Trio for Tifosi
How do the Italian half-liter machines Laverda 500 SFC, Moto Guzzi V 50 Monza and Morini 500 Sei-V actually drive twenty years later? Is it worth buying for friends of Italian classical music?
Young and young-at-heart fans of classic Italian motorcycles rave all the more about vertical shaft Ducati, large Laverda two- and three-cylinders and Moto Guzzi’s mighty V2 from the 70s, the less they are willing or able to pay the meanwhile hefty prices of this Italian trio. But why not the whole thing a size smaller, for that? with the exception of the Laverda 500 SFC ?? approach much cheaper?
Moto Stefano, a company for Italian oldtimers and classics in Balingen-Roßwangen on the Swabian Alb (address see page 117), for example, offers the large V2 from Mandello dell ?? Lario as well as smaller Moto Guzzi and a Moto Morini Sei-V. A privately owned Laverda 500 SFC completes the trio.
Opposite the Laverda 500 SFC, the rare street version of the Cup racing machine ?? the C stands for competitione (competition) ??, the other two are downright mass-produced items. Compared to the cheaper competition from the Far East, however, they, too, always lived a wallflower existence in Germany. The SFC, offered in 1981 by the Cologne importer Moto Witt for around 8,500 marks, is unlikely to have been sold 50 times in Germany. The response in the trade press was low, performance and image compared to the Ducati Pantah modest. The importer offered the SFC until 1983. At the time, the air-cooled twin with a 180 degree crankshaft offset was the only European series four-valve engine.
The Moto Guzzi V 50 Monza, from the III series on the market from 1981 and only presented with a frame-mounted headlamp cover and a clip-on handlebar with a sportier look, was officially offered in this country until 1984 in parallel with the successor model V 65. With parallel valves and a combustion chamber integrated into the piston crown based on the Heron principle, the horizontally divisible engine offers tame touring qualities. All the more surprising is the performance of an impressive 49 hp. In addition, the engines manufactured in the old Innocenti automobile plant under Alejandro de Tommaso’s direction have never lost their reputation for sloppy manufacturing.
The Moto Morini Sei-V ?? das Sei (six) stands for the sixth gear installed in the transmission from 1982? looks faster from the factory than the brave touring bumper engine is capable of. The driven model is also equipped with a small lamp cover and an engine spoiler. Spoiled by the agile Morini 3 ½ Sport, German customers expected significantly more flavor from the half-liter unit. The factory specification for the engine, which is built according to the Heron principle like the Guzzi, is an optimistic 41 hp.
Moto Stefano measured all three opponents on the Dynojet roller test bench. Sober result for the grayed-out engines: Laverda: 39, Guzzi 36 HP and the Morini only 29. The power was measured on the rear wheel, but even with a realistic conversion of seven to nine percent more power on the crankshaft, the actually available horsepower remains in the case of the Guzzi and the Morini, it clearly falls behind the factory specifications. Only the Laverda comes close to the nominal performance.
But test bench results are probably just gray theory in this case. In the bends of the Lochenpass south of Balingen, the three middle graders reveal very different characters despite being almost the same age. With the Laverda 500 SFC, the footrest system, which is attached very high and far back, amazes when you sit down. The two-part handlebar is clamped high enough, but the driver is very rigidly clamped in the short single seat.
The twin turns up willingly even with low flywheels, but up to almost 6000 rpm without expressing the slightest desire for dynamic propulsion. Since the connecting pieces between the open snorkeling Dellortos and the air filter box placed under the seat are missing, the performance characteristics of the four-stroke behave like an inelastic two-stroke engine. Perhaps the owner of the SFC is so fascinated by the considerable intake noise that drowns out the expressions of life from the two elegant silencers in every speed range that he accepts certain disadvantages for it. The tough suspension leaves no doubt that the construction was designed for cup races and is more inviting for a race track trip than a leisurely weekend tour.
The driver unsettled by the Laverda because of its uncompromising design will probably get along better with the Monza. The driver’s posture is more touring despite the split handlebars. The 90-degree V-engine also has to be pounded vigorously up to over 4000 rpm on the unsteady Veglia tachometer, until the unmistakably roaring engine with clear valve noises makes itself comfortable for power consumption.
The deceleration takes getting used to: despite the double disc brake, pulling the handbrake lever at the front only activates one disc. For the stoppers to respond more effectively, the pilot must tap the foot lever that actuates the second disc. The suspension of the Laverda is also very hard, and even less pressure in the air-assisted fork does not take away a certain stubborn pull. When accelerating vigorously at a higher speed, the front wheel tilts ?? obviously through updraft on the fairing ?? to easy commuting.
The start with the Morini Sei-V, on the other hand, works flawlessly. The touring engine delivers enough power early to beat the competition. However, the 72-degree V-engine starts to run down again from around 6500 rpm, so that the six-speed gearbox has to be diligently used. Only the unusual right shift forces the Morini driver to be careful. Tight suspension travel in connection with a thinly padded seat let the driver feel every little bump in the road.
The Morini was available at a surcharge of around 480 marks with an electric starter that drove a drive plate under the right engine cover via a chain with flyweights. But the flanks with flyweights flagged pretty quickly in everyday use, so that today the majority of drivers start their V-Twin with a kick starter. The gearshift of the Germany model was also relocated to the left by means of a linkage, which, with some care, does a good job.
A.n the small Guzzi models in the first year of production there were more problems with carelessly installed electrical systems. The tightness of the cardan shaft, warped cylinders and valve damage are also common in the litany of customer complaints. Most of the damage that has occurred has the remaining Guzzi specialists under control today. Especially since the spare parts situation, of course only as far as used parts are concerned, can be described as satisfactory.
Leibfritz, Stefan: Interview
Stefan Leibfritz has been importing Italian Benelli, Moto Guzzi and Moto Morini motorcycles since 1984? How and where do you get the Italian oldies? I mainly import the Italo classics directly from their homeland. Thanks to the contacts I made and my presence in the classic car scene, it is still possible to guarantee a constant supply. For some models, however, the prices in Italy are significantly higher than in Germany. Why is the emphasis on Guzzi and Morini? In addition to a good offer, the price-performance ratio is good for both brands. If that’s true, I also import other makes.? Do you also sell online? Around 50 percent of all sales are initiated via the Internet. That applies to Germany as well as to other European countries.? Have the prices remained constant over the past few years? No. Popular models such as the V7 Sport up to the early Le Mans or California from Guzzi have increased, as have all Morini 3½ models with spoked wheels, but above all the early Sport models have become more expensive. ? Are not spare parts gradually becoming scarce? There can be bottlenecks. But in general I would describe the situation for the customers as good. Especially Guzzi parts can be obtained without any problems and mostly very inexpensive. You are a professional in the business. Do you still have a dream model that you hope to find dirt cheap in an Italian barn? I am very interested in Benelli. I move some pre-war models regularly. A DOHC racer from the 30s is still missing? probably forever ?? in my collection.
Used machines, repair, spare parts, literature / Internet LaverdaLaverda Racingteam, Reichenaustraße 186, 78467 Konstanz, Phone 07531 / 61198OCT Orange-Cycle Team, Dom-Esch-Straße 83, 53881 Euskirchen, Phone 02251/970752 Importer: Stein-Dinse, Im alten Dorfe 3, 38112 Braunschweig, phone 0531 / 21021-0, Internet www.stein-dinse.dewww.guzzi.com.au/forum/laverda/index.htmlwww.groups.yahoo.com/group/zanelistMoto GuzziMoto Stefano, Stefan Leibfritz, Oberer Brühl 40, 72336 Balingen-Roßwangen, Internet www.motostefano.de Lust, Bonner Wall 124, 53842 Cologne, phone 0221/93707070, www.motorrad-lust.de Moto-Spezial, Uracher Straße 23, 72532 Gomadingen, phone 07385/1692 Stein-Dinse, See aboveMoto MoriniMoto Stefano, see aboveMoto Rosso-Morini, phone 0631/3703585 Wolfgang Tritsch, Schwabenmatten 7, 79292 Pfaffenweiler, phone 07664/60300, www.W-Tritsch.deZweirad-Technik Heim, Roßbacher Straße 3, 35649 Bischoffen-Niederweidbach, phone 06444 / 1852, www.heim-racing.com Thomas Schwiebert, Fasanenstraße 19, 38102 Braunschweig, Phone 0531/336830 Literature / Internet For Morini: La Strega, editorial address Thorsten Heller, Passauer Straße 71, 42697 Solingen, Phone 0212/78395, Internet www.lastrega.de All Italian brandsMotalia, Verlag Felix Hasselbrink, Schönberg Straße 2, 244321 Lütjenburg, phone 04381/7701, www. motalia.de www.italobikes.de
Technical data: Morini 500 Sei-V
Morini Sei-VMotorAir-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 72-degree V-engine, an underneath, toothed belt-driven camshaft, two parallel valves per cylinder operated via bumpers and rocker arms, Dellorto carburetor, 26 mm diameter, contactless capacitor ignition, bore x Stroke 69 x 64 mm, displacement 478 cm3, rated power 32 kW (43 hp) at 7500 rpm, five-speed gearbox, roller chain, electric / kick starter, chassis double-loop tubular frame, Marzocchi telescopic fork, standpipe diameter 35 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, two Marzocchi Suspension struts, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, 0 260 mm, disc brake at the rear, 0 260 mm, light alloy wheels, suspension travel f / h 140/60 mmDimensions and weightsSeat height 770mmTank capacity / reserve 14 / 2.5 litersWeight 184 kgService intervals every 5000 kmAcceleration0 to 100 km / h 6.9 seconds top speed 154 km / h
Technical data: Moto Guzzi V 50 Monza
Moto Guzzi V 50 Monza engine Air-cooled four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, an underneath, chain-driven camshaft, two valves per cylinder operated via bumpers and rocker arms, two Dellorto carburettors, 0 24 mm, contactless capacitor ignition, bore x stroke 74 x 57 mm, displacement 490 cm3, rated power 36 kW (49 hp) at 7600 rpm, five-speed gearbox, cardan shaft, electric starter. Chassis double-loop tubular frame, air-assisted telescopic fork, standpipe diameter 35 mm, two-arm swing arm made of tubular steel, two spring struts at the rear, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front , 0 260 mm, rear disc brake, 0 235 mm (integral system), light alloy wheels, spring travel f / r 120/80 mm. Dimensions and weightsSeat height 780 mmTank capacity / reserve 16/3 litersWeight ?? kg Service intervals every 3000 km Acceleration 0 to 100 km / h 8.1 sec. Maximum speed 158 km / h
Technical data: Laverda 500 SFC
Laverda 500 SFC engine, air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder operated via bucket tappets, two Dellorto carburettors, 32 mm dia., Contactless Bosch ignition, bore x stroke 72 x 61 mm, displacement 497 cm3, rated output 33 kW (45 PS) at 8000 rpm, six-speed gearbox, roller chain, electric starter. Chassis tubular frame made of steel, Marzocchi telescopic fork, standpipe diameter 35 mm, two-arm swing arm, two Marzocchi struts at the rear, double disc brake at the front, 0 260 mm, disc brake at the rear, 0 260 mm, light alloy wheels, spring travel f / h 120/80 mm. Dimensions and weightsSeat height 770 mmTank capacity / reserve 14.4 / 5 litersWeight 194 kgService intervals every 5000 kmAcceleration0 to 100 km / h 6.3 secondsMaximum speed 168 km / h
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