Fork springs, Spada 3

Hi, newby here with unrideable Spada 3, fully faired and with luggage. 1992, 30,000 miles. ( ! ) If I hit a bump while braking, ie when the forks are already a bit compressed, those forks bottom out with one helluva bang. Changed the seals and fork oil - no difference. Bought new air dampers then realised the dampers only deal with the return stroke, not the compression stroke. So decided the springs are knackered. The webmaster has suggested progressive springs but i read on the threads that a firm will make springs to the original spec. Which is best? Do both springs per fork get replaced, cos according to webmaster it’s the smaller one which fails? Oh and er, which is cheaper fix? Please explain slowly and clearly… got small brain. Cheers, Puck

The damper system in the Spada III forks works well in my experience, don’t change it. It is adjustable, and winding it up will cause the forks to almost seize up.Problem with getting springs made up to original spec is actually knowing what that spec was. The length and diameter may well be in the workshop manual, but the spring rate will not. I believe progressive springs would give a better result.

Hagon Progressive fork springs … off the shelf … reasonably priced … and a huge improvement over the originals. Worth every penny.

Just make sure you get the ones made for that model, or the Cali III which is the same. It’s not a case of one spring fits all.
It seems Hagon do not list this model. The one for the Cali EV might be the same…
Brian UK2013-08-13 15:13:39

Hi Puck,
just a thought. I have a Spada 3 and it was a pig till I sorted out the forks. Just stripped and cleaned the internals and filled correct amount of AGF, NOT fork oil. I have doubts about fork springs going weak. Mine gets ridden up and down a 1/2 mile of rough track to my place with no trouble. It’s done about 70,000 miles by the way and is 1991.
Cheers mate.petethebee2013-08-13 15:50:31

Cheers, brianuk. Tried adjusting those dampers. It made a difference but only to the return stroke. the forks still bottomed out even on the hardest setting.

Hi Lawrie thanks for reply. Already got the air dampers but haven’t fitted them yet, as my problem seems to be the springs. Supplier reckoned the added air actually goes into the fork leg rather than the damper. What pressure you running? Puck

Most springs get stiffer when compressed. I did read of someone adding a spacer to each fork leg to add more preload to the springs.But replacement progressive springs are the best way to go.When I was looking some years ago, Teo Lamers listed some, but I can’t remember who made them. At that time the guys at Corsa Italiana did not know of any alternative.

HiThe 40mm forks fitted to the Spada 3 are similar to the ones on my LM5, the damper knobs on the top of the forks do the compression damping on one fork leg and the rebound on the other although it can be difficult to tell the difference, I had some upgraded springs fitted to suit my weight and riding style and had the original dampers modded which in reality means drilling some holes in the case of the sealed damper which means you can then change the atf oil for whatever fork oil weight you fancy as the dampers then use the same oil the forks are filled with if that makes sense :/These forks do not use air as a spring.I’ve tried the FAC dampers too and they were a complete waste of time and money, no doubt others will disagree but then they can buy the ones I have lying on the shelf and prove me wrong lolSome of the later bitubo dampers can actually be taken to bits and the oil in the dampers changed if you are lucky, you can tell by the steel damper body having aluminium seal carriers screwed into the ends

Can someone help me out here? I am totally confused. The Spada 3 I have is standard. It has no air assistance like my Calli 2 has, the forks have no sealed damper unit inside like my T4 and the damping works in both directions! The oil is ATF. Apart from a few brain cells from old age, am I missing something else here?

No Pete, mine were exactly the same. I think a lot of people make assumptions that all Guzzi forks are the same which is far from true.Scroll down to page 26 of the Owner’s Manual to read for yourself.It even says specifically to ensure both legs are adjusted the same, so clearly both damper adjusters work the same.On page 21 of the Workshop Manual supplement for the SPIII, you can see the full description. It does also say the bike is equipped with NEW Moto Guzzi forks.But also, fortunately, on page 22 it gives the dimensions and weight of the springs, so it should be possible to get new ones made up to at least those specs.
Brian UK2013-08-15 14:46:46


The wheels on the SPIII are normal 18 inch. The forks do not have air valves unless some different ones to standard have been fitted.
You could take the springs out and ask a spring maker to make a pair up a bit stronger"Hi Brian. I have original hydraulic dampers fitted. Hagon said that if I bring them the springs they will make new ones cos they don’t have them off the shelf. I’ll take them the leg complete with dampers. I’ll talk to them about stronger and/ or progressive then. Thanks to all repliers, but I’m really none the wiser. The forks never gave me trouble for the first seven years, this is a problem that’s developed. They never used to bottom out like that. I’ve tried adjusting the damper knurled knob but it didn’t stop the forks bottoming out. I’ve tried adjusting the preload and it didn’t stop the forks bottoming out. I bought the FAC air shocks but haven’t fitted them yet cos I thought the dampers only deal with the rebound stroke… I’m sure Baldrick told me this last year, but now he won’t commit himself! Watch this space. Cheers, PuckP.S. Anybody know if Mark Brown, ex- Motomania, Deptford is still contactable??

Just had a thought, are the forks overfilled maybe? That can cause a fluid lock so they bottom out too early. Guess how I know ~ I once made my own Spada forks ‘solid’ by not draining properly prior to refilling, i.e. no springing at all!