The Guzzi is the “character” bike of the group. From the styling to the engine, it has the most character out of this bunch and that’s a good thing because it’s not exceptional at anything.
But it is pretty good at everything.
All of that Italian charm and character makes up for its shortcomings.
I chose the Guzzi out of the bunch because of its cruiser/ sport-touring/ tractor character. I cruised down Route 1 to Carmel to see the Walker Residence by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The more popular view:
I spent an hour walking around the house and could've spent the day. I'm a first class F.L.L.W. geek. I admit it. He's the reason I'm in the profession I'm in...
Barely satisfied with my Wright fix, I headed south along Route 1. Kevin suggested I stop and check out one of his favorite places, Nepenthe. It was worth the time to be sure. Incredible coastal views, great food and drink, very eclectic mixture of people. Nice.
While talking with a woman from Germany, we were amused by the birds that casually swept down to our counter and deftly swiped our french fries.
Belly full, I toured the coast south to Naciemento Rd.
After scraping the center stand on the Guzzi numerous times while winding up Naciemento Rd. I tractored over some of the forest roads.
While on my way up Naciemento I came across a large man walking with a rear wheel. I stopped to ask if he would like a ride. He told me how he had ridden his KLR from San Simeon (Hearst Castle) to Naciemento and got a flat tire near the paved/ unpaved intersection. Someone kindly drove him to Monterey to fix his flat. He also got a ride back to Naciemento. "I'm 300 pounds man. You don't want me on the back of your bike with this wheel. Thanks but I'll wait for someone with a truck or something" he replied. He also told me about his trip from Hearst, where he came out, etc. Sounded like a perfect place to test the Guzzi's prowess...
I quickly found the one-wheeled KLR...
Through sand, over ruts and rocks along the forest road the Guzzi was surprisingly stable. The high torque and easy clutch operation made riding this big heavy bike off pavement much easier than I expected. And yes, that's my Wolfman Explorer Light on the Guzzi. Would'nt go on a trip without it...
At the end of the day, I was very happy with my selection. The Guzzi was very comfortable and its cruiser character encouraged me to stop often and enjoy the scenery around me. I never felt like I needed to push the bike to its limits of performance like on the Triumph or KTM. Instead, I felt free to take it easy and enjoy my time alone. In the words of a good friend, who introduced me to Kevin Duke, “I don’t need no two bit floozie, all I need is a Moto Guzzi”!