T3 California Brake Pedal

I have recently acquired a fairly standard example of a T3 California. It retains the linked brakes (which I like). The placing of the brake pedal feels unnatural. Is there a common modification employed by other users? I can’t imagine I am the only who thinks the initial use of the brake pedal is awkward. Or do you simply get used to it?

I would be interested to hear others opinions.

Many thanks.

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i can only speak for myself, but I got used to it.

Two ‘tricks’ which you may know of already:

  • the little ‘nubbin’ at the rear of the pedal assembly can be used a) to keep your foot located ready to brake when cruising along - just keep this gently pressed against (roughly) your ankle bone, and b) rest your heel on the same projection when actually braking, i.e. don’t just put the forward part of your foot on the pedal when braking.

Personally, I found the (single disc) front brake (plus engine braking) more than adequate for most general ‘slowing’ and tended to use the ‘foot brake’ only for coming to a full stop, or popped my foot up onto it (see earlier) when I was anticipating the potential need. Apparently, I learned, some linked brake riders actually neglect to use the ‘front brake’ and it seizes. I found it to be a perfectly good brake in its own right.

Different riding style. Me, I “slowed down” a lot on the Cali, and everything gradually seemed right.

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Hi Barry, that’s brilliant! I hadn’t noticed the ‘nubbin’ before - it makes all the difference.

The front brake alone on this one is completely ineffective. I suspect that it has the wrong master cylinder. The linked brakes work wonderfully.

Many thanks for your input.


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Yup. It was a really good tip that someone offered to me when I first got my CaliT3.

Similarly, advised to get used to the gear shift by adjusting the pedal so you can ‘toe up’ and gradually adjust.

Front brake ineffective? There’s a mission for you. Mine came delinked and with the wrong Front MCyl - can’t remember exactly which what off the top off my head, but Gutsibits sorted me out. Well worth doing - maybe hose (I used HEL lines) and (of course) check the pads.

Photo the mcyl and post here if you want help with that. If Brembo, it should have a partno. (raised digits?) on it somewhere.

Screen fitted? Major tip for buffetting - space it forward. Counterintuitive, I know. Again a tip that someone kindly gave to me.

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Someone used to make a replacement lever known as the "Advanced " lever for the Cali. It puts the pedal just above the footboard at the front. I think the guy was from America and has since passed on so they are no longer available. Some details can be found here.

The front brake on my Cali 3 is superb, I don’t get on with the funny pedal so use this most of the time. Your’s should be able to be improved with a bit of work.

Assuming there are no faults with the front system, they do tend to feel a bit wooden. I did the modification recommended in Guzziology, which was to fit a smaller master cylinder. For some reason, Guzzi didn’t get the ratio correct for a single calliper.


Hi Ian, thank you for your input. I suspect that the front brake master cylinder has been replaced with the wrong part. When I get a chance I intend to post more details of the part fitted in here and get some opinions. It seems much larger than I remember on my old Spada.


Hi Don, I seem to remember having one of those in my old Spada when it went through it’s ‘Cali’ phase!

Unfortunately, I sold it many years ago with all the spares :roll_eyes:.

I think my Cali has the wrong master cylinder fitted - it seems much too large,


Hi Barry, May I ask why it is advisable to use the te-only part of the gear change lever?

I will post a picture/details if the incumbent master cylinder - it looks much too large.

Any chance of a photo to illustrate how you have spaced your screen forward please?

Many thanks for these golden nuggets!


spacers - these were just some random smth smths that i had kicking about, but one at each mounting point. mine are about 1.5cm deep (see image) - and they worked so i didn’t experiment further. ebay for “spacers”? you’ll need longer screen mounting bolts - i used allen heads with flush washers, as they looked neater from the screen side.

toe up shifting? this was just some advice I was given to get used to the heel-toe shift. some ppl take to it OK, others don’t. took me a while to find the lever part under my heel but no big drama. again, “slowing down” helped… if you’ve already cracked the heel-toe, ignore this

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Hi Steve
T3 Cali was fitted with a ‘round reservoir’ PS12 Master Cylinder as in the picture. The size is stamped in small numbers, underneath, just behind the fulcrum pin where my finger is pointing. Ignore the ‘12G4’ Its the ‘12’ you are interested is. a PS15 will have 15 stamped and a PS11 will have 11 stamped Kinda self explanitary really!

Hope this helps, Nik

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The company that made the advanced brake pedal is long since gone i advertised for one a couple of years ago and got no replys at all chances of finding one virtually nill i think! shame it was a good idea and a help to those that could not adapt!


Hi Barry, the spacers presumably only apply to the top fixings on the screen, effectively making it more upright?

If I applied spacers to the bottom fixings, it looks like the screen would interfere with the indicators.


nope. as you should be able to see from the image, there’s a spacer at top and bottom, equally on each side. indicators not fouled.

Hi Nik, that’s really helpful - thank you.

Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a number near the fulcrum pin on my cylinder.

Can you tell me what information I would need to order a replacement cylinder if the correct type (I.e. for a single disc, please?


New master cylinder required, I think, Don :frowning:

My Cali 3 has a later Brembo master cylinder & it works great, plenty of feel to the action compared to my Spada that has the same as yours. Unfortunately i cant see what size it is. Possibly 12mm?

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This is an interesting thread to me, I am a recent T3 Cali owner with 4 rides under my belt so far. The bike has been sat unused for 20 years and hence does need some TLC. The screen was so bad at buffeting that I put the old broken one back on and cut 4 or 5 inches off the top of it, I haven’t tried it yet because the front brake calliper sprung a leak and then the master cylinder packed up too. From this, I have learnt that the master cylinder looks like the ones in the photos above. It has a piston of 13 mm and about 37 mm long which I am told is correct for a single disc operation, whereas 15 or 16 mil is what would be expected for twin disc operation. Gutsybits have a rebuild kit for these apparently.
I was tempted to try some of those little bolt on screen things to see if that would help with the buffeting, anyone tried them? I am 6’3 and find that I can’t see at about 65mph.
I do find riding the Cali an odd experience at the moment, mostly the linked brakes and unusual rear brake pedal.

I suspect that I have a 15mm master in the front brake of mine - hence it’s ineffectiveness.

I’ve ridden mine only a couple of times and agree that it’s an acquired taste. Personally, I think it’s worth persisting with.

The advice regarding the brake pedal ‘nubbin’ worked well for me. Though I think I will be using the front brake more when it is repaired.

See above the comments regarding the screen (spacers, etc). I’m 6 feet and find it works better at a lower setting. I don’t think it will ever provide a bubble of still air though. There is still some buffeting.
Good luck with your bike,

Steve, im guessing from the picture you sent, but your M/Cyl looks very new so maybe an aftermarket one which i know are available, i have them on the shelf, and probably a PS15 hence the inaffectiveness. If you want the original style PS12 (Part No: 28660178) available aftermarket. Before anybody whines about this being ‘aftermarket’ they are made to Brembo specs and you can fit Brembo rebuild kits to them. Also i have one on my own bike!
The later PS12 as fitted to Don’s Cali 3 (Part No: 17660253) is a cheaper option.

Uploaded some more pictures so you can see that being Italian, things are not always the same!!!