c.1951 Moto Guzzi Hispania Motoleggera 65
Frame no. MGH 5501
Engine no. ISA 5448
Two-strokes did not feature in the Moto Guzzi range until after WW2, when the extraordinarily successful Motoleggera 65 put a whole generation of Italians on two wheels. As Italy emerged from the chaos of war, the insatiable demand for basic transportation was met by cyclemotors, scooters and lightweight motorcycles, which hitherto had had little impact on the domestic market. Introduced in 1946, the Motoleggera was by far the most successful of the latter, selling by the tens of thousands. This modest ultra-lightweight was powered by a 64cc disc-valve two-stroke engine, which drove via an integral three-speed gearbox and was carried in a simple tubular spine frame boasting swinging-arm rear suspension and blade-type girder forks. A 'right-first-time' design, the Motoleggera changed little over the next eight years; improvements being confined to the addition of a horn, a modified silencer, stronger swinging arm and a switch to cast-iron for the cylinder barrel. This Motoleggera 65 was manufactured by Moto Guzzi's Spanish subsidiary, Motor Hispaña SA, of Barcelona and has been restored by the vendor's father-in-law, Vicente Sevilla.