Moto Guzzi clearly believes that naked carbon fiber is the new black. Just look at the 2017 MGX–21. Well, the Audace Carbon is following the same eye-catching design cues – which makes sense since both motorcycles are based on the same California 1400 platform.
For 2017, the Moto Guzzi Audace receives a few small updates in addition to the Carbon suffix. First though, as with the 2016 Audace, we need to note that the Audace Carbon is Euro 4 compliant – otherwise, it couldn’t be sold in Europe, which, you know, Italy is part of. The other changes to the Audace include a screen to protect the radiator in its low location right behind the front tire. The drag bar receives a new bend that places the grips lower and more rearward towards the rider for more comfort and control. The long reach of the previous bar made for a slightly tiring riding position during extended stints. It should also reduce the stretch on the outboard arm during U-turns.
When it comes to the Audace’s styling, two things jump out at the viewer. The red paint and offset machined aluminum of the Brembo calipers and valve covers. Last year, the only dollop of color was the red Moto Guzzi on the black cast aluminum wheels. This year, thanks to the dual discs and the famed Guzzi transversely mounted 90° V-Twin engine, the red highlights grace the Audace from front to rear. In a more subtle change from last year’s blacked-out Audace, the front fender and the panels on either side of the gas tank are constructed of carbon fiber, giving the Audauce Carbon a more aggressive, custom look.
Functionally, the Audace remains the same. It should produce, the same torquey power curve that made it so fun to ride both around town and on the open road. The unchanged remote reservoir rear suspension should deliver the same sporty-but-not-harsh ride of the 2016 model. Ground clearance will continue to be the limiting factor in the Carbon’s cornering.