1926 Garelli 348cc Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 522
Engine no. G132
The Garelli factory team withdrew from racing at the end of the 1924 season, though for a few more years Garellis continued to be raced with success by privateers. One of the latter, Ermino Visioli, was responsible for Garelli's first Isle of Man TT entry in 1926. Visioli's machine certainly looked formidable with its four carburettors and two expansion-chamber exhausts complete with 'fishtails', and must have sounded glorious. Sadly, the Garelli's complexity would prove to be its undoing, Visioli being forced to retire from the Junior race on the third lap when a throttle cable broke.
Back in Italy the factory continued to be active in record breaking and in May 1926 came away from Monza with a mind-boggling 126 in the bag. Although the machines used were 350s, they proved fast enough to take records in the 500cc, 600cc, 750cc and 1,000cc classes as well!
The machine offered here represents the 350 Grand Prix Garelli in its final incarnation. In this form the slit-single engine produced a maximum of 20bhp at 4,500rpm, which was good enough for a top speed of over 130km/h (81mph). Note the heat dissipating copper flange between the cylinder and head, and the combination of straight and megaphone exhaust pipes. A petroil mix of 17% was used to lubricate the engine, which was built in unit with a two-speed gearbox. This actual machine is featured on the front cover of 'Agrati Garelli: 80 anni di storia' by Daniele Agrati and Poberto Patrignani and was tested by Alan Cathcart for an article in Classic Racer magazine circa 1983. A revised version of this article is scheduled for publication in the February 2013 edition of The Classic MotorCycle.
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