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 Cagiva - 500 GP
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Capacity : 500
Model : GP
Production : 1981 -
Category : (R) Racing


500 GP -1981

Reviving a sporting image

The Castiglioni brothers were racing enthusiasts who backed a 500 Suzuki ridden by Lucchinelli in the World Championship in 1978. The same year, the ink was scarcely dry on their purchase of Aermacchi from Harley-Davidson before they were planning to revive its sporting image. In 1980, while they were overhauling Aermacchi's industrial side, they signed rider Virginio Ferrari (Yamaha) in order to ready the team for a real comeback.

Unorthodox Valve Gear

They entrusted the design and development of a 500 racer to former members of the Aermacchi and MV racing organizations. The engine was inspired by the then-dominant Yamaha. However, an unorthodox feature was the mounting of the quadruple-four rotary intake valves above the gearbox, where they were driven by a cogged belt. Several different frames were tried. One of these, designed by the Dutch engineer Nico Bakker, featured an adjustable-rake steering head.

A Slow Beginning

The season started slowly, for the engine and frame were sadly lacking in preparation, and Ferrari only managed to finish a single Grand Prix, the German GP. The unfornunate Ferrari was coming in seventh in the Yugoslavian GP when Mike Baldwin collided with him and knocked him out of the race. In 1982, Cagiva completely redesigned its 500, which, as was then fashionable, had a square-four engine. As of 1992, Cagiva remained the sole challenge to the Japanese in this category.


Engine: 493cc (56x50mm) air-cooled transverse four-cylinder two-stroke

Power Rating: 120 hp@ 11,000 rpm

Valves: quadruple rotary intake valves

Fuel System: carburetors

Transmission: 6-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swing arm (rear)

Brakes: disc (front & rear)

Wheels: 16 inch (front); 18 inch (rear)

Weight: 287 lb

Maximum Speed: 180 mpb

Cagiva 's first real track racer had only a short, inglorious career. It was painted red and gray in tribute to the legendary MV Agustas.

Le fichier Moto Passion réalisé par François-Marie Dumas réunit près de deux mille photos accompagnées d'un historique très complet des machines présentées.
Il sera progressivement mis à jour ici et toute information complémentaire est la bienvenue sur info@moto-collection.org.

Cette documentation unique, qui constitue sans doute l'encyclopédie la plus exhaustive jamais écrite sur l'histoire de la moto, a été réalisée avec l'assistance de nombreux spécialistes dont principalement Didier Ganneau, Christophe Gaime, Mick Woollett, Jean Goyard, Bernard Salvat, Christian Rey, Yves Campion, Helmut Krackowizer, Michael Dregni, Michel Montange, etc. que je remercie ici.

Disponible sur demande :
- Les fiches originales sur papier
- Les photos et archives signées de mon nom en haute définition ou les documents originaux.
Me contacter sur info@moto-collection.org pour les conditions et droits d'utilisation.