1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport
Michael Blumber's 1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport.
Photo by Robert Smith
1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport
Years produced: 1950-1963
Claimed power: 23hp @ 4,500rpm
Top speed: 85mph (est.)
Engine type: 499cc air-cooled OHV single
Weight (dry): 162kg (367lb)
Price then: $900 (approx.)
Price now: $4,000-$12,000
MPG: 50 (approx.)
One of the main attractions of motorcycles — to gear heads like you and me, anyway — is that they wear their insides on the outside. Unlike a car, the motorcycle’s inner workings (its modus operandi, if you will) has — for better or worse — been an integral part of its appearance.
Better or worse? Well, there are those who might consider that some motorcycles are over exposed, and that some of the parts on display would be better hidden. Take the Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport, for example. Is it perhaps a little too naked, maybe wearing too much of its heart on its sleeve? The huge outside flywheel on the engine’s left side, for example? Or the rear suspension’s chrome-plated friction dampers, the positive-stop gearshift mechanism, the clutch actuator and oil pump, all bolted to the outside of the engine?
In the Falcone’s case, this exuberance comes honestly, because the bike’s basic design can be traced back — without fundamental change — to the first Moto Guzzi of 1921 and even to Guzzi’s first design, the Moto Guzzi-Parodi prototype of 1919.
Michael Blumberg’s Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport
Like BSA Rocket Gold Stars, it seems there are more examples of the Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport around now than the factory ever produced. The reason? A few unscrupulous “restorers” have been buying up ex-police and military “Turismo” models, fitting them with alloy rims and other Sport cosmetic items, then selling them as genuine Sport models. It was just such a machine that Michael Blumberg spotted online at a U.K.-based Italian bike dealer’s website.
Born in the deep south of the U.S., Blumberg now lives in Vancouver, Canada, and is an Italian bike and car nut, a passion that dates from his teens. He worked as a Fiat mechanic for a while after college, and as a sideline, began restoring old Fiat 500s and 600s while also acquiring a taste for Italian motorcycles. Into the stable went a pair of Moto Guzzis (a V7 Sport and a touring SP1000, as well as a Ducati Monster), but what he really hankered after was a Falcone. And it had to be a Sport.
“While owning V-twin Guzzis, I became intrigued with Falcones through reading various books and articles,” says Blumberg. “I wanted to find one that was in good original shape, and a Sport model that was originally a Sport when it left the factory. A true Sport has higher compression, a different cam, a different carb and many other detail differences.”
Blumberg forwarded a picture of the suspect bike to legendary U.K. Guzzi guru Ian Ledger, who has been collecting and restoring Guzzis ever since a trip to Italy in 1974, when he discovered and fell in love with a 1953 Moto Guzzi Falcone — then rode it home to England!
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