Tag Archives: Phil Aynsley

Moto Morini Corsaro Avio | Moto Morini to showcase new models at EICMA…

With Phil Aynsley


An all too brief revival of the famous Moto Morini name commenced in 1999 when Alfonso Morini’s nephew, Franco, bought the name back from Ducati (who had acquired it in the TPG buyout in 1996). The new joint-stock company Morini Franco Motori S.p.A. came into being in 2003.

PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio
PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio

The following year saw the announcement of a completely new motorcycle – the 1200 Corsaro. It was powered by a 87° DOHC V-twin that was designed by Franco Lambertini – who had been responsible for Morini’s V-twins, such as the 3½, back in the ’70s.

PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio
PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio
PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio

Corsaro Veloce, Sport & Scrambler variants followed before the enterprise went bankrupt in 2009. About 40 bikes were assembled from spare parts in early 2011 before the name was sold to Eagle Bike (a company run by two Italian entrepreneurs).

PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio
PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio
PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio

Limited production continued, from 2014 at a new location in Trivizio. The management changed again in 2015 with one of the owners leaving, the dropping of internet only sales and the establishment of a dealer network. New models were introduced including a revised Granpasso, Scrambler and Corsaro ZZ.

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Moto Morini Corsaro Avio

Moto Morini are about to be re-born yet again with a display at EICMA next month where the company will present a new platform of mid-engine size motorbikes. A new platform which will be available in different models starting from the Naked and Adventure segment, a first teaser image of that new bike is below. 

Moto Morini Adventure Silhouette
Moto Morini are to unveil a new adventure bike next month

The new Morini range will be powered by the CorsaCorta 1200 cc engine, composed by the sporty Corsaro ZZ, the Corsaro ZT and the Milano, the company will also present a new element with what they claim will be a definitive version of the Super Scrambler.

In this feature though we focus on this June 2008 build Corsaro Avio that has only done 250km, and apart from being fitted with factory accessory Termignoni mufflers and having the pillion pegs removed, is in completely standard condition. Power output is claimed as 120hp at 8500rpm pushing a dry weight of 198kg.

PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio
PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio
PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio
PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio
PA Morini
Moto Morini Corsaro Avio

Source: MCNews.com.au

Montesa 250GP two-stroke GP racer

Montesa 250 two-stroke GP racer

With Phil Aynsley


Montesa GP
Montesa 250GP two-stroke racer

One of the only two such bikes ever built, this 250cc two-stroke twin was developed in conjunction with the Villa brothers in 1967. Francesco sold his 125 and 250 designs (which he had originally conceived for FB Mondial) to Montesa in return for becoming the company’s exclusive importer for Italy.

Montesa GP
Montesa 250GP two-stroke racer
Montesa GP
Montesa 250GP two-stroke racer

While extremely fast it proved too fragile to be a success – its best result was a second place behind Mike Hailwood on the Honda 250/6 at the Italian Riccione circuit in April 1967, with Walter Villa riding.

Montesa GP
Montesa 250GP two-stroke racer

Montesa GP

However with Montesa’s efforts becoming increasingly focused on off road bikes the road racing team was disbanded at the end of the year. The Villas went on to producing bikes under their own Moto Villa name.

Montesa GP
Montesa 250GP two-stroke racer
Montesa GP
Montesa 250GP two-stroke racer

An interesting technical feature was the part water cooling system. The rotary disc valves were water cooled while the heads were air cooled. An eight-speed gearbox was used, and power output was claimed as 35hp at 9800rpm.

Montesa GP
Montesa 250GP two-stroke racer
Montesa GP
Montesa 250GP two-stroke racer

Source: MCNews.com.au

Motom | Italy’s third biggest motorcycle manufacturer in the mid 1950s

Obscure Italian marque Motom

With Phil Aynsley


The now little known Motom marque was in fact the third biggest producer of motorcycles in Italy during the mid 1950s (after Moto Guzzi and Garelli), yet most people wouldn’t even recognise the name!

PA Motom
Motom 48cc Motomic

PA Motom

It saw a spectacular rise from its founding in 1947 by Lancia engineer Battista Falchetto and businessman Frua Ernesto De Angelis. They had been inspired by the sales of Ducati’s Cucciolo motor and set about designing a complete motorcycle with a similar style of engine. The 48cc Motomic appeared later that year at the Geneva Show.

PA Motom
Motom 48cc Motomic

PA Motom

The bike proved to be a success and was soon followed by a succession of derivative models, all 48cc in capacity until 1957.

PA Motom
Motom 48cc Motomic

PA Motom

Famed Gilera designer Piero Remor joined the company briefly in 1953 and both the styling and mechanical details were tidied up during this time. Output was over 2hp at 4500rpm which was quite high for its capacity (and was easily tuned to produce more) and as a result the Motom was soon used in small capacity racing.

PA Motom
Motom 48cc Motomic
PA Motom
Motom 48cc Motomic

PA Motom

In 1953 it won its class in the 3200km Giro d’Italia at an average speed of almost 65km/h. In 1958 the factory team won every 50cc race held in Italy!

PA Motom
Motom 48cc Motomic

PA Motom

Motom had further success with the very avant-garde 98TS and 163 Delfino but closed its doors in 1971.

PA Motom
Motom 48cc Motomic

Source: MCNews.com.au

Rumi Motorcycles | 125cc two-stroke twin broke new ground

Junior Racer

With Phil Aynsley


An anchor hardly seems to be an appropriate part of a motorcycle company’s emblem, but for Rumi it made sense. Originally formed in the early 1900s to produce cast metal products such as propellers, during WWII it turned to armaments manufacture including miniature submarines, periscopes and torpedoes.

PA RumiJnr
Rumi Junior Racer – Rumi started off producing cast metal products, but later expanded

After the war Donnino Rumi (the founder’s son and a noted artist and sculptor) diversified the company’s products to include dough mixers, textile machinery and, from 1950, an individualistic range of 125cc twin cylinder 2-stoke motorcycles and scooters, all powered by the same basic engine designed by Pietro Vassena.

PA RumiJnr
Rumi manufactured a range of successful 125cc twin cylinder 2-stoke motorcycles

PA RumiJnr

This engine (in competition form) was the first in a motorcycle to employ alloy barrels with a chrome plated bore and expansion chamber exhausts – at least in a rather basic form.

PA RumiJnr
The Junior featured alloy barrels with a chrome plated bore and expansion chamber exhausts in a rudimentary form
PA RumiJnr
Rumi Junior Racer

The Gobetto in ‘Rumi | From submarines to motorcycles’ (link) was the factory’s top of the line race bike and was produced from 1951 to 1955 when it was replaced by the Junior. The Junior continued the use of chrome plated, alloy barrels and was fitted with two 18mm Dell’Orto carburettors and 10.5:1 compression pistons as standard.

PA RumiJnr
A race kit was also available for the Rumi Junior

Top speed was over 112km/h, however with the factory race kit, including larger carburettors, 11.5:1 pistons and racing exhaust pipes, this was raised to around 130km/h.

PA RumiJnr
Rumi Junior Racer
PA RumiJnr
Rumi Junior Racer front fork ‘shocks’

Earles front forks were standard but telescopic units were an option. The Sturcher rear shocks were air-assisted and featured adjustable dampening.

The Junior was the bike to beat in sport production racing in Italy and France during the late ‘50s. In 1959 it was in turn superseded by the Junior Gentleman.

PA RumiJnr
Rumi Junior Racer

Apart from having the motor rebuilt this bike is in original, unrestored condition.

PA RumiJnr
Rumi Junior Racer
PA RumiJnr
Rumi Junior Racer

Source: MCNews.com.au

Honda NSR500V | Eric Offenstadt special explored engineering concepts

Eric Offenstadt Experimental NSR500 Racer

With Phil Aynsley


The French Tecmas team competed in the 500cc World Championship from 1997 until 2000, using Honda’s NSR500V. Riders were Regis Laconi (1997), Sebastien Gilbert (1998, 1999 & 2000) and Bernard Garcia (1998).

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Eric Offenstadt Tecmas Honda NSR500V

PA TecmasNSRV

This bike is an experimental design by Eric Offenstadt, tested in 2000/01 (using a 1997 frame). The major feature is the steeply angled front forks, which are adjustable between 20.5 and 23.5 degrees, together with the re-welding of the front section of the frame, changed triple clamps and the front axle positioned well in front of the centreline of the forks.

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Eric Offenstadt Tecmas Honda NSR500V

PA TecmasNSRV

When the fork tubes are compressed the offset of the wheel axle varies with the angle, since it is no longer parallel to the directional geometric axis. This results in the axle being 40mm from the direct axis under no load to 20mm from the same axis when compressed.

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Eric Offenstadt Tecmas Honda NSR500V

PA TecmasNSRV

Additionally the brake grip is improved as the wheel is more vertical. Finally the wheelbase is reduced even more than with a normal front end under braking but it takes a bit more braking power for the rear wheel to lift.

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Eric Offenstadt Tecmas Honda NSR500V

PA TecmasNSRV

Other interesting details are the integrated brakes and the use of a single-sided swingarm with a large pinion to reduce the forces of the gearbox/chain on the rear suspension.

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Eric Offenstadt Tecmas Honda NSR500V

PA TecmasNSRV

During testing at Almeria in 2000 Sylvain Guintoli came within 1.2 seconds of Troy Bayliss’ circuit record set on the factory 996 Ducati superbike.

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Eric Offenstadt Tecmas Honda NSR500V

PA TecmasNSRV

Lack of funds caused the project to be cancelled in 2001. The bike carries Fredric Moreira’s name as he was the final test rider at the Pau circuit in 2001.

PA TecmasNSRV
Eric Offenstadt Tecmas Honda NSR500V

PA TecmasNSRV
Eric Offenstadt Tecmas Honda NSR500V

PA TecmasNSRV

Source: MCNews.com.au

Team Kawasaki Australia KR350 Prototype

With Phil Aynsley


This is the prototype KR350 sent to Team Kawasaki Australia for development during 1977. It was built in ’77 and based on a ’76 KR250. The modified 250 motor had a larger bore and a capacity of 306cc.

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
Kawasaki’s KR350 as ridden by Greg Hansford
Kawasaki KR PA KRP
The bike originally featured a KR250 motor bored to 306cc

Kawasaki KR PA KRP

Gregg Hansford tested the bike and resulting changes included modified KR750 front brakes being fitted. In 1979 a full 350cc motor was installed and the bike was raced by Rick Perry in 1980, winning the 350cc ARRC.

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
KR750 brakes were added on Hansford’s feedback
Kawasaki KR PA KRP
A 350 engine was added in 1979 and Rick Perry rode the bike to ARRC victory in 1980

Kawasaki KR PA KRP

One of the interesting features of the motor is that the water pump casing was cast integrally with the side case, rather than being a seperate unit. I was surprised to note that the whole barrel assembly is angled at 15º to the centreline of the motor.

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
Kawasaki’s KR350 as ridden by Greg Hansford

Kawasaki KR PA KRP

Overseas Kork Ballington won the 1978 350cc World Championship with a dominant 9 wins. Hansford finishing 3rd with 3 victories. The result was the same the following year with five and three wins respectively.

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
Kork Ballington won the 1978 350cc World Championship, with Hansford third
Kawasaki KR PA KRP
Racing success continued until 1981!

1980 saw Anton Mang finish in second with Jean-Fraçois Baldé in third. The KR350 filled the top three positions in 1981 (Mang, Ekerold, Baldé) and for the final season of the 350cc Championship Mang again finished in first with Baldé in third. So ended the extremely successful career of the KR350!

Kawasaki KR PA KRP
Kawasaki’s KR350 as ridden by Greg Hansford

This bike was retired after the 1980 season and subsequently restored. The motor and parts are 1978 vintage.

Source: MCNews.com.au

1972 MV Agusta 500/4 racer | Aero wings are not new…

1972 MV Agusta 500/4 racer prototype

With Phil Aynsley


So you think the appearance of wings and other aerodynamic aids on MotoGP bikes over the past few years is a recent phenomenon?

MV Agustga Phil Read PA MVP
1972 MV Agusta 500/4 racer prototype

MV Agustga Phil Read PA MVP

Cue this prototype MV Agusta 500/4 that was tested by Phil Read at Assen in 1972.

MV Agustga Phil Read PA MVP
Phil Read tested this 1972 MV Agusta 500/4 racer prototype

MV Agustga Phil Read PA MVP

Apart from the front wings (remarkably similar-looking to Ducati’s first efforts in the current era of MotoGP), the motor ran backwards compared to all previous MV race motors, which is another engineering principle also widely followed in MotoGP today.  This design was referred to Studio (Study) 84.

MV Agustga Phil Read PA MVP
1972 MV Agusta 500/4 racer prototype
MV Agustga Phil Read PA MVP
1972 MV Agusta 500/4 racer prototype
MV Agustga Phil Read PA MVP
1972 MV Agusta 500/4 racer prototype
MV Agustga Phil Read PA MVP
1972 MV Agusta 500/4 racer prototype

MV Agustga Phil Read PA MVP

MV Agustga Phil Read PA MVP

MV Agustga Phil Read PA MVP

MV Agustga Phil Read PA MVP

Source: MCNews.com.au

Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

With Phil Aynsley


Giuseppe Pattoni was the chief mechanic for the FB Mondial GP team when the company (together with Guzzi and Gilera) quit racing at the end of 1957. He and former company engineer, Lino Tonti, then formed their own company, Paton.

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

Their first bike was a 125cc single, closely based on the Mondial. Mike Hailwood finished seventh on the bike in the 1958 IOM Lightweight TT. This was followed by a 250cc parallel twin which in turn spawned 350 and 500cc versions.

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

The 500 was the most successful and is still produced for classic racing, indeed it is generally considered the go-to bike for the 500 classes and many are still raced by high profile names at the Classic TT.

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

In 1975-76 Pattoni started development of a V4 2-stroke. It was the first single crankshaft V4 to appear in the 500 Championship. It was also the first design that Pattoni’s son Roberto was involved with.

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

However it wasn’t until 1983 that the much refined C1 500 was ready for competition. As with the original design the cylinder angle was 115º. It wasn’t until 1990 that it was changed to 90º.

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Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

A redesign in 1994 saw the angle further reduced to 70º. A boost for the team came from a visit to the Paton workshop by Youichi Oguma, head of HRC.

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

After being told of the difficulty in obtaining small enough carburettors to properly fit the engine architecture, Oguma arranged for a set of Keihin 36mm units, specifically developed for Honda’s NSR bikes, to be supplied to Pattoni.

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

The new bike showed great promise at the beginning of 1995 but a crash by rider Jean Pierre Jeandat in the warm up for the British GP affected his results for the next two years.

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

A further blow occurred at the start of the 1997 season when the Paton team was denied automatic entry to the Championship, ending 39 years of continuous competition by Pattoni. However he continued to develop the bike, entering occasional races as a ‘wild card’ team.

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

Giuseppe Pattoni died of a heart attack after a test session in August 1999. His son continued work on the bike and presented the PG 500 R for the 2000 season. The frame was by the L.M. Gianetti firm and rider Paolo Tessari entered five races and scored Paton’s final point (and only point with a 2-stroke) with a 15th in the German GP. It is this bike I photographed.

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

The metallic green paint was used for the first time as a tribute by Roberto to his father. Also used for the first time was a new motor design with 54x54mm cylinders. Output was 190hp at 12,100rpm. Weight 135kg.

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

Although Paton’s final 2-stroke was the 2001 PG500 RC, which employed a 1994 Cagiva GP chassis, it was never able to compete in the Championship.

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer
Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR

Paton RG R PA PatonPGR
Paton PG 500 R V4 Racer

Source: MCNews.com.au

Berneg Construzione Meccaniche | Yet another obscure Italian motorcycle

‘Berneg Construzione Meccaniche’

With Phil Aynsley

Obscure Italian marque number 257…

Berneg

PA Berneg
Berneg 175cc Fario
Bernerg 175cc Fario
Berneg

Berneg was established in Bologna in 1954 by Paride Bernardi and Corrado Negrini to manufacture parts such as frames, tanks and mud guards for other bike manufacturers.

PA Berneg
Berneg 175cc Fario
Berneg 175cc Fario
Berneg 175cc Fario

In 1955 the company displayed their first complete motorcycle – the 160cc Iridea, taking the natural step forward to their own complete motorcycle.

PA Berneg
Berneg 175cc Fario
PA Berneg
Berneg 175cc Fario

The Iridea was designed by Alfonso Drusiani (of FB Mondial fame) and featured a parallel twin four-stroke, using a chain driven OHC, while making 8hp at 6500rpm.

PA Berneg
Berneg 175cc Fario

The follow up to the Iridea was the 175cc Fario, seen here, (both names refer to types of trout incidentally) in 1957. Output was up 11hp at 8000rpm, with weight of 110kg, while top speed was 110km/h. Both models were very similar in appearance, while the Iridea had smooth cam covers and unpolished engine side cases.

PA Berneg
Berneg 175cc Fario
PA Berneg
Berneg 175cc Fario

Berneg ceased production in 1961, with reliability pointed to as a contributing factor by some.

PA Berneg
Berneg 175cc Fario

Source: MCNews.com.au