Moto Guzzi - Sport Tre
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Moto Guzzi D2-492-32-01
Photo ou archives : archives FMD

Capacity : 500
Model : Sport Tre
Production : 1932 - 1933
Category : (R) Street Bike


500 Tre Sport -1933

Sixty years ahead of its time!

Few marques - if any - can boast of a history as rich as that of Moto Guzzi. The great Italian company, famed for its horizontal singles, has tried just about every possible engine configuration, from twins V or parallel - to a fabulous V8.

From Four into Three

One of the most interesting developments - which sadly proved to be a dead-end - began in 1930 with a supercharged racing bike endowed with a remarkably compact transverse horizontal four-cylinder power unit. This extraordinary engine, the first Guzzi multi-cylinder, achieved 45 hp at 7800 rpm and 110 mph but never passed the prototype stage. However, two years later, its technology gave birth to a three-cylinder roadster whose concept still seems modern.

An Ideal Layout

Though the three-cylinder engine is rarely used, principally on account of the cost of making the crankshaft, it is nevertheless ideally configured for the motorcycle. Its 120- degree firing interval gives it nearly perfect balance and - lighter and more compact than a four - it is better suited to transverse installation. The Guzzi went still further since - like modern engines - its width was little more than that of its cylinders. Of rare elegance, the "Tre" ("Three") was also innovative because of its bolted-up, two- piece frame, derived from that of the four and fitted with a remarkable swing arm rear suspension designed in 1928 by Carlo Guzzi himself.


Engine: 495cc (56x67mm) air-cooled horizontal three-cylinder four-stroke

Power Rating: 25 hp @ 5500 rpm

Valves: parallel overhead

Fuel System: Amal carburetor

Transmission: 3-speed hand-shift; multi-disc oil-bath clutch; chain final drive

Suspension: girder forks (front); swing arm with two horizontal springs beneath the engine and twin friction dampers (rear)

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 19 inch wire (front & rear)

Weight: 353 lb

Maximum Speed: 81 mph


Too far ahead of its time, the Guzzi Tre never passed the pre-production prototype stage and today the sole survivor is preserved in Moto Guzzi museum.


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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