Posts by Category: Moto Morini

Moto Morini May 22, 2021 posted by

Little Italian: 1986 Moto Morini 350 K2

While not exactly the fire breathing homologation dragons usually befitting the pages of RSBFS, there is something unique and irresistible about the Moto Morini brand. And while the company produced a number of models over the years, it is the little 350cc v-twin that we see the most. These are beautiful bikes that lack the total exclusivity of a Bimota, lack the displacement of a Moto Guzzi, lack the high speed touring prowess of a Laverda, and lack the race track creds of a Ducati. Yet they have a place in the collector world, and are suitably rare in the United States.

1986 Moto Morini 350 K2 for sale on eBay

The Morini 350 (previously known as the 3 1/2) is a very approachable motorcycle – both from a rider as well as a collector perspective. With both electric and backup kick start available, the 72 degree, overhead valve twin certainly won’t hurt you. The vee angle produces some buzz at certain RPM, but otherwise these bikes are smooth and gentle. And while that Ducati or MV Agusta looks like it wants to spit you off while still on the stand, the Moto Morini chugs away delightfully, while oozing out an estimated 35-ish HP. Wrapped in a style that can only be evoked by the Italians, the 350 is a bike to ride. The collector aspect of the little Morini that could is just as clear: with few examples imported into the United States these are rare yet not terribly expensive. They are not overly complicated to work on, and represent a good entry point into the rare and wonderful.

From the seller:
1986 Moto Morini 350 K2 v-twin. Heron heads. Very original. Rebuilt DellOrto carbs w/ OEM carb kits and sonically cleaned. Replaced CAM belt less than 100 miles ago. Adjusted valves. Replaced electrical starter clutch with OEM part from Europe. Replaced solenoid fuel tap w/ manual fuel tap as I prefer manual petcocks – but still wired for solenoid (just uncover labeled wire cap if you so desire).

Replaced original air cleaner with tasteful cone filters from European supplier that make adjustments/inspections easier and frankly look better too. Original air cleaner goes with the bike if you want to go back to original. Small crack in left front mud guard where it attaches to fork . Glued fiberglass and holds nicely. Not really stressed and non issue. You could sand and paint but left it as functional. I also replaced original tires with new Avon Road Riders w/ tubes (less than 200 miles on them) that are superb for cornering/riding. Telepathic steering is how I describe the K2 – with butter soft gear changes up and down 5 gears. Electric start or kick – both work nicely and starts easily.

More from the seller:
I acquired this Moto Morini K2 from original owner in New York who bought it from US distributor Herdan. He chose to pick up at factory in Italy and rode it around Europe with Herdan group before Herdan imported it o US. During the Morini tour of a life time – he met his wife to be in France. Bike shows original mileage which now is 13714 miles – which is very low for Morini’s. They are just broken in at this point. I have only put on additional 200 miles or less during garaged and cosseted ownership.

If you know Morinis you might know this is the final iteration of the 350. Supurb balance and handling. A tasteful modern design with comfortable riding position and adjustable handle bars. Nice integrated fairing circa 1980s’s and originally supplied Italian rear rack I have never seen before. It is of light alloy and solidly constructed. Very cool.

Two sets of original keys. Manuals. Original tool kit. K2’s are rare. Probably most original K2 in U.S. Ride it. Enjoy it. Solid bike and feels much like my Moto Guzzi 850 LMIII but light and nimble.

The K2 is the final series of the model line, and as such is the most polished and evolved. This particular example looks to have been well cared for, and even has a cute story to tell (read the seller’s text). True, this is no homologation model, no two stroke, and probably left of center for what the core RSBFS audience mainlines, but RSBFS is all about the rare the the different and this one definitely fits in there somewhere. Would you want one in your garage? Check out all of the details here, and then let us know in the comments. Good Luck!!

MI

Little Italian: 1986 Moto Morini 350 K2
Moto Morini April 15, 2021 posted by

Molehill: 1985 Moto Morini 350 K2

And now something from the smaller and more sedate section of life, how about some wonderful 350cc Italian V-2 twin goodness? The Moto Morini company was founded in the late 1930s, and successfully produced small-bore motorcycles in post-WW II Europe. The 1950s and 1960s brought with them racing machines, and the 1970s birthed the V-twins for which the company is most well known. Popular in both 500cc and the 3 1/2 sizes, the motorcycles produced by the Moto Morini company never quite realized the heights of other Italian contemporaries such as Moto Guzzi, Laverda or Ducati. The company was acquired by Cagiva in the 1980s, and went through a number of liquidations and owners enroute to Chinese ownership by the Zhongneng Vehicle Group. These bikes have always been quite rare in the United States, and continue to emerge as novelties from time to time.

1985 Moto Morini 350 K2 for sale on eBay

The heart of the 350 K2 model is the 72 degree V-twin, with the cams operated by a toothed rubber belt. This is similar to the Ducati valve drive arrangement, with the exception that there is no desmodromic valve operation system (standard rockers and springs are used), and only a single cam exists in each head. Breathing is through a dual-carb setup. Two valves per cylinder and air-cooling are a throwback to a design that dates back to 1970. All told, expect about 35 HP when all the angry bees are stirred up and buzzing. With a 330 pound dry weight, you are not exactly looking at a rocket ship, but then again the K2 was never intented as a hypercycle.

From the seller:
Super rare Moto Morini 350 K2 V-Twin sport bike. Very low original miles. Maybe one of 10 in the U.S. All the best components: Lafronconi mufflers, Twin Dell’Orto carbs, Marzocchi front forks, Italian Bi-Turbo Air Adjust rear shocks, Verlicchi Clip-on bars, and triple Grimeca disc brakes. New Bridgestone Battleaxe tires, new battery, recent chain and cam belt replacement. Included is an impossible to find NOS seat (Original is perfectly fine, with just a few imperfections). Workshop manual, and assorted gaskets. Runs, Stops and Brakes. A few minor nicks and scratches, but overall in great condition. I thought this would be my last bike, but my ailing wrists and my charming wife say it’s time to move on to a less demanding hobby. Very reasonable starting price, and a very reasonable reserve.

Today’s example looks pretty representative of the unique breed that is a Moto Morini. Bidding has been consistent thus far, and there are a goodly number of watchers for this auction. Pricing is not up to $2,500 as of yet, and the reserve has not been met – but there is still a long way to go. This might be a wonderful opportunity to score something rare and Italian, not break the bank, AND be rideable without fear of losing your investment or killing yourself. The seller appears to be knowledgeable about the model, and has provided a good baseline for what we are looking at. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Molehill: 1985 Moto Morini 350 K2
Moto Morini February 20, 2021 posted by

Now, K2 – 1984 Moto Morini 350 K2

Though unlikely to win any races but a mileage contest, Moto Morini’s 350 V-twin is still a lightweight 6-speed exotic.  Coming out of Texas, this low-mileage example looks original and excellent.

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 for sale on eBay

Morini made a foray into mid-sized motorbikes in the early 1970’s, and developed the compact 72-degree pushrod twin with the innovative Heron cylinder head, which made a righteous 35 hp.  The chassis was quite conventional  with Marzocchi forks and shocks, but boasted six forward speeds and staggered 16- and 17-inch wheels.  Appropriately-sized triple disk brakes and cast alloy wheels completed the running gear, and bodywork included a headlight fairing and engine spoiler, with side covers that flowed the line from tank to seat fairing.

Seeming to be for sale by the owner, this K2 shows no damage and just over 8,000 miles.  Very little crazing on the bare aluminum parts, and what look to be recent footpeg pads and grips.  Notes from the eBay auction:

Purchased by current owner in 2013. Bike has a clean Texas title.

Bike is very original apart from cam drive belt, tires and battery.

Bike has some minor chips. No actual dents or damage to any bodywork or exhaust.

Starts immediately and idles readily.

Bike is ready to ride.

Moto Morini has a surprisingly storied competition history, with a four cylinder 250cc 1963 World Championship runner-up and a certain Giacomo Agostini who started out on their 175cc racer.  The K2 and its 500cc stablemate are from a more Euro-centric time, before the usual late 20th century difficulties.  After a 2005 revival and recent sale to a Chinese firm, Morini’s website shows the unusual combination of e-bikes and 1200cc twins.  The small V-twins weren’t a bargain when new, but now are looking like a nice deal for an Italian bantam-weight.  Quite a few bidders are engaged with almost three days left to run !

-donn

Now, K2 – 1984 Moto Morini 350 K2
Moto Morini February 3, 2021 posted by

Italian Motoring: 1980 Moto Morini 500

Amid the hypercycles from Bologna, the geese that emanate from near the shores of Lake Como, the big triples from the North-East and the raucous and maniacal former kit bikes from Rimini, there is another Italian scooter that brings us full circle back to Bologna: Moto Morini. Started in 1937 and once under the mighty wing of Cagiva, Moto Morini went under in 2010 only to bounce back under a new owner. Today, Moto Morini continues to build motorcycles, scooters and ebikes under the Zhongneng Vehicle Group umbrella. But during the heyday, Moto Morini built some of the sweetest – if not a bit sedate – twins in all of Europe.

1980 Moto Morini 500 for sale on eBay

The Moto Morini 500cc engine is of 72 degree v-twin orientation. The narrow angle maximized space efficiency and balance and dictated the rest of the bike’s packagig. The capacity comes from punching out the cylinders of the 3 1/2 (350cc) model, itself a clever re-use of bits from the 125cc single that preceded it. Many pieces of the running gear are shared with other Moto Morini models. Reuse of components, and especially commonality of components (for example, the swap-able cylinder heads on the twins), betrays the thought process of the Moto Morini engineers; working on a budget as well as sticking with stuff that works. Speaking of stuff that works, Moto Morini was also well known for being an all-Italian brand. Everything on the bike came from Italy, for better or worse (and which is probably why a kick starter was included as backup to the electric start).

From the seller:
1980 Moto Morini Strada in very good condition. Starts, runs and shifts well. Bike has been refurbished and recently serviced with synthetic oil. Clean NH title. I just have too much stuff !

The Moto Morini 500 produced somewhere around 45 HP from its basic air-cooled design. The heads incorporated only 2 valves (operated by pushrods) but they were extremely efficient, resulting in a strong and flat torque band. And, as mentioned above, the heads were identical between the cylinders – making major reassembly that much easier. The rest of the bike was relatively simple, with a stiff frame, twin shocks and disk brakes. Handling was purported to have been the bike’s true strength and where this expensive Italian import beat up on the Japanese competition.

Examples of the classic 500cc Moto Morini are rare in the US. The company did not move very many units, and stuck with the same 3 1/2 & 500cc examples long after competitors moved forward with new models. Today these are very classic motorcycles, usually well loved and cared for. Today’s example shows the care, but it is difficult to get a great view of the bike in the crowded space. Still, what is there looks great and I’m sure the next owner will be the envy of many. This one is located in New Hampshire and is nearing the $5k mark with reserve still in place. That is still in the good money territory for “that other Italian v-twin” and interested parties should check it out here before it’s gone. Good Luck!!

MI

Italian Motoring: 1980 Moto Morini 500
Moto Morini October 1, 2019 posted by

Small Mountain: 1985 Moto Morini 350 K2

If I asked you to name a famous Italian motorcycle maker, who springs to mind? Laverda, Moto Guzzi, Ducati, Aprilia, Bimota? One of the gems that you may not have remembered in that impressive list is Moto Morini. Famous for popular v-twin sport designs in the 1970s – 1990s, Moto Morini history goes way back to the 1930s. Even the famed Giacomo Agostini started his racing career on a Moto Morini. With a fair number of ups and downs throughout their business history, Moto Morini was once owned by Cagiva, has gone through liquidation and receivership, and today exists as a private company still producing v-twin machinery. Today’s find, a pristine little 3 1/2, is the perfect example of what Moto Morini was capable of, and what they did best. Read on!

1985 Moto Morini 350 K2 for sale on eBay

An early take on today’s lightweight “entry level” bikes, the 3 1/2 was nearly 350cc (344 to be exact) of air cooled, 72 degree v-twin goodness. There is not a lot of high tech here, with pushrods and carbs, but there is a toothed rubber belt driving the cams, and the heads are novel in that most of the flame front is captured within the dome of the piston. With a whopping 35 horsepower you are not going to win any drag races, but you will be about on par with the current crop of like-sized machines. So too, the 330 lbs weight – again, right in the ballpark with contemporaries. Coupled with a six-speed gearbox, a narrow frame set and spiffy bodywork, the 350 K2 was a neat model that proved to be a rather popular seller for Moto Morini.

From the seller:
This is the finest looking, lowest mileage original Moto Morini 350 K2 I have ever seen. There are a few in the states, but this bike was never sold in the USA. It’s predecessor, the Moto Morini 3 1/2 (meaning 350cc) was sold in the USA.

This bike originated from a collector in Japan, then was bought and shipped to New York to it’s new owner, Alan Wilzig, owner of the Wilzig Racing Manor. He is a collector of an enormous display of fine Italian sports bikes, sports cars, and has them displayed in his personal museum. He’s also a semi-professional race car driver and philanthropist, well known in New York State. Look him up. A fine and honest man.

Alan sells very few of his bikes, but he did have few on ebay about one year ago, and I couldn’t resist this one when it came up. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my vehicles and bikes, and this was above my standards and expectations. The bike is an amazing piece of rolling art. When I received it, it had been idle as a collector/museum show piece for nearly all it’s life, so I decided to have everything gone over to make it a rider, even though my plan was to show it. I put over $1,700. into it, and I have all the receipts. Carbs, brakes, brake lines, fluids, new Perelli tires, tune-up, etc. All of the receipts can be provided upon request.

More from the seller:
Everything on this bike operates as it should other than the original gas cap which will not lock, although it does secure properly. The inside of the fuel tank did not require cleaning. It mostly shiny metal with very minimal and shallow patina speckled throughout. The swing arm once had small rock chips on it where the rear tire tossed road debris against it during the 2K miles on it’s clock. I wanted it perfect, so I had the swing arm removed, media-blasted, and professionally color match powder coated. I did the same thing with a very small black metal piece forward of the plastic chain guard, which had some light corrosion.

The bike starts with either the electric start or kick start, and runs, shifts and brakes just as it should. I test rode it once. Amazing bike for it’s time. 350cc V-twin, six speeds, with a maximum speed rated at 106 MPH. No, I never tried coming close to that. I’m too old. 🙂

My plans have changed. I’m getting into vintage cars, so I’m selling all three of my vintage, low-mile bikes, the most unique and rare first. Parts are not an easy find for this Moto Morini if you need them, but may be sourced easier in Europe. This bike needs nothing. It comes with the original owner’s manual (sorry, but it’s printed in Italian), very cool factory key fob, bike cover, and all pertaining paperwork.

I’ve received many “Oooos and Ahhhs” as well as “What is it?” over this bike. You will too. Man/Woman cave show-piece or ride. She’s a beauty!

I’m an ethical seller, and have disclosed everything about this bike that can think of. I’ll gladly entertain inspections, and will share additional photos if requested.

This is just about the cleanest M.M. 350 we have seen on these pages. With fewer than 2,500 miles, it is also the least traveled example. that shows in the photos – the bodywork is clean and the metalwork is untarnished and devoid of obvious hard use. Flat out, this is about the best I’ve seen – and I love these little bikes. Part of the problem here is that these are generally not very popular bikes with collectors or riders (they are a bit niche), and prices have generally been low. The opening ask for this gorgeous one is higher than the average sale price for most that we see, and the Buy It Now is nearly double. That may well be worth it given the condition that we find this bike in, but in general for the model this would be a trend setter. Check it out here if you wish to watch it along. These are wonderful motorcycles from a storied manufacturer, and depending on the outcome of this auction they just might be appreciating as well. Good Luck!!

MI

Small Mountain: 1985 Moto Morini 350 K2
Moto Morini August 11, 2017 posted by

Quirky, Pint-Sized Italian: 1986 Moto Morini 350 K2 for Sale

The Moto Morini 350 K2 was, in theory at least, a contemporary of the Suzuki GSX-R750 and Kawasaki GPz900 in terms of cost and mission. In reality, it was light years behind those bikes in terms of outright performance. By the mid-1980s, the Italians were already unable to keep pace with the Japanese manufacturers’ relentless technological development and the Morini was a bike you bought because you were a fan, not because it made any practical sense.

That’s not to say that the little Italian twin was completely outclassed in every way: handling was always a strong point and the bike was light at just 330lbs dry. The 344cc 72º v-twin was air-cooled and used pushrods to actuate the valves, but was otherwise pretty sophisticated: the pushrods were driven by a toothed rubber belt and the engine featured “Heron” heads that helped gave great fuel economy and simplified manufacturing. Heron heads have a nearly flat surface, with small recesses for the valves and spark plugs, shifting the combustion chamber from the heads themselves to the dished top of the piston. The resulting 35hp and six-speed gearbox could push the little bike to more than 100mph, impressive for an air-cooled 350.

Styling is subjective, but the little K2 has origami good looks and simple graphics that give it a strong dose of 1980s class, and you’re certainly unlikely to mistake it for anything but an Italian bike. Earlier Moto Mornis’ classic looks always seemed at odds with the angular design of the powerplant, and this updated bodywork seems to gel better as a whole. I think I prefer the style of the older 3½ in general and yes, for some reason, Moto Morini called its 350cc machine a 3½…

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Moto Morini 350 K2 for Sale

This is my last Morini . I had this bike quite a while runs rides and handle like an Italian bike should this is a very collectable bike, just selling my collection. Probably less than 10 in the USA.  ASK questions there are a few small scratches in the paint. But I rode it hundreds of miles . It’s NOT new but it could be New to you. Clear Texas title in my name.Ship anywhere in the world at buyers cost.

Moto Morinis fell into the “cheap, but hard to find” category for a long time, but values in recent years have basically exploded, although that generally applies to the earlier, classic-style bikes. Miles are very low at 2,392 and it isn’t perfect but appears to be in very original condition, which is great because sourcing missing bits on a rare, relatively “affordable” classic can quickly erase any bargain pricing. Bidding on this example is up just north of $2,000 with the Reserve Not Met and very little time left on the auction.

-tad

Quirky, Pint-Sized Italian: 1986 Moto Morini 350 K2 for Sale
Moto Morini February 8, 2017 posted by

Something Different: Low-Mileage 1986 Moto Morini K2 for Sale

Like rock and roll bands, manufacturers of premium motorcycle brands always have their eyes on the US market: a land of seemingly endless wealth to buy expensive, high-end motorcycles and wide-open spaces where big-bore motorcycles can roam free. In Europe, smaller motorcycles were very popular, owing to taxes that punished larger machines, expensive gas, and the fact that motorcycles were often used as economical transportation instead of as toys or lifestyle accessories. But while brands like Triumph and Laverda introduced larger-displacement machines with America specifically in mind, Moto Morini stuck with their “light and nimble” philosophy on both sides of the Atlantic, and bikes like their 350cc K2 languished in relative obscurity here as a result.

It may sound low-tech on paper, but the air-cooled 344cc pushrod v-twin that powered the K2 was actually very sophisticated: those pushrods were driven by a toothed rubber belt and the bike featured “Heron” heads that helped provide excellent fuel economy and simplified manufacturing. Heron heads move the combustion chamber from the heads themselves to the dished top of the piston, while the surface of the head is nearly flat, with small recesses for the intake and exhaust valves and the spark plug. The 72º v-twin produced a modest 35hp but a six-speed gearbox, a relative rarity in 1986 and absolutely exotic when it was introduced on the 3½ in the early 70s, allowed the rider to make full use of the limited power available.

Although this is a model year 1986 machine, it’s hardly in the same class as something like a GSX-R. European bikes of the period could rarely afford to be revolutionary and often had to settle for being evolutionary, but the original Morini package was so advanced when it was new that it could still hold its head up high in terms of handling, if not in straight-line performance. This particular K2 has just 1,200 miles from new and appears to be in very nice condition.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Moto Morini K2 for Sale    

1,200 original miles   
Stored properly
Lafranconi mufflers mint condition
Awesome original paint

Everything works
None nicer
Original tires
Tool kit

A real show piece   One minute scratch near gas cap that’s it
You can see the 3 keys in pictures, seat, tank, ignition
I’m 67 now time to thin the herd

Moto Morinis have long been the undiscovered bargains of Italian motorcycling: with little to no modern presence and limited performance, they were never all that popular here in the USA. The original 350cc “3½” and 500 are classic bikes in every sense, and have been increasing in value significantly over the past few years. But the K2 is from that slightly awkward and very angular period of Italian biking that spawned the origami-styled Moto Guzzi LeMans Mark III. What are these really worth? It’s hard to say, since they’re rare as hen’s teeth, and this is the first I’ve seen for sale in a very long time. However, bidding is very active and up north of $3,500 with very little time left on the auction and the Reserve Not Met, so it looks like there are some Italian bike fans out there looking for a quirky bargain.

-tad

Something Different: Low-Mileage 1986 Moto Morini K2 for Sale
Benelli November 13, 2014 posted by

Classic Sportbike Recap: Benelli, Moto Morini, and a Dunstall Norton

If your biking interests occasionally run to the historical, take a look at some recent entries over at our sister site: Classic Sport Bikes for Sale. This week featured a Benelli Tornado, the Italian alternative to big-bore British parallel-twins, a jewel-like Moto Morini 350, and a rare Dunstall Norton Commando

1974 Benelli Tornado 650S L Front

With a 642cc parallel twin and a top speed of 117mph, you could be forgiven for thinking you were reading about a classic British roadster. But this 1974 Benelli Tornado had a short-stroke engine that loved to rev and, even stranger, was actually oil-tight… Read more over at classicsportbikesforsale.com

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 L Rear2

With a jewel-like 344cc v-twin, this Moto Morini 350 K2 emphasized brains over brawn, offering brilliant handling and a wealth of innovative technical details. Moto Morinis have long been bargains of the vintage Italian bike world, but prices are finally on the rise and this one is in amazing shape… Read the full article over at classicsportbikesforsale.com

1969 Norton Dunstall R Front

The 1960’s were a golden age of motorcycling innovation, when ambitious and talented tuners could knock up machines in their backyard sheds and compete against the world’s best. Some, like Paul Dunstall managed to turn their success into a thriving business, making go-fast parts for a whole range of British bikes… Read more about the Dunstall Norton over at classicsportbikesforsale.com

Classic Sportbike Recap: Benelli, Moto Morini, and a Dunstall Norton