California EV misfire

I recently bought a 2003 Cali EV with 9500 on the clock from a dealer. On the test ride there was a noticeable misfire with the occasional pop at just over 2000 revs. The dealer assured me it would be sorted when the serviced it saying that it had been standing in there showroom for some months over the winter. I bought the bike but the misfire has persisted. Took it back and was told that was ‘just the way it is’ with Guzzi’s as the fuel injection and throttle carriers cant synchronise at low revs. They said they’d replaced the plugs and caps (I thought that should have been done in the service) and done a pressure test for leaks. I’m not confident about taking anything off the bike to take a look at even the basics (bikes have changed a lot since I was a teenager) and feel that the dealer may be fobbing me off until the warranty (3 months ) runs out. Can anyone help?? Thanks in advance.

Hi Chris. I have owned a 2004 Cali EV for just over 18 months. I noticed the misfire at just over 2000rpm on the way home from buying it. When I mentioned it to Mark at Twiggers, he assured me that it was normal; and so it seems to be, both from my experience, and what others have said. Some people have spent a lot of money trying to fix the problem on their bikes, without success. Mine doesn’t do it all the time, and a good thrash can help; if I’ve been doing a lot of town riding, I often thrash it round our bypass on the way home! As you get used to the Cali, you’ll also find that it’s best to run it at 3,000rpm (2nd gear round town at 30mph) rather than 2,000rpm; it feels a bit unnatural at first, but in fact the Cali likes to be revved. I hope that’s reassuring rather than disappointing? My bike had done 28,000 miles when I bought it; it’s now done 37,000 miles and I love it. Of course, your misfire might be different or worse from the ‘usual’ one, so please don’t let my comments stop you from pressing your dealer to do more - he doesn’t seem to have been entirely straight with you. If there really is a problem, which I doubt, it may be in the ECU. One other thing: is it a Guzzi dealer? If not, PLEASE check he used the right engine oil. The hydraulic tappets are fabulous, but fail if the wrong oil is used. It is a non-negotiable on the hydro. Graham
Graham UK2013-03-27 17:13:52

Graham. Thanks for the post - much appreciated. I suspect the bike may have been used only around town in recent months which give me an excuse for a bit of a thrash once this weather clears. I’ll check with the dealer about the oil, the fact they didn’t change the plugs on the purchase service makes me suspect they may have neglected to either change the oil, or if they did they probably used Mazola…I’ll monitor the situation and see how it goes. Once again many thanks.

If the throttle bodies have not been synchronised, you will get issues, and saying it’s not possible to sync them is a load of baloney.Don’t wait and see how it goes on the oil front, if you are not sure, change it for the correct grade. Far cheaper than a rebuild. Actually Yak fat is worse than Mazola, but don’t quote me on that.
Brian UK2013-03-27 22:16:24

I got a gallon tin of 20-50 from Halfords the other day for £15-00 For peace of mind it would be worth changing the oil and filter ( Sorry thats inside the sump)Welcome to the forum by the way. Don-Spada2013-03-28 01:23:21

I wonder what the difference is between a 2004 EV and a 2004 Stone in the ignition and fuelling? Bugger all I expect. My Stone suffers no such misfire and I simply do not believe that all EV’s have a problem. I know Twiggers are a respected dealers, even so, I do not believe. Get a second opinion and get it checked over by someone else. You Don’t want an irritating minor fault spoiling things for you.

Thanks for all the replies and advice, a great welcome to the club/forum! I will definitely look at the oil situation over the weekend. For the record please note I did not buy the bike from Twiggers. Lawries, I see you are based in Eastbourne as I am, can you recommend someone to get a second opinion from?

To be fair, Twiggers didn’t suggest that every EV always has this problem, but rather that it is usual, and there is no known solution. If your Stone doesn’t, then be glad you are one of the favoured ones! Interestingly, when I was at our local Guzzi Club meet last month, there were three or four other big-block riders talking about the misfire they get at just over 2000rpm, and how they avoid holding that engine speed - and those weren’t even Calis. I hadn’t realised that the problem affected other models as well.

When selling bikes, dealers tend to tell you what they think you want to hear, and as the dealer I bought my Guzzi from knew nothing about Guzzis and so didn’t seem to grasp the significance of using the right oil, I didn’t trust him to do it right. So, I persuaded them not to service the bike themselves, and instead got that done at Twiggers, checking that they were using the right oil - worth it for the peace of mind.

I got a gallon tin of 20-50 from Halfords the other day for £15-00 For peace of mind it would be worth changing the oil and filter ( Sorry thats inside the sump)[/QUOTE]
Now don’t go misleading the nice man Don, you know 20/50 is the wrong oil for the Hydro tappets don’t you.

On the V11 Le mans I had a misfire at low revs I found out by trial and error that

Using super unleaded helps, the Sainsburys super unleaded IS actually BP fuel and works.

Syncing the TPS made a huge difference as well

Getting rid of the huge collector box in favour of a Stucchi cross over finally sorted it.

You don’t say anywhere that it is a hydro tappet engine. are people assuming. leaks in the inlet rubber or exhaust downpipe joints can cause pops and bangs. so too a missing!! Air filter. also if the bike has stood for a long time put a cupfull of kerosene in a full tank and go for a long mixed ride. and don’t be afraid to get the rev up. its a short stroke engine. see how it is after that. Enjoy

I wasn’t aware that any 2003 EV’s were anything other than hydro, but you’re right to query the assumption, especially as Calis are often registered a year or so after manufacture, and a 2002 Cali might well not be a hydro.

Hi Chris, great to have another guzzisti in Eastbourne! I have sent you a PM, let’s get together and get things sorted

Good advice from all above, there is a long list of minor things that might be causing your problem.

And below lawries2013-03-29 15:27:06

As with any Guzzi related problem start with the easiest and cheapest before moving on to the £££ tie consuming stuff, I have found many times that the easiest stuff often is not such a difficult thing to do. I have also seen many people throw££££’s at a problem onlyfor it to have been something that cost nowt or very little to fix.

Even been guilty of that myself…

Two easy things to check that may be possible causes of a misfire are splits in the inlet rubbers to the throttle bodies, or simply a weak battery affecting the ECU.

The low volts is spot on when i put the spotlights on the V11 they were 2x55w at low revs the coughing and spitting was phenominal ( da da da daa daaa) not on no probs, dropped the spotlight bulbs to 25w each and all ok…

Just remembered! I had an erratic misfire that took ages to track down. Eventually turned out there was very high resistance across the ignition fuse block, corroded. So I cut it out of the circuit and replaced it with an in line item. Solved!

So, check the wiring for corrosion and ensure good earth and continuity.

Just looking at the Toastmuncher thread.a similar problem on the EV was sorted by using the wider tappet clearances recomended by Raceco.May be yet another false lead but…Best of luckSteve