A Brief History of Capriolo Motorcycles
In 1947 Aero-Caproni turned to motorcycle production, beginning with a 48cc ciclomotore two-stroke. By 1951 they were producing sophisticated and elegant little four speed 75cc fourstrokes with pressed steel chassis, later enlarged to 100cc and 125cc. Their more interesting machines included a horizontally opposed 149cc twin of 1955, and competition machines with 75cc engines using the Küchen desmodromic system of the 1920s.
From 1953 to 1959 they also produced NSU engined machines named Caproni-Vizzola with models named Cavilux and Cavimax, the latter based on the NSU Max engine. At one time the range also included a face-cam OHV single, and they also built a range of three-wheelers. In 1958 the Capriolo company name was changed to Aeromere, which ceased production in 1964. The parent company, Aero-Caproni, continued to build aircraft some of which were very advanced. Their jet-powered glider remains one of the most extraordinary sailplanes ever constructed.
In 1951 Aero Caproni company released their Capriolo 75 in two versions, Normale and Turismo. By 1955 the Capriolo 75 had sold 25,000 units, and gained laurels in competition including the Motogiro and the Milan-Taranto.
Brand: Aero Caproni
Model: Capriolo 75 Turismo
Engine Type: Fourstroke
Engine Capacity: 74.6 cc
Power: 3.5 HP
Gearbox: 4 speed
Maximum Speed: 80 km/h
Colour: Red, with red and white tank.
List Price: 170.000 lire
The twin cylinder Capriolo Cento 50, designed and manufactured by Aero Caproni of Trento, was presented at the international fair of the cycle and motorcycle of Milan in 1953.
The 150cc horizontally opposed transverse flat twin (boxer) engine delivered 8 horsepower at 6000 rpm to the final drive via chain and was the only example of such a small engine in the motorcycle engineering world. German influence on the frame design is quite apparent.
The Cento 50 was produced until 1956 and fewer than 500 motorcycles left the factory.
Due to its rarity, originality, unusual technical characteristics and refined construction, this is one of the most appreciated and sought after 1950s Italian motorcycles of this class.
Brand: Aero Caproni
Model: Capriolo Cento50
Engine Type: 4-Stroke V-Twin
Engine Capacity: 149,2 cc
Power: 8 HP
Gearbox: 4 speed
Maximum Speed: 95 km/h
Colour: Silver Avio with tank with silver grey insert
List Price: n/a
A brief history of Aero Caproni s.p.a. of Trento.
Dr. Ing. Gianni Caproni of Taliedo in 1940 had been ordered to attend to "every industrial and commercial activities relating to the transport planes and aircraft engineering".
After the war, in August of 1950, the company turned from the aircraft industy to the motorcycle industry, having been studying for such a move since 1948. Giuseppe Perini built the A50 prototype engine of what would become the Capriolo 75, presented that summer at the Motorcycle Fair of Milan.
Tue Nov 22 2016
dfc1145 at btinternet.com
Hi! I was one of the only mechanics for Capriolo when they were in Croydon. In fact I was featured in a motorcycle magazine stripping down a Capriolo. My name is David Cracknell.
Thu Nov 27 2014
nancymcmurren at hotmail.com
Caproni-vizzola NSU 250 scrambler
I have one of these and need parts and information. My Caproni is a 1958.
Editor's reply: The first time I heard of the marque it was whistling over my head - I was a sprog pilot and my instructor told me the machine was a Caproni. Decades later, an American chap came to see me about a flying matter and told me he was bringing an Aero-Caproni glider to Australia - a jet powered glider. It was somehow lost in transit and ended up in South Africa. The next time I heard of it I was flying in Northern NSW with a chap who pointed down to a shed near the airfield we were flying from and told me there was a Jet Caproni in it. Same one! The fellow had brought it out and then, before he could do anything with it, had a tragic accident and died.
Wed Feb 12 2014
leepmullins at hotmail.co.uk
I had a 1960 Capriolo 75cc in 1962 when I was 16. Are there still any left in the UK?
Sun Jul 21 2013
capriola 100 cc
Hello I have been given a Capriola 100cc motorcycle to restore for a friend. Does any one know of the name of the red paint work or a colour code so I can have the correct paint for this little bike.
Clacton on sea UK
Tue May 08 2012
capriolo 1962 delux 125
WANTED KICKSTART LEVER (the only thing missing from my machine)
Mon Jul 04 2011
I found this capriolo motorcycle in a guys boneyard here in newcastle, wyoming USA, I bought it from him just for the novelty as he had no idea what it was, and neither did I until I got it home and found your site, thought I would share it with you, feel free to post the pics on your site and if anybody needs it for parts, it wouldn't take much to aquire it. cheers...bill
Tue Apr 19 2011
Capriolo 100 motorcycle
I am in the US there is an auction I am going to this week. it has a capriolo 100 in the auction it is a complete but unrestored can you give me a value for this bike unrestored and restored. I understand you can be exact because you cannot see the bike but any direction will be of help thanks Mike
Mon May 31 2010
capriolo 125 caproni
we need cmplettly parts-book about this model
Tue Feb 24 2009
knh246 at yahoodot com
my friend has one thats still original.he has the title which states it`s a 65, but people are saying they quit makeing them in 58. whats up with that?
As Cosmopolitan were advertising that model in 1964, it may well have been sold in 1965. This one appears identical to one displayed in the gallery as a circa 1964 model. Capriolo-1965c-125cc-1.jpg posted 0902
Sat Dec 13 2008
cmoscam1 at yahoodot com
Capriolo 125 ISDT
I posted the message & pictures Oct 18,2007 on the Capriolo 125cc ISDT bikes. I purchased them from Cosmo in 1969, but these bikes were competing in 1958. You have them as 1969 models, impossible since Capriolo went out of business in 1963. Cosmopolitan bought the entire factory, and had it shipped the the USA to sell off the assets (bikes). The listing of my discussion and the pictures should show them as 1958 bikes, not 1969. Great Capriolo site!
Sun Aug 31 2008
slarsonroy at l2speed.net
I bought a Capriolo 125 at a swap meet this weekend in Davenort Iowa. Nice little complete machine, but very dirty. Anyone out there familiar with these bikes? I also bought a MDS 70, also made in Italy. Google comes up with nothing on that little bike.
Wed Apr 09 2008
tidypluk at hotmaildot com
Capriolo 75 1959
I have had a Capriolo since 1964 and need a petrol tap or a new washer for it. My old one leaks badly and I uld end up firing the engine up in the wrong way.Does anyone know of any spares PLEASE. I will swap it for money
Wed Dec 26 2007
franciscoleivah at hotmaildot com
italian motorcycles 1960 aprox
Traiguen 9ª ,Chile
Tue Nov 13 2007
Naselroad67 at aoldot com
1965 125cc dark red
While looking on the net. It suprised me to find this page. My first bike was a 125 cc Capriolo.
I bought it from our local BSA dealership in 1965 when i was 15 yrs old in Ind, U.S.A.
I didnt keep it very long because the bike was a nightmare.
I bought it because I thought the 125cc would out run the Honda 90, boy was I wrong,the dealer said it would run close to 60 mph, but about 48-49 was tops.
the very first week I had it the clutch cable broke and the shop tried to solder it rather than replace it. Thus it broke all the time I owned it. I dont think I ever made it out of town without failure, sometimes I couldnt even make it home. But I learned to shift without clutch. ha!.
At about 2300 miles and still in the 90 day warrenty the risk pin keeper came off and seized the piston to the cyl. the dealership told me that the piston was not covered in the warrenty.... After my dad talked to them I ended up paying
only labor.. Running again but still slow.
Dealership said it had old jets in carb and they ordered new ones, after about 2 weeks he said we need to send in my jets so they could match which carb I had.
Two more weeks and now the distribter called saying they lost my jets and now needed me to send in the whole carb so they can match my jets.. "I dont think so." I can just see my two month old bike sitting there without a carb " Thinking they might lose it also...
So my dad took off a day of work and went to Washbash Ind. 1 1/2 hrs away. where the local distrubter was, they not only give him the right jets but also a new cam for the engine.
When I got home from school that day dad had the bike running with new parts installed.
I took it out that night and it topped out at 60+ mph. really made me happy till the clutch cable and the throtle cable both broke. ha!!! Idled home without a clutch...
I took it to the Honda shop after fixing and traded it in for a new 305 Super Hawk.. Now that was a great bike...
So my brother always said to me. They made two Capriolo's, the first one they junked and the second one I bought..ha.
This brings back a lot of GOOD old memories that happened 43 yrs ago.
I am still riding at 58 so the Capriolo did start my love of riding.
I've had 7 honda's and two Harleys since then. the latest being a 07 Heritage.which is the most enjoyable of all the bikes I've owned...
Yours must have been a Friday bike!
I owned the two Capriolo 125cc ISDT machines for 20 years, here in the US. I bought them from Cosmopolitan Motors ~1969. We rode on the trails in US for some years, then I broke a gear. I stored them for many years.
In 1999, I was asked to show one at the Italian Concours in Laguna Seca raceway. I restored one to the condition you see here, and showed at the concours. I had the decals for the re-painted tanks, but did not know how to apply them. This one had the Ceriani forks, the other one has the Capriolo forks. These had 5 speed transmissions, dual coils, were very strong (and heavy)!
Pictures were taken for the Italian press, and within 1 year I received a message that one of the original Capriolo ISDT riders saw the pictures, and sent his nephew to the US to purchase the machines. We made a deal, he air shipped the machines to Venice.
This is good, these historic machines belong in Italy.
I hope you enjoy the pictures.
NOTE: Cosmopolitan Motors sold all the remaining spares to Domi Racer. They will have anything that is left.
Thu Aug 16 2007
homebrewer-02 at yahoodot com
1964 Capriolo 125
I went looking for anything on Capriolo motorcycles and came across your site by chance. I had a 1964, 125 c.c. Blue Capriolo and I ran the wheels of that little bike. Even if it were only 125 c.c., it would run almost 60 MPH and for that era of small bikes, it was a little scat cat. Rode it for almost a year and a half then I traded up to a real beast. Norton 750, no comparison in speed or ride. The little 125 was pretty smooth, but that nasty Norton was one of the most uncomfortable motorcycles I ever had the pleasure of riding, but it was a real beast on the road and not very many bikes back them would keep up with it.
Now, I wish that I had both of those motorcycles back.
Indianapolis, IN. USA
Fri Jun 22 2007
alan.ha1 at talktalk.net
Capriolo 125 de luxe
I bought a new Capriolo 125 de luxe in 1961, I believe it cost me £171 at the time. It was a lovely little bike to ride but on 2 occasions I was stopped by traffic police because they thought it made too much noise from the exhaust. I had not touched the exhaust it was as original from the factory. The only part I recall having to buy was a rocker arm because the tappet adjuster had seized solid and I had to travel to Croydon where Capriolo were in England. The elecrics, I recall were the weakest part of the bike. The bike was very nippy for a 125cc engine but with 2 up it was a different story. I traded the bike in for a new Norton Navigator in 1963 and received £104 for it. The Norton was absolute rubbish but I ran it for about 3 years before succumbing to the urge to buy a car. All in all I was very pleased with this bike.
Fri Jun 15 2007
Warchild at DJWarcild.Com
My grandparents just gave me a bike thats been sitting in their basement since the early 60's. When I looked at the book for the bike, it had Cosmopolitan Motors listed on the book. I was wondering what parts for these bikes were avalible, and exactly how to identify it. I believe it's a 125cc model, and the paint resembles that of the Gazelle. Below are the numbers I've been able to find on various parts of the bike.
Engine: 61239 and also 3603M
On the front fender: Cenlo 25
Headlight Lens: 4-10-1955
As for the motor, I believe it is a Capriolo R- Dagger 125 Engine. This is from reading up on it from some other pages.
Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. I know right off the bat that it will need a new headlight assembly, tail light cover, and possibly a magneto.
Clearwater, FL USA
Fri Mar 02 2007
patrick at uden-mediadot com
I have a mint Aero Caproni Capriolo 75. It arrived in the UK as a small 'makewieght' in a container of larger Italian machines for restoration ordered by Steve Lilley, owner of European Motorcyles in Shepperton. It was given to me by Steve and I had it restored by James Tennant-Eyles, although it was in fairly good and complete condition. The colours and components are absolutely original or as original except for leather rather than oilcloth on the saddles, and a speedometer (mounted in the headlamp) which Italian law did not require. Once restored it featured in Classic Bike magazine and was ridden by its editor of the time. The only components in unsalvagable condition were the tyres, but I found an original set of corect sized Pirellis and tubes at the San Marino autojumble (recommended for hard to find parts). The machine is currently 'off the road' in warm dry storage.
Sat Feb 03 2007
slotspot at hotmaildot com
125 De Luxe
Hi, glad to find your web site, last time I looked for information on Capriolo motorcycles on the web there was absolutely nothing and I thought I must have remembered the name incorrectly. Anyway, this might sound like sacrilege today, but when a few friends and I managed to purchase a rather battered 125 Capriolo De Luxe for very little money in Hampshire, England in the early 1970s. We decided it would be the ideal vehicle to use to develop our budding trials riding careers - Bultaco's and Montesa's being somewhat out of our league. The poor old Capriolo wasn't bad right up until the frame snapped under the strain. Without any welding gear to fix it, we then adapted the front forks to fit a pushbike frame (an early attempt at mountain biking), which you'll no doubt be surprised to learn even less resilient than the Capriolo. No idea what happened to all the bits but its wonderful to see what they should look like! Of course if I had one today I'd be much more careful with
it and only use it for motorcross.
Sat Feb 03 2007
gnome69666 at yahoodot com
Hi i have a 75cc capriolo year unknown and i was looking to restore it any help to find parts would be greatly appreciated
Sun Jan 28 2007
bill.oconnor2 at btinternetdot com
Capriolo for sale
I have been a long term admirer of these beautiful machines. Does any one have one for sale? Preferably one in reasonably good nick
Fri Nov 10 2006
msd at iae.nl
capriolo corsa speciale
Image of superbly restored racing bike courtesy Toon van den Dungen
Tue Oct 31 2006
joanne.west7 at ntlworlddot com
I have several Capriolo's which I have rebuilt. I can answer most questions you may have. I am curently looking for spares. If you know of anywhere, where I can get spares. Please let me know.
The picture that I have attached is from 1997 Classic Motorcycle Magazine. They did an article on me. Thanks Roy Dagger
Sat Aug 19 2006
simonstanborough at mywaydot com
Capriolo For Sale
75cc Four Stroke 1959
Tue May 16 2006
isolde-zillmann at freenet.de
Aeromere Capriolo 125 Gran Turismo
I need the cylinder head of the Capriolo 125 from 1959. Can s/o help me or is interested in the restaured parts?
Tue May 16 2006
johnandlora at yahoodot com
Capriola 125 Spares availabillity
I have recently contacted a seller of a 125 machine and wondered what the spares situation is like to restore this machine?. When restored what sort of price would it be worth?
Try this page for motorcycle valuations. Ed.
Fri Mar 17 2006
rures2005 at aoldot com
If anyone has any information on a 75cc Capriolo I would love them to contact me as i'm in the processes of restoring one. Many thanks
Thu Mar 09 2006
donald at sellars69.freeserve.co.uk
I've adnired these motorcycles since the early 60's, when a friend of nmine converted a 125 for racing. Now I'm in my dotage, I'd love to lay my hands on one again, so if anyone knows where there is one available, please e-mail me on donald at sellars69.freeserve.co.uk
Thu Feb 02 2006
steve at lilleyfamilydot com
Does anyone have a c1961 125 Sport for sale in the UK. It was my first bike and I would love to get another one. Condition is fairly unimportant but must at least be complete. Thanks, Steve
Wed Jan 11 2006
cora1965 at msndot com
Carburator for a Capriolo
Hello, we just purchased a Capriolo and it is missing the carburator. We are not sure what year this is, it may be 100cc, we are not sure about that either, we do have the VIN#. It seems in good condition, we would like to have it restored with all original parts or as close as we can. Can you tell us the name of the manufacture to purchase a carborator or a place to get a used one. We have found little info on this, some history, very interesting. Thanks, sure hope you can help us in some way.
Mon May 01 2006
Capriolo/Still unsure, would like input.
I stated in an earlier e-mail that we needed a carberator, well we found one and it will ship out this week. I have pictures now, without the carberator of course.
The frame number is 40028 and the engine number is 36890.
If anyone can help with the Year and size, feel free to contact us,
Thanks, Cora and Danny
Hello again, We found a carberator, my husband got it put on, got a little gas to it and it fired right up, sounded so good... We are now in the process of cleaning out the gas tank, he put 2400 BB's in the tank and he has been shaking it
around all night. There must be a better way. Anyway, next we are going to purchase tires. Wish us luck, and by the way, we took the headlamp housing apart and found some more numbers on the bottom of the
Odometer/Speedometer. My husband thinks this may be a date. 964 Z60/67 . If you have answers, this is all a mystery to us, Thanks a bunch, you've been great!!
Sincerely, Cora and Danny Murray
There are a number of products designed to seal rusty fuel tanks. It's usually a three stage process, one of which involves an acid. The acid etches out all the rust prior to coating with with plastic in solution. The product I'm most familiar with is Kream or Kreem. I'm sure the acid will be available separately.
I believe the numbers on the speedo are to do with ratios, not the date. Ed.
Sat Nov 26 2005
simonstanborough at mywaydot com
I have a 1959 sale can you advise of any clubs etc that would be interested.
Wed Nov 16 2005
tedburn.motor.services at btinternetdot com
My father in law passed away a few months ago. Upon finally sorting through his garage we have found a 1964 Capriolo. It's tax disc ran out in 1965!!!!! Any ideas atall on its value or range of values?? Obviously it has not been on the road for some time!
Please find attached 5 photos of the Capriolo. It's a 125cc. According to the tacometer it has done 2000 miles. Obviously we have not started it up!!!!!
I have trawled through the related google web sites and cannot find any capriolos for sale to compare it with so any advise you can give us on a sale value in its current state would be much appreciated
Wed Jun 01 2005
duranjl at netzero.net
Motor year and size?
Can you tell me what size this Capriolo motor is and what year it is? The motor number is 39305
January 23rd 2005
subject: caprioni trento capriolo motocycle
Email: barry.crosby at btopenworlddot com
message: hi i have a capriolo bike age unknown but approx 1947 to 1952 ?. it is approx 75 to 125 cc ?? . can you supply any info in any form to help in rebuild. ?.
... the eng no is 06916 & frame no 06900& it is 75 cc i believe .?.
its colour is a greeny / grey shade & its one of the early models ?. pre shock absorber rear suspension type. i cant get a picture on e/mail yet, but will keep trying .the bike is totally original but well wethered !. i would welcome any comments as to its value as it stands. regards barry crosby.
If you have a query about Capriolo motorcycles or have information about these classic Italian machines, please contact us