Moto Guzzi 1956 “Airone Sport” 246cc OHV single frame # MCU56 engine # MCU29
In 1932 Moto Guzzi had decided to move into the lightweight market.
At first this was the 175cc class that enjoyed various advantages in taxation and driving licence regulation, but when these were abolished the public interest in the 175cc class waned and Guzzi decided to increase the displacement of its little P175.
At first the step was made to a 232cc machine but in 1937 the P.L was introduced with 246cc capacity and a frame consisting of tubular and pressed steel elements.
Later versions of this model were among others the Egretta (egret) and the Ardetta (small heron).
These models had a three speed gearbox and in 1939 a modernised version was marketed, the 4-speed Airone (heron) that would become very popular and would be produced up to 1957.
The Airone was available in Turismo and Sport versions.
The Sport had aluminium Borrani rims, 25mm instead of 22 mm carburettor, sports handlebars, higher compression ratio and different camshaft.
This resulted in a 12hp power output @ 5,200rpm, 2.5hp more than that of the Turismo.
Interesting design details are the cantilever rear suspension and the upside down teledraulic front forks that were fitted from 1947.
The Sport has a top speed of 120km and weighs 135kg; the petrol consumption is a modest 1:30.
The reliable Airone was a very successful model for the Guzzi factory, in all -including the military version- more than 28,000 were produced.
The machine we present here spent the early part of its life in Genoa, Italy and came to the Netherlands in 1993.
It has subsequently been restored and has given its former owner much riding pleasure.