Valve Clearances


I decided to do carb balancing on my V7 before reloading a new fuel map using GuzziDiag, and I was advised to check the valve clearances first.

So I did that at the weekend, but if anything I found the clearances smaller than they should be so adjusted them to the spec in the manual (0.10mm inlet, 0.15mm exhaust) - and now the tappets sound much louder than before! Have I done something wrong?? Are the tappets supposed to sound quite so loud on a Guzzi??

Any advice gratefully received!


Yes, if you can’t hear the tappets you have a problem! Better a larger gap that will take up as the heat gets into the engine and the components in the valve train expand taking up the gap, than to have the gap too small and then the potential of valve damage because they haven’t seated properly.

If it rattles it’s a Guzzi! :smiley:

I remember trying to get the ones on my Spada quiet, failing miserably then someone told me sorry that’s normal I’m afraid.

I believe the new models have smaller clearances than the early ones as an attempt to reduce mechanical noise.


On my 2011 V7 Classic the book clearances are 0.15 inlet and 0.2 exhaust. The factory set them a bit tighter for USA to meet some drive-by noise regulation nonsense.
On my old T3 California I had 0.2 inlet and 0.25 exhaust.
They should be a bit “noisy”.

Hi David,

I noted that the 2011 manual states 0.15 and 0.2mm, but the 2008-9 manual states 0.10 and 0.15mm, so I went with those figures for my 2010 model.


Thanks to everyone for their replies,

That certainly makes me feel better - i.e. that I haven’t completely botched it up!

Best Wishes,

That was it.

I use a method shown in Gambalunga many many years ago known as ICEO, inlet closing, exhaust opening as it is not unknown to use the wrong stroke when using TDC to set tappets.
Here is how to check it
Remove the rocker covers and plugs and put the bike in top gear. Roll the bike forwards until an exhaust valve just starts to open. Without moving the bike, set the inlet tappet on the same side. Next roll the bike back till the inlet valve just starts to open. Now set the exhaust tappet for that same cylinder
Then repeat for the other side.
As for clearance, .2 inlet and .25 exhaust is the recommendation in Guzziology.
If you then check at TDC, the clearance tends to be a tiny bit tighter by a couple of thou so make them a tad loose rather than tight on the feeler gauge.
Note this is for the big block, not small block motor.