What model is it? And year? I'm stumped.
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Thread: What model is it? And year? I'm stumped.

  1. #1
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    What model is it? And year? I'm stumped.

    Does anyone know how to tell the difference between models/sizes of a 60's or early 70's Benell if there are no markings at all saying which it is???

    My bike has no markings whatsoever except for the Benelli decals on tank and sides. It has the numbers 475960 on frame. On inside of casings it says Motobi 3605 and 3606. The motor is a horizontal orientation...in other words the head points straight ahead instead of upwards like I see on most old Benellis. The piston looks like it is approx 65mm in diameter. If anyone can help it would be appreciated! I would add a pic but I can't seem to figure out how to do that here!
    ~Newbi
    Last edited by benellnewbi; 07-21-2012 at 03:56 PM. Reason: clarity

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    Superbike Schoolboy Grinna's Avatar
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    Cool G'day newbi!!

    A cupla saturdays ago I met a guy at Stanwell Tops, after riding thru south of Sydney Royal National Park (The Nasho). he rode up on a Benelli 125cc single cylinder bike that had Motobi embosed on inside of crank case (he said, had done cupla rebuilds on it). he reckoned it was 1972 or 73 model. was a butter yellow colour, looked a peach!

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    King of the Group-Buys Laurencewhite's Avatar
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    I would add a pic but I can't seem to figure out how to do that here!
    A picture paints a thousand word so send it to me by email and I'll upload it for you:- [email protected]
    Laurence

    Benelli Tornado 900 LE No. 49
    Benelli 1130 TNT Titainium
    Benelli 1130 TRE-K
    Benelli 750 SEI
    Benelli 250 2c
    Benelli Motorella



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  5. #4
    King of the Group-Buys Laurencewhite's Avatar
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    There u go matey



    and a couple of the engine





    It looks like a Benelli Sprite to me which were manufactured around 1967/68. There were 2 models a 125 and a 250 which were identical bar the engine bore. The 125 had a 54mm bore and the 250 had a 74mm bore. Yours strangely seems to fall between the 2 at 65mm
    Last edited by Laurencewhite; 07-22-2012 at 11:24 AM.
    Laurence

    Benelli Tornado 900 LE No. 49
    Benelli 1130 TNT Titainium
    Benelli 1130 TRE-K
    Benelli 750 SEI
    Benelli 250 2c
    Benelli Motorella



  6. #5
    Senior Member dobbinuk's Avatar
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    Lee Hardy
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    Possibly a bit earlier. Benelli/Motobi started fitting disc brakes in 1976 (to the 125/250 2c, at least). Laurence could be right but the tank looks a little odd.

    http://www.officinebenelli.it/?argom...dello=1&anno=3

    Welcome and where in the world are you are you Newbi?

  7. #6
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    Thanks all!!!! Very helpful website too. By the way, the tank looks a little odd because the other side of it has a rather alarming huge dent that is has torqued the whole thing so it is now taller than original. Believe it or not, the bike is fairly restorable I think..if I can find a new motor or a top end for it and have it re-built. I'm in no hurry really, except that I'm hungry for more info about what I have here. From the website, and knowing the bore, I'm wondering if it isn't a 1963 Sprite 200? That might account for the bore being in between the 250 and the 125? Though, it says Motobi on the tank. Hmmm. Anyway, I feel I'm getting close at least!!
    Btw...I'm from the US, just outside Boston, Ma.

  8. #7
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    So I just did some more searching online and found this interesting bit...

    In the early 50's, Giuseppe Benelli, the oldest of six Benelli brothers, set off to start a new motorcycle company with his sons Luigi and Marco. Some of the explanations given for this move were that Giuseppe was; possibly distraught at the devastation that the German forces inflicted on the Benelli factory, in disagreement with his brothers or just lured in by the prospects of an expanding market.

    This new Pesaro-based company initially produced a range of two-stroke lightweights which featured the spine frame and horizontally mounted cylinder that was characteristic of the marque, called "B" and subsequently Motobi (1953). Soon after, Giuseppe proposed a four-stroke engine. This engine would begin life as a 125cc affair, and retained the egg-shape of it’s two-stroke predecessor that was to be the trademark of Motobi engines. In fact the two and four-stroke Motobis are extremely similar in appearance which is partially the work of a very cleverly designed, compact head, valve and rocker arrangement. Giuseppe died in 1957 but the history of Motobi was far from over.

    In 1962 the two companies merged back into one. The Benelli company now had a very large line of bikes that included the horizontally mounted Motobi design. The engine was soon pushed out to 175cc. A few of the production models offered during this period went under the names of Motobi Imperial Sport 125, Catria 175 and Catria Sport 175 with the sport models featuring clip-on handlebars and bump-stop saddles. Then came a 200cc with a bore and stroke of 66mm x 57mm. This was followed in 1966 by a full 250cc with bore and stroke of 74mm x 57mm and was further improved in 1968 when a five-speed gearbox was added. In the United States, these bikes were marketed as Benellis, losing their Motobi badges and falling under the names of Sprite and Barracuda. These motorcycles do retain the original Motobi insignia cast inside the engine cases.

    So, it sounds to me like what I have is a 200 Sprite that was made sometime between 1962 and 1966. Hmmmm....probably going to be near impossible to find another motor for this thing??

  9. #8
    Benelli Wannabe ! ROBFM's Avatar
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    Now that's a serious restoration project I look forward to seeing your progress as I find it fascinating how you folk transform these "Old Wrecks" into their former glory


    oh & Welcome







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  10. #9
    King of the Group-Buys Laurencewhite's Avatar
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    It seems like you have one of these then.







    If so, these may come in handy:-

    Linky 1
    Linky 2
    Linky 3
    Last edited by Laurencewhite; 07-23-2012 at 03:04 AM.
    Laurence

    Benelli Tornado 900 LE No. 49
    Benelli 1130 TNT Titainium
    Benelli 1130 TRE-K
    Benelli 750 SEI
    Benelli 250 2c
    Benelli Motorella



  11. #10
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    Thanks!!!!!

    Wow, thank you Lawrence!!! I will surely need those manuals. This forum is amazing. What did the old timers do before the internet to find parts etc?? I cannot imagine...
    So, yes, I only wish that my bike looked as beautiful as the one in those pics! Besides the handlebars and that cafe seat {and of course the lack of rust and dust!}, mine looks just like that bike. The good thing about it is that the odometer shows only about 1500 miles, and besides the big dent in the tank and a bent footpeg, there are absolutely no other dents at all, and nothing broken or bent. And the rust isn't as bad as it looks. Everything moves freely and I was able to get all the hardware removed with just one shot of penetrating oil. The tires I'm guessing are original..Pirellis and have very little wear. My guess is that someone had this bike new, rode it for a few months and got into an accident then put it away for a few decades, and then decided to junk it, or left it outside for a few years.
    If anyone has any ides about where to find a motor, or parts, that would be great. And I'm also wondering if the different size motors are easily interchangeable? Could I put a 250 motor on this? The 200 motors I am willing to bet are more rare...but who knows?
    Thanks again!!!!
    ~Newbi

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