Moto Guzzi Nuovo Falcone | Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions

Moto Guzzi Nuovo Falcone

6 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Moto Guzzi Nuovo Falcone
Moto Guzzi 500 Sahara

Moto Guzzi Nuovo Falcone

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This was a total redesign of the much-loved and famous Falcone. While looking very similar in appearance, the engine and cycle parts were upgraded greatly from the original. The original Falcone had a non-unit looking engine and gearbox with magneto ignition and a dry sump.

The Nuovo Falcone has unit construction, coil and battery ignition and wet sump. The final chain drive was also moved to the left. The huge external flywheel was retained, but hidden under an alloy cover (except for the bottom edge, that can still be seen whirling beneath the left footrest). The cycle parts were also upgraded.

The original Falcone had a frame bolted-up from various plates and tubes. It worked pretty well for the weight, power and the times, but it wasn’t modern. The Nuovo Falcone has a conventional tubular frame, but built out of bridge sections.

It would probably take the power from the QE2, but only has to deal with a soft 500 single. Think low-stress. The Falcone’s rear suspension of under-engine springs and friction dampers between the swinging arm and seat rails was replaced by a conventional twin-damper set-up.

It was built between 1969 and 1974. Very few (if any) were ever imported to the UK. While it was popular with police forces and the army, in the civilian world it was competing with sporty Brits and the first of the Japanese bikes.

The civilian version of the Nuovo Falcone was also ugly, with a weird dual-megaphone exhaust.

The Italians do not consider the Nuovo Falcone to be a classic – that accolade is reserved for the Falcone. Mick Walker’s book on buying Moto Guzzis gives the bike a bad write-up. There are very few in the UK, and no-one has ever heard of them.

The Nuovo Falcone is the ugly duckling of the bike world.

Why would anyone want one?

Moto Guzzi 500 Sahara

Well, the Nuovo Falcone is that very rare thing, a practical classic. It is a big soft single with a loping pace and impeccable manners. They do not wear out or break. The basic design is very sound, the engineering excellent, and the whole plot was built to take the abuse of coppers and squaddies. The consumable parts are cheap – the bike has just one chain, plus a V belt for the (car) dynamo.

It has a sidestand that works, and a main stand that you can lift the bike onto without needing a truss or a friend. The brakes work fairly well, the lights work and it goes round corners. The heavy flywheel and low compression also make starting simple.

Oh, and they’re addictive, too.

Failings? The heavy flywheel makes gearchanges slow, and the box has lots of false neutrals until you learn the trick. The front brake can fade (like all drums do) on long, steep descents.

Don’t try and keep up with the crotch rockets over the Yorkshire Dales and you’ll be fine. The odd piggyback silencer rusts easily. Er, that’s it.


If you have any parts, oddments, manuals, gadgets or whatever for this bike, or you know of any good sources, please email me. If you own a Nuovo Falcone, let me know. I run a virtual owners’ club for mutual support.

Moto Guzzi 500 Sahara
Moto Guzzi 500 Sahara
Moto Guzzi 500 Sahara
Moto Guzzi 500 Sahara
Moto Guzzi 500 Sahara
Moto Guzzi 500 Sahara

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