Moto Guzzi National Owners Club
Moto Guzzi National Owners Club
Moto Guzzi National Owners Club
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Tips for Guzzis - 2003/11

Multiple Uses for Evaporative Cooler Sealer

In this tip, MGNOC Arizona Rep Tom Short tells how useful spray-on sealer for evaporative coolers can be to the enterprising Guzzi owner:

Here's a tip for ya, especially for those of you who do not live in Arizona and have to deal with much rain.

I bought a spray can of stuff to coat evap coolers so they don't rust out, called 'Submarine Evaporative Cooler Sealer' by Dial.

This stuff resembles tar, only it comes in a spray. It dries completely, and is not tacky at all. I painted up the outside of a distributor cap with it along time ago, and it is still in good shape. It does rain here, like maybe once or twice a year... but I thought I'd like to have a waterproof distributor cap, and I didn't like the little rubber cover that you can get for them.

I also painted the inside of a set of fenders with it. It coated them well. I think it will protect them from dings from small rocks and protect the metal from rain, gravel, etc. I also sprayed the stuff on the inside of the battery covers to protect against any acid corrosion from the battery.

Last night I sprayed some (the last of it) on a pair of aging gauntlet type riding gloves. They were getting thin on the 'grip' side, so I put a coat of this stuff on' em. It didn't eat' em, so I guess they'll be okay.

Good Source for Metric Heim Joints

Need to fix or make a shift or brake linkage for your Guzzi? Tom Bowes tells of a good source for the heim joints in this tip:

Here is a web site that I stumbled across that has a lot of parts that look like they would come in handy on Guzzi shift and brake linkages: http://www.springfixlinkages.com/catalog.htm

Relays for Spine Frames

Larry Maldonado tells of a good source for replacements for the failure-prone relays on the V11 Sports and other spine frames:

All the suggestions regarding jumpering contacts when the starter relays of late model Guzzi's fail reflect a tinker's love of over complication. Those relays are so small that carrying a spare should be no problem. The Bosch part number is 0 332 207 307. Type in "automotive micro relay" on any search engine and you'll have a vender. It took me a minute to find waytekwire.com this morning, which stocks them for $2.57.

And if you don't fell like purchasing and carrying a spare one, use the spare relay provided with the bike by Guzzi - the horn relay. It also works for replacing those other critical relays, the ECU relay and the fuel pump/injectors/coils relay.

If one likes to tinker on a late model Guzzi: toss the kickstand switch, permanently join the wires that go to terminals 3 and 4 of the kickstand relay, and now you have a true spare relay, one that can be removed at any time because it no longer has a function on the bike.

Cheaper Mainshaft Bearing for Five-Speed Transmission

Paul Linn tells of a cheaper replacement bearing for the mainshaft of the Guzzi five-speed transmission:

I just installed a brand new mainshaft bearing in the rear cover, cost me $17.23 with tax at the local Advance Auto Parts. Ask for bearing number BCA 303. It is a direct replacement for the original that was in the rear cover (SKF 6303). It's a lot better than paying the $45 for it from Guzzi. Thought I would pass on the savings to everyone.

Cleaning Flywheel and Camshaft Sensors on California 1100i and Others

Bob Winters tells why and How:

Has your Guzzi started to idle poorly? Barely getting 30 mpg when you use to get closer to 50 mpg? Check the flywheel and camshaft position sensors.

Here's a free over the telephone diagnosis tip I got from Ed at Moto Italia in Worcester while talking to him about checking out the FI set up on my 1996 Cal 1100i. The symptoms; the bike was hard starting, poor idle, finding a returning dead spot between 2700 and 3000 rpms and was now averaging around 32 mpg.

Before I rode out to Moto Italia, Ed suggested that I check and clean (if necessary) the flywheel and camshaft position sensors first. After digging into my copy of Guzziology, I found this is also outlined in several chapters; Lower engine external and fuel systems.

The flywheel sensor is located under the right side throttle body (or carb) and the camshaft sensor is located in front of the left cylinder. Both sensors are magnetic. The flywheel sensor will have the best chance to attract bits of metal that are spit off the flywheel or starter. The cam sensor should have less metal attraction since it runs in oil. I found a few bits of metal on the flywheel sensor. The cam sensor was free of metal but was gummed up with some sealant that was probably installed to stop the annoying oil seepage that seems to happen around any place where there is an opening in a Guzzi engine case. Both sensors seal with an "O" ring to the engine case.

After cleaning both sensors Sunday morning, I joined the monthly group ride from MotoMart. After riding a little over 350 miles that day, I am very happy to see that I averaged 45-46 mpg. I believe 1996 was the first year for the FI setup on the California and both Ed and Guzziology note that this was a common problem on the early FI system. If you are seeing a decrease in your mpg and some rough starting and idle, check these sensors.

[Ed Note: Actually, the 1993 California III was the first California model to come out with fuel injection. I bought the FIRST fuel injected California model to come to the U.S. -FW]

Thanks again to Ed at Moto Italia and the must read Guzziology.

Adding Oil without a Funnel

Here's another tip from Tom Bowes:

The problem is that you need to add some oil to the bike while out on a road trip. You have a quart of oil, but no funnel. Believe it or not, the caps with a push/pull valve from a drinking water bottle will screw right onto most motor oil bottles, allowing you to get the cap down into the fill hole where you can squirt the oil in without making a big mess. Keep a left-over cap in your saddlebag, or just buy a bottle of drinking water that has one of these caps.

Fixing Leaky Cast Wheels

Slow leaks are sometimes caused by porous cast wheels. In this tip, Jerry Riedel tells of a quick and inexpensive fix:

I fixed the front wheel that was leaking air through a porous spot in the casting. Here is what I did: Since the leak had grown over time, mainly since the last tire change, I dismounted the tire to have a look inside for signs of wheel failure. I didn't find any, or any real reason to explain why the leak had gotten worse, except that maybe some of the paint on the inside of the wheel had been rubbed off, although this wasn't obvious. There was a somewhat porous looking area in the area of the leak, just inboard of the rib on the bead area that is supposed to retain the tire if it loses pressure. I sanded it with 120 grit down to bare metal and applied a thin coat of JB Weld. Presto - no more leak.

Premature Rear Brake Wear on V11 Sport and Others

Seatmaster Rich Maund describes a problem he found on his V11 Sport, and the solution:

I have read a number of letters in different places about premature rear brake wear on the V11 Sport type bikes. Mine has always had a slight "wup.....wup" sound at slow parking lot speeds. But the rotor wasn't warped and the brake functioned well enough. Not strong, but okay. No signs of overheating and melting anything either. So I never gave it any more thought.

Last week with 8000 miles on the bike I tore into it for some preventive maintenance. I flushed all the hydraulic systems and tore down the rear drive to grease everything. Actually a much easier job here than on a Tonti framed bike. I found one rear wheel bearing felt notchy. That was depressing, but I was happy to have found it before it completely failed. The local bearing shop sold me two bearings the next morning for under $17 to replace them. Smooth as silk now. The real surprise was finding the rear brake pads worn to under 1/16 inch thickness! Here's how I believe the problem came about: The rear caliper mounts upside down. So the vent for it is on the bottom. Air bubbles float up right? When I bled it, I did so by removing it and placing it upright to get a good bleed on it. I did find some air trapped in it. Any chance the factory bled the system with the caliper installed so that the vent was on the bottom when they vented it? I think so. Sheesh! If air was trapped in the caliper, it would be warmed by the hot brake pads/pucks and expand as I rode the bike, thus making the brake drag a bit. Remember I mentioned mine made a "whup whup" sound at low speeds?

Apparently it was dragging a bit ALL the time. I just couldn't hear or feel it. I did check to see that the pucks moved inward smoothly as I pumped up the rear brake. No problems there. No binding. After re-assembly the unit worked very smoothly. NO dragging and no more noises. May be my imagination, but the rear brake has better feel and power to it as well. 100 miles now and it continues to work quietly. No more dragging noises. I believe the air in the caliper was the problem.

It's very simple to remove, flip right side up and bleed the rear brakes on these bikes. I recommend you try that if you have noises similar to what I have experienced. It could get really expensive if you wear the brakes down to bare metal.