Carlo Guzzi, the founder of the firm, created the Lodola in 1956. It was the first four-stroke Guzzi motorcycle to abandon the traditional horizontal cylinder that had been the signature of the marque since 1921, and was one of the last motorcycles designed by Carlo Guzzi himself.
The direct competition for the Lodola Sport was Aermacchi's Ala Bianca.
The new overhead camshaft machine was named after a bird, as were the majority of Guzzi's. "Lodola" is the Italian name for Lark, a songbird with a fiery temperament. Technically, it was right up to date, and well attuned to the riding public's taste for fashionable 175cc sports motorcycles.
The first Lodola Sport of 1956 was priced at 249,000 lire, and was modernized in 1958 with a larger tank and aluminum full-width wheel hubs to replace the offset brake drums. Power was increased from 9 to 11 horsepower, giving the Lodola a claimed top speed of 120 km/h - a remarkable figure for a production 175 at that time.
In 1959 the 175 was replaced by the 235cc Gran Turismo which opted for pushrods and rockers rather than overhead camshaft, although the Regolità version, which amassed a brilliant string of victories in enduro racing, retained the SOHC configuration. The 235 Regolità remained in production until 1966, the GT until 1962.
Engine: Single cylinder two-valve SOHC
Bore & stroke: 62 x 57.8 mm
Engine Capacity: 174cc
Maximum power: 9 h.p. @ 6.000 rpm
Compression ratio: 7.5:1
Valvetrain: Inclined overhead valves actuated by a chain-driven single overhead cam.
Cylinder head: Light alloy with valves in oil-bath
Cooling system: Air cooled
Ignition: Marelli-type coil
Carburettor: Dell'Orto UB 22 BS 2A
Lubrication: Wet sump forced circulation with mechanical gear pump, capacity: 2.5 litres
Motor oil: Fitted with a Telescopic-type oil filter
Transmission: Gear primary, chain final
Clutch: Cable operated with multiple wet disc in oil bath
Gearbox: 4-Speed foot-change constant mesh sliding gears
Throttle: Cable operated
Frame type: Duplex cradle in tubes and sheet metal
Front Suspension: Telescopic fork and shock absorbers
Rear Suspension: Swingarm with hydraulic shock absorbers
Front Brake: Drum, manual expansion
Rear Brake: Drum
Wheelbase: 1,314 mm
Front Tyre: 2.25 x 18 in.
Rear Tyre: 2.25 x 17 in.
Seat: Dual seat
Fuel tank capacity: 12 litres
Fuel consumption: 2.7 litres per 100 km
Top speed: 120 km/h
Weight: 109 Kg.
Price in 1956: 249.000 lire
Source: Hessink's NL