Posts by tag: de Tomaso

Benelli April 3, 2021 posted by

With Papers: 1983 Benelli 900 SEI

Kicking this post off with a provocative statement, I’m not sure the world realized what a tremendous talent we had in the form of Alejandro de Tomaso. While the Italian started life out as a racer (having participated in the echelon of F1), De Tomaso rapidly evolved into a business man with an eye for style. He formed his own car company, and was responsible for such hits as the Pantera and the Mangusta, as well as producing a F1 car for Williams. He acquired names and assets from defunct businesses, eventually owning coachbuilding companies such as Vignale and Ghia (later sold to Ford). His holdings extended across automobile and motorcycle boundaries, at one time controlling Innocenti (producing Lambretta scooters and BMC products under license), Maseratti (later sold to Fiat), Moto Guzzi and Benelli. Which brings us to today’s bike, a 1983 Benelli 900 SEI.

1983 Benelli 900 SEI for sale on eBay

Benelli, under the guidance of De Tomaso, was the first motorcycle manufacturer to put a six cylinder bike into production. That was way back in 1973, with the bones of the 750cc machine containing a lot of Honda four cylinder DNA. And while the six banger was never a huge seller – after all it was a bit exotic and very expensive for the time – Benelli continued to refine it and evolve it through the final year, 1989. In between it grew from 750 to 900cc, and gained poise, polish and reliability. Today these are interesting machines from an engineering perspective, but especially from a styling perspective. These are quintessential Italian style and flair.

From the seller:
This is a 1983 Benelli 900 SEI. The vehicle runs great and is mainly used for auto shows.

Superb example of this rare sport bike. Runs great, sounds awesome. Recent full service (receipt for $6300). Updated levers (have originals). Lots of manuals/product documentation regarding the bike is included. Only selling as I now have 6 bikes and need the room.

Today’s example is a 1983 model in 900cc. It has fewer than 12,000 miles on the clocks, and appears to have a fair bit of documentation and various manuals. This is a plus for a brand which no longer exists in the same manner as it did in the past. While Benelli retains an HQ building in Italy, the brand is wholly owned and all bikes are manufactured by the Qianjiang Group in China. Gone are the big sixes, and gone is some of the hand-built exotic nature of these mighty machines. This was truly the pinnacle of classic Benelli, and we are not likely so see the likes of it again. That is what makes today’s bike special. It is available for auction with a starting big of $17,500, and a Buy It Now number of a cool $22k. Those are big numbers, but this bike carries with it some significant history, and intrinsic rarity. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!

MI

With Papers: 1983 Benelli 900 SEI
Benelli October 20, 2020 posted by

Bad to the Bone: 1982 Benelli 900 SEI

One of the most storied motorcycle brands in history is sadly no longer represented in the market. That means if you are interested in an Italian legend, the used market is the only way to go. For it is only on the used market can you find a classic beast such as this 900 SEI. This is a watershed, world-beater design, as Benelli was the first to bring a production six cylinder model to market with the 750cc variant. Let’s dive in!

1982 Benelli 900 SEI for sale on eBay

It is no secret that the SEI owes a great deal to the engineering brilliance of Soichiro Honda. For it was the CB500 four cylinder that was the foundation for the SEI, and the original 750cc model introduced in 1973 was simply a Honda CB500 with a pair of additional cylinders added on. The later bikes – such as today’s 1982 model – were punched out to 900cc, but kept the same basic arrangement. Automotive engineering giant Alejandro de Tomaso drove the project, and the original styling was provided by well-known coachbuilder Ghia. By relocating the bits Honda left handing off of the end of the crankshaft to behind the motor, de Tomaso was able to keep the big six relatively narrow; this is a trend that continues in motorcycle design to this day.

From the seller:
1982 Benelli 900SEI

> run, ride and stop
> new tires, brakes and master cylinders rebuild with new pistons and seals, new wheels bearings, battery, chrome covers and a lot more
> need few touches and finishing
> all parts are available (see photos)

This particular SEI is a bit of an outlier for RSBFS as it is more of a project than a stone-stock standard. That being said, it looks to be quite the beast. The seller has included a pair of videos of the bike in question here as well:

There is little doubt that the rarity of the model overall, the storied history of the manufacturer and the strong, continued collector interest in exotics will continue to drive the price of the SEI. Today’s seller is asking $16,500 for this project bike, a price that is lower than most of the clean SEI examples we have seen over the last couple of years. With the global pandemic showing no signs of abating and with winter coming, now is the perfect time to bring home something that might need a little finishing school. Perhaps this beauty has your name on it already. Check it out here, good luck, and stay safe!!

MI

Moto Guzzi May 3, 2019 posted by

Talk to me Goose: 1986 Moto Guzzi Lemans IV

The LeMans series is a legendary model in the Moto Guzzi lineup. Originally designed as a sportier V7 model way back in 1976, the LeMans went through a series of updates and changes throughout its life span. From a small-fairing enhanced V7 of the Gen I to the larger sport-touring (and half-faired) look of the Gen II, to a back-to-basics look with small fairing of the Gen III, and then finally the decade-long run of the De Tomaso influenced Gen IV machine, the LeMans has had a number of facelifts. Today’s example is a Gen IV bike. Let’s explore some of the key differences.

1986 Moto Guzzi Lemans IV for sale on eBay

At the heart of the LeMans IV is a full liter of v-twin torque. Upgraded from the 850cc power plants that preceded it, the Mark IV version of the LeMans was bigger in nearly every dimension – except the front tire. Utilizing a 16″ front wheel which was in vogue at the time on GP racers and hyper sport bikes, De Tomaso sought to re-image the LeMans as a sportier machine than it was. Unfortunately without chassis geometry changes, the LeMans IV simply became a bigger, more angular machine with a smaller front end. Handling remained stable – as is the Guzzi tradition – but there was some edginess lost as the LeMans grew older, and performance was nearly on par with the previous generation 850s.

From the seller:
1986 Lemans, totally sorted out. Runs and rides perfectly, very well looked after. New tires, new clutch, ceramic coated Bub exhaust sounds amazing. Very strong running bike. Everything works as it should. Not a show bike, but a very, very nice rider. Needs nothing. I have sold several bikes here and my feedback tells the story. Thanks for looking.

While it is easy to deride the later generation LeMans offerings as being uglier than their predecessors, the LeMans of any configuration is still a good looking motorcycle. Purists may discount the De Tomaso years, but the resultant machines were modern, reliable and long lasting. This particular 1986 example has 58,000 miles on the clock…but certainly does not look like it. These are classic motorcycles to ride for the joy of riding. You are not likely to beat many peers in your riding group on a LeMans, but if you are looking at this that probably isn’t your goal. Pictures are relatively few and there have been some noted modifications, but the auction is currently at a paltry $2,550 at the time of this writing with reserve in place. This could be a sweet bargain Guzzi in the making depending upon where the reserve is set. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments and share some LeMans stories. Which generation is your favorite, and why? Good Luck!

MI

Talk to me Goose: 1986 Moto Guzzi Lemans IV
Benelli February 28, 2018 posted by

Oh Sei can you see? Two Benelli SEI 750s on eBay

In striving to bring readers the best online classifieds every day, RSBFS writers are besieged by drought and deluge. Some rare machines might not be seen for months or more, only to arrive in pairs. Such is the case with today’s 12-cylinder post; not one but two awesome Benelli 750cc six cylinder examples for your enjoyment. Widely known (pun intended) as the World’s First production six cylinder motorcycle (despite the later attempts by Honda, Kawasaki and BMW), the Benelli was a technical and stylistic tour de force. Engineered by none other than Alejandro de Tomaso of Pantara fame (the sports car, not the band), the Sei persisted for more than 15 years until the ultimate merger of Benelli into Moto Guzzi. Interested in one of these ground-breaking machines? Read on!


1977 Benelli Sei 750 for sale on eBay

The first of the 750 Benelli Sei models were introduced way back in 1973. While Honda was busy wowing the world with their four-cylinder technological might, de Tomaso sought to one-up the Japanese by tacking two extra cylinders onto a copy of the Honda power plant. With that move, a 500cc four became a 750cc six – and history was made.

To keep the already portly engine block from becoming too unwieldy, de Tomaso re-positioned the alternator from the end of the crank (where it sat on the Honda) to behind the cylinders. This move not only narrowed the ultimate width of the engine, it also started a trend to centralize mass within the frame; a discipline followed to this day. Total power was not tremendous – rated HP was a mere 72 ponies.

From the seller:
Up for sale is this extremely rare 1977 Benelli 750 “Sei” (Italian for “six” – not “sex”!), one of the three vintage six cylinder bikes ever made. It is an un-restored original in excellent condition, With a clear title and only 10,463 miles, (16.742 Kilometers) this is one of the nicest survivors of only a thousand 750 Seis imported into the US from 1974 to 1978. And it’s a “rider,” not a trailer queen: driven once every month or two, and only in clear weather – has never been in the rain, nor been dropped or scraped. Only cosmetic flaw is a tiny chip on the tank.

In the year 1977 only 283, 750 Sei were made, making this year a very rare one. Breaks got a tune up and work just as well as a modern bike, all switches and gauges work as they should, gas tank received a coat treatment to prevent rust, it has new air filters, recently got carburetor tune up. This bike only has a small dent on one of the exhausts and very small paint chips on the gas tank(please see pictures).

I will include some spare parts, a copy of the owners manual, a copy of the shop manual, as well as a copy of the spare parts manual. Some magazines in which the bike was featured at that time. Previous owner kept this motorcycle in a museum. This motorcycle is only missing the tool kit and the rubber strap that holds the gas tank.

This particular 1977 example appears to be in great shape. Benellis of this era were not exactly known for robust reliability, so it is actually a huge benefit that this is a regular rider. Nothing ages a motorcycle like stagnation, and this one has thus far avoided the neglect that many of these complex machines have suffered. Check it out here, but be sure to bring lots of Lire – the starting bid for this one is a cool $19,000.


1979 Benelli Sei 750 with ZERO miles for sale on eBay

The Benelli Sei is as much an exercise in excess as anything you are likely to see. The frame is dominated by the huge engine and offset by six exhaust pipes. Nothing on this bike is subtle, nor was it meant to be. The visceral elements of the Sei were created by famed Carrozzeria Ghia (think of the VW Karmann Ghia or the Ferrari 212), the bodywork as striking as the mechanical elements. Benelli – under the guidance of de Tomaso – was going to make a statement: the Italians were the equal of Japanese technology and held all the cards in the styling department. At the end of the day, they surely succeeded.

Today the Sei continues to be more distinctive than anything short of a one-off, overwrought custom cruiser. To consider that this was a production model for sale publicly throughout the 1970s and 1980s is unbelievable. It is also pretty rare. Sei models were considerably more expensive than mass-produced counterparts; the dealer network was smaller than Japanese, German, or even other Italian marques.

From the seller:
1979 Benelli 750 Sei. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy a zero mile… yes , zero mile motorcycle. Here is the story as I was told when I bought it. This motorcycle was purchased new by a Florida collector, who at the time of his death (about 2 years ago) was 82 years old. The previous owner had amassed over 300 motorcycles, many of them being rare, high ticket items.

His widow sold 70% of his collection to a German collector, as a package deal. I managed to get a few of his other bikes, two of which were Benelli 750 Sei zero mile bikes. This collector, as described by his brother, was extremely eccentric, and not particular about the absolute care, and method of storage for his motorcycles. Consequently, although a zero miler, it does display various imperfections which are visible in the photos. Please feel free to contact me and we can do a video walk through closeup of the specifics. Included with the sale are, the original toolkit and manual.

1977 is listed as the final production year of the 750 model; the 900cc replacement version of the Sei entered as a 1978 model. However it is not uncommon for model year data to be based on the sale or registration of a given bike. It is also not uncommon for smaller European brands to have somewhat erratic record keeping, making exact determinations difficult. Regardless, this claimed ZERO mile example is certainly an albino of the Unicorn world. Low mileage specimens of low-volume production models will always perk the interest of collectors. There are lots of questions on this one – including the overall condition – but the seller seems open to answering them. Check it out here, and once again bring lots of Lire to the party: this one is $24,000 in a Buy It Now format, with the seller open to offers.


At the end of the 1980s Benelli was absorbed by Moto Guzzi. The name and rights were later sold to a Chinese company, and Benelli enjoyed a brief US revival in the early 2000s with the three cylinder Tornado and TNT models. Today Benelli – while still officially headquartered in Pesaro, Italy – is a Chinese company that partners with with DSK Group of India, producing smaller and middleweight motorcycles and scooters for those markets. There are Benelli imports into the US, but only officially through a third party (SSR Motorsports). The glory days of Benelli being a power house of style and technology are largely over. Better collect an old school example when you still can. Good Luck!!

MI

Oh Sei can you see? Two Benelli SEI 750s on eBay