It's a lovely bike to own but difficult to price. Classic dealers such as Noth Leicester MCs and Made In Italy charge top dollar for them - 3K, even 4K for a good one. The later model sport is worth more with the final and most rare S2 being the most valuable especially if it still has its fairing. Only the very first few in '69 had the Grimeca 4 leading shoe brake. They are difficult to sell as I expect you've seen on Ebay and elsewhere. The S has the nicest paintwork. The oversquare engine gives a peculiar, almost ragged driving characteristic and busy sound. When you do get engine speed and power right it is very rewarding. I'll probably get in trouble for saying this, but I paid £1250 for a very presentable non runner with very low mileage. I'm probably up to £2000 in total now. If you really like the looks of it and you want to keep it, then I'd pay between 2.5 and 3K for a mint, original machine or VERY good special. Have a test drive first - you're welcome to try mine, but do drive some other models soon after. I've found that period tests were quite accurate in their descriptions and you can find some on:
If you cannot access these then PM me and I'll sort something out
What's right with them
Rapid, comfortable progress to a 70mph cruise from a revvy engine
They don't leak
Spares are relatively cheap and mostly obtainable
Superb build quality and ancillaries
Kick starting is a breeze due to the short stroke
Good, solid Idle
Cheap compared to a Laverda 750
Light compared to a Laverda 750
Very clever if flawed design eg cheap, reusable gaskets in the top end, forced oiling of the top end
Good for popping down the shops and being a classic
The designer Ing Pamploni (I think) was still alive last time I heard
Lovely gearbox and clutch
What's wrong with them
They do vibrate but not as badly as people say
They are heavy compared with a Bonnie but nothing compared to later bikes
The fuel tank is tiny combined with poor fuel economy gives low range
Starter motors don't
Can be over revved
Early seat is like a plank
Bad for long distance touring
Buy a 70's De Tomaso Benelli, Guzzi, BMW, Kwak Z750 or Laverda instead
No faster in practical terms than a Morini 350
This was Benelli's first big bike and they learned a lot from making it
Carb needles unavailable
Right side upside down shift
I've never driven Brit twins but I guess the main differences will be a bit more weight, better suspension, fewer chains, better build quality and a slightly odd and less tractable engine that manages to be both torquey and revvy at the same time with poorer fuel economy.
Limpwrist, why put folks off with such damming statements you bad boy! Now I'll never be able to offload mine :-( . What about that chap from Pesaro who rode his Tornado all the way to the TT and back? I have to agree if you want to ride it lots there are better bikes about. For the ride my 900 Sei is very nice and the 654 is a good machine with a more flexible engine and far better brakes than the Honda 4s it was supposed to have copied. If you like a small, vintage sports machine you can't beat the 250ss. Don't expect the performance you'd get from a De Tomaso Benelli with the bikes designed before '72. The 250 2C is also cute, light and quick enough if you like strokers. Benelli have made so many different bikes over the years based on at least 8 different basic engine designs - it's bewildering.
Nfitz, If that is the Tornado you were looking at, the chap that owns it is a long term club member and the bike is better than many "prettier" machines I've come across.
Anyone doing the Dutch and Swedish rallies this year? I have an evil plan to do both as they are a week apart at the end of August.