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Origins of the Moto Guzzi V-twin


docc
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Looks like Honda really wanted to give it a go... Good finds, dangerous!

 

they did and they did it well... yes those two are prototypes but they did lead to the CX500 of which I have had 5 or so including the turbo, emagine if Honda stuck with it, a CX 1400 classic
I used them for courier work and also had the 650 for a few years. Ugly and odd looking to some eyes (in particular the early ones), disparagingly called 'plastic maggots' over here, it was one of the best Jap all rounders there ever was. You still see them out there with high mileages on the clock: a tribute to the build quality and has retro cachet now! Almost never see the contemporary Moto Guzzi V50 in routine use on our roads, by contrast: I'll grant a lot fewer were sold but my V50 has to be one of the awkwardest bikes I've ever had to work on and maintain, and that's got to be a reason. The CX was generally a piece of cake to work on.
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I used them for courier work and also had the 650 for a few years. Ugly and odd looking to some eyes (in particular the early ones), disparagingly called 'plastic maggots' over here, it was one of the best Jap all rounders there ever was. You still see them out there with high mileages on the clock: a tribute to the build quality and has retro cachet now! Almost never see the contemporary Moto Guzzi V50 in routine use on our roads, by contrast: I'll grant a lot fewer were sold but my V50 has to be one of the awkwardest bikes I've ever had to work on and maintain, and that's got to be a reason. The CX was generally a piece of cake to work on.

 

well, ugley duckling here... my 1st one (500A)  blew a water pump seal 300 k from home, 200k it was out a water and in the red, kept it hauling hard all the way home, warped rear casing was the only damage. Another (500B) had a damaged oil pump from a acco, it burnt the cam out so I rebuilt it, hoted it up from head to cam and carb to pipe... SFA could keep up with it and I sold it with over a 100k more on it, gave it arseholes, and its still going strong.

500 EC gave it death 3 came chains later, was still awesome.

500TC fark... the bike ya wish ya never sold, gave it a free'er flowing air filter and built some look alike muflers on the out side but were straight through inside and holly molly it could haul, not much lag on that one.

Mate had a 650TC shit house the ultermit bike but lacked serious brakes for the power.

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500TC fark... the bike ya wish ya never sold, gave it a free'er flowing air filter and built some look alike muflers on the out side but were straight through inside and holly molly it could haul, not much lag on that one.

Mate had a 650TC shit house the ultermit bike but lacked serious brakes for the power.

 

Note you still have an XN85 there... Must love your eighties turbos!

Those CX turbos looked good in their eighties way and flew too. But the 650 turbo was a heavy beast: 570lb, 100 hp and 140mph. Comparable to the Daytona 1000 in some ways except heavier and much less low down grunt, so know what you mean about the brakes. Needed some gold line brembos!

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Those CX turbos looked good in their eighties way and flew too. But the 650 turbo was a heavy beast: 570lb, 100 hp and 140mph. Comparable to the Daytona 1000 in some ways except heavier and much less low down grunt, so know what you mean about the brakes. Needed some gold line brembos!

 

Note you still have an XN85 there... Must love your eighties turbos!

ohh na all bikes have gone cept for the V11 and Buell, bloody kids dont know what I was thinking...

The 650TC was lighter than the 500TC not by much cos they did away with a lot of the induction side of things like the serge tank... with different compresion ratios etc the 650 didnt have the lag the 500 did, they reckon in its time only a 1100kat or 1100R could keep up with it, impresive really.

But yes love the turbo feeling and the sound they make un real.

 

ps, were did ya read bout the XN?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm surprised Honda hasn't caught on to the fact that the CX's are one of the most sought after bases for Cafe project bikes.Ya build an updated one with 1000-1200 cc motor and they would fly out the door with the current popularity of Cafe Racers with the hipsters who have disposable income.Essentially the bike I wished the V11S would have evolved to,but with quality control and decades of superior engineering by Honda would make it very attractive.Ducati Sport Classics are going for more than double  the original list price now.

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So, this just in from chamberlin's review of Moto Guzzi - The Complete Story, Greg Pullen:

 

(chamberlin's post):

OK! So I read the birth of the V-Twin section, and it seems that Greg Pullen has it correctly.

 

"Brief" bullet point recap of Pullen's text:

 

  • Carcano had been working on a powerful and simple V-twin since the demise of the V8 in 1957
  • Carcano had dreamed of building a road going V-twin but his original designs in the 50's never made it off the drawing board
  • after the V8 project was dropped, he re-visted the idea of the V-twin, hoping it would find a place in farm water pumps and be a utilitarian motor, but Moto Guzzi ignored and concentrated on the 2-stroke designs
  • Carcano kept the V-twin idea for a motorcycle in the background, but in the meantime dropped his prototype into a Fiat Nuova 500 for fun (causing a few rumors in the auto journalism world)
  • Moto Guzzi did employ a 90 Deg. V-twin in the attempted replacement for the Ercole/Ercolino Motocarri trikes: a military vehicle called the 3x3...only about 200 were built, but this 754cc V-twin motor was penned by Micucci, not Carcano
  • the Micucci motor was related to the Carcano engine only by the most basic layout and had little else in common with Carcano's design
  • Guzzi finally entertained Carcano's idea to power a Fiat, but Fiat showed no interest...and as we all know now, Abarth became Fiat's tuning house instead
  • a bidding for a new government motorcycle contract was offered up to Guzzi, Gilera, Laverda and Benelli in 1963
  • Carcano and Todero re-fit the V-twin intended for the Fiat into a motorcycle chassis and won the contract
  • 1965 Milan show debuted the 704cc robust engine as a commercial offering while police and army contracts were also being filled
  • Carcano was focused on squeezing power for racing in his previous designs, but this time he was focused on longevity for this new V7 motor
  • big end bearings which were easily accessible like a car
  • sump unbolted like a car
  • electric start only like a car (big battery and generator)
  • produced until 1976 with USA buying the bulk of the production run

 

So, looks like Pullen has put another nail in the coffin of Mick Walker's mis-informed storyline.

 

 

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Slightly off topic .... but here is a nice article about the gentlemen who put a Convert motor back into a Fiat 600 ... and raced it ...!!

 

http://blog.caranddriver.com/theres-nothing-wrong-with-the-fiat-600-that-a-moto-guzzi-v-twin-cant-fix-lemons-insanity/

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  • 11 months later...

This is a beautiful interview with Ing. Carcano in 2002 by Luca Angerame for AnimaGuzzista. He speaks of building the first V-engine for his Fiat 500, "The car was very brilliant, pleasant and funny; it had a very good acceleration and the maximum speed was almost too much:140 Km/h for such a small car!" And also of the need for the (new) police motorcycle to have the stature of a Norman horse. Very interesting that the original V700 motorcycle was not just born of "form follows function," but was meant to have PRESENCE. And no less so from the fantastic appearance of those imposing cylinders showing striking power and alertness from any angle.

All should read that epic interview, thanks Docc.
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  • 3 years later...

Wow, never seen a color photo of the “3x3” what an industrial looking damned thing.

 

Thanks Docc

The link has an entire gallery of images of this thing. And a misguided, misleading reference to the engine. :bbblll:

 

Still, pretty funky piece of kit!

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