Moto Guzzi v-twin engine available in Blackjack Zero Cyclecar

March 1st, 20090 Comments »

moto guzzi engine in cyclecarIn yet another use for the famous and reliable v-twin engine from Moto Guzzi, Blackjack Cars from the UK has made the Moto Guzzi 1100cc engine available as an option in their Blackjack Zero kit.  The Blackjack Zero 3-wheeler kit normally has been using an air cooled Volkswagen engine as it’s standard offering.

The Guzzi engine in the Blackjack is coupled to a Volkswagen transmission.  This unusual marriage makes for a lightweight and reliable drive system that comes together very nicely in the Zero cyclecar.


The Blackjack is not the only cyclecar company using Moto Guzzi engines.  Check out the Morgan replica Aero BRA MG3 from Aero Cycle Cars, also in the UK.  You can get the MG3 with a Moto Guzzi 850, 948 or 1064 engine.  The MG3 can be bought as a kit, or turn-key, where you provide the Guzzi drivetrain or Aero can provide that fully prepared by Motori di Morino.

Triking Cyclecars of England also has been using a Moto Guzzi v-twin engine in their 3-wheelers since the company was started in the late 1970’s.


This type of 3-wheeler design, referred to as a cyclecar, comes from the old Morgan Motor Company and it’s founder, H.F.S. Morgan.  Morgan used a variety of engines over the years, and most of them were a v-twin motorcycle engine that was located right out front where we would expect to see a front bumper or grill on traditional cars.

A cyclecar has 2 wheels in the front and one in the rear.  This helps with cornering stability and places much of the weight on the front end.

The Triking, the  BRA and the Blackjack Zero borrow much of their style from the Morgan Sports and Super Sports models of the 1920’s and 1930’s which initially used J.A.P. and then switched to Matchless v-twin engines.

In the US, it can be very difficult to find a British cyclecar or cyclecar kit to build.  For locating the Guzzi v-twin to use in it, unfortunately, it also can be difficult to find a Moto Guzzi dealer without having to travel a relatively far distance (luckily, not for me).

A cyclecar can be one of those vehicles that once you see one, you want to have one.  An enterprising company in the state of Washington called Ace Cyclecars of Seattle, has started offering cyclecar kits aimed directly at the US market.  Not surprisingly, the engine for the Ace cyclecar kit is none other than a Harley-Davidson v-twin.

About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotoGuzziGuide.Com. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding and maintaining his Moto Guzzi California Vintage. John participates in local charity rides and also serves as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for one of the largest annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

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