California EV Fork Oil Change

I’ve owned the Cali EV for 3 years now and don’t know the previous maintenance history.  So it was time to replace the front fork oil.  Reading the manual, it was apparent that this wasn’t as straight forward as doing the forks on my Breva 1100 or my previous Metal Stone.  Eventually, I decided to follow the procedure outlined by Bob Schantz in the Guzzitech archive.

First off, removed the windscreen, front wheel and mudguard.  I jacked the bike up under the sump and let her sit there.  I unwound the fork adjusters (at the handlebar) and kept count of how many turns — 15 and 18.  I wrote them down.  I don’t know if it was necessary to do this but it couldn’t hurt I figured.

Undid all the fork pinch screws and slid the forks down.  I used a screw driver to pry the fork clamps open.  Part way down, I re-tightened a pinch screw and undid the fork cap with a crescent.  The manual says to place the fork in a vice for this but I don’t like doing that.  The cap isn’t very tight anyway.

fork collage

I undid the cap, which remains attached to the rod; unlike the Breva and Stone it’s not spring-loaded.  I poured the old oil out which initially came out clean but the last third or so was quite dirty.


I pumped the forks a few times to extract more oil then left them overnight to drain — more came out.

Last year I’d saved a plastic mojito bottle which had an interesting spout.  This proved ideal for pouring the fork oil into the opening at the top of the strut.  I measured out 485ml and poured it into the mojito bottle.  I have a bit of a jaundiced view of this exacting measurement – it’s impossible to know how much oil is left coating the innards of the fork and the container I’m using.  Why didn’t Guzzi just make it 15ml more to 500ml?  I pumped the forks up and down occasionally.

oil collage

I screwed the caps back on and slid the forks up into the clamps, stopping momentarily to secure a pinch screw and tighten the cap with the crescent, taking care not to overtighten and damage the O-ring seal.  Using a screwdriver to prise open the clamps occasionally, I twisted and turned the forks up into position.

At this stage, I didn’t tighten the clamps.  I put the wheel, axle and mudguard back on then tightened the clamp screws.  Seemed logical to me…but who knows?  Replaced the brakes and pumped brake lever.  Put 15 turns onto each of the fork adjusters.

Went for a fang.  I felt that there was a detectable improvement in the front forks but perhaps not as much as I’d felt when I did the Metal Stone years ago.  Anyway, another job out of the way and a pleasant way to spend a few hours.


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2 responses to “California EV Fork Oil Change

  1. Jeez Mackers I’ll have to come up your war and get some mechanic lessons from you

  2. You’re welcome any time, Mick. Sunny and calm up here. We’re off on a 3-day swing through southern NSW on Friday, meeting up with the NSW Guzzisti on Saturday.

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