When I first saw a picture of the Moto Guzzi Eldorado featuring the new 1380cc v-twin engine, I fell in love with the classic styling (it happened to be a red one, not the color of our black test unit). I knew that the big v-twin was a gem, having named the first bike to feature it, the California, our Bike of the Year back in 2013.
Expecting the Eldorado to have the same capable chassis as the California, I was intrigued by the stealth offered up by the classic looks (including white-wall tires). It also looked comfortable, and a capable long-distance touring mount. I asked Moto Guzzi for one to test, and made sure they included the optional leather bags and wind screen.
The Eldorado has the same enormous plateau of power we found on the Audace tested last year. Moto Guzzi claims a beefy 87 foot/pounds of torque at just 2,750 rpm, while a healthy peak of 96 horsepower arrives well up the tach at 6,500 rpm. With three engine maps to choose from (including Sport, Touring and Rain), the well-tuned fuel injection allows the rider to squirt through gaps in traffic effortlessly, and confidently.
Like several other Moto Guzzis, the handling of the big Eldorado is a surprising contrast to its girth (claimed curb weight is 692 pounds). Despite a cruiser-ish seating position, an excellent seat offers both support and comfort, and the wide bars make direction changes relatively low effort. This is no sport bike, certainly, but the engine and chassis together allow a good rider to leave just about any “cruiser” for dead on a twisty road.
The gorgeous 16″ wheels with stainless steel spokes carry tubeless tires sized 180/65 rear and 130/90 front. The fat rubber undoubtedly contributes to the comfortable, stable ride offered by the Eldorado, which features largely non-adjustable suspension (only spring preload on the rear shocks is adjustable).
The steel frame carries some high tech components, including radial-mount Brembo four-piston front brake calipers squeezing huge 320mm discs with standard ABS, the aforementioned selectable engine maps, adjustable traction control and electronic cruise control. This isn’t your father’s Moto Guzzi.
The six-speed transmission (with overdrive) feeds power through a shaft to the rear wheel. Moto Guzzi has long since resolved the clumsy feeling offered by older shaft drive systems, leaving rear suspension action all but indistinguishable from a chain drive machine. Befitting the nature of the machine, the front brakes come on smoothly, but offer more than adequate power and feel. These brakes go well beyond those found on your typical classic-looking tourer. They will be great to have if you should cruise around on the Eldorado with a passenger and luggage, utilizing some of the many accessories offered by Moto Guzzi.
So, this iteration of the Moto Guzzi 1400 platform is not surprising. All of its siblings combine the same lively, flexible powerplant with a chassis that is simultaneously stable, yet eager. The trump card is the gorgeous styling that, in my opinion, sets the Eldorado apart. Of course, the transversely-mounted 90° v-twin is front-and-center, but it is the whole package (including those chrome panels on the gas tank) that will have owners staring at the machine whether it is at home parked in the garage or in a lot outside the local coffee shop. It will also have bystanders asking whether it is a restored classic, or a current production model.
Priced at $16,490, the Eldorado is available in the two colors shown, Black and Red. Moto Guzzi offers several accessories, including but not limited to the nicely finished (and capacious) leather saddlebags and wind screen pictured on our test unit. Take a look at Moto Guzzi’s web site for additional details and specifications.
See more of MD’s great photography: