1970 Benelli 125cc Sport Special Registration no. LWU 143H Frame no. 438520 Engine no. 8492
Italy's oldest surviving motorcycle manufacturer, Benelli was founded in 1911 by the six Benelli brothers, the oldest of whom, Giuseppe, left in 1949 to found his own company Moto 'B' Pesaro, later Motobi. The firm's first design was a 98cc single-cylinder two-stroke lightweight with horizontal engine, a layout that would characterise its offerings from then onwards. In the early 1950s a new range of all-aluminium engines was introduced, whose profile resembled that of an egg or rugby ball, and this style was deliberately retained when Motobi switched to overhead-valve four-strokes towards the decade's end. Six years after Giuseppe's death in 1957, Motobi merged with Benelli and its models continued to be manufactured, although now with 'Benelli' on the tank. This well presented example of a Benelli-badged Motobi has spent most of its life in a private museum in Hungary and was first registered in the UK in April of this year. The machine has been MoT'd for safety reasons but nevertheless would benefit from a thorough re-commissioning before returning to the road. Accompanying documentation consists of a history file, current MoT and a V5C registration document.