Aspes 125 CRC Motocrosser

Aspes 125 Juma Road Racer


Yet another relatively obscure Italian marque is Aspes, although it does still produce motorcycles. Aspes was established in Gallarate, near Milan, in 1955 by the Sorrentino brothers to manufacture bicycles.

1978 Aspes 125 CRC
The 125cc CRC was 1977 Italian Champion in the Cross 125 category

1978 Aspes 125 CRC
Aspes was originally a bicycle producer from 1955 and would branch into motorcycles using other’s motors

In 1961 they began to make mopeds powered by a Minarelli motor, followed in 1964 by the 50cc Sport motorcycle. Their first off-road model was the 1967 Cross T.

1970 saw the introduction of the Maico powered Apache 125 and the start of naming their models after American Indian tribes (Hopi, Navajo, Cheyenne, Sioux included).

1978 Aspes 125 CRC
The Aspes 125 CRC – Aspes would also go through a phase of naming models after American Indian tribes

1978 Aspes 125 CRC
1978 Aspes 125 CRC

Importantly 1970 also marked the year Piermario Sorrentiono (son of one of the brothers) joined the company and began the modernisation of the range. The following year saw Giacomo Agostini’s younger brother, Felice, compete successfully on the Cross Special 71 model, winning the Italian Junior Motocross title.

1978 Aspes 125 CRC
External rear shock reservoirs offering easy adjustment

That year’s Milan Show saw a prototype of the company’s first home-grown motor, a 125cc 2-stroke, designed by Vito Consiglio. Production versions of this motor ended up being fitted to road bikes, road racers, motocrossers and go-karts for the next ten years.

1978 Aspes 125 CRC
The 125cc two-stroke was a motor built in house by Aspes

By the end of the 1970s Aspes’ fortunes were in decline and the company was taken over by Unimoto in 1982, which in turn folded only two years later. However in 2008 the Aspes name was acquired by the Varese based Menaghi Motors and used to market a Chinese-built hybrid moped.

1978 Aspes 125 CRC
Forks were also developed in-house

1978 Aspes 125 CRC
The Aspes Molybdenum pipe frame

The 1978 125 CRC motocross machine seen here was one of a pair imported to Australia in ’78 or ’79 and won the first Parramatta Supercross and NSW Championship at Dargle, ridden by Trevor Campbell. Apart from painted bodywork and the Ohlins rear shocks it is in basically standard condition.

1978 Aspes 125 Juma
The Aspes 125 Juma was of particular note, being cable of speeds of 150km/h

1978 Aspes 125 Juma
The motor produced 19hp and revved to 10,000rpm

Aspes 125 Juma
A single front disc brake was fitted

The 125 Juma (also called the Yuma) was built from 1976 until 1982 and was the machine used in the world’s first single make race series, the Criterium Aspes Yuma which was run from 1977 to 1979 and provided the likes of Loris Reggiani, Fausto Gresini and Davide Tarozzi with their start in racing.

Aspes 125 Juma
The 125 Juma was also the first weapon of choice for many big names, such as Loris Reggiani, Fausto Gresini and Davide Tarozzi

Aspes 125 Juma
Aspes 125 Juma

Aspes 125 Juma
Aspes 125 Juma

With the bike weighing only 95kg, its 19hp at 10,000rpm motor provided a top speed of nearly 150km/h. Of note are the in-house designed and manufactured magnesium forks.

Aspes 125 Juma
The Aspes 125 Juma weighed only 95kg

Aspes 125 Juma
Aspes 125 Juma

Aspes 125 Juma
This example of the Aspes 125 Juma has only 103km on the clock when it came to Australia and is as new, apart from tyres

This particular bike was privately imported into the US by a merchant seaman, then sat in a dealer’s window, became a restaurant display, then a lounge room display before being brought to Australia. It had 103km on the speedo and is in completely original condition (new tyres). It has had 2000km put on it here since.

Aspes 125 Juma
Aspes 125 Juma

Aspes 125 Juma
Aspes 125 Juma

Aspes 125 Juma
Aspes 125 Juma