The Modern And Elegant Successor To The Original "850"

Powered by a 1,380 cc engine that delivers plenty of torque at low-low rpm, the Eldorado from Moto Guzzi is as much classic as it is classy. Living up to its reputation as a heavyweight touring cruiser, the Eldorado carries the elegant look with white-wall tires on spoke wheels, fuel tank with chromium sides, and oversize saddle along with riders modes and adjustable traction control for a bike made for the open road.

  • 2016 - 2019 Moto Guzzi Eldorado
  • Year:
    2016- 2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1380 cc
  • Top Speed:
    121 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    16490
  • Price:

Moto Guzzi Eldorado Design

2016 - 2019 Moto Guzzi Eldorado
- image 834960
The Eldorado is a heavy bike and could be a handful for folks of smaller stature with not as much upper body strength, but once on the road, it's smooth sailing.

Playing to the sport crowd in the mid 1970s meant death for the Moto Guzzi Eldorado 850. The iconic tourer was dumped for the sportier 850T, but Moto Guzzi was already entrenched in the American cruiser market. In fact, if you have one of those 1972-to-1974 Eldorado 850s, you have a gold mine. Thanks to Piaggio’s willingness to let its brands stay true to themselves, the Eldorado carries the sexy lines and the bold elegance of the Eldorado of yesteryear.

I remember watching news clips on TV in the early-to mid 1970s for events taking place in California. The news had plenty to talk about with the Vietnam War and the protests resulting from it and other events whose historical impact escapes me right at this moment. What sticks in my mind was my fascination with the motorcycles the police were riding. Used by the Los Angeles police and the California Highway Patrol, the California model — dubbed the "Eldorado" here in the U.S. — stamped its name on the American motorcycling world and made us sit up and pay attention to Italian manufacturer Moto Guzzi.

While you don’t get the siren and flashing lights of the old LAPD bikes, the Eldorado is still as beautiful a machine as it was when it hit the California coast forty-some years ago. Similar to its stable mate, the Audace, the Eldorado is the heavyweight touring cruiser where the Audace is more the muscle cruiser. With bullhorn handlebars instead of drag bars, floorboards instead of pegs, those gangster whitewalls on spoked wheels, classic fenders and plenty of chrome, the Eldorado is the all-day tourer with a comfortable triangle and a don’t-trap-your-boot shifter.

The oversize saddle is built for comfort and with a seat height at 29.1 inches, it’s an easy reach to the ground for anyone of average height. You can shave a bit off of that with the low-seat option.

At 700 pounds before you get on it, the Eldorado is a heavy bike and could be a handful for folks smaller of stature with not as much upper body strength. You’ll wrestle it in the parking lot, but once on the road, it’s smooth sailing. Replaceable nylon sliders under the floorboards give you a little insurance on aggressive cornering, and it handles the curves like a champ. Of course, if you like aggressive cornering, you might do better with the Audace.

Moto Guzzi Eldorado Chassis

2016 - 2019 Moto Guzzi Eldorado
- image 834955
Improved over previous gens, the Eldorado now handles well at low speeds and has precise steering even when you get twisty with it.

MG starts out with a tubular-steel frame that forms a double cradle to support the distinctive, transverse-mount V-twin on rubber motor mounts. Massive 46 mm, right-side-up front forks float the front on 4.7 inches of travel, and dual, externally-mounted rear shocks support the swingarm with the same travel as the front. Plus, the shocks come with swanky, black-on-chrome shock covers; a nice classic touch that pairs well with the chrome knee patches on the black tank, the polished-aluminum fork lowers and black tube shrouds giving us a continuity of design that kind of brings the whole bike together.

At 700 pounds wet plus rider(s) and cargo, this is a lot of bike to control. To that end, the factory gave it big, dual 320 mm front brake discs, and Brembo calipers with four opposed pistons each. A 282 mm disc and dual-pot, piston-and-anvil Brembo caliper bind the rear. ABS comes standard to help you deal with the massive forces generated both by the weight of the bike, but also the front calipers. Opposed-piston calipers are no joke, and you’d better be tender with the lever until you get used to them. Metzeler Lasertec tires wrap the 16-inch polished aluminum rims, and the fat gangster whitewalls certainly add to the classic looks.

Frame: steel tubing, closed double cradle with elastic-kinematic engine mounting system to isolate vibrations
Suspension, Front/ Travel: standard forks 45 mm, with radial caliper mounting bracket and telescopes on the stanchions/ 4.7 inches
Suspension, Rear/ Travel: swingarm with double shock absorber adjustable spring preload/ 4.7 inches
Headstoke angle: 33°
Steering angle: 37°
Trail: 5.7 inches
Brake, Front: Dual 320 mm stainless steel floating discs, Brembo radial calipers with four horizontally opposed pistons: ABS as standard equipment
Brake, Rear: 282 mm stainless steel fixed disc, Brembo floating caliper with two parallel pistons: ABS as standard
Wheel, Front: 16-inch polished aluminum, spoked with tubeless system, 130/90
Wheel, Rear: 16-inch polished aluminum, spoked with tubeless system, 180/65
Tire, Front: 130/90 R16ʼʼ
Tire, Rear: 180/65 R16ʼʼ

Moto Guzzi Eldorado Drivetrain

2016 - 2019 Moto Guzzi Eldorado
- image 834962
There is no mistaking a 'Guzzi for any other ride. The transverse-mounted V-twin engine stands proud of the rest of the bike, leaving it with the distinctive “shoulders” that gives it away in a heartbeat.

There is no mistaking a ’Guzzi for any other ride. The transverse-mount, 90-degree, V-twin engine stands proud of the rest of the bike, leaving it with the distinctive “shoulders” that gives it away in a heartbeat. At 1,380 cc, the mill falls in the upper-middle range for cruisers in the Stateside market, as do the performance values with 96 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 88.5 pound-feet of grunt at a low 2,750 rpm. That’s right folks, this engine comes on early.

Dual-ignition heads contribute to that, as does the Weber-Marelli fuel injection system. A Ride-by-Wire throttle runs through the Moto-Guzzi Traction Control (MGTC) system; a combination that allows for three separate engine maps to manage power delivery, and three adjustable traction-control profiles. Plus, cruise control serves as the icing on the proverbial cake for long-distance riders.

A six-speed transmission comes with an overdrive-ratio top gear, another bonus for highway riders, and the MG Reactive Shaft Drive sends the power to the rear wheel.

Engine: Four-stroke 90-degree V-twin, four valves, double ignition
Displacement: 1,380 cc
Bore x Stroke: 104 mm x 81.2 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.5 : 1
Maximum Power: 96 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 89.2 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Fuel System: Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection
Engine Controls: dual ignition, Ride by Wire with three engine maps, three level adjustable traction control, Cruise Control as standard equipment
Exhaust System: Stainless steel, 2-in-2 type, 3-way catalytic converter with double oxygen sensor
Transmission: Six-speed with final overdrive
Primary drive: with helical teeth (ratio 26/35 = 1:1.346
Final Drive: Double Cardan Joint and fixed bevel gear seat, drive ratio 10/36 = 1:3.6
Gear ratios: 1st: 2.235, 2nd: 1.700, : 1.348, 4th: 1.115, 5th: 0.968, 6th: 0.8
Clutch: Single-disc with integrated anti-vibration buffer

Moto Guzzi Eldorado Pricing

2016 - 2019 Moto Guzzi Eldorado
- image 834957
MSRP hangs in there at last year's prices in Rosso Pregiato or Nero Classico.

MSRP on the 2019 Eldorado is $16,490 — same as last year — and it comes in red or black.

Color:
└ 2016: Nero Classico
└ 2017, 2018, 2019: Rosso Pregiato, Nero Classico
Price:
└ 2016: $15,990
└ 2017, 2018, 2019: $16,490

Moto Guzzi Eldorado Competitor

2016 - 2019 Moto Guzzi Eldorado
- image 834963
2016 - 2019 Indian Chief Dark Horse
- image 733829
Not one to use price as a selling point, Indian asks two-grand more for the Chief Dark Horse than the Eldorado but offers less electronic wizardry.

No doubt about it, the MG Eldorado is built to compete in the American-style bike market, which naturally brings it toe-to-toe with products from the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. But there’s a resurgent domestic foe in play once again – Indian Motorcycles – and so I decided to see how the ’Guzzi stacks up against a comparable cruiser from the current lineup. The Chief Dark Horse seems to be my Huckleberry with its old-school looks and decidedly American-style custom heritage.

Much of the custom connection comes via the liberal blackout treatment, and since the sheet metal comes shot in Thunder Black Smoke as well, the “Dark Horse” portion of its name is well earned. Black jugs and polished cooling-fin edges accentuate the “V” for both models, though Indian mounts its Thunder Stroke 111 in line with the long axis of the bike rather than transverse-mount arrangement MG prefers.

Fat, shrouded front forks are also common across the board though the CDH brings a more direct connection to the past with a full rear fender, headlight nacelle, valence front fender and “War Bonnet” figurehead. Indian comes out swingin’ some serious lumber with a 111 cubic-inch (1,811 cc) powerplant that dwarfs the ’Guzzi’s mill, and while it comes with support from Indian’s Ride Modes feature, the CDH falls short of the level of electronic fandanglery the Eldorado brings to the table.

The CDH tries to make up for that shortcoming with even more power, to the tune of 119 pound-feet at 3,000 rpm against 88.5 pound-feet from the Eye-Tie. That’ll definitely register on the old heinie-dyno since the Indian weighs in at 764 pounds wet, and the Moto Guzzi comes in a single pound lighter at 763 pounds, wet.

Indian does offer one unique trick with its rear-cylinder, kill-at-idle feature, and that saves on the amount of heat washing over you when at a stop. If a lot of your riding is local with traffic lights and stop signs, that’ll be a big check in the “win” column for Indian.

Not one to use price as a selling point, Indian asks $18,499 for its 2019 Chief Dark Horse; a solid two-grand hike over the Eldorado. That extra cash buys you more bang, so you’ll have to decide if more power is better than more electronics.

He Said

My husband and fellow writer, TJ Hinton, says, "I’ve always liked ’Guzzis, even if they are kind of a niche bike. By ’niche’ I mean they appeal to a certain sector based on their historical roots, and rather unique looks. The Eldorado is a solid-looking bike, I mean this thing is a buffalo that looks tough as hell, and mean to boot. If touring ain’t your thing, this ride would make a dandy boulevard bruiser."

She Said

"I think I fell in love with this bike the first time I saw one on the TV news ridden by a California cop. It was the reason I watched the old TV show CHiPs (even though they rode Kawasaki KZ-900s and 1000s on the show). I didn’t care about the show; I wanted to see the bikes. It was an Eldorado that had me say first, ’I love that bike! Who are these Moto Guzzi folks?’ and I haven’t changed my mind in 40-plus years."

Moto Guzzi Eldorado Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Four-stroke 90-degree V-twin, four valves, double ignition
Displacement: 1,380 cc
Bore x Stroke: 104 mm x 81.2 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.5 : 1
Maximum Power: 96 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 89.2 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Fuel System: Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection
Engine Controls: dual ignition, Ride by Wire with three engine maps, three level adjustable traction control, Cruise Control as standard equipment
Exhaust System: Stainless steel, 2-in-2 type, 3-way catalytic converter with double oxygen sensor
Transmission: Six-speed with final overdrive
Primary drive: with helical teeth (ratio 26/35 = 1:1.346
Final Drive: Double Cardan Joint and fixed bevel gear seat, drive ratio 10/36 = 1:3.6
Gear ratios: 1st: 2.235, 2nd: 1.700, : 1.348, 4th: 1.115, 5th: 0.968, 6th: 0.8
Clutch: Single-disc with integrated anti-vibration buffer
Chassis:
Frame: steel tubing, closed double cradle with elastic-kinematic engine mounting system to isolate vibrations
Suspension, Front/ Travel: standard forks 45 mm, with radial caliper mounting bracket and telescopes on the stanchions/ 4.7 inches
Suspension, Rear/ Travel: swingarm with double shock absorber adjustable spring preload/ 4.7 inches
Headstoke angle: 33°
Steering angle: 37°
Trail: 5.7 inches
Brake, Front: Dual 320 mm stainless steel floating discs, Brembo radial calipers with four horizontally opposed pistons: ABS as standard equipment
Brake, Rear: 282 mm stainless steel fixed disc, Brembo floating caliper with two parallel pistons: ABS as standard
Wheel, Front: 16-inch polished aluminum, spoked with tubeless system, 130/90
Wheel, Rear: 16-inch polished aluminum, spoked with tubeless system, 180/65
Tire, Front: 130/90 R16ʼʼ
Tire, Rear: 180/65 R16ʼʼ
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 96.3 inches
Width: 37 inches
Height: 43.8 inches
Saddle height: 29.1 inches
Wheelbase: 66.7 inches
Curb weight: 763 pounds
Dry Weight: 683 pounds
Fuel tank capacity: 5.4 gallons w/ 1.3-gallon reserve
Top Speed: 121 mph
Details:
Color:
└ 2016: Nero Classico
└ 2017, 2018, 2019: Rosso Pregiato, Nero Classico
Price:
└ 2016: $15,990
└ 2017, 2018, 2019: $16,490

Further Reading

Indian Chief Dark Horse

2016 - 2019 Indian Chief Dark Horse
- image 839108

See our review of the Indian Chief Dark Horse.

Moto Guzzi

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
- image 803457

Read more Moto Guzzi news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: motoguzzi.com, indianmotorcycle.com

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