Review: 500’s are just fun — V35, V50, V65, V75, and the myriad of small…

30 Апр 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Review: 500’s are just fun — V35, V50, V65, V75, and the myriad of small… отключены
Moto Morini 500 M

Review: 500’s are just fun


V35, V50, V75, and the myriad of small variants

Updated: 2013 Jan 06

Rod Yeomans

I have been to write a comparison of my 3 Italian for some time now. It comes up in discussion forums how bike compares to the competition so the benefit of ownership I will try and be as as I can.

Laverda Alpino

Photo courtesy of Rod Yeomans.

I went and inspected a Ducati 500 as I was curious to compare it to the other and I thought it would be interesting to own a 4 th half tonner but it wasn’t to be. I couldn’t justify the cost and I add my thoughts in the relevant sections.

My isn’t very standard though it looks like it is. I can guess that it has had a major in its past. A 35 mm Marzocchi front a V65 motor and a completely non-standard scheme lead me to that

Yes the Monza is a 650 so it does have power, torque and noise the other 2 but I have ridden 500 so I will do my best to take into consideration.

The Morini has had a life too. It is on first pistons and I’ve needed to the top end a bit of a refresh. It also has more inserts in it than any other I have owned.

Still, it together and I have given the work a light touch up as it was sad when I first got it. I know of Morinis within a 100 km radius of me and is the only one I know that is a and I simply intend to keep it way.

The Alpino was a UK bike. It done that much as it has 35,000 odd miles on the clock but it was a bit with corrosion when it I’m pretty sure the is correct as the tyres on it when it were made in 1986.

It is standard except for the 2 into 1 that I don’t like.

You would be hard pressed to 3 air cooled twins that are characterful. The Guzzi has a transverse 90 deg V heron head, pushrod The Morini has an inline 72 degree V heron head, pushrod and the Alpino has a 180 deg parallel twin, with 4 valves per cylinder.

The Guzzi really lets you it is there. The torque reaction, at a standstill, throws the bike your right leg at every of the throttle. To be honest, after 29 of Guzzi ownership I really notice this anymore but I can remember when I did. If you are to this then don’t let it put you The shaft drive also feedback.

As the clutch is let out the drive down at the back wheel and the rear of the bike. Again is a sensation that I rarely now but it is a reason why the Guzzi is harder to the front wheel under Not that any of the 500’s are likely to rip the from the rims.

It is equipped Dellorto PHBH 28 carbs seem well suited and the is a standard type affair is driven directly off the front of the Mine has a Dyna S that is low maintenance but there are other options out there as are the old points and

Photo courtesy of Rod Yeomans.

The the only one with a back-up start, is also quite but in a more subtle way. All its reaction is on the bike’s long It took me a while to get used to it but the rewards you when you get it right.

gear, right revs the right amount of throttle the thing just seems to forward but you do need to pay attention to it there.

The Heron headed doesn’t have a direct oil to the top end. All valve and rocker is via oil mist carried by the breather It seems strange but it works.

Any under the covers does you the option to give a bit of a squirt for oil to ease the paranoia though. The uses this system too with drip fangs the rocker covers but it has a direct oil feed to the rockers as well.

The also is equipped with carbs that also to do a good job and are suited to the size of the with a choke of 26mm. The is completely different with a winding magneto system. One to the battery and the other to power the transducers that are AC.

The bike can be and will run without a battery but of none of the other electrics operate.

Photo courtesy of Rod

The Alpino is a bit of a quandary to me. It has a chain DOHC set up with 4 shim valves per cylinder but then it is an 8.6:1 compression ratio the other 2 are 10 or so. The Alpino is the lower of the Laverda 500 range so it has the most for uprating whilst its heron stable mates are near the top of range.

Despite this the pulls well from 3000 RPM and is the smoothest of the 3. At first I the need to keep the bike at revs as the red line indicates but as I on it I found that as long as the was metered it would forgive any choice of gearing. Despite the bike runs fine on RON 91. I suffered no pinging or pre-ignition and guessing this is due to the low compression

The Morini and Monza also a very tolerant attitude to despite the higher compression.

The also uses Dellortos but PHF 32 I’m of the opinion that it is carbed and it would probably be with PHBH’s like the 2. The greater air velocity in the venturi negate the need for the pump losing any of the responsiveness. This may the top end by a small amount but the 500 is at home in corners. If you are only concerned top end speed, then what are you on a 500?

The Ducati, with bigger carbs is even of a curiosity to me.

The ignition is a Bosch spark system that have an advance curve, a static and full advance that changes around the RPM mark! When warming the it likes to have some but if you allow it to drop below in the transition period then it just …. I see the combination of and the large carbs to be the main for smooth running until it is

Photo courtesy of Rod Yeomans.

Both the Morini and Laverda a 6 speed multi plate They are very slick and well until you try and find Both are difficult and if time neutral should be searched for rolling to a stop because neutrals go into hiding stationary.

The Monza has a 5 speed cut box that has an automotive style dry The clutch plate is even a Fiat. Guzzis have a for false neutrals but this is a Big block Guzzis like the Le are more renown but if they are shimmed with the linkages this is unjust.

The small blocks, like the have a much better and even though the straight cut can develop a bit of a howl, at least is there whenever you desire.

The bike’s share similar tyre profiles from to 100/90/18 on the front and 100/90/18 to on the rear but I’ve only run 100/90/18 on the fronts and 110/90/18 on the Rear shock absorbers are choices too and all are around the same with the claimed being 160kg, Morini 167kg and the 171kg.

My Monza has a non-standard 35 mm front end, the Morini a set up as is the Alpino.

Despite the single down tube on the Alpino to a more engineering braced on the Monza and Morini all of them well with no noticeable flex. The Alpino seems to more counter steering in the though. All 3 will readily but you can actually feel the inside bar back into your on the Alpino.

I really don’t to be in a situation that any of them are at limit as that is a long way of my ability.

My main limiting on the Morini is the RH gear changer. I can that but my left foot to be able to meter out the correct of pressure for the rear brake. For my own I have learned to just its existence.

The Monza has the Guzzi linked braking system and I it. I like the fact that the lever operates the front LH with the rear at about a ratio. I like that I can apply the brake in a corner and the doesn’t dive or straighten up, settles a bit. Dr John racer that won the 1985 GP championship had all 3 calipers linked so I not be convinced it isn’t a good If you can’t ride it then blame the bike.

I am constantly by how busy my right hand is I’m on one of the others and how the 4 limbs the control functions on the Guzzi.

The is the only one of the 3 with standard It allows the rider to sit up a bit more and good all round vision. The and Morini aren’t too bad though as the isn’t that far so the position allows comfort and reasonable in traffic.


This is where the really shines. It has a 16 L fuel it uses around 5 L / 100 km (usually and so it is capable of over 300 km range. a claimed 15 L tank on the Morini I can get 12.5 L in mine so its usable isn’t that much 200 km. The Alpino with a 14.5 L and around 6 L — 6.5 L / 100 km is no better. In the Alpino is the thirstiest bike I

I tend to blame this on the carbs and ignition system again.

The Monza is the ugliest of the 3, no but it is the exposed frame and attachment that allow racks and to be carried. Both the Alpino and have wrap around that inhibits their to bolt on gear. The Ducati was the same.

Without carving the plastic bodywork the options very limited. I do not do back and bikes together.

Stands are to me when travelling. The Alpino and have reasonable side for deploying from the saddle but the is a bit dicey as it is spring loaded and too This is easily overcome by an extra 25 mm onto the stand and the spring attachment.

Now it is better the others. The Pantah doesn’t with one fitted as standard. All of have good stable stands for any normal conditions.

Moto Morini 500 M

The instruments are adequate on any of them as as you are not the paranoid sort. The Morini and share Veglia analogue and the Alpino has ND’s. I strongly the ND’s are more accurate but all within practical limits you are used to their exaggerations. The are driven via cable from the and the speedos are all driven by cable a rotating gear sender mounted on the front axle.

All of work on identical principles but of the sender units is interchangeable.

The is the only one with a full set of lights. It has lights for high and low electrical charging, low oil pressure, and even to indicate which signal is flashing. The Morini is basic. Due to the Magneto ignition is no charge circuit light, it tells you that a turn is flashing, not which one and it obviously if you can’t work out if you are in neutral or not that is your problem.

The has a light for charging, neutral, beam and a single combined for both turn signals.


This is where it even more subjective. It all on what you enjoy and what you to use the bike for. If it is to just at then get a Morini. A beautiful racer straight from the but the Alpino isn’t that far

I don’t buy classic bike and I don’t care that about what other think but if you enjoy the attention the or Laverda are for you.

Maintenance on the is a breeze. Access to everything is so better than the other 2 and it has a oil filter rather than a The only thing that is a job is changing the clutch but due to the way the frame apart the engine and gearbox can be away from each this is still easily by the backyard mechanic.

The Guzzi is so much bigger too. I know how many small Guzzis were ever but the numbers would dwarf the Morini and Laverda combined. are spread throughout the world too but are only a handful of Morini and support centres. If you are close to one you are lucky, as I am with Red and Max for the Alpino.

If not factor that into thinking.

I sacrifice a pair of to the Morini on a regular basis. The exhaust exits from the of the head on the left hand and despite the use of a heat guard it to burn a hole in my trouser leg varying degrees of penetration. is only a slight annoyance to the screw in exhaust collars. I read … stories of being locked in position but refuse to stay in there.

are constantly unwinding themselves and I am to drill, tap or safety wire in place.

The Alpino is the only one uses small spark An 18 mm spanner is required. The only with it to me is the non-standard 2 into 1

It runs directly under the oil requiring the exhaust to be removed for and I find it much harder to the bike as I can’t balance it by ear and

Conclusion and which one is best?

is no answer to this. Each will have their For me it’s the Monza.

Just a honest all round practical that is cheap to maintain but if you standing out in a crowd then it for you.

I rarely get a comment on the Monza. I get away without one on the Morini and So much so that I have the badges from the Morini so it can go with the Classic Bike

All of them will make you like a 19 year old again on the road and this can all be done the legal limit. It all has to do with the of speed. If you can see the horizon, if you can see a few hundred in front of you, then you are in the place.

The Alpino has the most to hotrod. Montjuic specs and are within your grasp if you the cash. Personally a better system would do wonders and I also consider PHF 30 carbs to with responsiveness.

Damn the top

The only real way to upgrade a 500 is to stick a 650 or 750 motor in it.

This is done due to all the same attachment and the fact the frame hasn’t significantly since the late Mine has a 650 and it is the easiest way to upgrade any of the 3 and injected 750 motors for them are being rolled off the assembly The US military even had some spec engines developed for drones.

It will be interesting to see they like when are finally sold off through

Morinis did have a later, engine but if you aren’t in one of the main hubs good luck one at a cost effective price.

I like all of them for different I get on any of them and after a few minutes I this is great, I need to this more often. The one that differs is the Monza. It can be easily used for more a day ride/café racer. It is the reason I buy the Pantah.

I already had a Morini and for that job.

Photo of Rod Yeomans.

Interesting articles

Tagged as:

Other articles of the category "Moto Morini":

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

Born in the USSR


About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.

Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about Motorcycles.