- four generations in engineering.
long history of the Ancillotti enterprise starts in the 19th
century with Ernesto Ancillotti who graduates from being a
driver of horse drawn public transport to found one of the
first motorized forms of public transport in Florence at the
the beginning of the 20th Century.
was inevitable that he would open a workshop for the repair
and maintenance of the new motor vehicles, initially automobiles
and later motorcycles.
Thus begins an engineering enterprise that attracts right
from the beginning his son Gualtiero. He is above all fascinated
by motorcycles, even the three wheel version, seeing that
he will be a prized side car driver.
after the 2nd world war he opens his own workshop in space
reclaimed in the cloisters of the ex-convent of Santa Monica
in the artisan's quarters of San Frediano in Florence.
the early 1950's he conceives and patents a suspended frame
for the large 2 cylinder Harley Davidsons, based on models
used in the army, which would otherwise have had to wait for
the duoGlide of 1958 to benefit from the first USA made suspension.
the early 1960's another American fashion comes to Florence,
that of the Go Kart. Gualtiero designs various frames for
this new and fun vehicle, and also conceives an ingenious
alternative transmission system to bridge the gap due to the
absence of differential gears of these vehicles.
125cc motorcycle motors are used. Initially Rumi, MV, Devil,
followed by the (at the time revolutionary and powerful 2
stroke) Bultaco, with which, Piero, the eldest son won some
the mid 1960's, the great amount of experience gained from preparing
the 2 stroke motors of the kart is transferred to the preparation
of the popular "Cassette", a tuning kit for elaborating
the Lambretta. A period in which the scooter dominates the 2
wheel market, almost totally replacing the classic motorcycle.
The success of the tuning kit, which also included a special
expansion exhaust, designed by Alberto, was so widespread in
all of Europe, that the English importer invited the Ancillotti
to a "Record Day. It took place on runways of an old military
airport of the RAF at Elvington ( Yorkshire).
After a few trial runs on the circuit of Monza, they create
and hone a Lambretta special 200 with which the son, Alberto,
along with the brother Piero, (after an adventurous trip on
the roads of those times with a Fiat 600, the special on the
roof rack and a spare motor in the boot), rout the competition.
special, ridden by Alberto, conquers two world records in the
category that remained unchallenged for many years. The record
for the quarter mile with standing start (15" 129 average
speed 96,500 kmh) and on the kilometer with standing start (29"
343 average speed 12 kmh), exit speed of 176 km per hour.
Boom of scooter popularity declines. Classic motorcycles return
on the scene, and the Ancillotti initially team up with the
Florentine Moto Beta.
having customized a racing model derived from the Camoscio,
with a tuned motor, a magnificent aluminum tank totally hand
forged and welded by the great Gualtiero, and a legendary Ceriani
fork, with which they achieved some success in uphill competions,
they dedicate their attention to that speciality that was then
their name and brand, they will have written many unforgettable
pages in the history of motorcycling - the off road.
fact, in 1967 a big wave of popularity begins with the off
road motorcycles and the Ancillotti surf the emerging phenomenom
developing, on the Beta base, a couple of models for cross
and enduro, respectively of 50 and 60cc, the minimum cubic
class of the period.
several presentations and positive trials in motorcycling
magazines, with photos of Alberto executing a jump at
the "montagnetta" of Milano, and numerous race victories,
the new Costruzioni Moto G. Ancillotti soon begins to receive
orders for the "Scarab" (the name is derived from
the open-winged scarab inserted in the logo)
1970 the German Sachs motors arrive in Italy, and Ancillotti
adopts and tunes these powerful 2 strokes with a winning recipe.
First, the 50 "short stroke and long stroke", that
will color with yellow the parking lots of high schools all
over Italy. Then the 125, that will become the most used motorcycle
by the cross riders of this class.
can easily say that a whole generation of Italian motocross
riders from Curradi, Maddi, Rinaldi, Contini ecc., and also
endurists of which the former Fabrizio Meoni was formed and
affermed through the brand with the Scarab.
of superior manageability and stability, coupled with a superpowerful
motor for those times, considering that in the Italian championship
of 1971, it placed three motorcycles in the first three places
with the florentine Curradi, Mercandelli, and Piergentili.
the agreement with the Polini brothers, then at Alzano Lombardo,
Bergamo, Ancillotti opens his way to the "regolarita"
(enduro) of Bergamo.
They sold and customized the florentine motorcycles with success.
Many Italian titles, and also gold medals won at the Six Days,
growth of the company implies transferral to a new and larger
site in the industrial area of Sambuca val di pesa distant
about 20 km from Florence on the superstrada for Siena.
the death of the father and founder, Gualtiero, in 1973, the
management of the company is taken over by sons, Alberto and
prove to be worthy of the father, and bring the brand to an
even higher level. A succession of sales and racing achievements
follow in all of the europeon countries, from France ... to
Sweden ... to Finland
Manufacturing with the new assembly line takes off in the golden
years of the late 1970's, producing up to 3.000 motorcycles
quantities then inexorabily decrease due to waning interest
in motocross-enduro and also for the fierce Japanese competition,
that progressively eats away greater and greater pieces of foreign
the massive arrival on the Italian market of the colossal
Japanese companies, like many other small italian companies,
even for the Ancillotti comes the moment of decline. In the
mid 1980's, the factory in Sambuca val di pesa closes. In
the years, Ancillotti patented interesting ideas, some of
which still used today in the production of modern motorcycles
throughout the world. To take note of are: the head set with
conic roller bearings (1969), rear swing arm rotating on silentblock
(1970), Pull-Shock suspension system(1980), Pro-Dive brake
the fame of the classic Ancillotti off-road motorcycles lives
in the Association "Registro storico Ancillotti Scarab",
founded by Alfredo Gramitto Ricci.
members include many of the owners of the legendary motos
with the scarab.
deals with the census and cataloguing of all the models produced,
and the restoration of the motos still in existence. It also
participates in sporting events like the Italian and European
Revival Championship, and organizes the annual meeting and
History of Motorcycles, taken from the italian magazine, Motociclismo
d'Epoca, and the french, Enduro Magazine.
Ancillotti, under the insistence of his 15 year old son, Tomaso,
that wanted a full suspended bike, applies himself to projecting
a shock absorbing frame. He is helped in the development by his
friend and ex motorcycling work rider Lorenzo Orlando, Naturally,
the model of the frame is for the DH, the discipline which most
reminded him of motocycles and motocross-enduro.
father of the Pull-Shock, he immediatley prospected the idea of
an evoluted bike, as were evoluted the last motocycles he had projected.
Enthusiasm came after having seen one of the first international
races in Ciocco in 1991, in which the pilots still competed with
rigid bikes or with primitive suspension systems.
immediatly thought, that in that field still so pioneeristic, through
his formidable experience, acquired through years of work on frames
and suspensions, he would certainly be able to do something superior
is born, the first frame that mounts, naturally, on the rear swing
arm, a linkage suspension of the Pull-Shock type. But not only.
On the anterior suspensions is placed a very original (even for
motorcycles) Earles type fork, that, however, is not served by the
two classic shocks, but rather intergrated by the progressive Pull-Shock
THE FIRST ANCILLOTTI BIKE IN 1992
first frame is presented at the fair in Cologne in 1992. At that
time, the prevaling technical suspension solution was the elastomer
and the travel was very short, and with no linkage system.
Ancillotti, on the contrary, proposes a forerunner. A frame with
an anterior and posterior progressive linkage system, served by
oil spring Decarbon type shocks, astronomic excursion at the time,
was of 90mm (three times more than the competition) Swing arm with
active pivot point. Practically, all of the current winning features
for a modern frame, and all of this already on a bike 13 years ago!
real shock bomb then, maybe too much ahead of its time, but as soon
as it was tried out, people understood ...
THE FIRST VERSION OF THE SCARAB FOR DOWNHILL IN 1993
Giovanna Bonazzi of the Kaestle team tried it, and absolutely wanted
it. The choice turned out to be excellent, seeing that she immediatelly
won the World Champhionship at Metabief in 1993. But, there could
have been 2 gold medals for Ancillotti, if Orlando wouldn't have
had problems with the chain. However, there was third place, and
a bronze medal at the World Championship.
BONAZZI DURING A WINNING RACE AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OF
bike was tried out in February 1994 by Mountain Biking (USA).
The testers were impressed by its qualities." The rear
end was by far the most shock absorbing of any rear suspension
we've ever ridden to date "" We haven't tested a
bike yet that beats it".
PROTOTYPE IN CARBONIUM IN 1993
the end of 1993, Ancillotti, along with this model in aluminium,
builds a prototype of a carbonium frame of which only 5 samples
were made. It will run, without problems, the whole race season
of 1994, but will have to be abbandonded for the enormous
construction costs. It remains, however, an example of beauty
and modern design and has some technical solutions that will
be found in the future model, Tomaso.
the meantime, the future owner of Ancillotti Motor &
Cycles, the son, Tomaso, the fourth generation in engineering
of the Ancillotti family ... begins to do his first jumps.
Tomaso - The Tomaso DH of 1999