Small block categorisation

What models, old and new are categorised as “small block”.
Why small block.
Are they significantly lighter than the “big block”.
Thanks in advance,


i don’t have a full answer but i can help you with a start:

back in the day, when the 850/1000cc Tonti-framed bikes were in production, a smaller model was developed for markets with varying licensing/taxation regs and, well, smaller models. and lo! The v50 and cousins (eg v35, V65) were created. they had a completely different engine block from the 850/1000 range and it was smaller than that unit: thus big block/small block (also related, round/square barrel). the two blocks remained essentially in parallel production with differing model development paths for quite some time.

edit: ThisOldTractor site, whose creator knows a thing or two about Moto Guzzis, lists “small blocks” thus: Moto Guzzi 250 TS, 350 NTX, 650 NTX, 750 NTX, 750 SP, 750 T, 750 XPA, Breva 750, Nevada 350, Nevada 750, STR V750 IE, Targa 750, V35, V35 Florida, V35 II, V35 Imola, V50, V50 II, V50 III, V50 Monza, V65, V65 Florida, V65 SP, V7 Café Classic, V7 Classic, V7 II Racer, V7 II Special, V7 II Stone, V7 Racer, V7 Special, V7 Stone, V75, and V85 models

the same site further categorises various other models, too, which may be helpful to you.


As a small block enthusiast only, I can help: swingarm hooked up directly in the gearbox(although new V100 has it too), heron head ( flat one, apart from 4V models), and generally the very same castings for engine, gearbox and partly swingarm and bevel drive - machined specifically for the model depending on cc, but same look. If we come into details, there’s plenty of tiny differences, but they help us “personalize” our bike and I have couple of them with say six models as a donors, easy swap.


and much easier to ride and enjoy than the larger models, especially if like me you have very little riding skill, sub 1000cc motorcycle are often looked down on ? yet my Breva is the same weight and power as a standard 1960s Triumph Tiger
one journalist described it as a learners machine, so I bought one and rode it around Europe, and emailed him to point out the error if his ways !
but when you dont pay for your machine you need to promote the big boys
oh yes, when it fell over somewhere remote I could pick it up, even with my bad back