Moto Guzzi - V twin
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Moto Guzzi D2-492-05-10
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : V twin
Production : 1933 - 1951
Category : (R) Racing


500 V-Twin -1948

New engine, continued success

In June 1935, after a titanic struggle in the Isle of Man Senior Tourist Trophy, the 500cc Moto Guzzi ridden by Dublin-born Stanley Woods crossed the line four seconds ahead of the Norton of Jimmy Guthrie, making Woods the first rider in history to win both Senior and Junior TTs in the same year.

Guzzi's First V-Twin

In its long histoty, Moto Guzzi has used just about every engine configuration: its first V twin appeared in 1933, replacing a four-valve single and a supercharged four-cylinder. But the "new" engine in fact consisted of two cylinders from its unbeatable 250cc single, mounted at 120 degrees on a common crankcase to allow maximum cooling of the rear cylinder. lt proved a winning formula: improved over the years, the 500cc V-twin was still being used in 1951.

Adjustable Rear Suspension

For the 1935 TT Moto Guzzi fitted the "Bicilindrica" with a novel rear suspension using twin horizontal springs beneath the swinging fork; the setting of the friction dampers could be adjusted by Bowden cable from a lever on the handlebars while the bike was in motion. The 1935 ''Bicilindrica" developed an astounding 51 hp at 7500 rpm and could reach 118 mph. The performance of the postwar version was mitigated by the poor-quality 72-octane fuel which was all that could be obtained in those cash-strapped days.


Engine: air-cooled 495cc C68x68mm) V-twin four-stroke

Power Rating: 47 hp @ 7000 rpm

Valves: overhead camshafts driven by shaft & bevels

Fuel System: two carburetors

Transmission: 4-speed pre-selector

Suspension: girder fork (front); swinging fork (rear)

Brakes: twin-leading shoe drum

Wheels: wire, 21-in front, 20-in rear

Weight: 375 lb

Maximum Speed: 112 mph


As usual with Moto Guzzis, the flywheel of this 1948 Grand Prix bike is mounted externally; this macbine has the oil reservoir·for its dry-sump lubrication atop the fuel tank.

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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