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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A unique and rare Italian Little-Ant scooter

The Moto Rumi organisation named Fonderie Officine Rumi or the Rumi Foundries was formed at the beginning of the twentieth century (established by Gabrielle Rumi in Bergamo, Italy in 1906) and originally supplied cast components to the textile machinery industry. 
1959 Rumi Formichino made by the Italian factory Rumi, the 1959 Bol d’Or with a 125cc two-stroke engine was the most sought after of the Formichino models and was the fastest scooter of its day, producing 8.5 bhp at 7,200 rpm. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2qDCBrY)
Gabrielle’s son, Donnino, began working at the foundry at the age of 12. His work was casting metal, but his passion was painting, drawing, and sculpture, at which he was gifted and classically trained. Donnino assumed management of the foundry in the 1920s, with art taking a back seat.

During WWII, Donnino refused to work with the Germans, and fought (and was subsequently jailed) as a Partisan. During the war years, his foundry churned out bronze propellers, anchors, torpedoes, and periscopes for submarines.
1955 Rumi Formichino. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2AV5mGs)
After the war, Donnino returned to help rebuild the factory, concentrating on textile machinery and later made light motorcycles and scooters. He was also decided to base the powerplant on the horizontal twin two stroke unit of 125 cc capacity.

In 1952, with the popularity of scooters, Rumi started manufacturing the Squirrel or Scoiottolo - a cast aluminum monocoque body with tubular swinging arm rear suspension and teleforks with 14 inch wheels and three gears. Subsequent models had a four speed gearbox and electric starter and were reputed to be the fastest scooters then in production. 
Right side view of 1955 Rumi Formichino. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2AV5mGs)
Moto Rumi, the branch of the Rumi foundries that produced motorcycles and scooters, was only active from 1950-1960. While wildly popular on Italy’s strade, during this short span the factory also enjoyed numerous endurance and sprint racing victories, most notably the 24 hour Bal d’Or at Montlhéry, France. All the Rumi bikes, both motorcycles and scooters, were based on their 125cc horizontal twin and some excellent engineering.
Speedometer and odometer view of 1955 Rumi Formichino. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2AV5mGs)
The Formichino (Little Ant) seen here is made up of only a few aluminum castings – a nod to Rumi’s expertise with metal. The engine is actually a structural member, part of the frameless monocoque, with the castings attached front and rear. 
Rear side view of 1955 Rumi Formichino. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2AV5mGs)
This lightweight approach gave a decided performance advantage over the conventional steel-framed Vespas and Lambrettas on Italy’s roads, and added to their appeal. It’s also a beautiful sculptural piece, both functional and fast.
After they triumphed at three Italian Speed Championships in 1957, ’58, and ’60, Vespa upped their game and so Rumi was unable to compete anymore. And then they ceased the bike production in 1960, and closed the foundry in 1962. While Donnino returned to his first love of painting and sculpture, until his death in 1980.

After some time away from the world of racing motorbikes, one of Donnino's grandsons named Stefano established the Rumi Sport Race Engineering in 2009, and developed both of 125 cc and 250 cc racing motorbikes with some success.

Thus a brief history of Moto Rumi that once dominated various racing circuits in the 1950s to 1960s..

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 | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | LANE MOTOR MUSEUM | MOTORCYCLE NEWS | WIKIPEDIA]
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