove, Malibu’s most famous beach. This spot is a classic postcard from California: the small bay comprises everything we know about the area and have read or seen on television. We add our Moto Guzzi bikes, which – against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, with its surf and bikinis – win many admiring glances.
Paradise Cove is also our halfway mark: we’re about 70 miles from Pasadena. We set off again, up through the Encinal Canyon, turning right on to Las Virgenes Road and then on to the 101 for Ventura. From here to Pasadena, the landscape is traffic and cement, but we bless the providential carpool lanes, which allow us to get through the Los Angeles traffic, and avoid getting jammed in a queue under the Californian sun. Right on time, by 6 p.m. our convoy makes its triumphal entrance into the Westin Hotel yard. Engines off, it’s time for handshakes and high-fives. California is a great place and the Moto Guzzi California is a great bike. They really are made for each other.
Moto Guzzi California - Miguel Galluzzi Interview