Cagiva - C 588 Grand Prix
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Cagiva D2-492-37-01
Photo ou archives : M. Montange

Capacity : 500
Model : C 588 Grand Prix
Production : 1988 - 1988
Category : (R) Racing


500cc C588 - 1988

An improved Grand Prix contender

The 500cc Cagiva Grand Prix racer made a great impression at the end of the 1987 season with the fine series of races ridden by Raymond Roche. In 1987, the Castiglione brothers persuaded top American rider Randy Mamola to assist in the development of their machine. They benefited from the speed skills of the popular Californian. While they awaited Mamola’s arrival, Cagiva worked on the evolution version of the C587.

Evolution Version of the C587

The C588's frame was improved in detail and given an asymmetric swing ann. The Cagiva was heavier than the Honda and Yamaha, but lighter than the Suzuki. The modifications to the engine – still a 56-degree V-four with twin crankshafts and quadruple 35mm Mikuni carburetors – were chiefly made to the cylinders and crankcase to try to solve the problem of mid-race power loss.

Spoiled by Details

The engineers sought to improve the smoothness of the engine, which was brutal but renowned for its power output. Every effort was made to trace the faults (like the control of the guillotine exhaust valves), which had spoiled the reputation for reliability established the previous season. The Cagivas had a difficult start in the 1988 Championship season, due to the caution shown by Pirelli over its new Grand Prix racing tires. However, during the second half of the season. Randy Mamola had some excellent results. For the first time since the withdrawal of MV Agusta from racing, an Italian bike was in contention for 500cc honors.


Engine: 498cc (56x51mm) water-cooled V-four

Power Rating: over 155 hp @ 12,700 rpm

Valves: two-stroke; automatic intake valves

Fuel System: four 35mm Mikuni carburetors

Transmission: 6-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: Marzocchi or Ohlins forks (front); Ohlins monodamper (rear)

Brakes: twin 12.6 inch steel discs (front); 8.7inch aluminum disc (rear)

Wheels: Marvic; 3.50x17 inch (front): 5.50x17 inch (rear)

Weight: 280 lb

Maximum Speed: 193 mph

Raymond Roche- shown here during practice for the Grand Prix – had his season curtailed by a bad fall in the Italian Grand Prix.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

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