A glimpse into the Morbidelli Museum – Part 2
With Phil Aynsley
Following on from Part 1 of the
Morbidelli Museum (, here are some of the bikes in more detail. Again a mixture of shots taken in 2007 and 2015. link)
1906 Moto Reve 275
This elegant Swiss machine’s headlight produced exactly one candle power!
1919 ABC Skootamota 125.
This early English “scooter” required manual pumping of the total-loss oil system.
1926 Harley Davidson 21. This 350cc OHV single was also produced with a side-valve motor. The OHV model became known as the “Peashooter”.
1956 Linto Bialbero (DOHC). This gorgeous little 70cc gem was designed by Lino Tonti around the time he left F.B. Mondial.
He later went on to co-found Paton and was responsible for Guzzi’s V7 Sport. 9 hp at 11,000 rpm. 95 kg. Top speed 167 km/h.
Ducati’s 125/4 The full story on the Ducati 125/4 can be seen here: Ducati 125/4 with Phil Aynsley (link)
1939 Benelli 250
Likewise full details on the 1939 Benelli 250 are covered here: Benelli 250/4 supercharged (link).
A 1964 Benelli 250/4, producing 42 hp at 14,000 rpm and weighing just 112kg. Top speed was 230 km/h.
A 1954 F.B. Mondial 175 Bialbero, producing 22 hp at 10,000 rpm, with a top speed of 181km/h.
1955 Motom 98 TS.
Motom was the third largest motorcycle manufacturer in Italy by the mid ‘50s (after Moto Guzzi & Garelli). Powered by a horizontal four-stroke single that made 6.75 hp at 8200 rpm the design was notable for its use of pressed steel.
1961 DEMM 48 Bialbero.
Another jewel of the collection, not even the DEMM museum has an example of the 48 Bialbero. 7 hp at 14,500 rpm was accessed via a six-speed gearbox. Total weight was just 55kg.
The 1969 Derbi 125GP
This air-cooled two-stroke V-twin has one near horizontal cylinder mounted on top of the other. 32 hp was produced at 13,500 rpm, with a total weight of 100 kg and top speed of 215 km/h.
1954 Ceccato 75 Corsa.
This SOHC design was the mainstay of the company’s racing efforts due its lighter weight being more suitable for long distance road races than the Fabio Taglioni designed DOHC version. Power was 7 hp at 10,500 rpm for a top speed of 110 km/h.
1952 MotoBi 200 Spring Lasting.
This innovative twin cylinder two-stroke was only manufactured for a couple of years with the motor becoming known as the “egg”. Power was 9 hp at 5500 rpm. Weight was 105 kg, with a top speed of 110 km/h.
Mr Morbidelli was renowned for his engineering skills.
Here is what was a humble Ducati Cucciolo pull-rod motor that has been converted into a bevel-driven OHC unit!
1952 MV Agusta 125 Bialbero Competizione.
Cecil Stanford won MV’s first world championship on a similar bike. 15 hp was produced at 10,800 rpm and the bike weighed 76 kg. Top speed was 155 km/h.
The restoration workshop with a pair of GP Mondial’s in the foreground.
Mr Morbidelli with his final project – a 750cc V-12.
Designed to be fitted into a Honda CB600 chassis the motor is seen here in wood & metal mock up and with finished items such as valves, camshafts, con-rods, piston & fuel injectors.
Sadly the work was not completed before his health deteriorated.
“I don’t care what power it makes” he told me, “I just want to hear it sing!” (2007).
Mr Morbidelli explaining some of the Ducati 125/4’s finer points to me in 2015.