Ducati 350, Benelli 350, Morini 350 — Classic Motorcycle Review — RealClas…

27 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Ducati 350, Benelli 350, Morini 350 — Classic Motorcycle Review — RealClas… отключены
Benelli 354 Sport

Three Italian 350s: Benelli Morini

What do you an assortment of three lively classics? Russ Gannicott and contrasts the various components of his collection.

A bit corny, I know, but seemed an amusing title for a collection of red Italian bikes, all names ending in the letter Mmm, must be my infantile of humour! There are some I add to the collection, and in time might, Garelli, Testi and Motobi. I might not, the Guzzi V35 to one! However, the fact is I have three 350s a ten year period of development of the bike industry.

It’s an starting point from to make some comparisons.

A bit of history about the specific first. The Ducati is a 350 Mk3 with a race history. It was built a 1974 French imported bike for short circuit in this country, and as such was in a soft state of tune some vigour during the and early 90s. The bike is with period NCR single alloy tank and works

The tuning is restricted to the top end of the engine, the exception of the total loss system which facilitates the of the alternator. This gives a extra zip at the bottom end of the power but makes night riding to say the least!

The Moto Morini 3Ѕ is a 1978 model which it has Grimeca cast alloy and single disc front as standard. The bike is in original and was purchased from Mick of Bike magazine just to Mick moving to Italy. The modifications from standard are a fork brace and Tarrozzi which, at six feet tall, I were necessary to prevent me adopting the classic ‘Italian riding position — just looks damn if you catch sight of yourself in a window!

It was a bit of an accident buying the Benelli . To be I was looking for a rough 354 that I build into a race for use on parades and track days and had a couple I’d found on the of them being too good to rip However, when a 1981 354 raised its head on eBay a while ago, it didn’t look too good, it looked SO that I immediately scrapped my for a race rep and set out on what I thought be the hopeless task of winning the for this little gem.

The sounded really good but the was a tad fuzzy so I knew some would be put off. I put my usual strategy into action and contacted the seller and got as much and information on the bike as possible. approach also gives you a good idea of what the owner is like and how they may treated the bike during ownership of it.

I was bidding blind for the and only had these facts to go on so I set a modest limit and kept my crossed. I deliberately made keep away from until the auction ended as I I’d break my own rules and my bid if I wasn’t winning.

I was amazed when I discovered won the bike… I guess others put off by the dodgy photo! When it up a few days later, the guy who delivered it out to be another bidder on it but failed to get his bid placed in time as he had to work evening. Phew. Lucky or The bike turned out to be an immaculate, low mileage example which had seen a wet road in its life.

owning the Benelli I’ve approached by several people who saw it on and have since seen it in the who have offered me best of a grand more than I for it!

These three bikes very different eras in motorcycle development; the Duke was the incarnation of a tried and tested that had its roots in the late and as such was somewhat outmoded by The Morini was a truly innovative with its 72-degree V twin and head design which was development’ by the time my ’78 came off the line.

Finally, the was a last ditch attempt by a industry to try and beat the Japs at own game. As part of the DeTomasso the Benelli four cylinder were built by Moto and borrowed more than a in design from their counterparts.

Like all Italian these three suffer dodgy electrics although the is probably the best in that The Duke basically has little or no now so that’s not a great problem. however must have aware of this failing and fitting their bikes an electrically operated solenoid tap they at least backed it up a manual reserve.

Nice one Morini!

We won’t mention the Morini’s infamous start which is just so … weight scrap which you take for a ride you. Thank God it’s got a

The finish on all the bikes is best up as being functional. The Duke’s OK due to its rebuild but the Morini is original and the is looking a little tired as it was thin when it left the and appears not to have an undercoat. At the mudguards are stainless so ‘dodgy chrome’ is not too great a problem on bike.

Benelli followed the new and trendy route of the early by cutting down on chrome in of satin black where so at least that can be retouched necessary.

Ducati single on eBay.co.uk

Impressions on the road are for all the bikes, the most obvious that they enjoy road-holding characteristics for their eras. Despite being and underpowered the Benelli corners a dream and feels very with no obvious vices. To be you can’t really go fast to get into trouble.

As expected, the in its light race trim is a ride and has the ability to scare the easily. Owing to its lightness hard to keep on line a bumpy bend. There been several occasions I’ve been glad it only has a drum front as I’ve instinctively gone to a handful of it with the thought; gonna lose it, I’m crash!’ screaming in my head.

Just when you think pushed it too far, the little will pull you through just a hint of a warning of might happen if you forget to it.

On the other hand, the Morini fails to amaze me, or some of the sports bike riders tagged along with. I believe this is the best bike I’ve ever It has no vices whatsoever, can be totally and is a far better bike than I am a

The only shortcoming I found was it would occasionally shake its a little if I had to roll the throttle off on a corner. This has been by fitting a Tarrozzi fork and renewing the steering damper. The will now do whatever you ask of it without — but once again you to respect it.

I guess that if it does let go on me it will be big time!

In of direct comparison, the results are interesting. The fastest bike is doubt the Morini with its top of just over the ton, the other two will only about ninety. In the Duke’s this is due to the gearing, in the Benelli’s just a lack of power.

The quickest accelerating up to about is the Duke, once again of the gearing. Needless to say the Benelli best despite its weight, to the three discs. The Ducati’s may not be great, but it’s the kind of you want to ride on the throttle than the anchors anyway.

stuff on eBay.co.uk

Road-holding is good on all three bikes and is nothing in the handling to give the fact that the Duke has a member, single tube compared with the semi-duplex of the other two. For comfort the is outstanding, whilst for discomfort the takes the medal. Any ride on the will necessitate a post-ride nut session, with longer frequently needing some up to collect the bits that off!

As previously mentioned, the benefits from its rearsets and the soft suspension gives a ride.

OK, conclusions; The Morini is the complete package of the three and is the of choice for modern style riding. Without doubt the is the most demanding to ride but you with a grin that long after you’ve off it. As for the Benelli, well, it looks almost rides itself and always be my choice mount if I to go to a gathering of Italian bikes was more than a county

If I was only allowed to keep It would probably be the Duke. The two could be replaced but the Mk3 is always to remind me of former track and, on any Sunday morning, for a few moments I am Luigi Taveri, and Hailwood all wrapped into


1974 350 Mk 3 (ex short circuit race

Capacity: 340cc

Cylinders: 1

ratio: 10:1 (9.5:1

Benelli 354 Sport

Dry weight: 125kg

Brakes: double sided SLS Grimeca Rear, drum.

Power 36bhp (est)

Modifications: Amal Mk2 carb, green/white raised compression, modified ‘total loss’ ignition

1978 Moto Morini 3 Ѕ

Capacity: 344cc

Cylinders: 2

ratio: 10:1

Dry weight:

Brakes: Front, single Rear; drum.

Power 39bhp

Modifications: Tarrozzi and fork brace.

1981 354 Sport

Capacity: 345cc


Comp. ratio: 10.4:1

Dry 190kg

Brakes: Front, disc. Rear, single

Power output: 38bhp


Benelli 354 Sport
Benelli 354 Sport
Benelli 354 Sport
Benelli 354 Sport

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