With the V11 Bassa, Moto Guzzi adds another, exciting variation to the model which has become its legendary flagship. While retaining the same mechanical and structural qualities as the recent V11 EV, its looks, riding position and general approach to the whole machine are new: the riding position is more laid back thanks to the wider handlebars and slightly forward shifted footpegs, component modifications and lower seat. In a nutshell, a fortunate interpretation of the “American Style” concept that Moto Guzzi offers is most celebrated “Eurocustom”.
Engine Type: 4 stroke air cooled
Displacement: 1064CC, 90 V-twin
Bore/Stroke: 92mm x 80mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5 : 1
Max. H.P: 77 @ 6400 RPM
Max. Torque: 70 ft/lbs. @ 5000 RPM
Valve System: OHV with 2 valves per cylinder
Fuel Delivery: Electronic Fuel Injection
Ignition: Digital Electronic
Transmission: 5 speed with shaft
Clutch: 2 dry Disks
Charging System: 25A x 14V alternator with 30 AH battery
Frame: Chrome Moly tubular duplex cradle
Suspension: Marzocchi 45mm, dual adjustable forks. 2 WP dual adjustable rear shocks
Instruments: Speedometer with tripmeter, tachometer and warning lights
Fuel Capacity: 5.0 US Gallons
Braking: Front: Dual 320 mm floating discs w/ 4 piston calipers, Rear: 282 mm disc
Tires: Front: 110/90 VB 18 tubeless, Rear: 140/80 VB 17 tubeless
Dry Weight: 545 lbs.
Seat Height: 28.8 inches
One of the early versions of the modern era California Guzzi motorcycles was the 1999 model named the V11 Bassa. The Moto Guzzi Bassawas a step up from the V11 Jackal, and had a retail price of $11,290 in the US market. That was still a bit pricey for motorcycles in the US in 1999; however, the California Guzzi has pretty much always been a higher-end motorcycle. Actually, the 1999 Bassa was priced $100 less than Guzzi’s 75th anniversary edition of the 1996 California 1100i.
So, what’s it like to ride a Moto Guzzi Bassa? Check out this video for the thrill and sound of a Bassa handling the twists and turns of a mountain road.
Some of the main features of the Bassa were electronic fuel injection, adjustable front and rear suspension, linked braking system consisting of dual front discs and single rear disc. The ever-famous 1100 v-twin (V11), 1064cc actual, was a transverse 90 degree air-cooled beauty based on the smaller V7 engine design Moto Guzzi introduced around 1967. This same engine had been proven increasingly reliable over the years and is thankfully still in production today. The Bassa’s horsepower and torque were considerable for it’s 545 pounds (dry) weight with 77 hp and 70 lbs-ft respectively.
The Moto Guzzi Bassa color options for 1999 included Pearlescent White Metallic, Blue with Silver, Brown with Champagne, and Black. Personally, I’m a fan of the blue with silver version.
Moto Guzzi replaced the Bassa in 2001 with the California Special, but even with it’s short few years of existence, the Bassa name continues to hold a special place in the history and evolution of the Guzzi California.