1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport

Singular obsession

| July/August 2009

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    Michael Blumber's 1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport.
    Photo by Robert Smith
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    Michael Blumber's 1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport. Of the approximately 8,400 Falcones built from 1950-1968, only a few left the factory as Sport models.
    Photo by Robert Smith
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    Michael Blumber's 1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport.
    Photo by Robert Smith
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    Michael Blumber's 1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport.
    Photo by Robert Smith
  • 1963 moto guzzi falcone sport 3
    Michael Blumber's 1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport.
    Photo by Robert Smith
  • 1963 moto guzzi falcone sport 6
    Michael Blumber's 1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport. Guzzi fans often refer to the old singles as “bacon slicers” in reference to the engine’s exposed flywheel.
    Photo by Robert Smith
  • 1963 moto guzzi falcone sport 7
    Michael Blumber's 1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport.
    Photo by Robert Smith
  • 1963 moto guzzi falcone sport 11
    Rear suspension on Michael Blumber's 1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport dates to the 1928 Moto Guzzi GT.
    Photo by Robert Smith
  • 1963 moto guzzi falcone sport 12
    The inverted forks on Michael Blumber's 1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport date to 1947.
    Photo by Robert Smith
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    Michael Blumber's 1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport.
    Robert Smith
  • 1963 moto guzzi falcone sport 13
    Note the wild shift linkage on Michael Blumber's 1963 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport.
    Photo by Robert Smith

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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.



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