Carlo Guzzi’s very first prototype motorcycle of 1919 was a 500cc single-cylinder engine installed horizontally and built in unit with the gearbox, certainly an unconventional even today. This architecture became the company’s trademark well in to the 1930s.
The 246cc Airone was a revised 1934 P250 and enjoyed massive success, outselling the 500cc singles 4:1. At a little less than 300lbs, the 10bhp would have the machine buzzing along and with traditionally exquisite Italian handling, made for a very capable machine.
Post-WWII, Moto Guzzi updated their pre-war Airone design for 1947, with a telescopic front fork, larger diameter brakes and an aluminium-alloy cylinder barrel and cylinder head. The Airone offered a 70mph top speed and the ability to cruise at 60-plus all day. No wonder it remained a top-seller well into the 1950s.
The 1946 Moto Guzzi Airone on offer here is a wonderfully original, early post war example. A rare find, the bike is complete, well cared for, unrestored, and showing the rich patina that only the years can apply. As a rare 1946 model, it features the unique external hairpin valve springs, a friction damped girder fork and friction dampers for the swingarm for post-war models.
Recently liberated after many years in storage, this Airone has been recently inspected and refreshed, and is reported to now be ready to ride. The engine and running gear have been gone thru and refreshed, but not rebuilt. Fascinating details include the chromed meat slicer flywheel, separate oil tank, exposed valve gear and a DellOrto carburettor. The period correct fishtail muffler emits a boisterous roar that invokes the period. Wheels were rebuilt and shod with new tires.
Overall paintwork is in good condition but not restored, showing many small scuffs and nicks.
The shapely fuel tank shows ample patina, aged chrome and original Moto Guzzi branded rubber pads and decals. The solo front saddle is new and the passenger pillion is branded “nisa”. Handlebars and all chromed controls are in good working order and fair condition. There are twin lockable compartments mounted to the rear fender.
A true showpiece displaying the remarkable craftsmanship and unique engineering of a true classic.
Frame no. 11804
Engine no. 11804
Location: San Francisco, California
Current bid: $8,500.00
Current bid: $1,000.00