2016 Moto Guzzi Audace – FIRST RIDE Review

Maybe it was the multiple espressos we were chugging that morning at Guzzi’s Mandello del Lario HQ, but the new Audace (“bold” in Italian) instantly struck us as the more dynamic of the two models; taller, meaner, nastier, the Audace is the murdered-out first cousin to last year’s California Custom, sharing the same cool cylinder cutouts under the gas tank framing the black-painted heads, and cast-aluminum wheels, but toning it all down with a matte-black color scheme, even on the engine and exhaust system. The Ducati Diavel appears cuddly by comparison.

But the Audace also tosses some of the California’s bulkier bits, beginning with the chunky polyelliptical headlight and the wide floorboards. It slims down the fenders, shortens the mufflers (now megaphone-style), and swaps in sportier footpegs, which also means the rocker-type shifter has also been tossed in favor of a conventional shift lever. In the press kit, Guzzi deletes the California reference altogether, perhaps to emphasize the fact that this new, more modern design is aimed at a younger audience. This is clearly Guzzi’s “statement” bike. Or was that the jet lag talking?

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Post time: May-09-2017