Moto Guzzi - Superalce
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Moto Guzzi D2-492-33-17
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : Superalce
Production : 1946 - 1956
Category : (On-Off) Military


500 Superalce ·1946

The super eagle has landed

As Italy's biggest manufacturer. Guzzi always held a priviledged position when it came to supplying the military. for whom it designed a number of motorbikes, sidecars and even an all-wheel-drive tricar for mountain roads.

Robust and Well-Liked

The best-known series which Guzzi built for the army began in 1932 with the GT 17. This F-head 500 was followed in 1938 by the GT20, which, in keeping with the fashion then current at Guzzi of naming models after birds was called the Alce («Eagle»). The famous model was built until 1945, by which time over 6100 had been produced. Even though it was robust and well-liked. the F-head engine had certainly run its course. In 1946, Guzzi introduced the Superalce; it had overhead-valves, which lifted the power

rating to 18.5 hp at 4 300 rpm, compared with the Alce's 13.2 at 4000 rpm.

Setting a Standard

Guzti had turned standardization into an art form, because ever since its first 500 in 1921 it had retained the same engine layout and even the same bore and stroke of 88x82mm. Even better, the marque used the same basic engine for its military, touring and racing bikes. The Condor which packed some 28 muscular horses, scarcely differed from the Superalce, which was built until 1957, although. the Superalce would scarcely have won prizes for elegance since its shape was lost beneath a superabundance of equiprnenr: leg shields, toolboxes, assorted brackets; and even a pair of folding handlebars for the passenger.


Engine: 498cc t88x82mml ;air cooled horizontal single cylinder four stroke.

Power Rating: 18. 5 hp @ 4300 rpm

Valves: overhead

Transmission: 4-speed, chain final drive

Fuel System: 27mm carburetor

Suspension: friction·damped girder forks with compensator spring (front), two horizontal springs beneath the engine and friction dampers (rear)

Brakes: offset drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 19 inch (from & rear)

Weight! 430 lb

Maximum Speed: 65 mph


Slightly different from the touring model, the frame of Alce and Superalce had a ground clearance of 7 inches.


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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