Guzzi California hydraulic tappet recall for 2003-2005 models : Moto Guzzi…

30 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Guzzi California hydraulic tappet recall for 2003-2005 models : Moto Guzzi…
Moto Guzzi California Aluminium

Hydraulic tappets in 1100 California ’03-’05

For those looking for a pre-owned Moto Guzzi California, something to be aware of is a recall that involved several 2003 to 2005 models.

Those California 1100 engines were designed with hydraulic tappets .  Because of some manufacturing problems, a recall campaign was issued by Moto Guzzi for refitting these engines with new components.

If the present owner is not sure, you should check the VIN number with a dealer to find out if the recall service was performed on the bike.

You don’t need to avoid or fear these model years.  Owners have described these as the smoothest running and smoothest sounding Calis ever.  A multitude of riders have put very high mileage on these without a problem.

In fact, I know of a sweet ’03 EV Touring near Charlotte, NC that I would buy it right now if I didn’t already have my own Cali.  It’s  a one-owner bike, had every scheduled dealer-performed service, and has been described as the best running California that some of the highly experienced Guzzi riders there have ever been tested. (update – was $4900 ready to ride and has since been sold.)

There were two groups of bikes addressed, one was the group of unsold Calis and the other was the group that was already sold.

Back in 2003, there was a service communication issued to dealers regarding “noisiness of the timing system” due to premature camshaft wear.  This involved the Guzzi California motorcycle models of Stone, Titanium, EV, and EV Touring.

California Titanium, frame number: ZGUKDC1203M133654

California Titanium (USA), frame number: ZGUKDD0074M133659

California EV and  EV Touring, frame number: ZGUKDC1203M112261

California EV Touring (USA), frame number: ZGUKDD0024M112346

Moto Guzzi California Aluminium

California Stone with frame number: ZGUKDC4203M111687

California Stone (USA), frame number: ZGUKDD0164M111418

The remedy was to inspect the wear of the cam, and if found to be excessive, to inspect the oil sump and engine for metallic debris.  Aside from replacing the cam and tappets, the engine itself would need to be overhauled if the metallic debris was found to have circulated through the engine.

To do the fix, dealers needed to order two different kits which were readied for delivery around February of 2005. One kit included the special tools required, and the other kit included the new parts.  The factory calculated this to be a 6 hour job per motorcycle.

  Once all new unsold Guzzi Californias were fixed, then the recall campaign for customer’s motorcycles would begin, around March 2005.

It has been argued how Moto Guzzi handled this problem, but in the end, the problem was addressed, bikes were fixed, and many owners of “hydro” Moto Guzzi Californias have reported years of enjoyment.  If you’re considering buying a used California 1100 “hydro”, just have a Moto Guzzi dealer run the VIN number to see if the recall service has been performed.

Another thing about the 2003-2005 hydraulic tappet California 1100, is to remember to use the proper engine oil .  These are supposed to use 5W40.  Solid tappet Calis call for a different weight of oil.  For example, my ’07 California Vintage calls for Agip 4T Racing SAE 10W60.

Moto Guzzi California Aluminium
Moto Guzzi California Aluminium


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