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History of the California
SANTANA - A 1974 Moto Guzzi California
This first picture above shows the old Santana mural gas tank from my
first Moto Guzzi -the Ambassador w/Attitude.
SANTANA is a combination of parts from several Moto Guzzi motorcycles modified
to fit on a 1974 California Eldorado (aka "The
The tank was painted in 1980. When I
sold the Ambassador I kept the tank. The
tank suffered lots of use and abuse, acquired
several dings, dents, and cracks, even dropped
several times during storage. I wanted to
reuse the tank, but had to cover lots of damage.
Wish I had the money to have taken it to a
professional painter to restore.
This new look idea came up after I bought an
old Eldorado parts bike which was in pieces.
One of the pieces was a new engine rebuild kit
and assorted new parts. So, I had the
makings for a cheap Moto Guzzi restoration
I started thinking about how I could adapt
this cool old Santana tank to my Guzzi and one
modification lead to another.
So, I took my beloved Black Pearl and gave it
a new identity - a complete Makeover.
This baby is the sweetest riding Eldo I've
ever been on.
||I was able to obtain an old
Project parts bike and rebuilt the engine to put
into the Santana bike. So, with the
Makeover, I got to add a fresh new engine!
I added some chrome around the light recesses in
the fairing, added chrome trim pieces here and
there, and chrome bits where I could find them.
One of the coolest things I did was get a set of
polished stainles steel nuts and bolts kit.
The SS nut & bolt kit finished off the new
engine making it look factory new! Awesome
I added my own white pin stripping and decals to
fit the old hippie biker look of the '70's.
I also tried to make a Buddy Seat from the
850GT, but the seat pan creation was beyond my
capabilities. I bought an old rusted out
Buddy Seat from ebay and built my own foam
padding and repaired the rusted out old seat pan
as best as I could.
||The Dan Brown Saddle bags would not fit with
the Buddy seat, but I found a set of asdfdsf
saddle bags - which also did not fit, but could
be modified to fit with some cutting and
||I sourced some spot lights that I made fit
into the fairing where the turn signals were,
and added smaller turn signals below.
Some quick history:
Roy's 1974 LAPD Eldorado/California 850V
"I just call it the 'Black
This Moto Guzzi 850 LAPD Eldorado California was found in Kirkland Washington.
It had been owned by a few folks locally for most of it's years.
(9/22/09) I named it "The Black Pearl" - cause
it sorta fooled me. It looked like a real pearl. It seemed to run
pretty good. However, I ended up repairing and replacing so much on it
that it became the black pearl. I Really love it now. I sorta bonded
with it and now we have a good relationship.
I would really like to find a rear wheel with Cush drive – know anybody with a
850T rear wheel in the basement?