Rear tyre for 1995 Cali III

I am hopefully about to buy a 1995 Cali III which needs a replacement rear tyre.

Pleas could someone tell me what specification for the tyre and which manufacturer offers the best value ?


Have you got the owner manual? ‘Spec’ for your machine should be as per the book - you can find them online, for free, in a variety of places. One example here: Owner's manuals / rider's handbooks / use and maintenance manuals - Tonti frames - Moto Guzzi - Topics - Gregory Bender

Having said that, 120/90 V18 seems to be a common size for (the rear of) the big Cali’s. Some of the tyre sites, too, will give you the ‘right tyre’ (from their range) for your machine.

Asking for “best value” is pretty subjective. How are you going to ride? Lots of sraight road miles? Touring, Two up, with luggage? Solo, sedately or enthusiastically? Wear will vary greatly according to usage, the weight of the load, the style of riding, adherence to recommended pressures, and etc.

BT46’s are widely popular with owners of ‘Tonti’ Guzzis (yours is a Tonti-framed Guzzi), judging by the responses when this question is asked (quite frequently, in the forums). There are other brands to choose from, but at the end of the day, it might come down to what tyres are available to the fitter (be that you, or a motorcycle garage). Hope this helps a little.

edit: you’ll see that we’ve added a couple of tag/keywords to your opening post, one being “tyres” - click on that tag/keyword and you should find other conversations on the same subject which, whilst not necessarily for a Cali III, might prove helpful reading for you.

Hi I am running Metzerler roadtec 01,s on mine seam to suit it!- cornering still good but a lot less tracking on white lines tar banding etc! have heard good things about bt46,s as well!
Imho opinion id steer clear of avons of any kind!, myself and some friends have had issues over the last few years with the tyres sidewalls and tread groves cracking up as though the tyres are drying out and loosing there oil content causing a need for replacement far before they are worn out tread wise smacks of skimping on the compounds to make more profit! lastly always mention to your supplier when you purchase that you want the most recently manufactured product they can supply ( im sure you know all tyres have a manufacturing code stamped into the sidewall showing month and year of production) i always insist that if its more that 8 months old i will reject it! as that a significant percentage of its life sitting in a warehouse unused and they often try to pass you off with old unsold stock! happens most often when an old tyre model has been updated and re-named bt45 to bt46 for example!
As always buy the best you can afford and try to avoid some of the low-budget offerings out there you might pay an extra £50 quid but your trusting your life and wellbeing to those little hoops of rubber!!! not a place to be economising!!
best of luck and enjoy the bike they are GREAT!.

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Thank you both for your guidance . I have now completed my buy and hope to get the bike home next week.( Thanks to Steveras’ enthusiastic comment.

Based on your suggestions, I will probably go for Bridgestone or Metzler.

Will post indue course once I have the bike home with the new tyres

Thank you all for your welcome back

North of Scotland

Your welcome Tom!
Your going to love the cali up there in gods best scenery both the bike and the country have SOUL! enjoy it!.

I’m sure we will have fun together



Hi Tom flipping lovely mate! .
Others might differ but i BLOODY LOVE THE COLOUR!
personally id enter the top box into a hurling competition over a nearby hedge
I ride without the screen cause i cant see through it in the rain or at night keep us informed about how your getting on!
PS dont forget to REV IT they c an lug but respond well to “pressing on a bit”
like mi said before

Dear Steverias,

I agree with you about the top box!! Not sure about the screen - will let you knowhow I get on once the bike is home with me

( The Highland canary !!!)

That colour works for me too! Enjoy It! :+1:

Hi Caithness-Tom and others looking,

Have jumped onto this thread (re tyres) as I’m not sure how or where to post a new one, and this one looks pretty appropriate, …
Have myself a 1993 Cali 3 that is now impersonating a cafe racer … (done before my owning) and booted with standard spec (110/90 V18 Front & 120/90 V18 Rears) Pirelli ‘Speed Demons’ on the usual alloys (Fr: 18MT 2.50 H2 & Rr: 18 MT 3.00 H2) …
So here’s the issues for me, … and hoping someone’s got a good idea about what replace them with.
The tyres are just over 5 years old (going by the date stamp) … with still a half decent tread left … but went out for a (100ml) fine dry weather blast the other day, … and ended up scaring the bejesus out of myself as I found the back end was going all over the place as if there was no grip at all at all !! … Immediately garaged and checked pressures (34 Fr / 38 Rr) … all good still … so crept back to local menders for their opinion on bearings, swinging arms, alignment etc … to find nothing seriously amiss !?.. (admittedly, the road surface up to Bideford is notoriously atrocious I found out later) … but am left thinking that I’ve got to replace the tyres for something with some better grip ??
So, anyone got any opinions on any better tyres ??

I know that it’s a pretty open question, … but here’s where I’m at so far …

Have got myself set on some Metzelers, (after lots of recommendations) … but can only seem to find 110/90’s for the 18" front … and they don’t seem to do a 120/90 for the 18" rear ?? … but they do do an 18" 130/90 !! …

So the crunch question is: … does anyone know if I can get a 130/90 shoehorned in given that there’s not a lot of room between tyre and drive shaft swinging arm. ??? … and is this a good idea or not?
Any help appreciated .

When I bought my bike, the rear tyre was rubbing. I arranged for it to be replaced - with a Bridgestone 130/80/17 road rider 2.

Not sure how it will feel on the road as the bike only came home Saturday and I still have to work out how to ride it safely !!


I posted a tyre guide for calis in another thread which I had discovered on a website a few years ago. it’s quite in depth and includes info on sizes.

California Vintage Tyre recommendations - #3 by sidthedid

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Ref, tyre grip. Few years back, pushing my bike into the garage after a wet day, seeing the very narrow witness mark contact on the garage floor, was an eye opener!