Lot Details
1976 Moto Morini 344cc ‘3½’
Frame no. A/1*04565*DGM-11040-OM
Bologna-based Fabbrica Italiana Motocicli Morini produced a post-war range of two-stroke lightweight motorcycles very much in the Italian tradition. Always interested in competition, their beautifully engineered ohv and ohc single-cylinder racers were the basis for the wholly successful lightweights with which they entered the ‘seventies.

Their completely new 1971 range was based around an entirely fresh lightweight v-twin engine unit of 344cc. The v-twin had always been seen in the larger-engined motorcycle and a middleweight one was a welcome change. Drawing from the company’s previous designs the new unit had, of course, overhead valves with staggered air-cooled cylinders and was initially produced in two levels of tune, Sport and Strada (Route). The former produced 40bhp and the latter 37, both bikes able to exceed 90 mph in standard trim, allied to very fine handling and good braking from the excellent chassis. Expensive to buy when new but soon gaining a reputation as giant-killers, able to easily out-distance much more powerful rivals, they were also noted for their reliability with engines usually reaching 70,000 miles before any overhaul was needed, rather overturning the hitherto poor durability reputation of lightweights. Regular maintenance, though, was a must.

This 1976 example of the Sport 3 1/2, finished in Italian red and black, is said to be an older restoration which remains in bright condition with 2,248 miles registered. It has the humped seat and the sought-after spoke wheels with those lovely twin-sided drum brakes, favorite of keen riders for their better handling compared to the later cast-wheel version. Easy to handle around the garage, this little Morini will be a great-riding bike, coming alive at the sight of a twisty road.

Without reserve
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