California EV whitelining but not weaving

Hi There. Not sure if I have an issue. My Cali EV 2002 started whitelining noticeably when on the last leg of a 280mile motorway slog. I though I had a safety issue and have been through everything I can think of to check and its still there on a test run this morning. I have Bridgestone tubeless BT46’s with 3mm tread in the front centre and 4mm in the rear and running ( now I have a brand new tyre pressure gauge that actually works ) at 2.3 and 2.8bar. I have only done 2000 miles ( mostly 2 up ) on these tyres but as fitted to the bike when I bought it no idea what they have done before. Is this unexpected or something that is pretty normal?

Cornering and low speed handling fine and there is no weaving ( ie it only happens on banding, slumped tarmac edge sort of stuff ).

Just to add checks were for sideways and lateral movement in both wheels, suspension bolts and settings, headrace play, spindle and lock nuts, bearings smooth and no play and tyres not losing pressure. Sure I have missed lots though …

New tyres will be ordered and fitted in the winter tidy up anyway but I may need to use it this week so thought I might ask.

some tires seem to do this, and some white lines and banding seem to be worse than others. adjust your riding style to suit: at the worst, those road features can be (unexpectedly) slippery.

if the bike is handling well, and you have sensibly checked tyre conditions and pressures, and the possibility of ‘play’ in bearings, swinging arm, stearing head bearings etc. then the answer is: white lines and banding.

Thanks for the reply. Searching through past posts I get the impression Calis can be susceptible to tyre/road conditions and maybe the motorway slog just got them past a limit, we will see.

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My Cali 3 does twitch a bit if I catch the white lines, overbanding lines etc. You could try experimenting with tyre pressures a bit to see if that makes a difference.

It doesn’t feel very nice but it won’t kill you. Just try relaxing the death grip on the bars.

It took me 20 years to figure this out…

Plus Bridgestones have weird front wear /handling characteristics…my old FJR1300 used to do this after only 3k on fronts, despite there being plenty of tread left.

Just chill out a bit.

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Older tyres tend to be more susceptible to overbanding and white lines due less flexibility but take into account the temperature at this time of year when the “rubber” is generally less pliable and the suspension is stiffer.

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Had a 97 EV that was good 2 up but lively when solo. Best I got was by dropping the forks 2” through the yokes Bridgestone BTs and increased tyre pressure to high 30s PSI.
After I sold it a friend confessed that despite being a more skilled and experienced rider he had never felt entirely confident in his 90s EV and bought a newer one which is great.

Thankyou for the replies. Whitelining is much improved with 2.4bar front and 2.9rear so I think it is just worn tyres of an unknown vintage. It did its job doing the Guzzi ride behind the hearse earlier this week, so now its back to getting it sorted over winter. I was surprised to notice the front tyre is mounted backwards but then that is what it says in the handbook ( although when the tyre says front only I don’t see how that can be correct ). Up until this hiccup I feel the handling was excellent for what it is.

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Have you checked the steering damper? Over tight can give you this apparent problem.

So can over slack, self loosening damper mounting brackets and bolts. Depends on the severity and nature of the symptoms.

If as you say, after 280 miles 2 up (at least one stop on that tank) you ‘could’ be experiencing the effects of rearward weight shift or tired and over tense arms and shoulders.

In the end there is a trade off between over damping the steering and living with the odd shake of the bars.

Come to think of it, are the bars standard?

Finally, and this is extreme, check the front frame both sides just below the steering head lugs. If you find what may only appear to be a paint scratch try to catch it with your fingernail. If it catches then dig deeper. I have known a frame to crack on both tubes for 75% of their circumference right through to the bore. This had been caused by PO having a sidecar and not checking engine & frame bolt tightness regularly. It meant a new frame for me.

Still have my Cali. Much preferred to later models.

Hmmm. Might get a ride in tomorrow if it isn’t too cold. :wink:

Good luck.

PS. Just read your response about front tyre fitted backwards. That only applies to ancient front or back rubber. Thought that had disappeared with the Ark. Modern tyres designated front or back should be fitted with the correct direction arrow. If in doubt check with the tyre manufacturer. Could be catastrophic if you have to emergency stop. (Is the 02 EV linked or conventional braking?)

Cheers Stoneman. Everything standard and linked brakes. I did a local testride a few times after the ride when it started and it was still there. That was my thoughts about the front tyre direction, I didn’t think they have made front&back compatible tyres for many many years. I think when club racing back in the 80’s we turned tyres around and I did have one start to peel back, so its definitely not a good idea, can’t think why a tyre fitter would do that. Possible factor in the whitelineing with the unexpected wear pattern.

Nothing has changed in the steering damper setup in the 2000 miles but I will check. I briefly had a LMIII many many years ago and on the one big ride I did home could hardly steer it … the steering damper was turned up to the max. ( Sadly I sold it in a temper as a lovely Alpino I had done up for my wife to ride classics together lasted 4 miles before she stopped and burst into tears saying she hated it, but the LM was always one I wished hadn’t got away ).

Anyway new tyres to be fitted this winter - just got to work out should it be 150 rear as per manual or stick with 140, which was fine. I will definitely check for cracks under and around the steering head though just in case, thanks for the advice.

So I got a nice (dry) ride in; even if a bit chilly.

I have Metzeler’s Roadtec 01 which I rate highly. (

Prior to that I used Michelin which were OK, but getting a bit dated.

Before that I used the old-faithful Bridgestone BT45’s, but they are ancient tech. They were OK, but tended to develop odd tread patterns when worn.

Rear tyre sizes - will 150 clear the swing-arm? A bit tight for my Cali (1100i aka pre-EV).

My current Cali - 1st Reg 2001, but manufactured in 1997 when the model changed to yours. Must have been stuck in dealer stock until then. I suspect that it is a end-of-line parts bin special because of that.

As I recall yours had wider fork braces and thicker fork legs. Different shaft arrangement. I did have a 2005 Stone, but my wife preferred the ride on the 1100i.

Nice engine in the Stone (1100 hydraulic tapper model). Higher gearing and later injection. Has your EV got conventional or hydraulic tappets?

That gives me another thought. If the cylinders/throttles are not properly balanced you can experience strange handling effects when revving or shutting off - often handelbar shake. You don’t descibe the actual “whitelining” symptoms.

Hi there.

I tried whitelining as a catchall for suddenly lurching left/right ( but not sending the bike off direction ) when the surface has an in-line irregularity ( such as a white line thats really thick ). Doing a hip snake swivel means its not nice, but not a problem :smiley: More often a long stretch of slumped surface and you catch the edge, or the horrid tarmac laid full of grooves running along the road are the issue.

Yes my EV has thicker adjustable forks and I think a wider swing arm. It has manual tappet adjustment and the easier gearbox ( supposedly ) with higher gearing. It has the spokes running out to an outer flange to make them tubeless. Thicker handlebars too. With preload and damping adjustable Hagons, I find the handling excellent TBH over the preceeding 1900 miles.

Always been a metzeler man, Z8 interacts do everything I need on our UK roads ( and sportecs handle everything else just fine). Weirdly I wasn’t so keen on the 01 SE’s I had on an SX. BT45’s were great in their day but I am reading on this forum that with the Cali they can suffer wear issues, so I may switch.

Again thanks for providing an additional perspective. I find it easy to get sucked into the solution I think it is and miss the blindingly obvious.

Apologies to repost this but found something odd. Took the shocks to Hagon this morning and turns out they are 30mm too short and built with a light spring weight and appropriate damping. Explains why it only felt right ( and stopped grinding the centre stand ) with the damping and preload on max, and then only one up. We assumed they were built for a someone lighter with a short inside leg. Maybe that would contribute to the lurching that set in with low front pressure and a worn front BT46 when two up, rather than the more normal weave or steering wobble when the tyres wear ( and/or the trail is short ).

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