1981 MBA 250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. MBA 275 Engine no. MBA/E00102 103.02.2069

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Lot 689N
1981 MBA 250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. MBA 275 Engine no. MBA/E00102 103.02.2069

£ 8,000 - 14,000
US$ 10,000 - 18,000
To be sold without reserve
Amended
1981 MBA 250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. MBA 275
Engine no. MBA/E00102 103.02.2069
• Customer version of the Morbidelli works machine
• Purchased from the MBA factory
• Un-restored condition

MBA (initially Morbidelli Benelli Armi and later Motori Benelli Armi) was founded towards the end of 1975 to manufacture production versions of Morbidelli's successful 125cc and 250cc Grand Prix racers. Morbidelli had been founded in Pesaro, Italy by Giancarlo Morbidelli whose line of business was manufacturing woodworking machinery, which provided the means to fund his passion for motorcycle racing. Morbidelli's first foray into Grand Prix racing came in 1969 with a 50cc single designed by Franco Rhingini, which was followed by a 125cc twin. Jorg Möller, previously with Kreidler, joined the team as chief engineer in 1974 and rewarded his employers with their first World Championship in '75, Paolo Pileri taking the 125cc title. Pileri was 125cc World Champion again in 1976.

Morbidelli's first Grand Prix contender for the 250 class had appeared partway through the 1976 season ridden by factory rider, Paolo Pileri. It followed the pattern established by Morbidelli's highly successful 125 twin: water-cooling, disc-valve induction, and a six-speed gearbox. Various frames were experimented with, including a mono-shock design by Bimota. A maximum output of 64bhp was claimed for Morbidelli's 250, which was good enough for a top speed, depending on gearing, of around 160mph.

The 250 made its racing debut at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1976 when Pileri brought it home in 2nd place behind reigning World Champion Walter Villa's Harley-Davidson. The following year would turn out to be Morbidelli's most successful, the Italian manufacturer taking the 125cc and 250cc World Championships with Pier Paolo Bianchi and Mario Lega respectively, while Eugenio Lazzarini added another 125cc title in 1978.

By this time Morbidelli's joint venture with Benelli was well under way and more than half the 125cc grid at Grands Prix would be mounted on MBA machinery, a situation that continued well into the 1980s. Development of the Morbidelli 250 and 125 continued into the 1980s under MBA's auspices, though these machines were intended for supply to customers rather than for the works team.

Nothing is known about the history of this particular machine, which was purchased from the MBA factory when it closed in 1987 and is presented in un-restored condition. There are no documents with this Lot.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • Please click the link to view the walkaround video of Lot 689: click here
Contacts
1981 MBA 250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle Frame no. MBA 275 Engine no. MBA/E00102 103.02.2069
Auction information

LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION
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Bidding Notices

VIEWING
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VIEWING TIMES
Wednesday 12 August 1pm to 5pm
Thursday 13 August 9am to 5pm
Friday 14 August 9am to 5pm
Saturday 15 August 9am to 5pm (Lots 501-704 only)

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Friday 14 August Spares & Memorabilia (Lot 1 - 212) 10am
Saturday 15 August Motorcycles (Lot 301 - 462) 10am
Sunday 16 August Motorcycles (Morbidelli) (Lot 501 - 704) 10am

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Buyers' Obligations

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Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine, Whisky and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £2,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

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Lot symbols
N NOVA declaration

If purchased by a UK resident, this machine is subject to a NOVA declaration, undertaken by Bonhams upon a successful sale, to facilitate the registration of the machine here in the UK.