The basis for every Moto Guzzi V-twin comes from an Italian Ministry of Defense requirement for an all-terrain three wheeled tractor. The factory came up with a then-unique 754cc pushrod V-twin power unit. Although only delivering 20 horsepower at 4,000rpm, the engine was capable of producing mountains of torque. Period late 1950s images show the 3x3 trike fitted with tracks to its rear wheels climbing almost vertical surfaces. Someone, somewhere realizes the innate potential of the transverse engine.
Come the early 1960s and Moto Guzzi is looking for a new large capacity motorcycle and the 3x3 engine receives a makeover to deliver a 700cc powerplant that’s fitted into a new frame to produce a 50 horsepower machine that debuts at the 1965 Milan Motor Show.
Subsequent road tests show just how good the machine is; fast, happy to rev yet blessed with a fairly linear torque curve. Handling is excellent and the motorcycle comes with an electric start as standard with no kickstart fitted. The motorcycle rivals BMW in some areas and outperforms it in others. The success is in no small part due to the genius that is Ing. Giulio Cesare Carcarno, the man who designed the legendary V8 Guzzi racer.