General Category > Bike Builds, Rebuilds And Restorations Only

1965 Benelli / Motobi 200 Sprite

(1/2) > >>

Canuck750:
I am slowly gathering up enough parts to build a 200 Sprite, I plan on using the Motobi decals and rubber bits rather than the Benelli markings, all of the Sprite frames are actually stamped MOTOBI and in Europe I think the egg motor bikes were sold as Motobi's whereas Cosmopolitan had the bikes they imported marked as Benelli.

This is a Benelli Sprite, a 200 I think, a 4 speed 4 stroke single (5 speeds were also available)



In a typical moment of weakness I fell for an Ebay add listing an 'almost complete' Benelli 250 Baraccuda, after a lot of back and forth a crate came in the summer



After sorting and cleaning I found that quite a bit is missing or not correct and the bike is not a 250 Barrcuda, it is a 4 speed 200 Sprite.
Missing from the engine was the transmission shift drum and related bits, the rocker cover was damaged, the cylinder appears to be for a 250 but is overbored beyond spec. The front fender is wrong, the left side cover and chain guard are from different models. Missing a piston, exhaust and tail light, headlamp and trim ring and much more.



I sent the frame and metal parts off to get blasted and coated with powder primer. I found what I think is the correct front fender



I am starting to put it together as a dry build to determine what I have to find



I had a complete rear tail light bracket and made up a tail light form parts I had on hand



I found a seat cover in Italy (I think) and I have rounded up the MOTOBI stamped foot peg rubbers, my box of parts had a headlight and a

The head spark plug hole is stripped, used a steel rod to set up the compound angle on the milling machine, I drilled out the hole and fittd a new steel threaded insert



123 Bearings in the UK has provided all the ball bearings for the engine cases, great service, very fast shipping!

Mac Dennis in the USA has been a great help tracking down parts for me!

The rear hub is missmatched, I think some of it is for a 5 speed model and some for a 4 seed model, Mac is looking for the correct parts for me



Ebay has been a great source of NOS Benelli / Motobi parts, Santo-Di Moto-Cicli has a lot of the smaller parts, all NOS

Tracking down parts, especialy from Italy is a long slow process so I have multiple 'projects' on the go, all waiting for parts, I hope to track down the rest of the pieces over the winter and plan on getting it running then strip it down and get the painting and plating done.


cliffrod:
I'll be anxious to hear your perspective comparing this bike to your Aermacchi Ala Verde bike.  I've never had a Benelli/Motobi single (missed a chance to get two of them long ago) and always wondered how diferent or similar they are to ride.  Back then, I basically equated the two engines so getting those two Benellis wasn't a huge priority.

And I really admire your focus, Jim.  If I had 2-3 bike builds happening at once, nothing would ever get done..

Canuck750:

--- Quote from: cliffrod on September 28, 2021, 09:07:13 PM ---I'll be anxious to hear your perspective comparing this bike to your Aermacchi Ala Verde bike.  I've never had a Benelli/Motobi single (missed a chance to get two of them long ago) and always wondered how diferent or similar they are to ride.  Back then, I basically equated the two engines so getting those two Benellis wasn't a huge priority.

And I really admire your focus, Jim.  If I had 2-3 bike builds happening at once, nothing would ever get done..

--- End quote ---

What I can tell so far is the Benelli motor appears to be over engineered, I found the same to be true when I rebuilt the Benelli 650 Tornado. Example; the crank shaft is supported with two ball bearings on each end, one a single row ball bearing the other a close spaced double row ball bearing. All the other engine shafts run in ball bearings and the oil pump design appears to be very robust. The frame on the egg motor bikes is a welded up box section affair, very rigid as is the case with the 650 as well.
On the other hand the Aermacchi engine is known to have received constant improvements over the years, first introduced on the Ala díOro GoldWing race bikes then trickling down to the street models. I donít think Benelli/ Motobi ever developed the egg motors to the race level of Aermacchi. I personally think the Benelli is a more attractive package but the Ala Verde bikes are almost an equal.

Canuck750:
I got a nice box of used Benelli 200 Sprite parts in the mail today, just in need of a good cleaning



Going back and forth between the ultrsonic cleaner with a heated mixture of Simple Green / water (to lift the grease and sludge) and the vapour blast cabinet, the parts all cleaned up real nice



I was lucky to find the correct left hand side cover on EBay yesterday for a very good price, slowly the parts needed list is getting smaller

Michael Moore:
I had an assortment of Motobi stuff with the intention of building a 200GP AHRMA racer.  That's all been cleared out and some of the bikes have been built up and are used for NorCal Giro events.

The street Motobi engines are a LOT different from the Sei Tiranti factory replica race engines that the Zanzanis are still making and selling.  Most every set of crankcases I had were cracked, and the 5 speeds are less strong than the 4 speed cases.  My Benelli-Motobi email list is still active at micapeak.com, and Mac has been on it a long time, it might help you source more parts from around the world.

Cool engines, and I got to meet the Zanzanis when I went to Italy to go to the Mostro Scambio at Imola, but for a race project I would have been better off starting with an Aermacchi -- the street engines were beefier and much closer to the race engines.  Just about everything in a Sei Tiranti engine is different from the street bikes.

Here's a photo of Primo Zanzani building up an engine





and a crank case being machined in their shop




classic langston hughes poem 4 letters


cheers,
Michael

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version