1957 Motobi Catria Lusso



1957 Motobi Catria Lusso

Country: Italy
Engine: Air-cooled horizontal single-cylinder 4-stroke
Ignition: Magneto
Power Rating: 8.5bhp @ 6,800rpm
Bore x Stroke: 62mm x 57mm
Displacement: 172cc
Valves: Overhead, pushrod activated
Fuel System: Dell’Orto 20mm carburetor
Transmission: 4-speed
Suspension: Front telescopic forks, rear twin shock
Brakes: Front and rear drum
Weight: 215lb
Top Speed: 75mph


One of the six Benelli brothers, Guiseppe, left the company in 1949 to work on his own designs. Initially the products had a simple monogram "B" then changed to Motobi (Moto-B). One feature of the Motobi was the streamlined shape of the power unit, often described as “like a rugby football.” Initially, the engines were 2-strokes, followed by pushrod 4-strokes, still using the horizontal oval styling, making it difficult to distinguish between the two.

4/3/2020 5:56:30 AM

In the above video the speedometer is maxed at 100 kph, or about 62 mph. I'm sure that if the bike was faster, the speedometer would have reflected it. Still, a very attractive little machine with plenty of cooling fins on the head facing directly into the airstream, just like Aermacchi did on their 250cc single.

4/2/2020 10:18:02 AM

What? Mark, I remember that Benelli Barracuda 250, and the ads clearly said they would go 105 MPH - do you mean they exaggerated? Really, this bike on it's best day would be hard pressed to do 65 - 60 would be more like it.

10/4/2018 7:06:02 AM

I question whether 8.5 HP will *ever* get you 75 mph. In the 60's some wildly optimistic numbers were published to push Benellis, and I believed them. Yes, I believed that their 125cc made 15.4 HP and would go 78 mph. They had two very different rating systems for HP, one test of a 200cc claimed 20 HP for the American market but the review noted they claimed 14 HP at home, same engine. I still think they were beautiful and romantic designs, but only an objective road test will give a realistic clue about horsepower and top speed.

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