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Wednesday, August 9, 2023

5 Beautiful Italian Motorcycles of the 1950s and 1960s

Moto Bellissima - In the vibrant world of motorcycles, Japanese manufacturers like Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki have long held the spotlight, dominating both tracks and streets across the globe. However, amidst these Japanese motorcycle giants, lesser-known names from Europe and America struggle to compete...
The Record Sport 48 cc was manufactured by FB Mondial, a company the Boselli brothers had founded in Piacenza in 1929. (Picture from: MotorcycleNews.au)
Interestingly, in the past, especially during the 1950s and 1960s, Italy played host to a plethora of motorcycle manufacturers that produced stunning machines often referred to as 'Moto Bellissima'. Let's explore a collection of five exquisite lightweight Italian motorcycles from the postwar era, spanning from the 1950s to the 1960s.

A Glimpse into Italy's Motorcycle Legacy: 5 Timeless Classics;

1. 1957 Ceccato and Taglioni 160 cc International Sport
Back in 1950, Pietro Ceccato enlisted the brilliance of Fabio Taglioni, who brought his design expertise to the motorcycle factory in Montecchio Maggiore, near Vicenza in Northern Italy. Taglioni, with a background in aviation and mechanics, as well as an engineering degree from the University of Bologna, was instrumental in shaping the future of Italian motorcycles.
1957 Ceccato and Taglioni 160 cc International Sport. (Picture from: SFOMuseum)
Ceccato and Taglioni's collaboration birthed a 75 cc overhead camshaft single engine, which soared to fame during the Motogiro d’Italia, a renowned long-distance rally. Its triumph drew the attention of rival Mondial, leading Taglioni to join their ranks in 1952. Subsequently, Taglioni's talents were embraced by Ducati in 1954, where he engineered a series of groundbreaking race bikes.

2. 1959 Fratelli Peripoli 50 cc Giulietta Super Sport
The late 1950s saw the emergence of Fratelli Peripoli as a subsidiary under Giulietta, dedicated to crafting mopeds and scooters. Inspired by Verona's iconic attraction, the legendary home of Juliet Capulet, the name was fittingly chosen. The revision of Italy's Highway Code in 1959 made 50 cc motorcycles an appealing choice for young riders, prompting the creation of the 50 cc Giulietta Super Sport, both in moped and motorcycle versions. 

1959 Fratelli Peripoli 50 cc Giulietta Super Sport. (Picture from: SFOMuseum)
Setting itself apart in a crowded field of small-displacement motorcycles, the Giulietta boasted futuristic styling, with its streamlined body elegantly curving over the rear tire, reminiscent of the era's automobiles. The distinctive tan-and-blue color scheme extended to every detail, including its sumptuously padded seat.

3. 1963 Moto Morini 175 cc Tressette Sprint
Moto Morini's
legacy was founded on the collaboration between Mario Mazzetti and Alfonso Morini, who debuted a remarkable two-stroke 125 cc race bike under the Motocicli MM marque in 1924. Their success soared throughout the 1920s and 1930s, marked by numerous world records. The decision to part ways in 1937 led to Alfonso Morini establishing his own namesake brand, a bold move in a turbulent industry. 

1963 Moto Morini 175 cc Tressette Sprint. (Picture from: SFOMuseum)
Moto Morini's determination to thrive persisted through wartime challenges. Despite the factory's partial destruction during WWII, Morini's perseverance endured. The 1963 Moto Morini 175 cc Tressette Sprint embodies this legacy, a testament to the brand's commitment to innovation and performance.

4. 1968 Mondial 48 cc Record Sport
FB Mondial
captured the motorcycle world's attention by clinching ten world titles within its first nine postwar years. Their racing success seamlessly transitioned into a strong market presence for production bikes. Despite racing withdrawals in 1957 and 1966, Mondial's prominence remained, evidenced by the introduction of the Record Sport in 1965.
1968 Mondial 48 cc Record Sport. (Picture from: SFOMuseum)
Incorporating the sleek aesthetics of mid-1960s 50 cc race bikes, the Record Sport emerged as an extraordinary creation from the legendary factory. A nod to Mondial's enduring commitment to excellence, this model exemplified their dedication to crafting remarkable motorcycles.

5. 1969 Itom 50 cc Astor Super Sport
emerged as a significant player in Italy's postwar motorcycle scene, earning acclaim for its 50 cc and 65 cc single-cylinder two-stroke engines by the mid-1950s. The 1954 debut of the Astor Super Sport, a 50 cc motorcycle equipped with a three-speed transmission and handlebar gearshift, further solidified Itom's reputation. 

1969 Itom 50 cc Astor Super Sport. (Picture from: SFOMuseum)
Contributing significantly to the popularity of small-displacement motorcycles, Itom's achievements extended to the racetrack. Their presence in the 50cc class saw them hold sway until yielding to production racers by Honda and Kreidler.
These five Italian gems from the 1950s to 1960s capture the essence of an era marked by innovation, style, and a fierce spirit of competition. As we reflect on these Moto Bellissima, we celebrate the legacy of Italian craftsmanship that continues to inspire motorcycle enthusiasts worldwide.

Kept spur your adrenaline on the power of two-wheeled monster and stay alive with the true safety riding. May God will forgive Your sins and so does the cops...... *** [EKA [03052016] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SFOMUSEUM | MOTORCYCLENEWS.AU ]
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