Posts by tag: 3 1/2

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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 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