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 Moto Guzzi - 500 3-cylinder Supercharged
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Photo ou archives : archives FMD

Capacity : 500
Model : 3-cylinder Supercharged
Production : 1940 - 1940
Category : (R) Racing


500cc Supercharged Three-Cylinder -1940

Immensely Creative

One, two, three, four and even eight cylinders: Moto Guzzi tried everything, and this threecylinder bike was one of its best efforts. Yet the ban on superchargers after WWII brought its career - which was limited to a single race in 1940- to an end. The three-cylinder, which was a personal project of Carlo Guzzi, debuted in 1939, when most European factories were investigating supercharged multi-cylinders.

Short-lived superbike

With nothing in common with the touring three-cylinder model of 1932, whose cylinders were virtually horizontal, this competition bike was one of the most innovative of all time and -like his first design of 1921 –demonstrated the immense creativity of Carlo Guzzi.

Breaking the Mold

It broke with all his normal concepts: The unitconstructed engine was as compact as it was light, thanks to the intensive use of magnesium and other special light alloys. A massive casing covered the chain driving the twin overheadcamshafts, while the capacious cover for the clutch was mounted on the end of the crankshaft (an unusual configuration for Guzzi). The Cozette vane-type supercharger and the carburetor were mounted above the gearbox, which - another original feature - had five speeds. The cycle part was also unorthodox: The engine, which contributed to frame rigidity, was hung from a single upper beam, and the swing arm rear suspension was controlled by a horizontal spring beneath the engine.


Engine: 492cc (56x60mm) air-cooled threecylinder four-stroke inclined at 45 degrees; sleeved light-alloy cylinder block and head; dry-sump lubrication

Power Rating: 80 hp @ 8000 rpm

Valves: twin chain-driven overhead-camshafts

Fuel System: Cozette supercharger and Dell'Orto carburetor

Transmission: 5-speed; dry multi-plate clutch; chain final drive

Suspension: Brampton girder forks (front); swing arm with horizontal spring beneath engine and lateral friction dampers (rear)

Brakes: magnesium drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 21 inch (front & rear)

Weight: 386 lb

Maximum Speed: 110 mph


Just one incomplete example of this superbike survives - in the Moto Guzzi museum.


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.