Tagged: 1957

Sophisticated Performer: 1957 Ariel Square Four for Sale

1957 Ariel Square Four L Side

A vintage luxury sports machine, the Ariel Square Four had, as the name suggests, four whole cylinders at a time when most motorcycles of the period had just one or two. Automobile components can get away with being heavy, but over-engineered solutions in a motorcycle application mean significantly reduced performance and, for years, four-cylinder engines weren’t compatible with twin demands of light weight and reliability. Inline fours can be tricky to package into a motorcycle, particularly when configured longitudinally, as was common before the Honda CB750. But the Ariel uses an interesting “square” format that features a pair of parallel twins, complete with a crankshaft for each. Not only did this solution offer up the power and smoothness of an inline four, the very compact design meant it could be squeezed into existing frames meant to house a parallel twin. No surprise, as the design was originally intended for BSA.

1957 Ariel Square Four R Side Rear

The first generation of Square Four displaced 500cc with a bump to 601 for increased torque, so riders using the bike as practical transport could more easily drag the weight of a sidecar around. That early overhead cam design had issues with overheating, as the square four configuration naturally has a hard time getting cooling air to the rear pair of cylinders. Suzuki’s later RG500 engine used liquid-cooling to get around this problem, but that was obviously not an option here.

1957 Ariel Square Four Dash

The engine saw a complete overhaul in 1937 with a shift from overhead cams to cam-in-block and pushrods, but a big jump in displacement to 997cc.  In 1949, the iron head became aluminum for a huge savings in weight and the version seen here is the final iteration, with four individual exhaust pipes, instead of the earlier pair of siamesed parts that make the bike look like it’s powered by a bulky parallel twin.

1957 Ariel Square Four Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1957 Ariel Square Four for Sale

Up for sale is a restored Ariel Sq4 This bike was completely restored 10 years ago and sat in a collection for 5 years.  I bought it and meet the person who restored it in Mass. He is good at what he does and the bike still shows very well. All the miles were put on by me, last being a 50 mile ride 2 years ago. The bike has been started and ran in the last few months. It will start right up and operate very smooth. There are no known problems. The restoration was both mechanical and cosmetic at the time. Buyer will be responsible for transportation from Pgh PA.

I’m assuming “Pgh” is Pittsburgh in this case. There’s very little time on this auction, with bidding up just north of $16,000 and the reserve not yet met.

1957 Ariel Square Four Tank

So what’ll she do, mister? Well that nearly full liter of displacement gave 45hp and the bike weighed a surprisingly svelte 425lbs, so the Square Four could very nearly “do the ton.” But while bikes like the BSA Gold Star were about ultimate performance, the Square Four was about the way in which it delivered that performance, and the smooth relaxed power and sophistication was really in a class by itself from the bike’s introduction in 1931 until it was discontinued in 1959, a remarkable production run for any motorcycle.


1957 Ariel Square Four R Side

Big Beautiful Single: 1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport for Sale

1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone R Side

It’s been a while since we’ve posted up one of the elegantly simple Guzzi singles, so when I came across this classic Falcone, I thought it was high time we went old school. Or, well even older school… This 1957 Falcone is a pretty late version of their classic horizontal single that offered a winning combination of practicality, handling, and good looks. Gone are the earlier bikes’ exposed hairpin valves, which is a shame for the appearance, but likely a great idea for riders who plan to use their bikes: with that head so close to the ground and to the front wheel, you’ve got to figure grit and grime are a real pain for regular users. And make no mistake: these were definitely meant to be ridden.

1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone Engine

With a very low center of gravity, small frontal area, and a huge external flywheel that allowed the bike to lope along at tractor-like rpms, the Falcone was nimble, durable, flexible, and handled well. With a seemingly inadequate 23hp produced by the 500cc engine, it’s the bike’s locomotive torque that allowed the bike to lope on up to an 85mph top speed, a very respectable speed for a single-cylinder motorcycle!

1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone Headlight

This example is in excellent condition cosmetically and is obviously a runner, my very favorite kind of bike.

From the original eBay listing: 1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport for Sale

Show or ride, low miles .

This bike starts easy, runs great, drives straight , stops well, looks great. Has won shows! Belonged to two very discerning  collectors G. Webster and B. Melvin. They don’t come much better than this! The price is  a bargain for the quality of the Machine. $22,000. 

The bike has been thru an extensive restoration previous to my ownership. Since I bought it I have driven it some and sorted it well. Its a beautiful show bike that you can ride to the show. I have a Large collection of bikes and have been buying them and selling them for over 50 Years. For the last 20 Years I have had an interest in owning a Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport and I have looked at a lot of them, before I found one in this condition. If there are nicer ones, they may not be for sale, because I have seen few nicer than this one. Is it perfect, probably not. Truth is I have never seen or owned that perfect dream bike. There is always something. But I think most of you will find it near that mark. There is nothing significant that I have seen wrong with it.

Oh just remembered, one of the tool box covers has a latch that sometimes doesn’t lock well. Needs an adjustment.

1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone Engine2

Oh noes! The tool box cover latch isn’t working all that well! Well forget it, then… With a $22,000 Buy it Now price, the seller is obviously asking premium money for this bike, but you’re unlikely to find an example that both looks this good and runs as well as this one is supposed to run. It’s not clear if this one’s been restored or not but, given the condition, I’ll assume it has at least been repainted.

It’s a shame that Guzzi’s current owners over at the Piaggio Group have decided that the big Italian twins will forever fill the retro niche, since Aprilia is clearly intended to be their flagship sporting brand. But that’s a shame, because Moto Guzzi has such a history making sports motorcycles, and that legacy will remain unfulfilled for the foreseeable future.


1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone L Side


1957 MV Agusta Superpullman for Sale

1957 MV Agusta Superpullman R Front

Today, we view the Italian manufacturers like MV Agusta, Moto Guzzi, and Ducati as makers of high-end, relatively exotic performance bikes, and they’re certainly not doing anything to dissuade us from thinking that. But most of these Italian marques got their start or a very big boost at the end of World War II, supplying cheap and stylish transportation to a population devastated by war. So while racing was a real part of their heritage, and seriously sporting machines a part of their model line up, it was their less expensive offerings that were perhaps more important to the bottom line.

1957 MV Agusta Superpullman Controls

Bikes like this little MV Agusta Superpullman. Interestingly, this bike has little mechanically in common with the other small-displacement MV Agustas of this era, and in fact has little to do with the regular Pullman. This little two-stroke made about 6hp and put those ponies through a 4-speed box. MV made both two and four-stroke models and this particular bike was designed to bridge the gap between economical, unintimidating scooters and more sporting, practical motorcycles, much like the Moto Morini Corsarino we featured recently. The little Superpullman was priced competitively, but did not sell very well and was discontinued after only a few thousand were sold.

1957 MV Agusta Superpullman L Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1957 MV Agusta Superpullman for Sale
This really neat bike (one of only 3000 of this model ever produced) is ready for instant use, starts at first kick, is running and riding well (where everything on the bike works normal/like should!) and is, because of all the nice details, color-scheme and appearance just a pleasure to look at.
It has been restored very long time ago and is now showing light patina again. Some of the cromed parts are not nice, as on places some chrome has come off* (especially on the handlebar and exhaust-system, though both wheels and many other parts are ok!).
..*Basically this is a matter of having things re-chromed, or just to simply leave things like they are.
The paint is showing a very small scratch on top of the fuel-tank and furthermore a couple of really very small markings are visible on places, though these can, in case disturbing, easily be touched in.
Like often the case with these models has also on this bike the front-suspension been upgraded, where still today the telescopic and correct period MV Agusta front-fork is giving the machine excellent roadholding (as well as a very comfortable ride!).
1957 MV Agusta Superpullman R Rear

This example has lovely blue paint as opposed to the more familiar MV red and silver. The bike is currently titled in Belgium, so keep in mind it may not be very easy to check the bike out in person. But the listing is clearly written with very nice photographs and the seller seems motivated to sell it anywhere it can find the right buyer.

If you’re looking for something small and classy to decorate your livingroom, or a neat little weekend toy and don’t mind hunting up spares, this could be your bike!


1957 MV Agusta Superpullman L Side


1957 Parilla Grand Sport

When researching a lot of the Classic European Sports Bikes that end up on the shores of The United States, one truth keeps showing up. That truth is that large US importers were the ones who directed the European manufactures on the bikes that they would develop and put into production. This High Cam Parilla Grand Sport is another such “request”.

Parilla was a small Italian company who’s founder,Giovanni Parrilla,  was inspired by the dominant Norton Manx and purchased one to study. A short time later he went racing with his own design. Through the late ’40 and early ’50s Parrilla’s design evolved into High Cam engine. First introduced in 1953 the High Cam started out with about 22hp and would be continually developed until Parilla closed their doors in 1963.

From the Seller

1957 Parilla 175 Grand Sport. This was the ultimate race bike of its’ day. 175cc High Cam Engine with Gear Driven Cams, High Revving and High Compression. This extremely rare motorcycle is completely restored as a race bike. It has no miles on it since its’ complete restoration. It has all of its’ original parts and has matching numbers on the engine and frame, making it very rare. It also has a title from California and could be easily retitled in any state. The price is $12,500.

Cosmo appears to have been the number one importer for Parilla and appears to have also supported many racers. They had requested a larger displacement bike, and in turn Parilla add 25cc to the first Grand Sports and increased output to 26hp and a top speed of 100mph.  This example also has the high cam driven by gears, and improvement over the original chain. Cosmo  offered an Alloy barrels that would allow you to punch the engine out to 250cc.

When ever I dream about owning a Classic Bike that seems to be rarer then you standard Classic I always wonder what kind of parts hell I could be entering. Doing a quick search on eBay, I found this engine case and crank with a starting bid at $900+. Compared to the $200 you can find Triumph cases for or $600  for a /2 BMW, I can see that that owning this bike would be enjoyable, but expensive.


1957 Triumph T100RS

Road racing in America has never been a priority. From the beginning it has always been one straight, long or short, followed by a left turn. So when I see a ROAD RACER offered on eBay, I always stop and look. This Triumph T100RS stopped me this morning and will keep me busy for some time.

By 1950 Triumph had stopped delivering Works prepared Grand Prix level bikes to customers. Instead they offered a race kit, which came in a box that was full of all the goodies to turn you T100 into a GP bike. This moratorium on  offering race bikes direct from the factory was short lived because of the demands of US dealers like Johnson Motors (before they sold T-Shirts they were a force in racing in California and the rest of the South West.)

Clipping from Show & Go Cycle Shop

Based on the Triumph Tiger T100 which was first offered before the war in1939 and then after the war from 1946-1973, the 500cc Triumph’s were popular because of the AMA class C racing rules. Because of the influence of Harley-Davidson, the maximum displacement for OHV engines was 500cc until 1969. So if you wanted be competitive against the 750cc flat heads, Triumph was your best option.

From the seller








Found scanned to a Motorcycle forum while researching T100RS

For such a rare bike you would expect the seller to tell us why we will never see one come up for sale. I found that the racing Tiger 100 first came out in 1953 as a T100C, the C standing for Competition. In 1957 they changed it to a T100R for Race. What you would get was an Alloy cylinder compared to the standard iron lump. The twin spigot cylinder head was also aluminum and offered twin Amal G.P. TT carb’s with remote float. The internals were build with a larger intake valve to match the larger carbs. A race specific cam, with race ready tappets and valve springs kept the valves moving. Spark was delivered by a racing Lucas Magneto because you don’t need lights on a race bike.

It appears that the new competition bike was offered in both T100RR and T100RS forms. The second R was for rigid, and not having rear suspension was a benefit on the dirt tracts of America.  The RR would get reverse cone mufflers on the right side of the bike, a smaller gas tank and no front brakes, because you don’t really slow down when making left turns only.

This T100RS has a Sprung frame, good for turning left and right. A front brake was needed and a larger gas tank was added. It would also come with a rubber mounted tachometer, rear sets, racing seat and open megaphone. Walking into the showroom with $947 would have bought this bike in 1957. Wonder what it will take to win this auctionin 2011?BB