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Moto Guzzi California Stone

Stone time

The Moto Guzzi California V7 was long ago the dream of many motorcyclists for whom the horizon couldn’t be far enough away. Now the California Stone model should satisfy this eternal longing.

According to Moto Guzzi, the new name is their Stone program. After all, a stone clearly represents the true essence of cruising: rough, solid and strong. The official successor model of the California Jakal still embodies the character of its ancestor V7. The first California is legend and emerged from the spirit of the early 1970s, which sought individualism and freedom.
A truly honorable legacy that the traditional forge gives to its new creation. Although there are not too many innovations on the California Stone that show a leap in development from the Jakal to the Stone. Unfortunately. Because a name change does not turn a rather average past into a promising present. Honoring the original form of motorcycling with all its minimalist and no-frills approaches does not have to ignore meaningful further developments. Even in cruiser circles, progress is not a synonym for the loss of true values, but also stands for more fun thanks to contemporary security.
And the new Stone aka old Jakal could use them in some places. The front handbrake lever can be pulled through to the throttle with heroic force, but the four-piston caliper of the Brembo single-disc system neither provides an exact pressure point during the entire procedure, nor does it delay to the extent that a brake should be able to do today. In addition, the system tends to fade after a few hard braking maneuvers. The braking force decreases more and more. The fork dips quickly when you slow down, there are no reserves. It is weakly damped and its springs are very soft, which does not give the driver a safe feeling for the forehead drawn. Especially on bumpy asphalt, the braking maneuvers are a strain on the nerves of even hardened drivers. Of course, the venerable Metzeler ME 33 Laser also does not offer the guidance and grip qualities that modern tires transfer to the asphalt.
At the rear, however, the primary rock bounces hard. If the cardan reactions are added when the power is used, the rear wheel suspension stiffens. If you are looking for something like a cozy driving experience, you absolutely have to head for a level and non-slip surface. Because on bad roads and bumps in the road, the driver’s lumbar vertebrae and tailbone are mercilessly maltreated. On the latter, the driver must literally eke out due to the idiosyncratic seating position. Regardless of whether you are tall or normal. The newly upholstered bench is of little help. The distance from footrests to seat bench is too small, except for small people. Due to the unfavorable position of the thighs, everyone else falls back and has to cling to the handlebars.
The Stone is not afraid of curves, however, because it is all of California, and this series has always been responsible for lean angles among cruisers. Not for the really wild ones. The Stone also starts to stir in fast corners, and on bumpy asphalt it demands corrections. But at least. Tours were also always possible on Calis, and the special model Stone / Tour tested here carries stable Hepco cases, a windshield, chrome-plated crash bars and a main stand for an additional cost of 9817 ((???)) euros? even puts it right when traveling and is quite skilled at it. The large window makes itself very popular, especially in the cold season, even at moderate speed on the autobahn, the suitcases swallow a lot of luggage and do not disturb the lines even when driving fast.
What is remarkable about the Stone is its cold start behavior. If the outside temperature drops so low, pull the choke, press the starter button, and the iconic 90-degree V-Twin roars off. Just as it should be for a motorcycle in this category. Accelerating in the speed basement ensures a big grin under the helmet. The two-cylinder vibrates sympathetically, processes the injected petrol spontaneously and offers a full punch for cruiser-friendly driving, although the thrust is not as infernal as the background noise suggests. In the medium speed range, between 4000 and 5500 rpm, the 1064 cm3 block works nicely evenly and powerfully, which is fun. It’s okay underneath, but really tough above. Which doesn’t really matter, after all, the Stone never wanted to be an athlete. But she’s mean every now and then. Because "neutral" is not always there when it lights up green in the Spartan cockpit ?? or the other way around. And in the event of this error, it will be embarrassing. Despite the gear engaged, the pistons hammer away happily when the starter button is pressed and the Guzzi and a driver struggling wildly forwards.
AT.The transmission can also surprise on country roads. With idling between third, fourth and fifth gear. But that is forgivable to the Guzzi driver. First of all, nobody notices it overland, and secondly, getting used to the long gearshifts and the rocker switch alleviates this suffering. And then at the latest, the human-Stone relationship could be the beginning of a long happiness. When people try to understand the Guzzi and enjoy their peculiarities.

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