Italian Motorcycles

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Galbusera: Speedway Motorcycles and a Supercharged V8 Twostroke

Manufactured in Brescia 1934-1955*

Galbusera motorcycles were built by Plinio Galbusera in Brescia Italy from the mid 1930's until the mid 1950's. His most notable motorcycle was a two-stroke V8 of 1938 which did not progress beyond the prototype.

Postwar production consisted of three-wheelers and motorcycles using engines produced in-house along with Sachs and Villiers units of 175cc to 500cc until 1955.

Moto Galbusera & Co. (luego rebautizada Motocicli Plinio Galbusera) era una fábrica italiana de motocicletas con sede en Brescia que comenzó construyendo cuadros en 1932.

Plinio Galbusera y el piloto e "ingeniero" Adolfo Marama Toyo, inicialmente construyeron motos con motores de 175 a 500 cc Sturmey Archer y principalmente Python (Rudge-Whitworth). Las cajas eran Burman o Sturmey Archer. El diseño de la moto era obra de Marama Toyo, un curioso personaje nacido en Egipto y rodeado de un halo de misterio, que a menudo también las piloteaba en carreras de speedway

En el Salón de Milán de 1938 presentan dos modelos excepcionales, aunque nunca pudieron entrar en producción. Uno era un dos tiempos de 249 cc cuatro cilindros en V y el otro un dos tiempos de 498 cc de ocho cilindros en V (en esencia este último estaba constituido por dos blocks de los motores de 250 cc acoplados entre sí).Estas dos máquinas tenían motores de dos tiempos sobrealimentados con cigüeñales ubicados longitudinalmente. En el 500, la caja de cambios se montaba transversalmente entre lo que podría llamarse el V-4 delantero y el V-4 trasero que, impulsados por un engranaje cónico, giraban en direcciones opuestas.

Galbusera no tenía la intención de desarrollar mucha potencia, su objetivo principal era crear motos confiables y con una aceptable velocidad máxima de 150 km/h. Lamentablemente la limitada capacidad financiera de Galbusera, que a menudo causaba interrupciones en los desarrollos, sumado al comienzo de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, impidieron la producción de estos modelos.

Después de 1945, la fábrica comienza a utilizar en sus cuadros motores Sachs, más tarde reemplazados por Villiers de 125 a 175 cc. En 1946 muere Marama Toyo en una competencia en pista de tierra y en 1955 empiezan a tener problemas financieros que harían en breve finalizar la producción.

Moto Galbusera & Co. (later Motocicli Plinio Galbusera) was an Italian motorcycle manufacturer headquartered in Brescia whose first machines appeared in 1932 (or 1934, depending on source)

Plinio Galbusera initially built motorcycles with engines of 175cc to 500 cc from Sturmey Archer and, for the most part, Rudge Python and with gearboxes from Burman or Sturmey Archer. In the late 1930s he was joined by rider and expert mechanic Adolfo Marama Toyo of Trieste, an unusual Egyptian-born character who is often credited in the annals of motorcycle history with introducing Italy to the savage joys of speedway, an art form which he had witnessed in its very early days in NSW, Australia.


Python Four Valve Head

Rudge Python 250, 350 and 500cc engines were introduced in 1931. Borgo used 4V heads in 1920.

At the 1938 Milan Show two exceptional machines from Galbusera appeared, a 249cc V-four two-stroke and a supercharged two-stroke V8 of 498cc created using a pair of counter-rotating 250 V4 blocks bolted to each end of the gearbox. It created a sensation.

There is a suggestion that the 250 machine was a full-scale marquette, but the V8 was real enough. Whether it actually ran is another matter. Galbusera was not looking to achieve maximum power but rather good reliability, apparently, and expected 150 km/h from the machine. Before Marama and Galbusera could develop the machine further, Mussolini brought war to Italy.

Plinio, in the early speedway years, was the only manufacturer of speedway bikes in Italy. He and Marama had become friendly, and Marama proposed to him the idea of a V8, a concept so utterly fantastic that a larger firm would have laughed it off as the ravings of a lunatic. But Plinio was interested - he knew Marama quite well by this time, and understood that this was not as crazy as it sounded, coming from a man who, despite lacking any degree (he was not a engineer) was a man of many talents. In addition to being a fine rider, he was multilingual, (French, Italian, Croatian, German and Arabic) and appears to have had considerable expertise in engine technology, as can be verified by the outcome. It took the two men just one year, "one year of feverish work", to create the machine and present it at the Salone Internazionale del Ciclo e Motociclo (Milan Show) of 1938. The Galbusera factory was destroyed by bombing during the war and the engine and the motorcycle which housed it were lost.

When hostilities ceased in 1945 Galbusera resumed business and fitted Sachs engines to their frames, later replaced by 125 and 175 cc Villiers.

Marama Toyo died on May 30th 1946 after a race at the Ippodromo di Montebello (Montebello Hippodrome).

In 1955 financial problems ended production.

Adolfo Marama Toyo


  • Sergio Scalerandi,
  • Articles by Fosco Rocchetta and Franco Damiani Vergada published at and There is a new edition of Vergarda's book, Motociclismo a Trieste - Cent'anni di storia nella provincia giuliana, see Bibliography
  • Tragatsch, and many more.

mircosnaidero at
Galbusera - Marama Toyo
Good Morning!
We are writing you from a town near Udine (Italy). We came through your post about Marama Toyo and read that you have the contact of a woman who's father and relatives were friends of Marama Toyo. May I ask you if it's possible to have the contact of Mrs. Bertok, please? It's very important!
We need to ask her more infos, as we are reproducing the motorbike Galbusera V8 as it was conceived in 1938. As you for sure know, the project of the engine of this motorbike was made by Adolfo Marama Toyo.
Each information we get about this great and mysterious man is very useful for us.
Thank you from heart for your answer and help!
Kind Regards,
Mirco Snaidero
Mels (UD) - Italy

I will forward your email to her.

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