Hi,I am considering the purchase of a callifornia 1100i, im contacting the club for any known problems/possible pitfalls with this model? the ons ive seen appear to be in good condition for there age, but I have only seen pictures, any information that you think might help a guzzi virgin would be appreciated. Thanks in advance, Steve.

Bulletproof motor, best bike in the world if you enjoy tinkering to make it truly yours… if it looks good it probably is, the tappets are supposed to rattle, test ride it for at least an hour if possible, and it’ll grow on you enough if it’s for you.

I bought mine off ebay without ever having rode one of these bikes.
First impressions were that I would sell it on because of the weight and the clunky tractor gearbox.
I’m glad to say that I read up on the model and followed the advice on the web that was to give it time to grow on me.
I’ve had the bike for three years now and love it, once you get used to the handling you realize that these Tonti framed bikes really hold the road surprisingly well for a big cruiser and every time I go out on it I end up with a big silly smile on my face!

The only faults I know of are that the rev counter can fail, as can the drive shaft U.J. and the U.J. carrier joint can slip inside it’s bearing in the swing arm as it’s only a tight fit.
It’s worth changing the relays for better ones.
Having said this the only fault my bike suffered from was the U.J. carrier joint slipping inside of it’s bearing, I replaced the bearing and used Loctite shaft lock to hold the carrier in place.Demon2013-09-26 17:52:40

The U/J carrier bearing problem is actually not that common.

Thanks guys,I have a couple more questions, i’ve been told that apart from cosmetics the 1100i & EV are the same bike is that correct? and the mudguards rust more than normal? anyone any thoughts on these?

find a good specialist guzzi technician to get it checked over
that way lies the true path to happiness
or contact one and find a bike for sale with some known history
also if buying one check to see if the luggage ie panniers and rack have been removed before sale, some people remove it to sell seperatly ???
runs and regular maintenance count more than a low price
make sure the sellers name is in the log book for a decent amount of time
be wary of Ebay and the descriptions given by a seller
especially if only a few images are provided

I bought mine on here from club member just after joining, in great condition with a full list with everything been done to it from new all paperwork for bills down to a nut and bolt ,loved it the first time i rode the bike 96 1100i full panniers and also bought another its that good fun same model different colour scheme 96 1100i full pannier set go for it and enjoy, i am new to guzzies but now no other make for me!!

Mine’s high-ish mileage, and I’m in the process of trading it in for a low mileage Breva 1100, which I’m excited about. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if I have another Cali in the future. I’ve never known a more satisfying and enjoyable bike to ride than my hydraulic tappet EV Touring - just returned from a 2k mile tour of the Scottish coast. Riding it has always put a grin on my face.

By the way, don’t be put off when you hear the rattle every time you pull in the clutch. It really is meant to do that!

Re mudguards: yes, you may find some paint bubbling at the tips of the front mudguard; but at least it keeps the spray off the more important bits!

Guzzi Calis will happily cover well over 100k miles , trick is change the oil on a regular basis, the filter every 2nd change. Like any bike no more or less either keep it clean/waxed and spray oil on the alloy if used in Winter they will keep going. The paint bubbles on guards is no better or worse than any other bike with painted mudguards.

The Club is the very best place for help/advice/tech/and where to get what and what fits what in the Country and will save anyone the membership fee on just good advice. There are discounts on many things from
Camping gear
Haynes Manual

have fun and ride it

I run a V11 Le Mans and a 1976 forerunner of the Cali with getting on for 300,000 miles no horror stories no major problems still use it almost every day.

Comment about tappets from, Graham UK about tappets has prompted me to ask, are the tappets on the EV, and the 1100i hydraaulic? or is it only the EV?

All of the above; and in truth my Cali should be good for many years and miles to come, especially in the hands of someone with the competence and time to deal with those niggling issues that arise with any machine when it reaches a certain age and mileage.

Over the past year for me this has included a rocker gasket, the bevel-box seal, clutch pushrod seal, a wheel bearing, three separate splits in exhaust joints, and a corroded accessory socket connector; as well as replacing bits that fell off because I hadn’t noticed they’d been shaken loose, including a speedo mounting bolt, pillion footrest plate, and two separate foot-shield bolts.

It may not help that I can’t resist piling on the miles around rough twisty roads in Scotland and the Lake District; it’s such a delight to ride that I have literally laughed out loud with the pleasure. I would certainly have one again; but, for now, I’m looking forward to getting to know the Breva.

Hydraulic tappets were only used from about 2003-2005. The early ones were subject to a recall. The later ones, like mine, were sorted out before sale. You may find this link helpful:
The rattles that I’ve worried about have all turned out to be trivial rather than tappet related, and I do think the sheer ‘grunt’ of the hydro is amazing. Nevertheless, if I was buying again, I’d probably go pre or post hydro, just because I know what a worrier I am! guzzibear2013-09-30 20:22:59

These bikes are solid, common sense prevails on the condition of any second hand bike of course but I have described my bike to others as hard to break and it is.
Problems are few that I am aware of but some production runs do seem to have used fairly crap mudguards mine included. Having said that they did go on for 10 years before I carried out a fix and in fact I still have the original rear guard just cleaned up, a small split fixed, powder coated and back on again so cannot be that bad. The rear lights started to wobble around alarmingly and I have replaced them too but again, did 10 years and 30k so how bad can they be? I use the bike all year round and don’t clean and polish as much as I should too so I am hardly a fussy owner.

I have read somewhere that the UJ can need replacing around 30k and I have just clocked up 31k so might take a look at that one day soon but all seems in order so far. If you get the bottom of the range bike like mine (metal) then the brakes could be better as only one up front. The linked brakes on the twin front disk models are brilliant, had that set up on my 1000s and it was top stuff.

I doubt you will be disappointed if you get a Cali but as others have said you need to spend a little time on the beast to synchronize with the beat of the thing. And don’t labour the engine, treat it like a laid back Le Mans not an Italian Harley and you won’t go too far wrong. Go for it.

Have a look in Bikes for sale at the top of the Forum. Roger Shufflebottom has one for sale, very reasonably priced and if he has owned it, the it should be a good one.

Thanks for the compliment! I ride more than I clean, though . . . I’d say the mudguard comments were right ( a little paint bubbling). The bike I’m selling had been standing for some time when I bought it in 2004. Replaced fuel lines (age, I imagine) and the U/J support bearing at 27,000 miles (put in a new U/J while I was in there as a precaution).

I’d not been on a big Guzzi for a while when I bought it so it took a little while to get used to (practise counter-steering) but when you do, as others say, it handles well -great fun on twisties when loaded with luggage! Runs like a train. I put Fournales rear suspension on mine - less of a faff than you might think and you don’t skin your knuckles when adjusting the air pressure.

Well I had my final ride on my beloved Cali today; she was running brilliantly and behaved impeccably. As I’m fairly poor at mending things, all the items I mentioned above were sorted by Mark at Twiggers. I rode home on the Breva; a very different bike but gorgeous - I think we’re going to get along fine!

Just to say that I’ve had a '99 EV for the past four years and wouldn’t change her for anything I can think of, except perhaps a Griso. When I bought Evie she had 8K on the clock and the guy I got her from had been a club member. I like the alloy rims, the Brembo discs and the rest of the top spec stuff. I’ve added the brake pedal conversion which I really get along with, being as how I never could get used to the original setup. Also braided hoses and powerful LED running lights; the latter mainly to avoid loading the alternator too much.

I like to keep at around 3 to 4k revs which seems to suit the engine best and allows for plenty of grunt if needed.

Love the bike and every time I come back from a ride, I find it hard to stop doing a u turn and going off for another lap.

Well i’ve gone and got myself an old cali 1100i, first ride impressions, well she is a lovely cruiser at motorway speeds, I was supprised on A roads not that hard to throw around, it will get better with practice.