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False Neutral #55: Gettin’ Horizontal

Garrett’s still AWOL this week, so Eric and Pete keep this episode a bit briefer than usual. Our topic is a bit obscure: horizontal-cylinder engines. We start with Guzzi’s Falcone and Nuovo Falcone. Then, we fawn all over the Ducati Supermono, explain how reciprocating counterweights work, and school Ducati on what the Scrambler Sixty2 should have been, and why. All this leads Pete to a sudden epiphany regarding Honda’s worst bike ever. Moving from thumpers to multi-cylinder bikes, we wrap up with BMW K-bikes and the obscure, Aermacchi-based Linto racer.

NOTE: “Falcone” is properly pronounced fal-CO-nay, not fal-COHN, as I say repeatedly. I’ve had it wrong in my head for years, and know it’s wrong, but the right way just doesn’t stick.

(I didn’t slack this week, and we talked about a lot of bikes, so there’s a full 21 images after the jump.)

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False Neutral – Gettin’ Horizontal

Except where noted in the captions, images are standard press kit/website photos used courtesy of the respective manufacturers.

Moto Guzzi Falcone (1950–67)
IMAGE SOURCE: bonhams.com

Moto Guzzi Nuovo Falcone Militare (1971–76)
IMAGE SOURCE: realclassic.co.uk

Moto Guzzi Nuovo Falcone Civile (1973–73)
IMAGE SOURCE: daidegasforum.com

1928 Indian Four

Aermacchi Ala Verde
IMAGE SOURCE: bike-urious.com

Harley-Davidson SX350
IMAGE SOURCE: flickr.com

1965 Honda C200 90
IMAGE SOURCE: flickr.com

Apollo RFZ125 (a typical Honda Cub clone engine)
IMAGE SOURCE: extrememotorsales.com

Ducati Supermono
IMAGE SOURCE: commons.wikimedia.org

Supermono counterbalancer diagram

Supermono engine cutaway
IMAGE SOURCE: advrider.com

2009 BMW F800GS

2012 Aprilia SVX550

Ducati Scrambler Sixty2

Honda MVX250F

Honda MVX250F Connecting Rods

985 Yamaha FZ750

Honda CTX700-NC700 engine



1990 BMW K75S

Linto 500

  • I’m pretty sure an Italian bike enthusiast will understand “Moto Gootsie Felcon”, although he/she might twitch at first.
    Being into engineering, not into bikes, your slack will be my edutainment!

  • Bob

    Does the Yamaha T-Max work in this discussion at all? Admittedly its a scooter but it was a fairly horizontal parallel twin with a dummy cylinder.