Guzzi Cali Cafe - Build Thread

Spent the afternoon making the seat mounts, so they are done except for a couple of holes that need drilling that I had to mark when the seat was back on the bike.. all straightforward. But cutting back the lower edge of the seat hump was tricky. I spent a long time trying to mark where to cut using 3M pinstriping tape, it probably isn't perfectly symmetrical side to side, but its close.
That done, I wasn't sure how to cut it back... hacksaw, belt sander, cutting disc, or just file it back? In the end we found using an old pair of tin snips got us close, then finished off with 60 grade wet n dry. Still a little more to take off, but again I stopped so I could take the seat home and eyeball it on the bike.

Pretty happy with it so far, but I think the front edge of the seat where it meets the rounded back of the tank still needs more work. I think I'll play around CAD.. Cardboard Aided Design again, and have a pair of filler pieces welded into that area.


  • misc 013.JPG
    misc 013.JPG
    1.9 MB · Views: 354
  • misc 014.JPG
    misc 014.JPG
    1,008 KB · Views: 351
dwysywd said:
Wow. Just read this top to bottom. Mesmerizing. Can wait to see the final!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Cheers, I want to see it finished too ! Its by far my longest running project. Fortunately I have other bikes to ride in the meantime.
Finished the seat mounts and decided to round off the front of the seat to match the profile of the rear of the tank. That helps to minimise the gap between the two, but not sure if that's enough. Fingers crossed when its upholstered it wont be so noticeable from the side..

You can see the work involved on YT here


  • guzziseat012a.JPG
    5.7 MB · Views: 362
While my main bike project was awaiting parts, I decided to go poke the Guzzi with a stick and do a bit more work on it. Bought some Motogadget handlebar switches which will work well with the M-Unit I'd fitted already, only to find an unusual problem stopped me in my tracks. The wiring for the switches has to go through the bars, which means they need to be drilled. So I started drilling, and drilling and drilling, only to realise that the clip on bars were solid, which meant I couldn't fit my new expensive switches.

But no, it was cheaper to change the clip ons than look for other switchgear, and that's what I did. Only problem was the only ones I could find to fit the 40mm forks were a naff gold colour. I removed the gold anodising using caustic soda in water. Works surprisingly well..
Last edited:
Despite spending a fair amount of time making the alloy seat unit, I had to admit it didn't look quite right on the bike. The main problem was that to gain enough clearance above the tyre, I had to cut the rear of the seat back too much, which made it look much worse than when we first made it from my cardboard template. So I knew it couldn't stay on the bike, but what else to fit in its place that would look 'right'?

Well, as some of you may know, I post my builds on youtube, and in the last video about the Guzzi, I mentioned that I was looking for a new seat unit that would suite the bike. I was surprised when a viewer named Bill contacted me to say he had just the thing I needed.. I handmade alloy seat unit made by John Williams of The Tank Shop, which was made to fit a Guzzi just like mine. Bill had decided on a change of plan for his Guzzi, and so the seat unit was surplus to requirements. Did I want it? You bet I did, and it arrived in a large box today. It came complete with a separate seat base which I'll need to get upholstered, and I'll have to sort out its mounts etc, but it looks much better than my homemade version. Sadly the polished alloy finish will have to be painted, along with the rest of the bodywork when I'm happy with the look of the bike. Not sure what colour scheme to go for, but given the sloth like pace of this build, I'll no doubt have a lot of time to think about that..

Very nice. Go Bill! it's sad to paint that but unless you did a fancy polished alloy tank too it doesn't look right with a painted tank and shiny seat.
Very nice. Go Bill! it's sad to paint that but unless you did a fancy polished alloy tank too it doesn't look right with a painted tank and shiny seat.
The tank was polished alloy too, but its too delicate, so I painted it... here's how it looked when new and shine
rollout 007.JPG
get it chromed then LOL. I hear you, there is no way I could have a bike with all polished alloy. Just a few bits can be too much work to keep shiny, especially if you actually ride it.
I've heard of self etching clearcoat, which might work. But either way, I much prefer painted bodywork to polished alloy, whether bare or clear coated.
Surprised this package arrived today, given the current situation. Hagon Nitro shocks made for me by Hagon with the length and spring rate that would suite the bike. They have adjustable pre-load and damping, and are polished stainless steel. I chose to have the springs powder coated black, and the alloy parts anodised silver (there are a few different options)..

The body and spring are much fatter than a typical shock, something to bare in mind when fitting to an old bike. In my case I knew there could be a problem having talked to Hagon, but I just needed a slightly longer spacer to move the silencer out a few mm. You can see the difference between the YSS shocks I originally fitted and these in the photo below.


Despite the current lockdown, a couple of parts arrived this week for the Guzzi. First an aftermarket front guard, originally intended for a Triumph T100. It caught my eye as it was wide enough to cover the 18 / 110 tyre (unlike most classic guards I see), and sure enough it fits the tyre well. The only problem is that its been predrilled, and the four holes are slightly too far apart to mount the guard to the homemade billet fork brace. I'll probably need to make a wider brace to match the guard.

The second part to arrive was a Lemans MK1 cockpit fairing (still need to buy a screen), which by chance was ab exact colour match to the tank, though both will be repainted soon. I was surprised how low the headlight had to be on the forks to fit the fairing, which left a big cap between the back of the headlight and the instruments. Once I fit a screen, it may not look so bad, will have to wait and see.

The problem is due to the original Lemans instrument pod being very large and bulky, which takes up the room behind the headlight. While the small digital speedo and idiot lights fitted to my bike leave a lot of empty space instead. If it still looks odd with the screen in place, then I could make a new mounting bracket for the instruments which moves then down closer to the back of the headlight...

Took me a while, but I just realized what you have here. A couple brothers local to me both have Guzzi Cali's and bring them by my shop now and again to work on stuff. Their Guzzis are some special edition Californias, but light and day different than what you have here- total bagged cruiser bikes. I'm going to have to read through this thread to even understand what is going on. LOL
Top Bottom