The Benelli Sei 900
Benelli's 6-cylinder motorcycle
The Benelli Sei 900 got its start as the Benelli Sei 750 ("Sei" is Italian for “six”), which was first unveiled in the fall of 1972 and was the first production 6-cylinder motorcycle in the world.
Photo by Doug Mitchel
Benelli Sei 900
Years produced: 1979-1987
Claimed power: 80hp @ 8,400rpm
Engine: 906cc SOHC air-cooled inline 6
Top speed: 120mph
Weight (wet): 549lb (249kg)
Wheelbase: 56in (1,422mm)
Width: 25.75in (654mm)
1/4 mile, sec/mph: 13.3/99.8
Price then (1983): $5,406
Price now: $5,000-$8,000
The Benelli Sei 900 got its start as the Benelli Sei 750 ("Sei" is Italian for “six”), which was first unveiled in the fall of 1972 and was the first production 6-cylinder motorcycle in the world. Delays and setbacks put the launch off until 1974, and the new model carried an MSRP of $3,995. That’s roughly $17,500 in today’s money, but Italian cars and cycles weren’t — and still aren’t — purchased for their bargain price tag.
While the design of the engine on the Benelli Sei 750 closely mimicked Honda’s CB500, its two extra pots set it apart from everything else. The inline-six displaced 747cc and was fed by three 29mm Dell’Orto carbs, as the obstacle of synchronizing six units pushed the designers to this more friendly arrangement. A 5-speed gearbox sent the 75hp to the rear wheel via a single drive chain.
A 6-into-6 exhaust was unique, and the sound emanating from the chrome tips was something else. A tubular steel frame carried the load, and with a half-tank of fuel the Benelli Sei 750 tipped the scales at just over 500 pounds.