Stelvio Cams

After reading the article in Gamba I am curious to know if the Stelvio camshaft problem has been resolved at the factory, I guess it must be by now. Also when is the cut-off date for the faulty camshafts.

Just reading the article myself, the 19th March 2012 letter from Piaggio states they were then happy with the parts being replaced under warranty while acknowledging difficulty obtaining suitable materials prior to this date.


Mid 2013 is the best we could get from Piaggio when all engines were factory fitted with roller cam followers . I had a set of the replacement (satisfactory replacement cams and followers) fitted under warranty which lasted 13000 miles. I now have roller cams and followers 3rd set in total

My simple and probably ignorant reply is that I have no confidence in the 8 valve engine,
so won’t buy one.

To put some perspective on this, are there any cases of the 8V 1200 engine NOT suffering from premature cam failure? I wonder if this is similar to the BMW rear drive failures on the R1200GS.

I’d like to know if I’m sitting on a ticking (hahah) time bomb whilst riding my Stelvio but more importantly, I’m still riding it at least until it calls time.


It seems that Piaggio may have shot themselves in the foot with this issue, and the fallout from it.Â

No wonder the likes of Triumph and BMW are so successful in this sector of the market.Â

It doesn’t sounds as though they are not a very promising secondhand buy then, certainly if they are older than mid 2013.


I know 3 members of the club who have exchanged 8 valve Stelvios for Triumph Explorers and are very happy so far.
Not good for Guzzi or the dealers.
Piaggio do not understand the idea of customer loyalty.

It’s more to do with the date of manufacture and the engine number. I’m still struggling to find examples of the big tank model that have suffered the failures of the older version but they are probably out there. Mine, I think, has the last version of the flat tappets and I don’t know of any specific failures of this version - so I’m going to ride mine like I stole it and enjoy it :slight_smile:.


Yes, Triumph showed fantastic response to the cylinder head issues on the Explorer. I was soooooo tempted by one before going for the Stelvio instead. The Explorer is a superb bike and it was a difficult decision!


I exchanged mine for a Tiger 800. Â A great bike. Â I have ridden the later Stelvio which is much improved but out of my reach financially.Â

I own a 2010 Stelvio. Funnily enough, prior top purchase in 2014, I did look up matters on MCN ansd elsewhere, there was not a mention of cam failures. I only learnt of this issue when I visited the V twin meeting in 2014. First logical thought was…Shite what the hell have I gone and bought!

Fast FWD. The rattle I had on mine earlier this year, sounded like a washing machine full of porcelain whizzing around, turned out to be the chain tensioners! Further investigation also revealed that the oil pump was fine, but there was a faulty oil seal (luigi at the factory take note), therefore causing less oil to run to the top of the engine.

I have my bike looked after by MotoCorsa, I have got to know them and trust their judgement and experience. The cams on my bike when examined were too tighty installed, the excat problem was explained to me, it was rectified, but I have not retained exactly what they meant.

What has been said is, that Faulty replacement cams have been sent out and, returned. The question is, have other, now out of business dealers been as fastidious, checking parts intently prior to installing them?

Buying any 2nd hand vehicle is a risk, I have spent a few £’s on servicing and was unlucky with warped front discs, however, the bike is in great condition, is (now) being well looked after and maintained. We shall see if and when the cams might fail and what happens.

Until then it is full steam ahead and just loving every minute riding. I recently sat on it for 600 miles in one day to South Germany, cruising at 75mph with luggage, top, sides and tank, and was still getting 50MPG! I had to calculate 3 times to believe it. I intend to keep the Stelvio.

The current line up of Guzzi’s are smart. Not to everyones taste. Me personally, I would like to see the 1400cc downsized to 1200 cc and put in a new stelvio with an aluminium frame. Smaller engine sizes would also help boost sales, and why not, downsize the 1400cc further to 750cc and 500cc, ideal for beginners to biking. I dare say that newer models with better emissions are in the planning.

I did zero research before buying mine ('09 ~ A8 Engine, 19000miles), was a bit of an impulse buy if I’m honest, most unlike me! Â :blush:

Rented one from Agostinis in Mandello last month while on Holiday on Lake Como.
Took it up to the Stelvio Pass with my Wife on the back, had such a laugh on it that when I got home I started looking at them.
Budget allowed for around £5500, got mine for £5250, less than a week after getting home!

I’m not overly worried about the Tappet issue personally, I won’t be using it for short journeys (any local trips always end up as a much longer ride anyway, it’s that sort of Bike :smiley: ).
I’ll be using high ZDDP content oil, and changing it at 5000miles.

Will be fitting an Oil Temp sensor and gauge to one of the heads as well, to see what temp the oil runs at, and ‘adjusting’ accordingly, either by insulating the Valve covers in some way, or partially blanking off the Cooler during the colder weather.

I’m going to wait until the day before mine is due to explode before changing the cams/rollers.



So you have a technically calibrated Crystal Ball then? Â :confused:

If left too long, your Oil system will be circulating microscopic particles of hardened metal, which is bad news for the rest of the engine, naturally.

Time between the coating on the Tappets failing and total ‘knackering’ (technical term) of them is a matter of a few short minutes (engine running).Â

How many flat tappet engines are still running happily? I don’t know the answer but I suspect it will be ‘the vast majority’.

I might get a more accurate answer if I consult that crystal ball of mine :slight_smile:!


Got 30,000 miles on my 2010 Stelvio! Still the original Cams etc.
I am a stickler though for having the bike serviced professionally and at the appropriate intervals. Â Â
Keeping that Service book fully stamped is important. Others may disagree.

I suspect you’re correct, that’s my slant on it too.
I was merely suggesting that ‘the day before it’s due to explode’ would be way too late for the rest of the Engine!
Apologies if it came across as a ‘swipe’ at you. Â :blush: Â

I bumped into another Stelvio owner at the recent Sywell Classic Pistons and Props event, he told me a dealer in Scotland hasn’t had any cases with Bikes they service, the common factor is they only use Morris high ZDDP content oil.

Possibly also correct tappet adjustment?

No worries - my comment was a little tongue-in-cheek :laughing: . In fact, I would like Guzzi to issue a spreadsheet listing the VIN numbers in column A and the day the engine is due to explode in column B :slight_smile:

That way, we could pre-order the parts ‘Just In Time’ :unamused: . Point taken on the ZDDP content oil too - but I really would like to know how widespread this issue is because you DO meet BMW GS owners whose final drive has not failed too :smiling_imp: :exclamation: :neutral_face:


I recently met two GS riders on a Ferry who had suffered final drive failures. They were mega peed off with BMW because they had been riding, in BMW’s mind, in ‘extreme conditions’ back of beyond, apparently BMW did not want to know,so a lot of money exchanged hands. True or not I am unable to say. On a positive note, wherever I go, the Stelvio always gets lots of positive attention, more so when fully loaded with luggage.