Italian Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

F.V.L. Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Italian Marque

Francesco Vincenzo Lanfrachi of Florence was a fine rider who made his name setting world speed records in France with Peugeot from 1903 to 1905, winning the Paris-Nice and becoming the first rider to exceed a 120 kp/h average speed.

Following an unfortunate incident which occurred during a race, he abandoned motorcycle competition and returned to Milan, working first with Turkheimer and later with Wolsit.

In 1913 he began his own business importing Douglas motorcycles from Britain.

It has been suggested that due to his friendship with Giuseppe Gilera, Lanfranchi provided Gilera with opposed-cylinder engines with which they built twin-cylinder motorcycles ( perhaps just a few examples ) produced prior to the first war.

After the 1914-1918 war Lanfranchi became an agent for Ascot Pullin, Henderson and Royal Enfield motorcycles.

In 1925 he established the FVL company, producing motorcycles using auxiliary engines built by the Swiss firm Moser, and in 1931 began building their own 174cc and 248cc OHV engines. They also built utility trimoteurs.

They were one of the first Italian manufacturers to adopt the saddle tank and, in 1929, built a motorcycle with an engine designed by the engineers Bonamore and Forlani (who also designed the Fert engine), a 175cc overhead valve four-stroke.

FVL production ceased in 1935, when, at the age of 59, Lanfrachi retired from business.

Sources: Moto di Lombardia, et al.

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