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Fate purchased by Laverda group 1964
Founded 1948 (motorcycle production)
Headquarters Trento, Italy
Products motorcycles
Parent Aeromere (formerly Aero-Caproni)

Capriolo, later called Aeromere, was the name of the motorcycle production arm of the Italian aircraft company Aeromere or Aero-Caproni. After World War II, the victorious Allies prohibited wartime aircraft and other military hardware suppliers from remaining in their previous industries, and Aero-Caproni would change its name to Capriolo and become one of several, including Aermacchi, MV Agusta, Vespa and Ducati, that switched to producing motorcycles or scooters.[1] These companies did well until the mid-1960s, when the advent of affordable cars like the Fiat 500 removed the economic barrier that kept many Italians relying on motorcycles for basic transportation.[2] Capriolo was typical of those that could not survive the transformation to a more export-oriented industry, with the US as the most important market.[3] Motorcycle production ran from 1947 or 1948 until 1964 when the company was purchased by the Laverda group.[4]

Some Capriolo engines featured the Küchen desmodromic valve system, and others used face-cams [2] rather than the usual camshaft valve operation. Another Capriolo used a longitudinal flat twin, a layout not usually seen except on BMWs or BMW derivatives.[5][6]

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  1. ^ Walker, Mick (2006), Motorcycle: evolution, design, passion, JHU Press, p. 96, ISBN 978-0-8018-8530-3, Immediately after World War II the established Italian marques, such as Bianchi, Moto Guzzi, and Gilera, had been joined by a host of newcomers. Some of these were large organizations had build aircraft previously, but had been prohibited from doing so by the Allies following the conflict -- Aermacci (Macchi), Capriolo (Caproni), MV Agusta (Agusta), and Vespa (Piaggio). While the last of these concentrated on scooters, the other companies produced motorcycles, as did another major military supplier, Ducati which had built radios and electrical equipment.
  2. ^ Giulio, Decio; Carugati, Decio G. R.; Sadleir, Richard (2001), Ducati: Design and Emotion, MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company, p. 64, ISBN 978-0-7603-1199-8, Remember that in those years in Europe and above all in Italy, the utilitarie [1] like the new Fiat 500 penalized sales of motorbikes with medium-large engines. Berliner knew that in the states cars would never affect motorcycles sales, the two market segments were nurtured by completely different dreams...
  3. ^ Walker, Mick (1998), Mick Walker's Italian Racing Motorcycles, Redline Books, p. 132, ISBN 978-0-9531311-1-2, Thanks to its diversion of industrial interests (which also included combine harvesters, caravans and foundry work), Laverda was able to save of the mid-1960s Italian motorcycle industry crisis (brought on by the arrival of small cars such as the Fiat 500). This was to claim several less fortunate victims including Capriolo, Parilla and Rumi to name but three.
  4. ^ Tragatsch, Erwin (1964), "Capriolo", The world's motorcycles, 1894-1963: a record of 70 years of motorcycle production, Temple Press, p. 31, I 1948 to date. 1. Aer Caperoni S.p.a., Trento. 2. Aeromere S.p.a., 99 Via Aeroporto, Trento. Similar to Aer-Macci, Capriolo was also , at one time, a famous producer of aircraft. After the Second World War it began manufacturing motorcycles. The range of models -- first with pressed steel later with tubular frames -- included lightweight face-cam o.h.c. machines from 75 to 125 c.c. At the time of writing the firm is reorganizing and further manufacture is doubtful.
  5. ^ Capriolo
  6. ^ Walker, Mick (2006), "Sporting Lightweights: Innovative Design", Motorcycle: evolution, design, passion, JHU Press, p. 97, ISBN 978-0-8018-8530-3, Technically, however, Capriolo was probably the most interesting marque, with its three main designs. The first of these was a 150cc flat-twin (BMW style); the second a 75 cc, face-cam design, in which the crankshaft ran inline with the pressed-steel frame; the third retained the face-cam layout, but with a more conventional bottom end.

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