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An Italian made bike in production from 1924 to 1927, the Moto Guzzi C4V has an overhead cam, four valve 498 cc engine with a top speed of 93 mph (153 km/h).
In the Italian Air Service during the last stages of WWI, the life of the Moto Guzzi began. During off-duty hours, two pilots, Giovanni Ravelli and Giorgio Parodi, along with mechanic, Carlo Guzzi, created an advanced design for a motorcycle, which Guzzi sketched out.
Unfortunately, Ravelli was killed in a flying accident shortly after the end of WWI. Parodi and Guzzi, with some backing from Parodi's father, a wealthy shipping magnate, started production in 1919. The result was the GP (Guzzi- Parodi), debuting late in 1920. The founders soon changed the motorcycle's name to Moto Guzzi, and adopted a company trademark, an eagle with its wings spread in flight, in honor of their fallen comrade.
The prototype design was revolutionary for its time. Its 498cc single-cylinder engine was laid horizontally and featured an overhead cam driven by shaft-and- bevel gears. Perhaps even more interesting were the four-valve head layout and the engine's short-stroke dimensions of 88 x 82 mm. The first production model, called the Normale, closely followed the original layout, but the overhead cam was ditched in favor of push rod-operated valves, with two instead of four valves.
Guzzi's first racing model, the Corsa 2V debuted in 1923; but was replaced in 1924 by the much improved model, the C4V, which returned to many of the features of the original GP prototype. It produced 22 hp at 5,500 rpm, reaching a maximum speed of 93 mph. The C4V used the new eagle logo and was the first branded Moto Guzzi bike.
The C4V made its debut at the famous Lario event the Italian TT, winning at an average speed of 42.2 mph, this speed may seem low in today's standards, but the race was run over un-surfaced roads and the course had numerous hairpin turns.
The basic design of the Guzzi single with its giant outside flywheel, gearbox, magneto ignition, and original 88 x 82 mm engine dimensions remained in production as late as 1976.