Italian Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Pirotta Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Italian Marque

Pirotta was a company based in Gorgonzola, near Milan, which had been producing bicycles and accessories since 1929.

After WWII Gerolamo Pirotta began construction of mopeds and light motorcycles, the first appearing in 1948 as a moped with an Alpino engine.

In 1948 the rider E. Frigerio is ranked first in the 75cc class on the Martesana circuit riding a "Rondinella Alpino" (of which little is known) and then a Pirotta.

In 1949 the firm built the first Pirotta 49cc engine with 3-speed knob control.

It was customary for motorcycle manufacturers in those years to offer, in addition to mopeds, sports models of 75cc with increased performance and passenger accomodation.

In 1954 the Motoleggera 75 was presented, a sports-style motorcycle with dual seat and swing-arm rear suspension.

Also in competition class was the 75cc Godeva, admired "because the Pirotta 75 has the gearchange on the handlebars", which it inherited from the moped.

The 75cc model came in four versions. The Turismo had a solo saddle, a 2.75 hp motor, and a frame with telescopic forks and rear suspension. The others are the Sport, the Lusso Sport and the Special Sport with 3 hp motor, later increased to 3.25 hp, speed around 70 km/h, telescopic forks and rear swinging arm with shock absorbers, a 12 litre tank, and available in metallic beige or red.

The Pirotta 75 was produced until 1957 but did not sell well, the Lombard company being better known for its bicycle engines, the famous Pirottino.

A version of their 160cc two-stroke was presented in 1958 which had the tank extending beyond the steering column and housing the headlight in Wooler fashion, a four-speed gearbox and leading link forks.

The following year the Pirotta factory closed.

Sources: Moto di Lombardia, Henshaw

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