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Show your vintage small displacement Italian motorcycle

Discussion in 'Motorcycles & Boats' started by JasonMiller, Jan 27, 2021.

  1. JasonMiller

    JasonMiller F1 Rookie
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    Jul 16, 2004
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    I have always been a car collector (mainly Italian cars) but a sadly over the past five years or so Italian car prices have jumped through the roof, my Countach dream is getting harder to reach. To keep my Hoarding habit going I turned my attention to Italian motorcycles. It has turned into a fun hobby and passion finding some of the obscure brands tucked away in barns or laying in fields. Restoration costs are much less than cars and finding or making the parts has been a fun adventure. Also there are some fun small displacement rides all over the country that are a blast! We host one here in Colorado Rockies in the early fall and in 2020 we covered over 800 miles in five days riding >250cc motorcycles, most of them over 60 years old.

    Anyway if you are also a collector please post some pics of your bikes. I find some of these motorcycles equally beautiful as some of the finest Italian cars.
     
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  3. JasonMiller

    JasonMiller F1 Rookie
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  4. JasonMiller

    JasonMiller F1 Rookie
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    1957 Moto Parilla Lusso125CC 2 stroke, I found this bike in Washington State. Its not as collectable as the high cam versions of the make but I found it to be a beautiful little bike, a real head turner and pretty peppy on the road. I rode this bike in the Gentleman's ride in 2018.

    Some Parilla History below.


    Giovanni Parrilla was born in Spain in 1912.

    When Giovanni was eight or nine, the family moved to the region of Calabria to make a better life for themselves. He was a precocious child who seemed fascinated by mechanical things.

    As a teenager and motorcycle terror to his parents, Giovanni was an enthusiastic rider of two wheels.

    After a tour in the military, Parrilla started work as a diesel injection pump repairman and spark plug vendor in Milan. Each lunchtime, at an outdoor cafe, Giovanni would muse with his friends over their passion, the Italian entries in the world motorcycle racing competition. One fateful day, given the current Italian poor showing; he blurted out that he could build a better race bike than the other Italian factories. It sounded a monstrous boast to the others in the group and they quickly bet him that he could not. No one is certain the amount of the bet, yet to everyone's amusement, he began.

    Giovanni, early in 1946, along with most other racing fans were in awe of the achievements of the Norton Manx; so he bought one. He took it apart, measured and studied it, then, when it was reassembled, he sold it and began his work in earnest.

    Mere months later, his first offering won a local race. A man approached him with a wad of bills expecting to buy the bike right there. Giovanni declined the sale, yet promised the next one to this interested buyer. Many years later during the late 50's and 60's, production of the high-cam 175 and larger Parilla Gran Sports, the Norton classical colors and graphics were used on Parilla competition models, in honor of Norton's contribution to the design success of Moto Parilla.

    During the following eighteen years, the Parilla factory produced over one hundred fifty different models. Many basic transportation style offerings were well know for their reliability and performance when compared to other Italian makes, yet Giovanni never lost his interest in producing competition machines.





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  5. F612

    F612 Formula Junior

    Feb 5, 2018
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    If you haven’t been, you must see the Barber Museum (www.barbermuseum.org) in Birmingham, AL.
    It’s the largest collection of motorcycles in the world and everything there is PERFCT!
    It includes lots of Italian bikes including an amazing Benelli V8.
    My small collection includes a BSA Bantam, Triumph Daytona 500, Yamaha FJR 1300 and the Ducati Paul Smart below.
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  6. JasonMiller

    JasonMiller F1 Rookie
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    Beautiful Ducati, I have visited Barber, they have some of the best bikes on display.
     
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  8. JasonMiller

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    1961 Motobi Zanzani replica 250CC 4 stroke. See below.


    A simple family squabble led to one of Italian motorcycling's most interesting sidelights. In 1949 when eldest sibling Giuseppe Benelli disagreed with his five brothers about the running of Benelli Motorcycles, he took his engineering prowess across town and started his own company, Motobi.

    In 1953 came the "power egg" style of engine with its forward-facing laydown cylinder that the brand would become known for. Giuseppe passed away in 1957, leaving the company to his two sons, Luigi and Marco.

    Both were enamored with racing and hatched a plan to get Motobi into the headlines. They hired Primo Zanzani, a former racer and brilliant self-taught tuner, to turn their 125 and 175cc models into production roadracers for Italy's Formula 3 class, an important stepping stone to national and international competition. The results were impressive: In 1965 alone, with a 250cc model joining the mix, Motobi riders took a total of 16 Italian Junior championships!

    This racer was built on a matching number 1961 Motobi Sprite 250. All Hand fabricated tank and seat. Motor was completely rebuilt with new bearings, seals, piston/rings/bore, exhaust valve guides, valves were lapped to seats. The C2 racing cam is from Zanzani. The crank pinion, cam gear, and clutch basket were lightened. Zanzani is till in business out of Pesaro Italy selling racing bikes and parts to build your own.




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  9. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    well done!!
     
  10. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    I have a friend that will always miss his Yamaha FJR.......
     
  11. F612

    F612 Formula Junior

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    David D. Hood
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  13. F612

    F612 Formula Junior

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    David D. Hood
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  14. JasonMiller

    JasonMiller F1 Rookie
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    Its beautiful! Do you ride it often?
     
  15. JasonMiller

    JasonMiller F1 Rookie
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    Super rare 50CC 1957 Viberti VIVI sport, Vivi was a company that built industrial trailers in Italy and jumped into the small displacement game. These bikes were only made three years and the last year (1957) had a three speed instead of two speed transmission making it much more functional. By adding pedals the moto could be registered at a bicycle saving tax and registration fees, same in Colorado, I can ride this all over my neighborhood even on sidewalks :) Its pretty peppy as well.





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  16. F612

    F612 Formula Junior

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    Yep. It’s ready to go!
    Low speed fun.
     
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  17. JasonMiller

    JasonMiller F1 Rookie
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  18. JasonMiller

    JasonMiller F1 Rookie
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    So, fun story- back about five years ago I saw a small italian motorcycle that really caught my eye. I tried to figure out what kind of bike it was and later found it was an Italjet. Italjet made some amazing little 50cc racing bikes (I will post two I restored from basket cases later). So I began a serious search for Italjet motorcycles. Over the years I have only seen a few come of for sale. The Conquistador (90cc road bike) The Mustang (50cc race bike VERY rare) and The Deluxe (50cc race bike) When google searching italjet I ran across an old add - https://www.bike-urious.com/rare-project-1967-italjet-conquistador/

    I figured the bike had been sold but researched for weeks digging deeper to find the person who had placed the add. Believe it or not I finally found him and he had not sold the bike and it was in his shop in San Diego. I felt he wanted too much for the bike but as he stated, Find another one, which we both knew was pretty impossible. The Conquistador was more common the the Mustang or Deluxe but I had NEVER seen either of those for sale.

    I flew out to San Diego and rented a car, I went to his shop and had to pay up to get the bike. It was complete but very bad shape. But I had to have it. So folded down the seats in my rental car and packed it in (See pic) . Once home I realized the engine was pretty shot. I began tearing the bike down but couldn't find the parts I needed so it sat on the bench for a year. About that time through word of mouth I found a Italjet Mustang and Deluxe in pieces and over the following six months convinced the owner to part with them. Another flight to LA and rental van and they were mine! So sadly the Conquistador has sat on a shelf in my garage every since as I focused my energy on the much more rare and valuable Mustang and Deluxe.

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    On display above the TV, sorry for the light blocking the pic
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  19. BoulderFCar

    BoulderFCar F1 Veteran
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    Pretty amazing example of the Stornello. Push rod 4 stroke I think? Original colors were probably all red or maybe white with a red tank by 1965. I had read they would go 60MPH and were a big deal in the popular 1/8 Liter size. Mine is the tribute edition but it's a marketing thing.

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