The Moto Morini heritage and legacy
Moto Morini was born
After almost 15 years of collaboration with Mario Mazzetti and MM, in September 1937 Alfonso Morini set up his own manufacturing business. He opened a small firm in Via Malvasia in Bologna Italy. In January 1938 he starts to produce three-wheelers with 350, 500 and 600cc engines. A choice dictated by the conditions of the period as three-wheel motorcycles enjoy reduced taxation, a driving license was not necessary and they cost a third of small trucks. Affordability, quality, performance and unique style begin to give the new company notoriety across Italy. Technical advancements came from Dante Lambertini, Gino Marchesini and Dolcino Veronesi, who would later become key figures in the post war era when the company began to focus solely on motorcycles.
The first motorcycle
Enduring the wartime bombardments which destroyed the factory, Alfonso Morini does not lose heart and he starts again from scratch. In the 2-stroke 125cc engine he sees the perfect vehicle suitable for post war needs. The first ever Moto Morini appears in spring 1946 and production starts in a new factory in via Ludovico Berti, of course always in Bologna. The 125cc bike is the first lightweight engine to be produced in an Italy liberated from fascism and when it is presented at a trade fair in Milan, it is declared as motorcycling’s “success of the year”.
The popular tourist model is soon flanked by the styling sport version. The power surges from 4.5 HP to 5.7 HP increasing top speed from 75 to a dizzying 80 km/h. The first 125cc models top their rivals in quality, reliability and a comfortable ride. The Moto Morini two-stroke 125cc soon starts racing with many victories across Europe.
Umberto Mascetti starts off his brilliant racing career on a Moto Morini and in 1948 wins many races in route to the Italian Championship. His race version bike has 4 gears instead of 3 and arrives at 8/9 HP with speed is upwards of 120 km/h.
Win the GP World Championship
Realizing the superiority of the 4-stroke engine, Alfonso Morini gives the green light to a new GP motorcycle with a revolutionary chain-driven 125cc single-shaft engine that produces 16 HP and weighs only 80 kg. On top of winning several National Championships, the new Moto Morini racing machine wins the GP at Monza in 1951 with rider Emilio Mendogni, beating other Italian brands such as MV and Mondial.
Mass produced 4 stroke motorcycle
With the debut of the 175cc Settebello, it was seen as the highest level of success for Moto Morini at the time. The bike quickly becomes much sought after by races, and especially long-distance racers.
175 Settebello is created
After the fabulous 175cc Settebello, approximately 15 prototype race version were developed known as Aste Corte to compete at such famed races as the Milano-Taranto and the Motogiro d’Italia. It had a revolutionary chassis with an open duplex cradle, a single-cylinder, single-shaft split engine and top-level hydraulic suspension. The Aste Corte in its original 175cc and later 250cc version went on to win many races proving the high quality, performance and durability of Moto Morini.
The new plant in Bologna
With the increased popularity of Moto Morini motorcycles, the added production required a new plant to be built at Via Bergami 7, of course always in Bologna.
Modern design and innovation
Alfonso Morini soon develops a new more modern, leaner motorcycle that makes its way to production with great success. The Corsaro 125.
Racing team achievements
Moto Morini team rider Angelo Bergamonti respected for his test riding, technical knowledge and riding style, debuts in 1964 on a 175cc Settebello. He goes on to many race wins including the 1967 Italian Championship.
Trusted Moto Morini racer Emilio Mendogni goes on to win the prestigious Shell Cup in Imola a newly designed 250cc GP bike.
The first generation of Corsaro ZZ
Export of Moto Morini motorcycles to the USA begin. New models were created with different specifications to meet the demands of American riders. Model names were even changed to the Pirate, Thunder Chief, Jaguar, and Twister to win over American riders.
3 1/2 magic number
The Corsaro received a contemporary design upgrade and a larger 350cc engine known as the 3 ½. It is the most technically advanced 4 stroke engine of the time and boasts an electronic ignition and a six-speed gear box with a top speed of 125 km/h.
The new 500 road bike
At the Milan motorcycle trade fair, a sleek new 500cc road bike is unveiled with great anticipation. Soon after came the sports version. A 250cc displacement was also offered.
The new Corsaro 1200
The year of the great company relaunch. The dramatically new Corsaro 1200 and 9 1/2 (948 cc) were innovations from what was known as the Lambertini Project. The advanced trellis tube frames and spectacular Italian design was under the direction of Luciano Marabese. The new 87° V twin-cylinder engine with 4 valve twin-shaft and electronic fuel injection was a celebrated advancement.
The Corsaro Veloce 1200
The Corsaro Veloce 1200 was endowed with a more sophisticated chassis and many high-performance upgrades.
The Scrambler 1200 and the Granpasso 1200 Maxi endurance bike also made their debuts.
The bold new Corsaro ZZ, Corsaro ZT are developed to meet Euro 4 requirements while keeping all the performance and high quality Moto Morini is known for.
The Moto Morini story continues
In October of 2018 the Golden Eagle company changed hands and became part of the globally respected Zhongneng Vehicle Group with the goal of continuing the prestigious Moto Morini history of innovation and contributions to the motorcycle industry.
Moto Morini offers performance focused on and off-road motorcycles with superiority Italian design and high quality to exceed the diverse demands of today’s riders.