Moto Guzzi Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Moto Guzzi 250SS 1928-1933

Moteur monocylindre
246.8 cm3
Puissance: 20ch à 6.500 tr/min
Poids: 105 Kg
Vitesse: plus de 120 Km/H

La 250 Guzzi est lancée en 1926.

Plusieurs versions seront proposées au fil des années dont la SS à partir de 1928.

L'usine se retirant des compétitions, elle propose ce modèle compétition-client.

La 250 SS se distingue par l'adoption d'un gros réservoir d'huile et par une augmentation de la puissance de 15 à 20ch.

Elle sera une des motos les plus performantes de sa catégorie à l'époque grâce à sa distribution à arbre à cames en tête.

French text: Thomas Bersy

Moto Guzzi 250SS Specification

246.8cc OHC single cylinder 2 valve engine, 68x68mm.
Power: 20hp at 6,500 rpm
Weight: 105 Kg
Max. Speed: around 125 km/h

The 250 Guzzi was released in 1926 and competed in the Lightweight TT where Pietro Ghersi finished 2nd, but was disqualified on a minor technicality. Later that year it won the Circuito del Lario and Grand Prix des Nations at Monza.

Several versions were developed over the years including the 1928 SS, released as a privateer racing model when the factory withdrew from competition.

The 250 SS is distinguished by the adoption of a large oil tank and an increase in power from 15 to 20hp.

It became one of the most successful motorcycles in its class at the time thanks to its overhead camshaft. Production ran from 1928 to 1933.

Oskar Schindler solved the speed problem early in 1928. The Galloni was sold and in its place came the dream of every young racing enthusiast, the fabulous 250cc single cylinder OHC Moto Guzzi. The great Italian Pietro Ghersi introduced this racing model in 1926 to the thousands of race spectators during the Lightweight TT in the Isle of Man, and scared with his phantastic practice and race laps not only "Ebby" (then the Chief Timekeeper Mr Ebblewhite), but also all his opponents. Until then the name Moto-Guzzi was known only at home in Italy and even in other Continental countries, only very few of these wonderful machines were ridden in races - Orlando Geissler and Hans Winkler had them in Germany, Joo in Hungary, Vojtech Kolazskowsky in Poland and Peter Roberts in Czechoslovakia. And now, Oskar Schindler, son of an insurance agent and man about town, got one too.
~ The Vintagent, quoting Erwin Tragatsch.

Oskar always had an interest in fast automobiles and motorcycles. By 1926, he had already gained quite a reputation as a reckless speedster on his red Italian Galloni 500 cc motorcycle with sidecar. According to one of his old friends, Erwin Tragatsch, it was the only motorcycle of this type in the Czechoslovak Republic. As Oskar became more interested in motorcycle racing, he began to look for a faster machine. In 1928, he bought a 250 cm Königsswellen Moto-Guzzi, a racing motorcycle reputed to be one of the fastest in Europe. Presumably, [his father] Hans bought both motorcycles for Oskar.

Oskar entered his first race in May 1928. The course began in Brno and finished in the town of Sobešice just north of Brno. Though Tragatsch referred to the event as a "mountain race," the course was more hilly than mountainous. Oskar, riding his red Moto-Guzzi, finished third in his first race. His third-place victory so thrilled Oskar that he soon entered another race at the Alvater course, on the German border. Oskar competed with nine other racers in his motorcycle class. This time, though, two other racers also drove Moto-Guzzis. During most of the race, Oskar remained in fifth place. He moved into fourth place when one of his competitors on a Moto-Guzzi dropped out. He took third place when Kurt Henkelmann, a seasoned racer on a Werks-DKW, ran out of gas. As Henkelmann pushed his motorcycle towards the finish line, Oskar passed him, thinking he was in third place. For some unknown reason, Oskar stopped just before the finish line, much to the dismay of the crowd, which shouted for him to cross over it. While he was mistaking their shouts for applause, Henkelmann pushed his motorcycle over the finish line to take third place. According to Tragatsch, this was Schindler's last race.

Oskar Schindler: The Untold Account of His Life... by David Crowe.

Crowe writes in his introduction to the book that he'd like to thank the researchers who helped translate "the mountain of documents, much of it handwritten, in eight languages."

Sources: Yesterdays, Thomas Bersy, et al

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