Posts by tag: DeTomaso

Benelli September 15, 2020 posted by

Original Six Pack: 1983 Benelli 900 Sei

When Honda introduced the legendary CBX in the late 1970s many people did not realize that they were not the first to ship a production six-cylinder motorcycle. That trophy already went to Benelli, who introduced the original Sei (Italian for the number six) at motoring shows way back in 1973. Given, the original 750cc six cylinder was heavily based on Honda’s 500cc four cylinder with a pair of cylinders added, but it was the Italian manufacturer that beat the world to the six cylinder milestone. Today’s bike is a 900cc model – one of approximately 2,000 – the line having been incrementally improved as production inched along.

1983 Benelli 900 Sei for sale on eBay

This productive time in Benelli’s history can be attributed to DeTomaso’s ownership (which included Moto Guzzi at the same time). Both Benelli and Guzzi thrived in the late 1970s and early 1980s, thanks to the bold and ambitious approach taken by DeTomaso. One need only look at the Sei model run to understand the leadership. Yes the six cylinder had some Honda DNA, but touches such as relocating the alternator from the end of the crank to behind the cylinder bank reduced the width of the engine and made the inline six tolerable from a cornering perspective, was all Italian engineering. The power train was reported to be silky smooth, and styling took many cues from the Moto Guzzi Le Mans model – right down to the sport fairing. However the Sei was certainly the flashier of the two, and at $3,995 it was also more expensive. That $3,995 would not buy you very much today…

From the seller:
Rare in this original condition Benelli 900 sei 6 cylinder Italian super bike Great Original condition Numbers correct sold with clear clean title many up grades I have spent over 3k on reconditioning this bike in the past months ,it is head to toe ready to go !! new ignition system ,carbs rebuilt ,braking system rebuilt , front suspension re done new battery ,oil change and valve adjustment etc

Here is a video of the bike, as supplied by the seller:

Benelli sixes have turned out to be fairly robust, with a look and a sound like no other; time has treated the design fairly well. While nobody would mistake this as a new bike from this century, it continues to look recent and modern enough to stand tall in a parking lot full of plastic. DeTomaso’s ambitious gambled paid off in that respect, although the famed marque of Benelli has failed to remain among the living in terms of recent production. That makes this 900 Sei all the more collectible; in the law of supply and demand, there is no more supply. The seller in this case is asking $16,500 or best offer for this clean 1983 Benelli 900 Sei, which is pretty close to the trending line. Somebody please give this deserving bike a loving home – as this is a classic in the making already made. Check it out and then share your thoughts on this beast. Any Benelli experts able to share things to look for on these models? Good luck, and stay safe!!

MI

Original Six Pack:  1983 Benelli 900 Sei
Moto Guzzi September 10, 2020 posted by

Florida Cafe: 1978 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans

For those readers interested in some old school cafe racer action, one need look no further than the classic original – the Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans Mk1. These big, air cooled, v-twin cruisers are the antithesis of the smaller two stroke set (such as this Honda NS250F). Powered by a 850 cubic centimeters of push rod, two valve goodness, the Moto Guzzi is built to eat up the miles and excels at high speed runs.

1978 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for sale on eBay

Although Moto Guzzi’s origins go way back to 1921, it was DeTomaso of the Pantera car fame that recreated Guzzi in the 1970s as the classic icon for which it is known today. This is the era that introduced the Le Mans series, based on the already successful V7 Sport model. So popular was the Le Mans that it spawned several different generations, up through the late 90s. Today, the earliest generation of the Le Mans models have become highly collectible, with rising prices to match.

From the seller:
For sale is a 78′ 850 LeMans in excellent condition.
MK 1 version of the Le Mans, built between 1976 and 1978
Everything works as it should, no issues
Recently services, new battery, new tires, fresh oil, etc.
Engine is perfect, very strong.
Take a look at the pictures and you be the judge.
If need more pictures or video just ask

There are actually two distinct types of the original 850 Le Mans model. For the initial production run the rear taillight utilized a round unit that was similar to the V7 in the home market. Estimates place that as approximately 2,000 units. The following 4,000-ish bikes have the more popular and stylized rectangular model and slightly altered rear mudguard. Those were the only changes during the original model run, with some conjecture that the earliest bikes were the rarest, and therefore worth a slight amount more. In truth, all of first Le Mans models are of high interest to collectors.

Today’s particular Le Mans, one of the later versions of the original model, is no exception to the “highly collectible” category. It looks to be very clean, pretty original, and not missing any pieces to note. The most substantial non-stock item that I can see is some metal polishing. That is only a problem if you consider overly-clean to be an issue – which usually is not a deal killer. The asking price is a lofty $17,900 which might be a deal killer for some, but the truth is that pricing on these models (and the early V7s) continues to climb. Located in Florida, the seller is open to offers so check out all of the details here and let us know what you think of this original bad boy. Good Luck and stay safe!!

MI

Benelli September 16, 2018 posted by

Oh Sei – 1983 Benelli 900 Sei

New CEO DeTomaso ( yes that one ) led the historic Benelli company to higher performance machines and the 750 Sei ( Six ) in 1973.  Benelli increased bore and stroke on the Sei to displace 906cc for the 1979 model year.  Simultaneously outrageous, exotic, handcrafted, and occasionally disappointing, the Sei was Benelli’s flagship until they merged with Moto-Guzzi in 1988.

1983 Benelli 900 Sei for sale on eBay

Looking for all the world like a SOHC Honda engine from the era, the Sei had some innovations, like placing the alternator behind the cylinders ( which were wide enough already ).  80 hp were routed through a 5-speed and double-row final drive chain, speaking to the torque that was available at just above tickover speed.  Good as they are, the Brembo brakes are hopelessly outgunned by the power and mid-500 lbs. weight.  In spite, the Sei got high marks for handling, steady in a corner when the competition was wallowing.

Looking excellent in its late -70’s flowing bodywork and controls, this Sei has just over 11,000 miles.  A machine of this age will have an afternoon’s worth of tales, but the owner stays on message in the eBay auction:

A meticulously maintained 1983 Benelli 900 SEI with extremely low miles at 11300.
This bike is almost perfect, serviced and runs and drives perfectly.
They don’t come up often so here is an opportunity to get one.
Bid with absolute confidence.
Don’t waste my time with silly questions, low offers and if you don’t have money.
Viewing is welcomed before you buy.

Already in boutique territory, the Benelli pricing and complication of three carburetors made the Sei a rarity.  Performance was a few bullets down on the mission statement, under pleasing the crowd, honoring the Benelli name, and showing off the factory’s skills.  Further down was a reliable ride, and the Sei got gigged repeatedly on electrical issues.  But the sound !  More 911 than motorbike, especially with the six-into-six.  For a collector with a European interest, this is just the bike for the end of the row…

-donn

 

Oh Sei – 1983 Benelli 900 Sei
Benelli March 15, 2017 posted by

Italian Week Continues: 1983 Benelli SEI 900

We seem to be celebrating an Italian theme on RSBFS this week. That is not too surprising, as pound-for-pound the Italians produce more lust-worthy hardware than most. I’m not discounting the ruthless efficiency of German machines, nor the bright spots in the Japanese flood of scooters; however if you tally up the total number of bikes produced by a given nation and identify what makes you drool, one small country stands out above the rest. Why? A unique combination of passion and performance would be the likely answer. Can we name a few brands that we might like to own? The list is long and glorious: Ducati, Bimota, Moto Guzzi, Moto Morini, Cagiva, Laverda, Aprilia and MV Agusta. That doesn’t even count the bespoke builders of dreams: Mondial, Morbidelli or Ghezzi-Brian. Have I missed one? Probably more than a few. Nobody but the Italians are able to artfully blend the focus of performance with visceral good looks and color. Today’s example is this gorgeous Benelli SEI 900.

1983 Benelli SEI 900 for sale on eBay

Look past the miles-deep pool of red paint. Shield your eyes from the sparkle of the chrome. Ignore the mags, the quarter fairing, the set and the stance. Strip everything away and go back to basics. In this case it is a fabulous 900cc inline six banger. The first to release a six cylinder into production – originally a 750 – the Benelli SEI 900 utilized a larger bore & stroke to provide additional motivational might. With a quarter fairing evoking a period Laverda or Moto Guzzi, the SEI was a technological, aural and visual bombshell of the time. Eschewing the 750’s six-into-six exhaust in favor of a six-into-two, the SEI looked more like a normal motorcycle from the side, although from the front it was all but impossible to hide the width. This seller obviously cares about this bike and it’s history, so we’ll let him pick up the story.

From the seller:
There is a good article that says this is probably 1 of approximately 80 Seis 900s imported to the US. “By the end of production in 1989, fewer than 2,000 examples of the 900 Sei had been built; some sources claim no more than 80 of them made it to the U.S. market.” (Motorcycle Classics, May/June 2015).

1983 BENELLI SEI 900
Built June 1982, titled 1983
VIN: ZBNB0AB00DP011261 Engine No: BGB011248

History:

Original owner (name unknown) bought and rode the bike a little over 9000 miles and then parked the bike in his collection. No significant changes were made. In 1987, second owner (Sterling, MA) bought part of the collection including this Sei 900. The second owner was told it did not run so he stored it in a shop intending to restore it, but never rode it. He sold it to me in mid-2014. I cleaned the carbs, etc. and it started!

I did a complete 1 year effort to do a ground up restoration; inspecting and replacing anything needed except one thing: it has the ORIGINAL BODY PAINT!

Mechanically inside this bike looked like new, still crosshatches on cylinders, great compression, good shifting, etc. Fortunately, the tank was very clean. Outside it had some rust on the frame, wheels, and rear drive chain.

Key restoration items include the following:

– Powder coat the frame and wheels
– All new wheel bearings and brake seals/pads
– Replaced the starter gear and shaft and 2 bearings in the transmission
– Honed cylinders and light valve grind
– New seals and gaskets throughout
– New fork tubes and dampers
– Rebuilt carburetors
– 1 new badge (original missing)
– New seat cover, fuel cocks, and rubber parts
– Re-chromed original exhaust system and other chromed parts

Majority of these parts were original Benelli replacement parts bought from Benelli-Bauer GmbH in Germany.

Upgrades not original style parts include:

– New complete electronic ignition system
– New regulator/rectifier system (original alternator like new)
– New rear shocks
– New rear drive chain and sprockets
– New tires and battery
– K & N air cleaners
– Some new stainless steel hardware

It had 9,272 miles on it when I bought it; it has 10,008 miles now.

Runs and rides absolutely GREAT! Starts instantly, although a bit cold blooded (needs a few miles to warm up). Pulls evenly and shifts fine. And yes, it is as smooth as the books and reviews say.

Sure, in comparison to some Japanese, upgraded-spec, chain-saw razor with pipes and slicks, this SEI is a flat dog. If your idea of riding involves pre-mix and a quarter liter of squish band, feel free to look away. But somehow I doubt a true enthusiast can look at this and not be in awe – even a little – at what Benelli has created. Once owned by the legendary DeTomaso namesake, you can be sure that performance (such as it may be defined) exists within. This seller has done a tremendous job on the restoration of this machine, as well as the presentation. There is strong interest in this auction, and I’m sure a new owner will be celebrating the arrival of a dream very soon. If you’re into Benelli (or even if you’ve only just discovered these marvelous machines), act quickly. Very few SEIs came stateside, and very, very few are in this level of condition. Check it out here, and let us know what you think. Viva Italia indeed!

MI