Test Moto Guzzi California Jackal

Test Moto Guzzi California Jackal

Full metal jackal

Moto Guzzi wants to prey on the stripped-down California Jackal in the cruiser area. The chances of the almost plastic-free Italian are not bad.

The nineties are generally seen as the era of new modesty and individualism.

Just in time for the end of the decade, Moto Guzzi was inspired by this credo, because the Italians took their cruiser veteran California to their breasts, reduced the equipment and thus created the entry-level model Jackal, which is 5,000 marks cheaper. In order to be able to realize the price of 17,500 marks, it not only had to do without the second brake disc at the front, the windshield, tachometer, running boards and some chrome trim also fell by the wayside compared to the California. This reduction to the essentials is not a defect, especially since the heart of the Guzzi, their almost archaic-looking V2 bumper, remained untouched and can be even more striking in the new environment. The Guzzi has something that cannot be found anywhere else for money and good words – namely character and history. Both properties that cannot be created on the drawing board – bevel-Kawa or bumper-Yamaha. The impression of a real motorbike is supported by metal fenders, spoked wheels and discreet chrome jewelry. If that’s not enough for you, you can upgrade your Jackal as you like with over 40 accessories from the Guzzi range of accessories, which include a windshield, panniers and a higher handlebar.
There is little need for improvement in the manner of handling the 1064 cm3 two-valve valve. It starts up spontaneously and after a short choke assistance, it growls heartily from both exhaust pipes. The typical Guzzi feeling is reinforced by a pronounced tilting moment when accelerating, the result of the lengthways crankshaft.
W.Requests for a change in speed and pitch are put into practice by the injection with a short delay, but then all the more emphatically. The unit shakes its performance so easily that you can do without a visit to the imaginary red area. In addition, the vibrations on top increase to the same extent as the turning ability decreases. It is much more species-appropriate to enjoy the full punch by shifting up early. But be careful, too casual engagement of the gears punishes the transmission with insidiously interspersed neutral positions. At full acceleration, the cardan also calls itself to mind by noticeably hardening the hindquarters. In general, the chassis does not belong to the category of softies. It delivers a precise road condition report at any time, but the tightly tuned suspension struts deliver hearty kicks in the back on rough bumps, which are only moderately filtered by the hard seat cushion. Speaking of sitting: Due to the footrests, which are high up for a cruiser, the driver has to assume a frog-like sitting position behind the handlebars, which are strongly cranked backwards. This is neither particularly convenient nor does it promote the unity of driver and machine. It’s actually a shame, as the Jackal can with a clear conscience bear the title of a talented movement. A low center of gravity and moderate tire widths are ingredients that ensure light-footed handling: Curvy country roads are the preferred territory of the metal wild dog. It can be safely braked at any time even without the integral actuation of the two Brembo stoppers, which is otherwise common with Guzzi. When boldly swinging bends, footpegs that put them on are late for moderation, only when the boom of the main stand rubs roughly across the asphalt is no more fun. Rapid motorway journeys also result in stress. The Jackal runs straight ahead up to around 140 km / h, above which it becomes more and more uncomfortable. On the one hand, there is a slight oscillation, which is reinforced by the transverse joints and heels, on the other hand, the driver hangs like a sail behind the handlebars. What the heck, for top-speed excesses there are truly more suitable bases.


The California Jackal is beautiful proof that less can be more. The metal wild dog has a good chance of becoming an authentic entry-level cruiser due to its combination of a bear-like Boller motor and almost playful handiness. It is practically the driving machine among the large-volume gliders, for which perhaps even one or the other passionate curve whistler could warm up. And by the way, the Jackal is a really big piece of classic modernism for little money.

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