Italian Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Cappa Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Manufactured: 1905-1910

Built in 1905 by the engineer Giulio Cesare Cappa, this advanced machine was displayed at the Turin Motor Show.

With a vertical single-cylinder water-cooled engine and three-speed transmission driving via universal joint and cardan shaft to the rear wheel, the motorcycle had a cylindrical tank for petrol and water, and a radiator.


Shaft Drive

Examples include BMW, Zundapp and Velocette LE Cardan drive eliminates chain and associated mess and maintenance. Often referred to as a "diff", the final drive unit consists of bevel crown and pinion gears.

Cappa went on to become a famous designer of engines and automobiles including Bugatti, and built the Miller Balsamo 175cc motorcycle which achieved 8 world records in 1932.

His greatest claim to fame, however dates back to the same year he built the Cappa motorcycle, 1905, when he founded the Aquila Italiana firm which produced automobiles. In 1906 at the Turin Fair he presented a new car which had a number of interesting technical solutions not least of which was alloy pistons. (See also Borgo and Bentley).

N.B. Several firms used the Aquila name - see Aquila Marques

Sources: MC Storico Conti, Wikipedia, et al.