1937 Moto Guzzi PE 238 for Sale
At the dawn of time, back before Honda made multis for the masses, the single was the epitome of motorcycling perfection. Certainly other companies did make twins and exotic four-cylinders, but the big single provided the ideal motorcycling powerplant: simple and compact, with a torque-rich powerband that made for ease-of-use on the road and flexibility on the racetrack.
Moto Guzzi was almost exclusively associated with this configuration for the first forty years of production, until the introduction of their iconic v-twin in the 1960s. Their distinctive “horizontal” singles kept weight almost impossibly low and provided excellent access to cooling airflow for the head as can be seen in this Moto Guzzi PE238.
Along with that distinctive laid-over engine, Guzzis of this era were notable for their exposed, “salami-slicer” flywheels. This configuration allowed Guzzi to keep the weight of their engine castings down, since they didn’t actually have to enclose the relatively large, heavy flywheel that smoothed power-pulses and provided locomotive-style torque! Valves on this smaller, 250cc example were operated by exposed, “hairpin” valve springs that can be seen in the photo above.
And while “Italian” has come to be synonymous with the “expensive,” “exotic,” and “temperamental,” it’s important to remember that, in the post-war era, manufacturers were primarily concerned with getting the population to work on time. Most Italian bikes of the era were designed to function as transportation, not as expensive lifestyle-accessories and, while Moto Guzzi was very active in competition, their bikes were famously reliable, frugal, and flexible.
From the original eBay listing: 1937 Moto Guzzi PE238 for Sale
This is a very nice example of an older restoration in italy. Recently imported to the states. A few scratches on the tank decal. Paint chips in rear fender, but otherwise looks nice. Unknown running condition, but I have imported bikes from this dealer and will need some going through, but otherwise will likely run. Super neat and rare bike.
Bidding is active on this bike, but is only up to $6,200 with the reserve not met and five days left on the auction. While a bike like this is certainly not “entry level” classic by any means, and performance of a 1930’s 250 is certainly not up to modern levels, old Guzzis are famous for their usability making this pretty practical for its vintage.
That torquey single is famous for being able to lug from single-digit speeds in top gear so, allowing for the ultimate limits of the power and braking, these old Guzzis can be used on the road, and I’m sure any classic road rally or event would be ecstatic to have something like this in attendance!