In 1946 the Gambalunga (Long Legs) was developed from the privateer’s Dondolino and was the first Guzzi to use a long stroke, rather than oversquare motor (its name was a reference to this).
The 84 x 90mm bore and stroke were employed to reduce the forces on the main bearings. However despite making more power than the Dondolino, 35 hp at 5,800 rpm (72 octane petrol), the motor was redesigned for 1948 with an additional main bearing located in the primary drive cover and the bore/stroke reverted back to being oversquare.
A feature of the Gambalunga was the use of leading-link front forks and the first steps in aerodynamics with the rear guard design.
The frame had some minor changes and the oil tank was moved to under the seat. An obvious change was to the silver colour scheme. In 1950 the wheel diameter was reduced from 21 to 20 inches and further frame refinements were made.
The final version appeared for 1951 and the familiar red paint scheme reappeared. A 35 mm remote float carburettor were fitted and power rose to 37 hp at 6,000 rpm.
The bike seen here is one of the 12 works bikes built – indeed it has engine number 1! The carburettor’s red painted finish on this ‘70s restoration should properly be red anodised.
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