Adventures in Guzziland | The Vintagent

The Avignon Motor Pageant celebrates all powered autos, and is an understated, still-growing occasion, run over 3 days, with round 50,000 guests.  Tanks, automobiles, boats, planes, vans, tractors, farm tools, and bikes; this yr (Ed- this was 2011) with a beyond-killer show of Moto Guzzis, together with treasured manufacturing unit Grand Prix machines from the Moto Guzzi Museum.  Additionally included have been manufacturing bikes from all years: a mouth-watering show of exotica from the Twenties-Fifties.  Take pleasure in these ‘classic’ iPhone2 pictures!

The gorgeous 1956 Moto Guzzi V8 Grand Prix racer of 1957, designed by Giuliano Carcano, with hand-hammered aluminum bodywork and a magnesium fairing. It was the primary DOHC V8 motorbike, though not the primary V8 motorbike – the primary was additionally Italian, however was a two-stroke V8, the 1938 Galbusera. [Paul d’Orléans]
A peek on the DOHC cam drive and a part of the throttle meeting of the V8. The 500cc motor was watercooled with all magnesium castings, and weighed solely 99lbs (in contrast, a Honda CB750 motor weighs 176lbs), whereas the entire motorbike weighed solely 326lbs. The motor produced 78hp @12k rpm, with a tremendous prime velocity of 171mph – a velocity not equalled in GP racing for an additional 20 years!  In fact, tire know-how, in addition to suspension and brake know-how, have been lower than the duty in 1955, and utilizing the complete potential of the Otto Cilindri was harmful enterprise. It was a fearsome machine, and Moto Guzzi employed the most effective racers on this planet to trip it, however by 1957, all refused to trip it once more till the defects have been sorted out! [Paul d’Orléans]
Do you know Moto Guzzi constructed an inline 4 racer in 1953? The Quattro Cilindri had a longitudinal DOHC four-cylinder, with the crankcase and cylinder barrels forged in a single lump from magnesium. Two valves/cylinder, mechanical gas injection and shaft last drive. Massive magnesium brakes, and a hand-hammered aluminum fairing with a ‘beak’, as was the style within the early Fifties. Whereas quick, the rotational forces of the crankshaft and gearbox/last drive made the dealing with disagreeable, and the Quattro Cilindri received solely 3 races in 1953, so it was shelved in favor of the Otto Cilindri V8. [Paul d’Orléans]
The entrance forks of the 1953 Quattro Cilindri used a brief leading-link as first employed on the Bicilindrica racer. There was hardly a body as such, however tubes ran over the engine to the swingarm, with the engine performing as a confused member. Ignition was by magneto, with 54hp @9000rpm, and a prime velocity of 140mph. [Paul d’Orléans]
The fantastic concord of 4 easy exhaust pipes and a finned magnesium last drive housing on the 1953 Moto Guzzi Quattro Cilindri. [Paul d’Orléans]
One final shot of the Quattro Cilindiri: the financial institution of Dell’Orto racing carbs, wanting like a racing automotive and respiratory via the hole between fairing and gas tank. [Paul d’Orléans]
Within the foreground, a late mannequin (c.1952) Moto Guzzi Bicilindrica: the superb 120deg. V-twin OHC racer constructed from 1933-1951. The Bicilindrica was one in every of Moto Guzzi’s most profitable fashions, and belied the adage that twin-cylinder racers don’t final in addition to single-cylinders for fours. The Bicilindrica received nearly each kind of race throughout its manufacturing run: the 1935 Isle of Man TT, the Italian Championship six (out of 9) occasions between 1934-49, and lots of many different races around the globe. The engine was outstanding, with a staggered crankpin that gave even firing and eradicated secondary vibration (there was no main vibration), with OHC two-valve cylinder heads: the early model used aluminum crankcases with iron cylinder barrels and head, and later the instances have been magnesium and the barrels/heads aluminum. Early variations produced 44hp with a 110mph prime velocity, the ’35 TT mannequin had 50hp and 125mph, whereas the post-war variations like this machine hit 130mph. [Paul d’Orléans]
A rare design, mainly a doubled-up model of the manufacturing unit’s 250cc racer, with 68x68mm bore/stroke, single OHC with shaft-and-bevel drive.  The OHC V-twin is among the many rarest motorbike engine configurations, as earlier than WW2, solely Moto Guzzi, Cyclone, and Koehler-Escoffier constructed them, and Moto Guzzi by no means bought them to the general public.  Even within the trendy period, the primary mass-production OHC V-twin was the Yamaha Virago of 1981! [Paul d’Orléans]
What most opponents noticed of the Bilindrica. Teh hand-beaten alloy tank is ergonomically designed for a crouched rider, as is the seat with integral bump cease faired into the fender. Observe the exterior flywheel – a Moto Guzzi trademark. [Paul d’Orléans]
Going again just a little additional in time, the Moto Guzzi 250 Compressore is an interesting machine, and the one Moto Guzzi that employed supercharging. Why they didn’t add a blower to different machines is a thriller, as this 250 was wildly profitable, as Nello Pagani received 11 races at Monza alone in 1938-40. This was mainly an OHC shaft-and-bevel single, their Monoalbero, with a Cozette supercharger, that produced 48hp for a 112mph prime velocity. Merely unbelievable for the period, and much past. [Paul d’Orléans]
The 250 Compressore of 1938 was additionally used post-war for a spree of record-breaking, and was good for 137mph. It was campaigned by the manufacturing unit till 1959. [Paul d’Orléans]
Love the ‘backwards’ Jaeger tachometer: the redline for this 1946 Gambalunga was 5800rpm, when it was producing 35hp, for a prime velocity of 110mph.  The Gambalunga was a racer for factory-supported riders, and an improved model of the Condor and Dondolino manufacturing racers with pushrod motors. [Paul d’Orléans]
One for the ages: a late 1924-27 C4V (racing 4 valve), a hand-built motorbike for the manufacturing unit workforce and for privateers. The C4V was an evolution of Carlo Guzzi’s very first prototype motorbike of 1921, the GP500. For manufacturing, the OHC motor was thought-about too costly, however for racing, something goes, and the C4V proved a worthy rival to the dominant British racers of the Twenties. Plus, it was merely beautiful. [Paul d’Orléans]
Complication, like an costly Swiss watch. The oil tank sits atop the gas tank, with the fragile hand-shifter alongside. The steering damper is atop the forks with their a number of major springs and test springs, whereas the handlbars have the magneto advance lever beside the entrance brake and twistgrip. I might, and have, stare at this for hours. [Paul d’Orléans]


Paul d’Orléans is the founding father of He’s an writer, photographer, filmmaker, museum curator, occasion organizer, and public speaker. Try his Creator Web page, Instagram, and Fb.