Author Topic: 1997 California 1100i on dirt  (Read 1554 times)

Offline harjp_az

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1997 California 1100i on dirt
« on: August 07, 2017, 12:27:59 AM »
So I picked up my new-to-me bike yesterday and put a quick 150 miles on her. Including a couple of dozen miles on dirt roads.



The house I'm in for the summer is 5 miles off pavement. The roads to the house are unmaintained and mildly rocky, rutted and off camber. Any issues riding the Cali on these roads? None at all.

I also cruised down several miles of dirt this evening just to see where the road dead ended. It was mostly smooth except for a few rough spots. When the road got rough, I just did what you do on a dirt bike and stood up on the foot platforms.

I'm surprised at how well the suspension works on rough road. Granted I'm only doing about 25-30 mph, but the bike stays planted and easy to control. I'm thinking the Italian countryside is full of rough roads and these bikes are built to handle it.

Anybody else offroad with their cruiser?

Gotta look into getting a skid plate fabricated for the oil pan.
_____________
1997 Moto Guzzi California 1100I
2016 Husqavarna FE 450
2014 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC 1200
2003 Yamaha YZ250R
2001 Suzuki DRZ400

Offline pat80flh

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Re: 1997 California 1100i on dirt
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 04:41:14 AM »
Saturday the wife and I went to the Glen Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport NY, about 65 miles south of us.   I vaguely remembered going there long ago with a friend, who took us on a backroad loop through the Urbana National Forest, which I thought I'd recreate.  I studied Google maps, layed out a route, and committed the turns to memory. The first road turned into dirt/gravel within a few hundred yard, the next turn took us onto a "Warning Seasonal Road, no maintenance between October and May". 
      I lived on such a road  a few years back, so no big deal.  We've had a fair bit of rain this season, and a few portions of the road were damaged/washed out, but the Bassa felt secure and stable at all times. I wondered if the linked brakes would be a problem on gravel, but they were fine.
   Did I mention I had just kind of cleaned the bike, and it was raining?   
 
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Offline vintagehoarder

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Re: 1997 California 1100i on dirt
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 07:40:00 AM »
If your on FB this a link from my Guzzi Group page, this guy show how well one can do!

https://www.facebook.com/ibaby/videos/vb.1623216384/10211814425909097/?type=2&theater
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Offline harjp_az

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Re: 1997 California 1100i on dirt
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 07:43:58 AM »
The first road turned into dirt/gravel within a few hundred yard, the next turn took us onto a "Warning Seasonal Road, no maintenance between October and May".

Very cool. And very good to hear!

My experience on these kinds of bikes is all of two days. I've never been a fan of asphalt and only bought the Cali because she is so beautiful and was so affordable and I am a sucker for a well styled and reliable machine that the mainstream crowd ignores.

So far, my Cali makes street riding fun. Which I never thought I'd say. But there are to many beautiful forest service roads out West to have to avoid them. Based on your ride report, especially the damaged/washed out part, I'll feel more comfortable exploring dirt roads on her -- which I was going to do anyway!

In the meantime, I'm starting to think these cruisers are actually stealth off-road beasts.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 07:54:55 AM by harjp_az »
_____________
1997 Moto Guzzi California 1100I
2016 Husqavarna FE 450
2014 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC 1200
2003 Yamaha YZ250R
2001 Suzuki DRZ400

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Re: 1997 California 1100i on dirt
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 07:43:58 AM »

Offline harjp_az

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Re: 1997 California 1100i on dirt
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 07:49:38 AM »
If your on FB this a link from my Guzzi Group page, this guy show how well one can do.
Ha! Thanks. That's amazing! And something I might do only after at least 5 other riders went first and I could be reasonably confident on the line to take!
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 07:50:13 AM by harjp_az »
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1997 Moto Guzzi California 1100I
2016 Husqavarna FE 450
2014 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC 1200
2003 Yamaha YZ250R
2001 Suzuki DRZ400

Offline kidsmoke

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Re: 1997 California 1100i on dirt
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 08:48:54 AM »
Beautiful Cali. Don't know that I've seen that paint scheme before.

The only way in and out of my property is a decent gravel drive on a grade.  It's re-graded every spring, but by this point in the summer enough downpours have occurred that portions have become very uneven where the sediment has washed out.

Never had any trouble at all. The bike is surprisingly nimble, and solid as a rock.

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Offline harjp_az

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Re: 1997 California 1100i on dirt
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 09:14:07 AM »
Never had any trouble at all. The bike is surprisingly nimble, and solid as a rock.
So good to hear that's been your experience.

When I test rode her a couple of days ago, ended up running through 15 miles of tight curves - posted speed limits of 25 mph. The Cali seemed to lean and steer through the turns all by herself. So she ain't too bad on asphalt either!
_____________
1997 Moto Guzzi California 1100I
2016 Husqavarna FE 450
2014 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC 1200
2003 Yamaha YZ250R
2001 Suzuki DRZ400

Offline Sheepdog

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Re: 1997 California 1100i on dirt
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2017, 09:57:44 AM »
Just be careful in mud or deep blow-sand. The extra weight of the Cali works against you in an exponential way...
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Offline harjp_az

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Re: 1997 California 1100i on dirt
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 12:10:38 PM »
Just be careful in mud or deep blow-sand. The extra weight of the Cali works against you in an exponential way...
Definitely going to stick to the more groomed roads! I got other bikes for the shit.
_____________
1997 Moto Guzzi California 1100I
2016 Husqavarna FE 450
2014 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC 1200
2003 Yamaha YZ250R
2001 Suzuki DRZ400

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Shipping in USA Only. Awesome quality. Back by popular demand. All proceeds go back into the forum.
http://www.wildguzzi.com/Products/products.htm
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