Benelli Sei 750 — Classic Italian Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics

26 Фев 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Benelli Sei 750 — Classic Italian Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics отключены
Benelli 750 Sei

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Found on eBay: Ducati 750 Super Sport

produced:  1974-1977

Total  3,200

Claimed power: @ 8,500rpm (factory rating)

Top speed: (period test)

Engine  747cc overhead cam, air-cooled six

Weight (dry):  220.4kg

Price then:  $3,995

now:  $3,500-$7,500

MPG: (period test)

It was the fall of when the Benelli Sei 750 was first before a large audience of dignitaries and journalists from all the world. As the sheet came off the the first production six-cylinder ever presented to the public, De Tomaso made a proclamation: he was war on the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers.

De a well-known sports car builder and had purchased the venerable Benelli the year before, and directed its to produce a new motorcycle — and not just any but a beautiful, stylish, well six-cylinder motorcycle with components.

To understand De Tomaso’s ambitions, context is helpful. The late and early 1970s were a of great flux in the motorcycle The end of World War II brought with it for many in Europe and Asia, and a need for inexpensive transportation.

In many returning American had become interested in the motorcycles had seen — and ridden — overseas.

The and English factories made a changeover from war production to small bikes for the civilian and numerous startups in Italy and began production.

In a few years, the had changed dramatically. By the early many American motorcyclists had and traded in their two-wheeler for a machine. Indian went out of while Harley Davidson out a living on police sales. The factories made money for a longer, but, claiming had to keep their shareholders soldiered on with prewar tooling.

By the early Sixties, and inexpensive small cars led of their customers to discard the for an Austin Mini.

While the British companies watching their customer shrink, the Japanese startups had out into a few well-financed survivors, who most of their profits state of the art machine tooling. In 1973, Cycle Guide “For the past 20 years, the have kept buyers in the to snap up new manufacturing processes and tools sometimes several in advance of the Detroit auto As a result, the Japanese could multi-cylinder, oil-tight engines electric starters, which sold for a reasonable price.

The companies also developed an overseas distribution system. products began showing up in in 1959, making further into Brit bike Led by Honda, they spent of thousands of dollars developing the market.

Most of the Italian factories survived the lean of the early Sixties, aided at in part by that country’s weather, which makes it practical to ride motorcycles on a basis. Italian manufacturers benefited from protectionist that made it more to buy imports; and yet the Italian government had to both Ducati and Moto before the motorcycle boom of the 1960s pushed those into the black.

By 1972, thanks primarily to boomer sales, Harley was making money again. But the unable to keep up, had been with only Triumph and still standing. The sole of the German motorcycle industry, was doing nicely selling designed opposed-twin tourers.

so, most of the world market to Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and

The Italian motorcycle companies had rebounded from the lean and were ready to go head to with the Japanese — except the companies didn’t have near the same resources. a David versus Goliath the Italians worked to their grace, styling and handling.

is born

Benelli began in as a repair garage, progressed to the of parts, built its first motorcycle in 1921 and started on the track two years later. The was destroyed during World War II, but bounced back and was soon races again. When De bought the company in 1971, he Benelli needed a showpiece — a sporting motorcycle in the spirit of the De Pantera sports car.

Within a year, Benelli’s came up with the Sei’s six-cylinder engine, the first to be for a production motorcycle. Where the actually came from is the of controversy. Benelli had a history of racing Fours, but the Sei is not much them.

Many people that De Tomaso simply a contemporary Honda Four and two cylinders, and rumors persist parts are interchangeable between the Sei and the although the extent of any interchangeability is in Other sources opine De Tomaso was simply following automobile practice in the design of the which makes sense, his automotive background.

In any event, the and … of the bike De Tomaso at his press conference were x 50.6mm, the same as Honda’s CB500. Other similarities the single overhead cam run by a chain in the of the engine, two-piece connecting with plain big ends and the Hy-Vo chain primary The engine was only an inch or so than a Honda Four a gap between each cylinder to cooling air.

It was fed through graceful manifolds by Dell’Orto VHB 24mm carburetors. The is on the right side behind the with the electric starter in nearby. A kickstarter was provided for men or a drained battery.

Engines the Sei looked nothing like the Styled by sports car design Ghia, the Sei was unmistakably Italian. The parts were Italian and built, with a stiff frame that minimized the of the engine, twin Brembo brakes in front, Marzocchi and shocks and Borrani aluminum

After the unveiling, De Tomaso the Sei prototype at select European but no Sei’s were available for for almost two years. A long between prototype and production was typical of Italian manufacturing in the but buyers, spoiled by the faster of the Japanese factories, became

A road report finally in the August 1974 Cycle . The magazine loved the Benelli’s and handling, its lack of vibration and the which it said was similar to a Ferrari. The article put thumbs to the price (“between $3,000 and a lot of money in 1974) and the handlebar which were noted as to use, and noted that were finally rolling off the line.

Once the Sei’s tooling and challenges were solved, De ran into another problem: A relatively expensive grand like the Sei demanded a worldwide network — difficult for a small such as Benelli to achieve.

De Tomaso’s “war” was little than a skirmish, and the Japanese Benelli sold 293 Seis in 1,479 in 1975, 1,145 in and 283 in 1977. The Sei was recast as a 900 in 1978, but than 2,000 were MC


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