Posts by tag: moto morini

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Moto Morini June 7, 2022 posted by

Patata Patata – 1982 Moto Morini 500 Sport

In the wild world of rare bikes, there is always an interesting streak of never seeing a particular model for many months – usually followed by multiple examples coming up at the same time. Such is the case with the rare and underrated Moto Morini brand. Usually clumped into the “other” category when it comes to famous Italian supermodels, these eclectic vee twins offer yet another view into the fascinating world of Italian motoring. The brand may be known world wide, but the bikes have had a rather limited and modest distribution making actual examples exceedingly rare in the United States.

1982 Moto Morini 500 Sport for sale on eBay

Just like the last month’s example, today’s find is a 500cc model. It seems that the Moto Morini 3 1/2 (i.e. 350cc) models are more available, but the 500 models do come up now and again. The 72 degree vee twin shares many parts with the 350, which in turn shares many parts with the smaller 125cc model. Moto Morini was never large enough to create a bike from scratch; rather, they modified and evolved from existing platforms, sharing parts wherever possible. Thus, most of the chassis components and many of the engine pieces share the same design, if not the same actual pieces, between different sized bikes. The single camshaft, pushrod operated overhead valve engine is simple, reliable, and oozes a mechanical character that is far different than a Guzzi or Duc. It is more laid back in many ways, yet demands the rider to provide input.

From the seller:
Very nice, original, and correct Moto Morini 500 Sport. Possibly original paint. Runs well. Kick and electric start. Rare chin fairing.Tool kit. Floating front disk. Original rotors included. CRG mirrors. Some paperwork from previous owner. These aren’t getting any easier to find, especially in this condition.
I can connect you with a shipper for most parts of the country.
Sold on Maine transferable registration in previous owners name.

The seller has included a brief video of the bike in question here:

While we have posted Moto Morini 350s in various states of dress, this is the first 500cc machine we have seen with full bodywork. The fairing and chin spoiler are neat bits that make the bike stand out. The paintwork has been noted as possibly original, but it is definitely an original color scheme (and far more jaunty than the basic red livery). Overall this looks to be a good looking, rider quality machine that is ready to be enjoyed. Zero bids with a $4,500 USD opening ask, the starting price for this one is definitely in the low end of the spectrum. Interest is relatively low on these under appreciated machines, but those in the know enjoy the no-frills, unique experience that is Moto Morini. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Moto Morini May 28, 2022 posted by

Milan to Miami: 1982 Moto Morini 500 Strada

A bit off the beaten path and genuinely rare in the United States, this is a beautifully preserved Moto Morini 500. While not in the same performance league as the Ducati superbikes (or even Super Sports), and not in the high-speed transport business as Moto Guzzi, the other, other Italian V-Twin marque produced interesting – if not sporty – scoots predominantly in the 350cc and 500cc varieties. Built in low numbers overall, few were imported into North America – making this very clean 500 Strada (Italian for “street”) a rare gem to be admired and enjoyed. The seller has a lot of information about the marque and the bike, and I will let him pick up the story here:

1982 Moto Morini 500 for sale on eBay

From the seller:
Extremely original, low-milage machine. The finish does have it’s imperfections, and a light patina that reminds you that this is truly a 40 year old classic. The inside of the gas tank was professionally sealed, and looks great inside. The original La Franconi pipes are in great shape, with no holes. The Marzocchi suspension still feels nice and firm. All of the paint is 100% original

More from the seller:
The 500 was an obvious early manifestation of the Morini modular concept, using a larger bore and stroke to up the capacity of the original 344cc engine to 478ccs, producing more power and a relaxed ride. The longer wheelbase (the result of an elongated swing arm) gave a stable ride, and the longer seat suited two up riding.

The machine was first shown in prototype form at Milan in November 1975, started production in 1977 and was imported in to the UK from 1978. Originally the machine was produced with a 5 speed gearbox, allegedly due to concerns over the original box being unable to cope with the extra power. However, from 1981 a six speed cluster was fitted, resulting in the ”Sei-V” model, which also saw the introduction of a plastic chain guard, painted mud guards and mechanical rev counter, all designed to reduce production costs. Prior to this a Sport version had been offered which, unlike the 3½ was produced purely through changes to handlebars and footrests plus the appropriate badge!

More from the seller:
The 500 was an excellent machine for the longer distance rider (journalist Dave Minton rode one from Alaska to Mexico down the Trans-American Highway in the 1980s) but lacked some of the rider appeal of the 350s. The engine continued to be developed, and the later 501 motor (actually 507cc) was arguably the best of the ”air-cooled” twins, revving freely and used in later off road machines together with the custom bikes that saw out Morini production at the old factory in the early 1990s following the take-over by Cagiva.

More from the seller:
This model is the most original, low-milage example I could possibly find. It has been living in our climate-controlled museum in downtown West Palm Beach since I acquired it. With only 1,520 ORIGINAL MILES, and the ORIGINAL MSO certificate, this is a survivor-quality machine.

The electric start still works (although they we known for being less-than-great), and fitted with a brand new battery. The charging system has been tested and works great. The brakes operate flawlessly, thank to the rebuilt brake hydraulics. The Pirelli Sport Demon tires are like new, only fitted a couple hundred miles ago.

The original La Franconi pipes are in great shape, with no holes. The Marzocchi suspension still feels nice and firm. All of the paint on this fabulous example is 100% original. The finish does have it’s nicks, scratches, and overall patina that remind you that this is truly a survivor. The inside of the gas tank was professionally sealed, and looks great.

Despite many ups and downs, the Moto Morini brand prevails – today it calls the Chinese motorcycle and bicycle manufacturer Zhongneng Vehicle Group (Znen) as home. This is a brand that has come a long way over an extended period of years, endured the Second World War, rebuilt and produced some memorable competitive and street models. The 3 1/2 and 500 twins must surely be listed up there as iconic models of Italian style, even though they may lack the sharp edge of the more sporting models from other Italian companies. This beautiful 1982 Moto Morini 500 has only 1,500 miles on the clocks, and looks as good as any unrestored example we have seen. Priced as $12,500, this seller has provided some great pictures and is open to offers. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Milan to Miami: 1982 Moto Morini 500 Strada
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 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 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