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Italian Motorcycles

FBM Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque


La ditta FBM di Morini e Minarelli

Vittorio Minarelli (1907-1981), valente meccanico ed esperto di motori, già capo officina della G.D, fonda la FBM (Fabbrica Bolognese Motocicli) per la fabbricazione di motori di piccola cilindrata.

Poco dopo la ditta si arricchisce dell'apporto di Franco Morini (1924-1984), nipote del costruttore Alfonso Morini e già tecnico alla Ducati, che diventa socio paritario.

L'officina di via Ghisiliera produrrà 20 modelli al giorno del Gabbiano da 125 cc e quindi il motore Pettirosso da 48 cc, che resterà per trent'anni in produzione.

Nel 1956 l'azienda si dividerà in due derivate: la Franco Morini e la Minarelli Motori. Negli anni Settanta esse supereranno di gran lunga il fatturato di tutti gli altri produttori bolognesi del settore.

La Minarelli si cimenterà anche nelle corse e nei record di velocità: un suo pilota collaudatore, Arteno Venturi, batterà nel 1971 con una 175 Speciale cinque record mondiali di velocità sulla pista di Elvington (UK).

Nel 1999 la Franco Morini comprerà dalla Ducati Motor Holding il glorioso marchio Moto Morini.

Source: Biblioteca Salaborsa Licence: CC BY 4.0



Manufactured: 1951-57

Vittorio Minarelli (1907-1981), formerly chief engineer at GD, founded FBM (Fabbrica Bolognese Motocicli) with workshops at via Ghisiliera, Bologna, to manufacture small-displacement engines.

He was soon joined by Franco Morini (1924-1984), nephew of Alfonso Morini and formerly a technician at Ducati.

The partnership of Vittorio Minarelli and Franco Morini was the basis for the most successful two-stroke motorcycle engine production company of the postwar era.

In 1952 they introduced the Gabbiano 125cc two-stroke a the horizontal engine slung beneath a low-slung single tubular steel frame. This was followed by the Vampire 200cc. In 1955 FBM began producing engines for other manufacturers which included the 48cc Pettirosso engine, which remained in production for thirty years.

Towards the end of 1956 the partners had a falling out, and separated. Minarelli formed FB Minarelli, and Morini moved to Zola Predosa and created Morini Franco Motori in 1957.

Both companies built small-displacement two-stroke engines, and each achieved considerable success, between them exceeding in the mid-1970s the turnover of all other motorcycle production houses in Bologna combined.

Sources: MC Storico Conti, Biblioteca Salaborsa, Henshaw, et al

N.B. There is no relationship with the Gabbiano firm of Florence which was established around the same time.
Another Italian marque named FBM built speedway machines: FBM Speedway


28-Nov-2018
kinsarvik28 at gmail.com
FBM Vampire 200cc 1954
Hi. This is one of my own photos. If you want to use it, please do. Mike PS: Great Website!
Mike Ricketts, Bologna, Italy
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