Hydraulic Valves

Hello, Just added another Moto Guzzi to my collection. A very nice Califonia Stone 2003 12000mls, panniers and large and small screen. A lot less than £3000 grand.Rode it back from Scotland where it was located, 230 miles from home. Runs beautifully. However not sure what engine oil to use as Hydraulic valve models use a different oil to standard valve followers. A believe the hydraulic valve needs 5w-40 and the other type use 10w-60. How do I found out if my bike has or has not Hydraulic valves. By the way the previous owner had it serviced at a shop so does not know.


guzzijack2013-05-05 14:30:56

All those cali emgines will run fine on 5/40, so if in doubt.I thought they normally had Hydro written on the side panels?

Look at Opie Oils they have good deals on oils and sundeires, Members DO get a discount and they also have a brill advice/help dept

They run on water now? Should be P.I. on the documentaion somewhere - Punterie Idrauliche = Hydraulic Tappets.If really lucky then there might be an oval Guzzi Eagle badge on the tank with ‘Valvole Idrauliche’ on it.

guzzijack2013-05-05 15:41:25

" How do I find out if my bike has or has not Hydraulic valves."

I recently had to check my 2005 Cali stone to find out if hydro or not and was told by Twiggers that the way to make sure you know for certain is to take off rocker covers and take a close look at the adjuster and lock nuts on the tappets. On a hydro there is a lock nut but no way to wind the adjuster up or down DO NOT TOUCH THE LOCK NUT on a hydro bike. When there set up in factory the adjuster comes with a security type screw head which is broken off after the tappets have been adjusted for the first and last time, as from then on the tappets on hydro bikes are self adjusting. So if you can put a small spanner (from memory about 6mm) on top of the adjuster it will be a non hydro bike. I hope this is clear. I was also told that if the engine is the crinkle finish matt black (not satin or smooth) it is unlikely to be a hydro. They were very helpful at Twiggers so I ordered all my servicing parts from them at the same time. Mine was not hydro. By all accounts the hydro is good engine. Hope this helps

Yeah was in Twiggers myself yesterday, real nice folks there. I tend to do my own servicing BUt DO get service items, MOT and tyres as they are very compeditive on tyres.

Small family businesses have their quirks, like the bikes, but I much prefer a personal touch as opposed to the souless emporiums you walk into and no one even speaks to you.

I decided to take the rocker cover off to find out. Was rather glad to find that it has old style adjustable tappets. Now I know that, it oil choice time. The book says 20w-50. Guzzi now say use 10w-60 in all modern Guzzis. That will basically cover the bikes need in the frozen north of Canada to the tropics. Shell Helix Ultra racing meets the bill. However this is well over the top in the UK. Some dealers put in Motorcycle specific 10w-40 semi or full synthetic. I intend to put in Shell Helix ultra 15w-50 full synthetic as I can get it for a good price. My supplier reckons 10w-40 semi synthetic ester based motocycle specific oil will be ok. Any ideas from current 1100 owners?

No need for a fully synthetic oil in a Cali EV with manually adjustable tappets.In my EV I use Morris V-Twin 20W-50. http://www.morrislubricants.co.uk/scripts/prodview.asp?idcat=100&idProduct=171The Centauro gets their Super Sport V-Twin 10W-50 http://www.morrislubricants.co.uk/scripts/prodview.asp?idcat=100&idProduct=170I buy my oils from a local motor factors and get a very good deal by buying in quantity, (not bulk).

guzzijack2013-05-06 21:47:47

Just a thought though the only reason the Hydraulic valve models used 5w-40 was because on cold starts the oil need to flow to the hydraulic tappets/followers so that play was quickly taken up. However the hot side of the oil was ok apparently being 40 grade. The rest of the engine was of the same design. So in this respect why is it not appropriate to use a 5w-40 or 10w-40 in a non hydraulic models as the hot side of the range is as before. If Guzzi now state that a 50 grade even 60 grade oil is required for the hot end.Would mean that the original oil for the hydraulic valve models was under specified. Did they make a mistake? By the way I can get Shell helix 15w-50 full synthetic much cheaper (£5.56 per Litre-not in quantity either) than Morris V Twin 20w-50 which is a base mineral oil. The best price I found for the Morris stuff was just over £7.00 per Litre.

If we read through the analysis of the early PI engine problems by Dave Richardson of Guzziology fame you come across this:"We experimented with other oil issues as well. We
substituted the higher-volume Centauro oil pump into
one Stone, later hearing that the factory said this wasn’t a solution. That
bike still runs without problem, but the absence of a subsequent failure
doesn’t prove this to be a solution. Oh well, it was fun to experiment! We also
tested higher-viscosity 20W-50 oil for running pressure. We found a significant
increase at idle but we didn’t know what problems we might be introducing with
the more viscous oil and we didn’t know if our ‘improvement’ was useful or not.
We finally decided to stick with Guzzi’s firm
recommendation of 5W-40."Good enough for me! Ref. the mineral v synthetic debate. First off, don’t forget that some of the more modern Guzzi engines are oil/air cooled and are designed from the off for oils now available. That said, I’m a firm believer that the earlier big block engines fitted to the Tonti framed models, including the majority of Californias do not require fully synthetic oils - quite often the reverse in fact as modern ‘thin & slippery’ oils can play havoc with seals, (several forum members have reported instances where unexplained leaks suddenly go away with a change back to mineral or semi-synth oils), - and furthermore that the ‘old skool’ totally air-cooled engine design with rockers and followers is best suited to the original spec 20W-50 multigrade oil, (or a very close alternative with an ersatz ZDDP component).That’s why I go for the Morris V-Twin motorcycle oils but as with everything, much is down to personal choice and of course YMMV.
guzzijack2013-05-07 08:35:43

I have always used 10w40.The current reference to “modern” Guzzis and 10w60 is a reference to the new range, B1100, Norge etc, which are all fitted with cats and run far hotter than the older Cali engines. Thus they need a much higher hot rating.10w40 is probably better than 20w50 in that it will flow better for a cold start. 5w40 is just more expensive.20w50 might well have been specified back in the 80s as that was the only grade available then.
Brian UK2013-05-07 09:13:06

Thanks for that Brian. I always thought that in our climate 10w-40 does the job perfectly well in most normal engines. My supplier ‘Smith and Allan’ have an excellent spec motorcycle specific 10w-40 semi synthetic esther based oil for a low price. Have a look at the web site and E bay. Postage is free and next day delivery is normal-Try them.

DO NOT use fully synthetic on the Cali type engine, it is not only wasted BUt you may find it gets past seals and really does no good in those type of bikes. EVEN the V11 Le mans is still reccomended 20/50 in the UK, I tend to use 10/40 semi synth in that one BUT the V1000 Halfords Blue can has seen it to 250,000 miles.

When I did use some semi synthetic oil it leaked from all over the place scared me to death.

With Guzzis do NOT make the mistake of going too technical they are ol’ tractors and work best with OEM reccomendations. Of course if you are unsure the very best way to find out is to call your nearest dealership and ASK what THEY use???

That way you can’t go out of any sort of warranty problems.

The BEVEL box always should have some molyslip added and the Gearbox works well with an additive as well as the OEM reccomended oil.

Decent additives are

Supaslip …it is ptfe based

Morreys gear oil additive

With some older bikes Molyslip BUT some newer ones have different bearings so check before you use.

Trouble is, some dealerships are known to use 10w40 in the new models, “because that’s what they have always used on Guzzis”.