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Collectable: Moto Morini 500-News & reviews-မော်တော်ဆိုင်ကယ် Trader

8 ဇန်နဝါရီ 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Collectable: Moto Morini 500-News & reviews-မော်တော်ဆိုင်ကယ် Trader
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07 Oct 2013 | Classic Italian bikes evoke passion and patience and, in the case of Moto Morini’s prized 500, poise and peculiarity

Words: Ian Falloon

Moto Morini 500

During the 1970s Italian motorcycles were best suited to romantics and enthusiasts who not only rode their motorcycles but also had a relationship with them.

Italian machinery suffered from mechanical schizophrenia, an intriguing blend of the excellent and awful, the brilliant and dim-witted, and good ideas poorly executed. Some Italian motorcycles exhibited these characteristics more than others, and none more so than the Morini 500 အားကစား.


အဆိုပါ 500 began its life back in 1971 as the 350cc 3½. From the outset this was a design of contradiction. Created by Franco Lambertini, the 72-degree V-twin was intentionally designed to reduce manufacturing costs.

Seventy-two degrees was a compromise between the perfectly balanced 90-degree and high-vibration 45-degree layouts and Lambertini chose a Heron cylinder-head layout. This featured an easily machined flat cylinder head with parallel valves and the combustion chamber incorporated in the piston crown.

During the 1960s the Heron head found favour as it allowed a very high compression ratio (11.2:1 ထဲမှာ 500 အားကစား) with good flame travel as the valves were unshrouded.

The disadvantages were only small valves could be fitted (31.8mm intake and 26mm exhaust). These valves were operated by pushrods, the camshaft driven by a toothed rubber belt.

Every aspect of the design indicated economy. The rubber belt didn’t include any tensioning system and,

as the cylinders were offset 50mm, almost all the rear cylinder components from the con-rod up were identical to the front, simply rotated 180-degrees. And, although the crankshaft and con-rods ran in plain bearings, only a wire mesh oil filter was provided. Further adding to the confused specification were a dry clutch and electronic ignition, both very unusual in 1971.

Although the Heron design was successful in the Jaguar V12, Rover’s 2000 and the ubiquitous Ford Kent engines, it always struggled to make sufficient power in smaller-capacity motorcycle engines.

The original Morini 3½ produced feeble horsepower and, even in the later Sport trim, it was underpowered. ဘို့ 1977, Morini enlarged the bore to 69mm and lengthened the stroke to 64mm to create the 500. With a pair of 26mm Dell’Orto carburettors, the claimed power was 33.8kW (46hp) at 7500rpm.

Unfortunately this was an optimistic claim and the 500 was little faster than the considerably lighter 3½, and considerably slower than any comparable Japanese 500.

But nobody bought a Morini purely for engine performance. A Morini was about balance, handling, and manufacturing quality; things it had in abundance. From the exquisite engine castings to the Marzocchi suspension, Grimeca brakes,

and Fiamm horn, a Morini exuded quality.

By the time the 1979 500 shown here appeared, 18-inch cast alloy wheels had replaced the Borrani wire-wheeled type and black highlighting was strongly evident. The basic formula was, သို့သော်, unchanged. This was a formula that emphasised handling.

Although the double-cradle frame was a conventional design, the wheelbase a longish 1443mm and the steering slow (with a 29-degree steering head angle), the Morini’s handling was superior to just about anything else in the late 1970s.

The weight was only 167kg and initiating turns and making transitions was an absolute delight. This was a bike on which the rider was in absolute command at all times, and one that could show a clean pair of heels to bikes with considerably more power.

The handling ability of Morinis was made evident to me many times when I couldn’t match them on a Ducati Pantah on fast, tight, downhill rides. Only going uphill, when even judicious use of the Morini’s five-speed gearbox couldn’t disguise the power deficit, could the Pantah make amends.

Living with a Morini required dedication. Although the 500 did have electric start, generally it was easier to start with the left-side kickstart lever.

Ergonomics were not really part of the package. The ignition key was awkwardly mounted under the tank,

the seat low with very forward-mounted, non-folding footpegs, and the gearshift was vague and encouraged missed shifts. This was mainly due to the clumsy left-side conversion from the original right-side shift. အဆိုပါ 500 remained in production until the end of 1981 and was updated to the six-speed Sei-V for 1982.

This continued until 1985.

Morini 3½s and 500s were never big sellers. They were far too idiosyncratic for that and, consequently, are rarely seen today. But if you do come across one ridden in a spirited fashion on a twisty back road, be prepared to be surprised.

• The Morini story began in Bologna in 1924 when Mario Mazetti and Alfonso Morini created the MM 125cc two-stroke racer. တွင် 1927 MM gained its first Grand Prix success, Morini himself riding the 125 to victory in the Nations Grand Prix at Monza.

• Although MM continued as a successful manufacturer during the 1930s, တွင် 1937 Morini left to set up his own enterprise, Moto Morini. MM’s factory was destroyed during the war but MM continued to produce high-quality motorcycles in small numbers until finally closing its doors in 1957.

• Moto Morini originally built three-wheeled Motocarri trucks before finally producing a two-stroke motorcycle based on the DKW RT 125 တွင် 1946. After being beaten in the 1949 World Championship, Morini turned to four-strokes.

• Morini’s most famous racer was the 250 twin, introduced in 1958. In the hands of former World Champion, Tarquinio Provini, this narrowly lost the 1963 250cc World Championship to Jim Redman’s Honda Four. ဘို့ 1964, Giacomo Agostini took Provini’s place in the Morini squad.

• In February 1987 Morini was absorbed into Cagiva (which owned Ducati) virtually seeing the end of Morini motorcycles until 2004 when a new range of motorcycles was released.


Morinis in Australia: M

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