Moto Guzzi National Owners Club
Moto Guzzi National Owners Club
Moto Guzzi National Owners Club
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Tips for Guzzis

Changing Fuel Filters on EV, Bassa, Jackal, and Others

In this tip taken from the internet correspondence list, Rich Arimoto tells how to change the fuel filter on injected California-series Guzzis. As he says, "Not a fun job, but doable."

As noted by several others on the list, changing the fuel filter on a Bassa (I expect on an V11 EV or Jackal, too) is a bit of a pita, and I thought I'd pass along several tips in the interest of minimizing others' pain. Taking everything apart is a little tedious, but not too bad. Here is what I suggest (but don't hold me responsible if I've forgotten anything!):

  1. Disconnect the hose from the fuel petcock to the tank, loosen the allen screw that holds the tank to the frame, lift the tank slightly, and then disconnect the two electrical plugs on the left side underneath the tank (one should be marked with red, this will help you make sure the plugs are properly matched when you put everything back together). Next take off the skinny tube under the middle of the tank, then the front vent hose, and finally the hose on the left side going from the fuel filter to the tank (it has to be removed at the fuel filter).
  2. After you remove the tank, make a mental note of where the front fitting of the fuel filter is relative to the metal brake line and the inlet for the air box. This will help you on re-assembly as it is a bit of a kluge with all the hoses, wires, etc. under the tank.
  3. Attach a fairly long hose to the fuel filter (the outlet to the tank just disconnected), and put the open end of the hose in a suitable gas collection container. There is enough gas in the filter to make a mess after you loosen the clamp that holds the filter to the frame and start moving things around.
  4. Remove the air box. Cut any tie-wraps that you need to gain access to the old filter. Disconnect two other hoses to the fuel filter and remove.
  5. For a Napa 3008 filter, wrap several layers of duct tape around it so that it will fit snugly in the clamp. Replace the banjo fittings using new crush washers, reinstall the filter, and replace any tie wraps removed.
  6. Replace the air filter if needed and reinstall the air box.
  7. Reattach the hose from the tank to the fuel filter first (I tried doing it last and had to take everything apart and start over).
  8. Connect the other two hoses to the tank and then the electrical plugs.
  9. Reattach tank/frame allen screw.
  10. Replace the hose to the petcock.

Running Engine Diagnostic Codes

Like many cars nowadays, the fuel-injected Guzzis have onboard diagnostic LEDs that can tell you if anything is wrong in the engine-management system. In this tip, Derek Whiteside tells how to access the proper plugs and connectors for the Centauro

Here is the procedure for my Centauro (probably similar to lots of FI models):

To run the codes, you just locate the engine diagnostic connector that is part of the wiring harness (mine is on the right hand side of the 16M computer), locate the diagnostic plug (mine is a little connector with a single loop-back wire attached, and it was zip-tied to part of the wiring harness under the seat).

Then, you insert the key, turn the key to the "on" position (but don't start the bike), and connect the diagnostic plug to the connector. There is a little diagnostic LED to the right of the relays, and it flashes rapidly for a few seconds, pauses, and then "blinks out" the code. My code was 1.4, which was one flash, a long pause, and then 4 flashes. You look the code up in Guzziology or the factory manual, of which I have both. If there is more than one code, it will report them all. There is a reset procedure to clear the codes as well, or they will "age off" (clear out) after about 30 starts.

Drilling Baffles on California-Series Mufflers

In this tip from the internet correspondence list, Doug VanPelt tells how he drilled holes on the baffles of his stock mufflers to get a little more of that great Guzzi sound:

I put a 1/2-inch bit, with a 3/8-inch shank, in a long (about 12-inch) extension made for electricians, available at Home Cheapo (this makes the whole rig about 18 inches long). At about maybe 8-10 inches from the back end, there was a baffle. Once through that, I encountered another about 3 inches in. To drill through that one, I had to remove the muffler and insert the drill from the front. The mufflers all look the same- Cali, EV, Jackal, Bassa, Cal Special, etc. I'd be surprised (but not stunned) if there is any substantive difference between them.

The Hot New Guzzi Tuner

There is a hot new tuner of Guzzis in the U.S., and Charles Cole, highly successful campaigner of vintage Guzzis, tells us about him. Sidney Conn and the LSR Team also report excellent results from this tuner.

This may be old news to you, but Manfred Hecht is done working on bikes. His contribution to Moto Guzzi and racing will be felt and missed for decades. Fortunately there are plenty of good dealers and bright young independents out there to help us with our projects.

It is in this regard that I write to you. For those of you interested in performance modifications, I know a guy who can help: MRM "Mike Rich Motorsports" 631-874-7032 or toll free 866-MRM-SPORT in New York.

When I bought my race bike it was a WERA National Champion in two classes for two years running and quite fast. After a year I decided to see if I could get a little more out of the motor and gave the heads to Mike to have them flowed. On a flow job alone he got me a 23% horsepower increase. The heads that had come with the bike were flowed by Raceco, so I was quite impressed with the increase. Young guy and fresh ideas, I guess. The heads were small-port T heads, same size valves as the original race heads and he added more metal than he took away.

He just opened his own engine shop after eight years of building and flowing high-end race car motors and just does motorcycles now. His prices are very reasonable and he is a nice guy. He will do race and street engines.

I hope this helps fill the gap left by Manfred's exodus.

Fixing EV Tachometers

Hubert Few, is a talented tinkerer and shares in this tip his method for fixing the failure-prone tachometers Guzzi fitted to the EV and other models:

Now, for those who would like a little cheese with their whine... here it is, something for nothing.

The problem with my tach was as follows:

The very delicate mechanism driving the tach, not unlike an old-fashioned wind-up watch with spring drives etc., has a counterweight on a pivoting mass. The counterweight serves to return the needle to zero in the absence of voltage to move the opposite end, which has a coil and works sort of like a tiny electric motor.

If, when removing your tach from the chrome plated exterior, you find that something is loose and rattling around inside of the tach, it might be that this counterweight has fallen off of the mechanism, which will result in the needle sticking at a point between 7,500 to 8,000 rpm, the resting point without the counterbalance.

The biggest pain in this whole repair is removing the chrome ring from the outside front of the tach. It is permanently affixed, and the back side of it has to be ground off. You could pry the ring off, but that will bend it. I ground the back side of the ring off with a Dremel tool - pretty tedious stuff. When you put the whole thing back together, it will have to be sealed with epoxy or silicone sealer. I don't know which will work best, epoxy obviously is stronger and more permanent.

Once you gain access to the inside of the tach, you can glue the little counterweight back in place with epoxy or silicone sealer. If the counterweight falls out of the housing and is lost (as happened on mine) you can use a non-magnetic (stainless steel) washer or screw in its place, all it has to do is provide sufficient weight to return the needle to zero once the needle is past about 4,000 rpm.

If you are really into it, (I'm not) there is a small potentiometer inside the tach to adjust the reading against whatever more accurate electronic tach you have as a reference point. My point of reference is the alternator light coming on, which in the case of my bike happens at roughly 1000 rpm. If the alternator light comes on I know my idle is a little low, and I may or may not bump it up depending on the mood.

I don't really care how accurate the tach is, I just didn't want it reading 7800 rpm with the engine off!

While you're at it, you may wish to place a couple of washers to the inside of the tach housing where the "standoffs" attach to the chrome exterior housing. This will prevent the standoffs from pulling through, which would result in the chrome housing falling off and bouncing down the road - mine were nearly pulled through.

Fixing Hi/Low Switch for LeMans 1000, SP II, and others

In this Tip, Larry Weissman tells how he solved a mysterious problem with the headlights of his LeMans 1000:

I own a LeMans IV that has been plagued by a mysterious headlight problem, I have solved the problem and wanted to pass the solution on. The problem was that the headlights would mysteriously quit, both the high and low beams. I traced the problem to the wiring in the right hand switch gear for the high and low beam. Funny thing would happen when I took this apart and then reassembled it. The headlights would work for a bit and then quit. Weird.

Moto Guzzi uses a piece of rubber between the bars and the switch gear's outer face in this area. The problem lay in the fact that this piece of rubber did not adequately cover all the bar under the switch plate. There is a white wire that is near the edge of this rubber piece when you reassemble the switch gear that would ground out on the bars after the piece was back together for a few minutes. I could not figure out why this thing would work when I put the switch gear back together, and then quit working after a bit. This white wire at its filament end (not covered in insulation here) would eventually relax and ground into the bars where the rubber piece (fitted primarily for that reason) would not completely cover.

The solution was simple, and that was to cover this gap with some sort of insulating material (I used a high-end aircraft electrical tape). I'm sure the electrical schematic would show this as obvious if it was grounding here, but I did not break it out to verify the fix. Works like a champ now.

Cheap Tool to Remove Oil-Filter Cover for Spine-Frames

In this Tip, Corey Levenson tells of an inexpensive tool he found that works well for removing the oil-filter covers on the spine-frame Guzzis:

My Moto Guzzi V11 Rosso has a cover over the oil filter in the sump. The cover has a hexagonal 27-mm recess which is used for removal. The factory tool is quite expensive and I know a number of people that have been using big bolts or nuts to get the cover off. I discovered a tool that is made to remove a cover on the bell housing of water-cooled VWs that fits perfectly. It is 27-mm hex with a 3/8-inch drive recess on the rear. It costs about $10. I found a couple of places that sell them online, but you may be able to locate them at your local VW parts shop.

The online links are: and

Fixing Leaks in the Sensors of EFI Guzzis

In this Tip, Michael Haven of MPH Cycles of Houston, Texas, tells how to prevent oil seepage at the various sensors of Guzzi EFI systems:

The phase sensor and the left valve cover temp sensor seem to leak right through the potted material. To fix the leak, remove the sensor, clean it real well with contact cleaner, denatured alcohol, acetone or whatever to get all the oil out.

Then dribble Loctite "wick and lock" on both ends of the sensor. Let it sit overnight. Then put it back and don't fuss with it again. Has worked every time for me.

A More In-Depth fix for LeMans 1000 and SP II Headlight Switches

In this Tip, longtime serial Tipster Patrick Hayes tells how he fixed the headlight switches on his SP II:

I dug further into the lighting switches on my '87 SP II today. (Same as LeMans IV.) I think I found the source of the intermittent headlamp problem. Yes, these certainly are weak switches and do cry out for a relay circuit. BUT, just adding the relays won't solve the existing problem, and you may still have the intermittent function.

The switching function occurs with brass plates that slide over domed contact buttons inside the switch body. The plates are pressed by little springs and these maybe get weak over the years. You can yank on them a little to lengthen them and add a little more contact pressure.

The BIG problem source is the way the various wires are actually attached at the back of the domed contact buttons. The wires have little ring connectors crimped on. The ring is placed over the back of the contact and then the hollow end of the contact is peened or riveted over to pinch the ring. I was able to move or rotate these ring connectors under their rivet heads on both the ON/OFF lighting switch of the left side and the HI/LO switch of the right side. Such movement clearly indicates poor to intermittent to non-existent connection. The first thing to do would be to test these for looseness and try to improve the riveting with some small, tapered punches. You can't add a lot of metallic pressure here or you'll just crush the rivet contact (ask me how I know). Also, you must support the head of the rivet on the opposite side so that your hammering is NOT transferred directly to the plastic body.

Soldering is an option, but you better be really careful with the heat or you'll melt the underlying plastic of the switch body. I am currently lathing up several types of substitute contacts and I'll let you know what works best. A duplicate of the original involves a 2mm stem with a 1mm hole center drilled to allow the rivet to flare. This is dainty work!

When its all done, the switch will be better, but still in need of the relay addition as well. These are very fine metal pieces and tiny wires. How did they EVER think this would work for long carrying 100 percent of the headlamp load? Carrying the load of a relay electromagnet is much more sensible.

Wrenches for Adjusting Steering-Head Bearings on Spine-Frames

Tracy Martin tells about a set of wrenches that make adjusting the steering head of his V11 Sport easier:

I found a bicycle wrench that is perfect for adjusting the tension nut on the steering head of my V11 Sport. The wrench is an open-end style and will fit 30-mm and 32-mm hex nuts. The steering head nut on the Guzzi is 32-mm. Using this wrench allows one to tighten the nut without having to take off the triple clamp, fairing, instrument cluster, headlight, etc.

It can be found on the Cambria Bicycle Outfitter's website at Look under Park Tool, Various Headset Wrenches, part number HCW-7. The wrench sells for $10.95. I've used it once and it worked great.

The Right Way to Polarize Guzzi Generators

In this Tip, Gary Cheek, longtime contributor to the Internet loopframe list, tells the right way to polarize the generators on the V700, Ambassador, and Eldorado:

You need to know the difference in the method of polarizing between an INTERNAL-ground generator and an EXTERNAL-ground generator. To determine which system you are dealing with look at the brush holder that is connected to ground. An internally grounded generator will also have ONE of the field leads connected to it; an externally grounded gene will have no other wire connected to the grounded terminal. With an INTERNAL ground (such as the generators used on Guzzis) you polarize by DISCONNECTING the FIELD lead and MOMENTARILY touching it to the BAT terminal on the regulator. With an EXTERNAL ground you just momentarily connect a jumper wire from the BAT to the GEN or ARM terminals of the regulator.

I have seen many situations where every thing else looks okay, but the generator was not working, and that was remedied by re-polarizing. Folks take the generator apart to replace brushes and after reassembling fail to re-polarize. Do it by the book, and avoid simple problems!

Keeping Clutch Cables Clean

In this tip, Mark Lockwood tells how to keep grunge off the exposed end of you clutch cable:

For a long time now, I have been too ill to ride as I have spent most of the last year in and out of the hospital having had four operations and a long rehab time. I've finally been able to get out again this year (about) two weeks ago for the first time since August 6, 2001. I did all the checks on my Guzzi (or so I thought) to be sure it was ready for the ride. I checked the tires, fuel, fluids, cables, etc. The one thing I didn't look at was the lower portion of the clutch cable, which is what came back to bite me!

Anyway, this tip may be very old, but I've just done it and am very happy with the results.

I have a 1985 California II and the clutch cable just snapped 25 miles from my home. I managed to ride it home with some careful gear changes and installed the new cable I had in my saddlebag. I would have installed it then and there, but I was out in the middle of farm country, with no street lights, no houses, and my flashlight had given up the ghost! I was surrounded by cornfields, so food wouldn't have been a problem!

After installing the new cable, I looked at the old one and it had snapped down at the lower connection site because of dirt and grime collected at the lower attachment point. I took the flexible boot off of the top of the old clutch cable where it would normally fit close to the handlebar and clutch lever, and fitted it over the lower portion of the clutch cable with the smallest end pressing up against the transmission casing. The larger open end slides back and is pulled up and over the clutch lever arm. Now the cable is completely covered by the old clutch lever rubber boot and no grime and dirt can get in. This is a simple and inexpensive fix that as I said, may have been submitted before, but I'm so pleased with the way it works, I just had to send it to you! When the clutch lever is pulled in, the boot just compresses with the cable, and when released, it returns to the position it was installed in. It does not effect the actuation of the clutch arm, and the pull resistance does not change!

Repairing CEV Pillbox Switches

Fred Sahms shares his clever solution for repairing the pillbox switches on V-700s, Ambassadors, and Eldorados:

I have been looking for a solution to the unobtainable left hand CEV 169 switch for my Eldo, and came up with an $18 fix. There have been a number of sky-high E-bay switches, and a guy in the MGNOC newsletter has replicas for $50 (no wires).

I emailed Cosmopolitan Motors (800-523-2522) and got a 169 switch for a Benelli for $18. The switch also has no wires, and is a little more narrow than the original switch. The screw holes are closer together as well. The plastic "plate" that holds all the guts is all I used from the new switch, sandwiching it between the chrome cover and the black plastic base of my original switch. A little Dremel work allowed the original screws to locate on either side of the plastic plate, and when assembled, all the switches are in the same places and can't be distinguished from the original. I'll be using a relay for the headlight so this one won't melt like the original did (especially with a halogen headlight).

It's a little fiddling to save $25, I know, but I did it in 30 minutes.

Clever Luggage-Rack Extender for the EV

Continuing a long tradition of Guzzi Wingnuttery, Roger Gruben sent in the following tip that tells why God really invented dish drainers:

I bought a very nice 38-liter Marsee luggage rack bag through the web a few months ago, but since I had confused the length and width dimensions, it overhung the short rack on my EV by four or five inches, partially obscuring the tail lights. My first inelegant fix was a piece of plywood with a couple of tabs glued on to hold it in place on top of the chrome rack, but today I generously accompanied my wife to the Container Store and found a much better solution: a $4 dish drainer.

It's plastic coated metal, exactly the right size. When it's a dish drainer, little crooks in two of the rails act as four feet. Flip it upside down and bend these crooks out a little and they just fit around the outside edges of the bag. So the bag is now fully supported with something that will last longer and looks a little less rustic than my plywood extension. If, like me, you have been frustrated by the dinky dimensions of the stock rack, give this a try.

[Ed Note: I call these luggage racks, "Toy luggage racks". I took the top part of a luggage rack from a 1980 125cc Vespa and had it welded to my EV rack (in a professional way) and then had everything powder coated in black. Why a "touring" motorcycle comes with a tiny luggage rack (about large enough for a lunch pail) is beyond me. Hello! Anybody home!? -FW]

Better Hose Clamps for EFI Guzzis

Serial Tipster Patrick Hayes shares more of his Guzzi wisdom in this tip prompted by his recent experience replacing the EFI hoses on his EV:

Just did the FI hose replacement on my 98 EV. I was not happy with the fit of Gates 5/16-inch hose so I am using BMW car fuel injection hose.

Also, when I removed the last "Y" of tubing, the ends at the splitter had non-reusable crimped hose clamps. The far ends at the regulator and at the injectors had more traditional screw surface hose clamps. So, I was in the market to buy at least three replacement hose clamps.

I had been advised to use specialized fuel injection hose clamps. Traditional hardware store hose clamps are not good as the screw ridges pass through the clamp and tear at the surface of the hose. The fuel injection clamps from my local NAPA supplier were of poor quality. They did not clamp well, even at full use of the screw and they left this lengthy screw end sticking out to get in the way of everything.

Back to the BMW car shop. I found some REALLY FINE fuel injection hose clamps. The entire inner surface is smooth to avoid damaging the hose surface. The screw ridge surface is stamped into the outer metal surface of the clamp and does not penetrate through to the hose. The screw mechanism is very small, but formed of VERY stout material. These worked perfectly. BMW car part number 07-12-9-952-104. $1.13 each

Better Hose for EFI Guzzis

Michael Haven of MPH Cycles in Texas reveals in this tip that it's not just the hose clamps that are bad:

Replacing hoses is a good thing, but use a better hose. First get the right size. It's actually a 7.5 mm fitting, I can't imagine why the factory used 5/16 inch Gates junk hoses. It fits too loosely and its an inferior material; that's why it pulls off the crimps.

Get hose from a German car shop (Mercedes or BMW). It fits snugly and would seal up even without a clamp. Should last ten years. It will bend to a sharper radius without kinking too.

Replacement Idiot-Light Lenses for Loopframes

William Dudley reveals his Wingnut alter-ego in this tip for all the "Loop" (Ambassador and Eldorado) riders out there:

The plastic lens in my oil pressure indicator light just shattered one day, leaving behind a little ring of red plastic still glued into the aluminum threaded top.

I priced replacements from the one vendor at the MGNOC New York National, but thought $20 was spendy for a pilot light, and besides, I just needed a lens.

Being cheap AND resourceful, I went to Radio Shack and bought a "Jumbo 10 mm red LED", part 276-0214 for $2.49. I used my Dremel to cut off most of the "plastic lens", about 1 mm above the surface of the actual LED. The LED part, I threw in my junk box. I polished the bottom of the cut off lens (to remove the cutting marks and improve light transmission) and I had to file off a few thousandths (20-30?) around the circumference so that it would fit into the aluminum top of the pilot light. (I had to pick out the bits of plastic from the old lens, first, of course). Then I glued my new lens in with Goop (great stuff!).

The light from the lens is more of an orange than a red, but since the oil pressure light isn't on much, I don't care. The new lens looks fine on the dash board, though if you look closely you can see that the shape is more rounded than the other lenses, which have a sort of flat top.

I think the labor to make the lens probably was equal or less than the labor of opening up the dash to replace the old idiot light, especially since I have a Bates fairing on my bike that makes working in there a little tight.