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Saturday, March 7, 2020

The vintage-styled Moto Major 350 still enchanting until today

By the end of World War II, many manufacturers returned to their natural habitat from producing military to civilian needs. This is marked by a number of companies starting to emerge, offering everything that can be produced by the changed 'defense industry' to those who survived an obscure time safely.
The vintage-styled 1947 Moto Major 350 prototype still enchanting until today. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3ciB01d)
Almost all of the companies that we know today were coming from that era, but do you know how many of these companies did not survive? But there are some very interesting copies from the era, such as a 350 cc motorcycle called the Moto Major 350 which appears quite unique even with vintage postwar motorcycle technology.
The 1947 Moto Major 350 is voted as the Best of Show Motorcycles at the Concorso Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2018. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/39irZUh)
The motorcycle is known to have been designed by a Turin engineer named Salvatore Maiorca in 1947 and it can be juxtaposed with two other vintage motorbikes that came from the same era and also have an almost similar shape such as the 1938 Killinger & Freund and Louis Lucien Lepoix’s personal BMW R12, made in 1947.

As quoted from The Vintagent, this motorcycle was a product of its time, Moto Major originated as an extraordinary styling arrangement at Aeritalia's aerodynamic research facility in Turin. This is possible because the process of developing a motorcycle is fully funded by Aeritalia, a Turin-based subsidiary of Fiat.
From every angle, the Moto Major is stunning and compelling. The sole prototype remains in original and unrestored condition. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/39irZUh)
Initially, the motorcycle development was mentioned as an exploratory effort of the Italian automotive giant to produce two-wheeled vehicles. This is the company's second attempt after the company was known in 1938 had ever made a Fiat scooter prototype similar to the Piaggio-made prototype in 1945 named the MP5 Paperino.

Amazingly, even though it has passed 7 decades since this motorcycle was first presented, the aesthetics are still enchanting. By applying aerodynamic bodywork construction that is reminiscent of cephalopods. With the bodywork sculpted that is full of extraordinary detail, such as the silencer shaped resembled a fishtail laid.
A cutaway view of the 350 single-cylinder Moto Major, showing the steering system, inline single-cylinder motor, shaft drive, and fuel tank under the saddle. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/39irZUh)
The motorbike appeared with an exotic art deco styled bodywork that can run using a twin-cylinder engine that is cooled with liquid, vertical, with two radiators embedded in the fairing that is fed through the front air in front. It was a little backward because the hand shift appeared through the bodywork, and handlebars exposed.

The twin exhausts exited through twin flattened fishtails out back, which the 350cc single model retained, in spite of having only one exhaust pipe! The second fishtail is a dummy, just for an aesthetic balance purposed.
The Moto Major has twin fishtail exhausts hide a secret with only one side is functional, another one is a dummy for aesthetic balance purposes only. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/39irZUh)
Then the entire body is covered with steel sheets that leave only the wheels, headlight and protruding handlebars. Thus maintaining an absolute purity line, running from the headlight up to the rear wheel hub, while the front shell curls gently and smartly to surround the front wheels, then re-ignites to protect the rider.

The sublime bodywork is also designed as a self-supporting hull, and fully monocoque. It is free to hug the front and rear wheels closely because the suspension is not between the wheels and the chassis, but between the wheel rims and their hubs! Maiorca used the idea of suspension-in-wheel in his aircraft designs, reinventing an idea almost as old as the motorcycle ie the elastic wheel.
The handlebars move in a slot in the bodywork, between the speedometer and a steering damper knob. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/39irZUh)
In the blissful optimism of the post-war period, the brass at FIAT seemed to forget the costs of building such a radical machine. While Moto Major remains unique, so they plan to market it and then collaborated with Pirelli to build the factory. After then Pirelli happily showed the Moto Major 350 at its booth at the Salon of Milan in 1948, where it created an enduring sensation for good.
The Moto Major’s in-wheel suspension uses 12 compressed rubber disc per wheel for suspension, to provide a nominal 50cm of travel. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/39irZUh)
But for some undefinition reasons, in the end, all of these didn't go according to the plan. And finally, the dream of the Moto Major becomes too good to be true and is saved forever in memory. Maybe for them, this is a beautiful vehicle to see, but it also remains difficult to understand and not produced.

The Moto Major could run again, but its rubber buffers are unique and deteriorating, so the Hockenheim Museum Archive (the current owner) has chosen to keep it exactly as it is, for now. Here's the video of the Concorso Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2018, where the Moto Major voted as the Best of Show Motorcycles.
Kept spur your adrenaline on the power of the two-wheeled monster and stay alive with true safety riding. God will forgive Your sins and so does the cops.... *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | THE VINTAGENT | BIKEEXIF | MOTORIDERSUNIVERSE]
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