I’m afraid information about these bikes is scant, but as they are such interesting machines I’ll have have to let the photos tell the story. Firstly we have (an extremely rare) example of Derbi’s first 125 cc GP design.
Race team chief and engineer Francisco Tombas (also responsible for the highly successful 50 cc GP) introduced this narrow-angle, air-cooled V-twin in 1967 and it competed until the completely new water-cooled twin replaced it in 1970.
The twin crankshaft design was basically two singles mounted one above the other with a common crankcase. An six- to eight-speed gearbox was used, depending on the circuit. Two 24 mm Dell’Orto carburettors were fitted.
By 1969 the output was 32 hp at 13,500 rpm and the 100 kg machine was good for a top speed of 215 km/h. The bike was not particularly successful however with only a single top-six placing in GPs. While Angel Nieto did not compete in the 125 GP class prior to 1970 he apparently raced this bike in the Spanish Championship in ‘69.
Secondly we have the only surviving example of the two Derbi 125cc water-cooled twins built for Angel Nieto for the 1970 GP season. He finished 2nd in the championship to Dieter Braun on a Suzuki with both winning four races each. It was later raced by Benjamin Grau in the Spanish Championship.
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