Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Necessary Stella Updates

The Moto Guzzi Stelvio was introduced in late 2007 as a new model for the 2008 model year.  It was updated in 2012 to its current configuration.  After purchasing Stella, a ton of folks worldwide named their Stelvio Stella, I started reading the Guzzi forums.  That is when I started finding out about known issues that Mother Guzzi has known about for years, but even in the 2016 model year, reportedly the last, haven’t been corrected.  With a new, old stock 2013 I have decided to start correcting those known issues before any can become a problem.

Driving lights are known to short out and blow the 30 amp main fuse.  This fuse also excites the alternator, so when the fuse blows you find out when the battery goes dead.  A simple fix is to add a 10 amp inline fuse to each lamp and problem solved.  It has been written that Mother Guzzi updated the lights to address this issue, but a business owner, and frequent poster, claims he has looked at the update and nothing was changed. I took my lights apart and they are indeed different than the pictures of those that have shorted.  My lights have a fabric heat sheath covering the entire hot wire and the ground wire is so short it is hard to get the rubber boot off to look inside.

Another issues with these lights is they are mounted to the engine guard that is bolted to the engine.  This causes them to vibrate violently whenever the engine is running causing the mounts to break.  Hella doesn’t sell new brackets, only complete new sets of lights.  Some have bought new LED lights, but that costs three hundred dollars or more and brackets are still breaking.  So, I chose to relocate them for a cost of seven dollars and some garage time.  That leaves me a mounting location for a set of highway pegs later.  I also found two more missing bolts and a set of wires rubbing against a metal bracket.  All fixed now.

Driving lights up under the headlights.

Home Depot special Moto Guzzi light mounts.

The US version of the Stelvio has rearview mirrors with intergrated turn signals.  These mirrors vibrate so badly you can’t see anything behind you.  With some fine tuning and adjustment I got them to where I could see a shape behind me, but they had to be really close to even make out the color.  So, I went with the standard fairing mounted Euro turn signals and Grisso mirrors.

A dependability issue is the fuel filter.  Out of the factory Stella comes with a plastic filter that has been known to leak pressure, also to rupture for no known reason, and has been cited as a problem for low speed drive-ability issues. Being proactive I changed to a metal Wix filter that also includes two o-rings to replace the original single one.  It also replaces the plastic hose that comes in a pig tail shape with a short 5/16” gas hose.  The hardest part of this was getting the fuel pump assembly out of the tank because of the plastic pigtail.

There was no tequila, but her cloths fell off.

Naked from the other end.

I also removed the charcoal canister and related emissions crap.  That made quite a difference, combined with the filter change, in Stella's low RPM drive-ability. There are still a couple of things I need/want to update, but it is time to get some miles in as it is cooling off out here in the desert.  


  1. Good to be proactive at times, hopefully not too many variables were changed. Then again, you're really getting to know Stella so that's always a good thing.

  2. Charlie6; Changing to many variables at a time isn't conducive to knowing what worked and what didn't. So I will just ride Stella now for a while and see what really happened.

  3. Lots of changes. One potential problem may be the proximity of the turn signals to the aux lights and the headlight. A friend of mine was following me and with the aux lights on, the turn signal was completely invisible to oncoming traffic.

  4. "Moto Guzzi, turning riders into mechanics since 1922." Which is why I ride a Triumph...and want a Moto Guzzi.

  5. RichardM; I haven't checked the visibility of the turn signals yet, but I had to get the lights off of the crash bars. I hope to find something that isn't in the $$$ range or an idea that I can adapt.

    Conchscooter; I first saw a Stelvio about 2 years ago and loved it instantly. Waiting paid off as I got a great deal and the bike is as great as I had hoped.