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

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6 responses to “False Neutral #55: Gettin’ Horizontal”

  1. nanoop Avatar

    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!

  2. Bob Avatar

    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.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      Good point! Scooters didn’t even occur to me. For that matter, the BMW C scooters would fit that category, too.


    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      “Dummy cylinder”? Not sure what you mean there…

      1. Bob Avatar

        Literally a piston and connecting rod attached to the crank shaft in a cylinder that is 180 degrees opposed to the actual cylinders. I am having a difficult time finding a better picture but yeah 3 cylinder motor, effectively, without fuel air and spark going to one of them.

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

          Fascinating, that few totally under my radar. Thanks for educating me!