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Classic Italian Motorcycles

Classic Benelli Motorcycles

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Big Breeze from Italy: 1971-76 Benelli 650 Tornado

Benelli 650 Tornado Years Produced: 1971-1976 Power: 52-57hp @ 7,200rpm Top Speed: 97 mph (period test) Engine: 643cc (84mm x 58 mm) air-cooled, OHV parallel twin Transmission: 5-speed, chain final drive Weight/MPG: 480lb wet/40-50mpg (avg.) Price then/now: $1,779 (1973)/$2,000-$9,000 Timing may not be everything, but bad timing can scuttle the best of plans. Through most ...

The Motorcycle Classics Staff | Aug 9, 2019

Classic Cagiva Motorcycles

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Missed Adventure: 1984-1987 Cagiva Elefant

1984-1987 Cagiva Elefant 650Claimed power: 55hp @ 7,500rpmTop speed: 115mph (indicated)Engine: 649cc air-cooled SOHC desmodromic V-twinWeight: 454lb (wet)Fuel capacity/MPG: 38mpg (avg.)Price then/now: $4,632 (1986)/$1,750-$3,000The present-day fad for adventure touring motorcycles has, like most fashions, a precedent in a previous generation. But it wasn’t Ewan McGregor ...

The Motorcycle Classics Staff | Dec 11, 2014

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Classic Ceccato Motorcycles

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Circa-1954 Ceccato 75cc Twin Cam

Critically acclaimed food author and television personality Anthony Bourdain would tell us that a steak cooked rare is a pretty common thing.That’s why Bourdain, sometimes scootering around or riding in a sidecar on his show No Reservations, documents the lesser-known dishes available from around the globe — he’s often seen scarfing down morsels of food ...

Greg Williams | Apr 2, 2010

Classic Ducati Motorcycles

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The Paso Puzzle

The 1988 Ducati 750 Paso I picked up last year is close to being road worthy, and getting it there has provided an interesting education about one of the more controversial models in Ducati’s history. Penned by Massimo Tamburini, the plastic wrapped Paso was a radical styling departure for Ducati — and a marketplace flop. Excepting the failed 350cc and 500cc parallel twins of ...

Staff | Aug 13, 2021

Classic Gilera Motorcycles

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Radical Rondine: 1939 Gilera 500 Rondine

1939 Gilera 500 RondineEngine: 492cc liquid-cooled DOHC inline four (inclined 60 degrees forward), 52mm x 58mm bore and stroke, 7.2-7.5:1 compression ratio, 80hp @ 9,000rpmTop speed: 140mphCarburetion: Weber w/Roots superchargerTransmission: 4-speed, chain final driveElectrics: Magneto ignitionFrame: Tubular perimeter w/engine as stressed memberSuspension: Girder fork front, ...

Hamish Cooper | Dec 18, 2017

Classic Laverda Motorcycles

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Jota’s Bigger Brother: 1978-82 Laverda 1200 Jota America/Mirage

Laverda 1200 Years produced:1978-1982 Power: 73hp @ 7,500rpm Top speed: 133mph (period test) Engine: 1,116cc (80mm x 74mm) air-cooled, DOHC inline triple Transmission: Triplex chain primary, 5-speed, chain final drive Weight (wet)/MPG: 545lb (248kg)/38mpg (avg.) Price then/now: $1,995 (1977)/$3,000-$8,000 Many bike makers produced standout models that became synonymous ...

The Motorcycle Classics Staff | Nov 12, 2019

Classic Morbidelli Motorcycles

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1975 Morbidelli 125 Grand Prix

Country: ItalyEngine: Water-cooled, twin-cylinder 2-strokeIgnition: Battery-powered Krober ignition (CDI)Power rating: 42bhp @ 14,200rpmDisplacement: 124.77cc, rotary inletFuel system: Twin Mikuni 28mm carburetorsTransmission: 6-speedSuspension: Front Marzocchi 32mm telescopic forks, rear twin shockBrakes: Front twin Brembo discs, rear single Brembo discWeight: 165lbsTop speed: ...

The Motorcycle Classics Staff | Aug 19, 2015

Classic Moto Guzzi Motorcycles

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Fast but Fragile: 1985-1987 Moto Guzzi V65 Lario

Power: 60hp @ 7,800rpm (claimed)  Top speed: 119mph (period test)  Engine: 650cc 8-valve air-cooled OHV L-twin  Transmission: 5-speed, shaft final drive  Weight: 433lb (wet)  Fuel Capacity/MPG: 4.7gal/39mpg (est.)  Price then/now: n/a/$2,000-$5,000 By the mid-1970s, new  owner Alejandro de Tomaso had consolidated Moto Guzzi’s finances and market ...

The Motorcycle Classics Staff | Feb 3, 2021

Classic Moto Morini Motorcycles

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Café Espresso: 1978-1983 Moto Morini 500

Moto Morini 500 SportYears produced: 1978-1983Power: 7,500rpm (est.)Top speed: 104mph (period test)Engine: 479cc air-cooled OHV 72-degree V-twinTransmission: 5-speed, chain final driveWeight/mpg: 368lb (dry)/42-56mpgPrice then/now: $2,795/$2,500-$6,000Samuel Dalziel Heron is hardly a household name. Yet he helped design the first successful radial airplane engines, invented the ...

The Motorcycle Classics Staff | Dec 20, 2017

Classic MV Agusta Motorcycles

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Terrestrial Flyer: 1954 MV Agusta 175 CSS Disco Volante

Claimed power: 15hp @ 6,700rpm Top speed: 84mph Engine: 172.3cc air-cooled SOHC single, 59.5mm x 62mm bore and stroke, 8.2:1 compression Weight (dry): 246lb (112kg) Fuel capacity/MPG: 3.7gal (14ltr)/80mpg (observed) Price then/now: $448/$10,000-$16,000 It’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow, goes the old saw. The Italian Motorcycle ...

Staff | Aug 16, 2021

Classic Parilla Motorcycles

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1962 Parilla 250 Gran Sport

1962 Parilla 250 Gran SportCountry: ItalyEngine: Air-cooled single-cylinder 4-strokeIgnition: Battery and coilPower Rating: 21bhp @ 8,800rpmBore x Stroke: 68 x 68mmDisplacement: 247ccValves: Overhead, single-lobe cam with short push rods and rocker armsFuel System: Single 28mm Dell-Orto GP type carburetorTransmission: 4-speedSuspension: Front Ceriani telescopic forks, rear twin ...

The Motorcycle Classics Staff | Feb 27, 2013

Classic Rumi Motorcycles

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125cc Motorcycle: The Rumi Sport 125

1952 Rumi Sport 125 Years produced: 1950-1952Claimed power: 10hp @ 7,400rpmTop speed: 65mph (est.)Engine type: 124.68cc air-cooled 2-stroke parallel twinTop speed: 65mph (est.)Weight (dry): 202lb (92kg)Price then: $375 (est.)Price now: $8,500-$14,000MPG: 45-65 (est.)If someone told you they were introducing a 10hp, 125cc motorcycle with a 2-stroke twin-cylinder machine like the 1952 ...

James Adam Bolton | Oct 8, 2009

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