Classic racer

3 Апр 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Classic racer отключены
Benelli Tornado Limited Edition (Italian version)



By the standards of ltaly’s etceterini array of marques, Motobi is an obscure to the ever-changing soap opera forms the panorama of Italian

Characteristically, the company only because of a family row which saw Benelli walk out of the family in 1948 and cross the street to his own rival marque, whose were at first solely by a large letter ‘B’ on the tank.

Giuseppe was the eldest of six whose mother, Teresa, had set up in the motorcycle repair business in 1911, a prelude to them the Benelli badge to their own of bikes from 1921

For more than a decade, the two coexisted in barely-suppressed enmity in the city of Pesaro on the Adriatic later home of such names as Morbidelli, MBA, and, more recently, of the reborn Benelli marque now the control of the Merloni family.

Benelli passed away in at the age of 78, leaving his sons, Marco and to grapple with the task of the company afloat in the wake of the of the Fiat 500 car, which the post-war boom in Italian to an abrupt end.

Motobi (as it was from the mid-Fifties onwards, or if you’re looking to score in two-wheeled Trivial Pursuit) had carved itself a good of the booming Italian bike It offered a range of innovative — initially all two-strokes, from 1953 onwards a rotary-valve twin bearing the name of the B200 Spring (don’t ask!). This a pressed-steel frame and an egg-shaped with finned horizontal and vertical downdraught carbs established the trademark format of products for the future.

At the end of 1955, the first fourstroke models a pushrod 125cc and 175cc duo the Catria name and designed by engineer Piero Prampolini. His credits included the 500cc GP Benelli, which Jarno took to victory at its 1972

lnterestingly, the Catria’s horizontal-cylinder layout preceded the arrival a later of the similar-format 175cc Chimera. The Catria formed the for the backbone of Motobi’s future range, progressively upsized the 62 x 57mm 175CC base to an overbored 66.5 x 57mm 1963 model called the Eventually, in 1966, there was a 74mm-bore 250CC version Sport Special performance kit 150 kph in road guise.

The ohv single stayed in production 1973, a year after the De take-over by which time it was as a Benelli to form part of the factory’s 90,000-unit annual Before this, Motobi’s had plummeted in the wake of Papa …, and in November 1961, it was into the family empire, to the Gruppo Benelli-Motobi. Peace had out, and for the rest of the decade, motorcycles were marketed as the sporting lightweight products of the company, aiming to provide with a bike they ride to work one day and compete in their local hill-climb or race the next.

The Motobi was a production racer, tailor-made for in Italy’s thriving MSDS Sportive Derivate dalla Formula 3 category for Junior-class — sort of one step from National-level racing. The was competitive in both the 125CC and classes, as well as in the 250cc that came later won a total of 16 Italian Junior in the 1965, providing the steppingstone to a Prix career for such names as Roberto Gallina, Bertarelli and future world Eugenio Lazzarini and Pierpaolo

But the bikes were almost outside Italy, except in the where they were by Cosmopolitan Motors as part of Benelli distribution deal. many of the models were as Benellis, or else sold the giant Montgomery Ward store chain as Ward

But Cosmo’s controlling Wise realized there was room to the Motobi name through bringing in a handful of factory-developed 3 racers for established names Kurt Liebmann and Jess to compete successfully within America. Thomas delivered most illustrious moment with his 207cc Motobi, he a pair of works RC162 fours on the infield circuit at to win the 1962 US GP — not then a championship event, bur still a race.One of the men Benelli sent to later in the decade to help put Motobi on the map was a factory race named Eraldo Ferracci, who up staying on in the USA and carving out a bit of a reputation for

The man Ferracci had worked under in was Primo Zanzani, a former from northern Italy who had enlisted by Luigi and Marco to take over the Motobi shop in 1957 on the … of father. A self-taught tuner, was the man responsible for turning the four-… of Motobi models into competitive hardware both in and the USA.

This success him the task of developing the four-cylinder 250 GP racer from 1962 when the two companies were Having turned it into a Prix race-winner in the hands of Provini, Zanzani moved to Motobi in 1966. There he his attention on the new 250cc Sprite introduced that year, the specific purpose of making it a in the recently-introduced quarter-litre MSDS for customers of the Pesaro factory.

The that Motobi won the Italian Junior title in 1966, and ’69 shows how well succeeded. But by the end of the decade, competition was so from rival factories Ducati, Parilla, Aermacchi and that he had been forced to a limited edition homologation known as the ‘Sei Tiranti’

Produced in very limited this had six cylinder head instead of the street Sprite’s a factor which caused with cylinder head when compression and engine were raised in pursuit of Considering that by the end of the decade had doubled the 16bhp output of the 250 to 33bhp in MSDS form, was hardly surprising.

So an extra of studs was grafted in to bolt the head to what on this special were sand-cast for extra stiffness, rather the diecast ones of the streetbike. no mistake, this was for a silhouette where every little was employed to gain an added Bit like Supersport racing really.

Sadly, the Japanese meant diminishing sales and no for racing, so in 1970 the Motobi race department was closed, Zanzani to start his own machine operation in Pesaro, where 5 Sei Tiranti racers were in the early ’70S.

Zanzani became a brake disc (see sidebar ) but pressure customers led to replicas of the old Motobis.I was to make so many parts for enthusiasts either restoring or classic bikes. It seemed to consider building complete again, recounted Primo, to adjust the clutch on the latest of the Sei Tiranti replicas he’s so far in his Pesaro workshop.We sheltered the torrid summer sun in the shadow of the at the Magione circuit near as Primo added: After I still had all the jigs and patterns when I built them in the old so restarting production didn’t much preparation.He also has to original Motobi parts in both Italy and the USA, Cosmopolitan Motors are marketing the Zanzani-built replicas to American racing enthusiasts.

This means that can deliver a brand-new 250 Sei Tiranti to in just 90 days, at a price of million + tax in Italy (about Given that these are in every detail to the original Formula 3 MSDS design, not so much replicas as the resumption of a quarter-century down the line of the product.

Imagine if Colin himself were to restart today of his 7R/G50-powered racebikes. deal.To produce the modern Sei Zanzani takes a period pressed-steel spine frame (produced in large quantities, as it was to all the pushrod four-… models), and it with his own tubular steel which effectively constitutes a attached to the main structure.We the wheelbase slightly by 30mm standard to 1320mm in the 1960s a special swing-arm, says This improves stability in turns and increases weight on the wheel for extra grip in ones.The new bikes have the mod, with twin Performance gas shocks sourced the USA, available with a of springs to suit 70,75 or 85 kg. weights.

The 35mm Ceriani are ubiquitous period hardware for a like this, with provided by a 210mm Fontana 4Ls drum and 160 mm Grimeca 2LS rear, with the complete bike just 96 kg. complete with ‘double-bubble’ fairing, and the fuel with its distinctive upward to the steering head empty of there’s not much to stop. until you add the rider, that is.

I fitted the Motobi better I expected, and that’s not just I spent so many seasons at the of my racing career riding its rival of similar stature and engine layout. I mean, was, er, some years ago though I must admit folding myself with success around a Ducati of similar horizontal cylinder for the past six years might helped.On the freshly-constructed factory the choice of a wider WM2 Akront rim for the 110/80 Avon AM23 prevented it feeling too nervous or whereas a customer’s period I also sampled at Magione had the tyre on a WM1 rim.

The result was that it felt riding my old Aermacchi on Dunlop I mean — twitchy!The new felt more stable and well (compared to the period just the nimble side of and great in Magione’s tighter while still adequately in the one fast sweeper.

But I did catch holding my breath as I cranked it — not because I frightened but because you’re conscious this is an ultra-agile motorcycle not a Iot of weight on the front wheel. You to avoid upsetting it with any movement-such as a sharp intake of for example. Only kidding mostly)!

The American rear worked really well, to deliver the ideal grip of the tyres that are the benchmark for today’s classic racer. was no chatter or slides, even in the 35-degree heat of our test but the Ceriani forks were too damped, producing a bounciness could be improved with weight oil and or more of it. The 4LS Fontana drum had quite a bit of bite, but if you squeezed hard.

The same on the customer bike I rode much better — because it wasn’t as new and the linings had in. But more likely, it had a different on the lever pivot, as well as a lever. In any case, you need to use the 2LS Grimeca to maximum advantage to the bike stop from any — just as on my series of which I was so strongIy reminded of the Motobi.

Unlike the Varese-built the Motobi could never be in capacity to 350cc and even because of its ultra short-… even in the 175cc form in the ‘Uovamotore’ (literally, egg-engine) was designed. There’s no room the camshaft and conrod at bottom center (BDC) to make the any bigger, says Primo The 72 x 61mm Aermacchi 250 didn’t this problem, even the 32 bhp at 9,400rpm at the gearbox which delivered in stock form, favorably with the 33bhp at at the rear wheel which has extracted from the born-again 6T’s 74 x 58mm motor.

To achieve this, he takes new crankcases and fits a stronger crankshaft with external an Asso piston delivering compression and a revised camshaft and arm design. A Carrillo rod is an option to customer spec, while the head is ported and flowed. then fitted with 40mm inlet and 34mm sodium-filled Zanzi valves to aircraft quality, set at a 10-degree angle than on the road and fitted with US-made RG

America also provided the Cams CDI ignition, which a healthy 12V battery (my running-in on the new factory bike was extended Primo finally found one held its charge!), while comes from a period Dell’Orto SSi with remote and no idle jet. Add in a close-ratio gearbox (there’s a choice of ratios available, such as a second) which retains the bike’s oil-bath clutch, as was under period MSDS — and go.

I did. WeII, after finding a battery worked properly and a hard plug to let the bike rev hard but once that was sorted the Motobi delivered. lt pulls from as Iow as 4,000rpm, which is a bit of a but then there’s a patch of which means you need to it turning above 7,000rpm in tight turns, achieved a slight touch of the quite clutch lever.

The carburettor and cable on this brand new were still very meaning that in the absence of any grease to free up the throttle, on the gas to drive out of a turn was a rather pickup as weIl as a hard action. But the customer bike I fitted with a Zanzani Sei motor, showed how welI the turns out, with an for revs on this pushrod that I only ever seeing safely on my works-spec short-… Aermacchi.

The best I can pay the Zanzani Motobi is that it reminded me of that. Judging by my spin, his customers can enjoy rpm power deliveries reliably, to Primo, and with a surprising of speed for a 250 pushrod single of at Monza.

But you must rev it hard to get competitive The fact that Zanzani ample stocks of all spare for engine and chassis (except wheel rims) is a good to consider buying a new bike the man who made them back That’s if you want to go classic with peace of mind.

the Zanzani-built Motobi 250 is the lightweight of the replica Manx Nortons and built today for the bigger that dominate the grids of races around the world. In the same option to enthusiasts of the classes, Primo Zanzani is a service that others may — but few will be able to do so the same enthusiasm and unbroken of heritage that his modern Sei racers undoubtedly represent.

In with this, Zanzani a specialist expertise in the disc technology then new to motorcycles. been the first in the world to them on a GP racer back in on the four-cylinder Benelli, using US Airheart discs rather the cable operated Campagnolo produced in ltaly for lightweight

Zanzani developed his own process for aluminium disc rotors iron to produce a far lighter brake package than the or cast iron discs commercially available.These discs notable benefits in terms of unsprung weight and gyroscopic His brakes became ubiquitous on GP racers in the smaller classes, no less than 24 world in the 50/80/125/250cc classes from onwards, up to and including Alessandro 125 Aprilia World crown in

Today with his two sons at the age of 77, Zanzani concentrates on running the of high-tech machine shops his owns in Pesaro, producing components for the local woodworking industry — and Motobi 250 Sei replicas!

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