Argentina Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Zanella Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Zanella Hermanos was founded on February 11, 1948 by Juan and Santiago Zanella, Ariodante Marcer and Mario De Lásica. The Zanella brothers had emigrated from Italy shortly after the war.

They began producing parts and accessories for Fiat and Peugeot, and in 1957 they established a factory at Caseros in Buenos Aires and, having entered an agreement with Ceccato, motorcycle production commenced with 100cc and 125cc models using an engine designed by Fabio Taglioni. The majority of the components were made in the factory. See also Ceccato History: Argentina

By 1962 they were also producing go-karts and 50cc mopeds. During this period they imported Mi-Val. In 1970 a contract was signed with Piaggio and business boomed. By the end of the 80s they were exporting to to many South American countries, as well as North America and Africa.

From 1990 to 1999 they were partnered with Yamaha, after which they began producing Minarelli-powered machines.

In 1999 Swiss engineer Walter Steiner took control of the company after it experienced financial difficulties. He acquired 51% of the company and before long his family owned the whole business.

In 2001 Zanella had the largest motorcycle sales figures in Argentina. The range of locally manufactured motorcycles had been augmented with imported Asian machines, and by then the firm had branched out into other fields, marketing white goods under the Ariston-Zanella brand.

The firms' fortunes suffered severe reversals in 2018, all four of their factories closed, and in December 2019 much of its stock was auctioned.

During more than 70 years of operations Zanella produced some 2.5 million motorcycles.

Sources: motoargenta.blogspot.com, cronista.com

See also Minarelli and Cagiva

During the middle 1960s, there was a boom in motorcycle sales, led, of course, by the Japanese. Honda was by far the leader in lightweight sales. Many brands of imported motorcycles tried to get in on the US market. Fresh out of high school, I worked at Speed and Sport Cycle Sales in Miami, Florida. The shop sold Berliner imports -- Norton, Ducati, and Zundapp. In addition, they tried to get in on whatever they could to turn a few extra bucks. Zanella was one of the brands they sold for a brief time. The bikes were all rather dated two strokes, from a 50cc semi-moped, to (as I recall) a 150cc sporty-looking but rather slow street bike.

The 125 and 150 (there may have been a 100) engines reminded me very much of BSA Bantams and Harley Hummers, including the three-speed transmissions. The frames and sheetmetal were very much like the Italian lightweights of the era. As a matter of fact, one of the model's gas tank appeared to be right off a Ducati 175 sport. The Zanellas were painted a really pretty candy apple red and white, and they had a good amount of polished alloy and chrome. Unfortunately, they lost their luster rapidly - faded paint and rusted metal.

I believe that Long's Motorcycle Sales in Miami, Florida, might have some Zanella relics around. An interesting feature was the batteries, which had built-in hydrometers.

Arden Jensen, Ph.D. -- ajensen at MAIL.GC.CC.FL.US
Panama City, Florida
August 28, 2001

andreozzimarco125 at gmail.com
Zannella Sol
Need carb, throttle cable and air cleaner assembly
Marco Andreozzi
United States
x80vjob at gmail.com
Hallo do you have any brochures catalogues
Thank you

Not at present, sorry.

Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2017
gustavoribero at yahoo.com.ar
Zanella 196?

Hola... tengo esta Z125 para restaurar y tengo algunas dudas,,,
Freyre Argentina

Translation: Hello ... I have this Z125 to restore and I have some doubts ,,,

    Zanella-1966c-125cc-GRI image posted to Comments.

Fri Apr 03 2015
Shanemun at telusplanet.net
Zanella racer information needed
Zanella Racer-I think 70's??
I am looking for any information I can for this bike. It has a Zanella 125 engine and has an engin fairing and race number on the seat. No front fairing.
Was this a custom made for racing bike? Do you think it is a Zanella frame? Any guidance on where I could get parts or information for this bike?
Shanemun at telusplanet.net

Sun Sep 22 2013
Zanella 100cc
In 1970 I had 2 Zanella one lungers. Combining the two I had one beautiful running Z. Long story short, how much would it be worth today? Just curious. Jack
Highlands, Texas

Tue Aug 07 2012
informacion de Zanella
motocicletas fabricacion ceccato
querria actualizar informacion sobre Zanella, hoy todavia fabricamos motos
buenos aires

Wed May 30 2012
mikyllanos<at> yahoo.com.ar
Ducatti Cucciolo modelo Raro (cuadro-frame)
Cucciolo 48.aprox 1948.. Cucciolo Sport..asiento largo
Estoy armando esta moto cucciolo, el manubrio bajo tipo sport.asiento largo simil a garelli 75.amortiguadores zenith.rod 26",sin volante magnetico(faltante bobinas tambien)sin carburador.

(Translation: I am assembling this motorcycle cucciolo, the handlebar under sport type. Long seat similar to garelli 75. zenith.rod 26 "shock absorbers, without magnetic steering wheel (missing coils too) without carburetor.)
There is more about this one in Comments.


Fri Feb 10 2012
moseleymotorsports<at>hotmail dot com
zanella 50 Due and Sol
i think i know where you could get pistons for these two models

Mon Jan 02 2012
fluteman7<at>gmail dot com
Letter for EPA
Zanella ZTT200
I need a letter of compliance for EPA and customs in order to get bike registered in USA. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Homer, AK

Fri Nov 11 2011
Zanella Motorcycle Parts
Zanella not sure
I have some Zanella parts
to offer someone who can use them. My name is Bobby Craig and i live
in Lake Worth, FLa.
Thank you

Tue Dec 14 2010
freecasalle<at>hotmail dot com
Motor Zanellas Bambina 3 marchas
Zanella Bambina 1964
Gostaria de comprar um motor com escapamento de Zanella Bambina 1964 com 3 marchas
Brasil - São Paulo - Araraquara

Mon Feb 15 2010
eruiz65 at hotmail dot com
Minarelli Zanella 125 (año 1978)
Queria saber el mapa de distribucion del motor 2t Zanella 125 que era de origen Minarelli. Desde ya mucahs gracias.
Visiten nuestra página web: teamcadorna.com.ar
Eduardo Ruiz

Sun Feb 22 2009
nico-psicotico at hotmail dot com
club zanella
zanella´s parts
all about zanella zanella2t-125cc.mforos.com/
buenos aires

Wed Jan 28 2009
nico-psicotico at hotmail.com
zanella´s parts
i could send zanella´s parts all over the world just contact me nico-psicotico at hotmail.com, all models
buenos aires

Them attached publicities of the mark. Greetings!
Alejandro R. Forastieri Munyo
Telefono 341-153005595 / 154001847
Nextel 606*6881

jurassic-parts.com.ar (404)

Tue Jan 27 2009
jurassicparts at live dot com
Photos Zanella Ceccato
Zanella Ceccato
Ceccatos photos of zanella Ceccatos 100cc Argentine manufacture
Rosario, Argentina
Zanellas ceccatos has of manufacture of year 1957 to 1962 those of the photo are of year 1959, 100cc 3 changes. Greetings!

Mon May 28 2007
oldeschit at gmail dot com
Zanella parts and Info
late 50s / early 60s 125
Hi I'm Matt, I have changed my e-mail address from motomatt to oldeschit at gmail.com. I have a 61 125 Zanella. I'm looking for parts, info about these motorcycles. I've been riding mine around since my last email two years ago but just broke down. I since built a nice hump back race seat and a exspansion pipe (which is why it's now broke). I don't think that it has the proper dementions to be considered to be a "Performance" pipe. Does any one have a expansion pipe that I may get the measurments off of so that I can make another one. I'm also looking to see if any one has a set of points n condenser OR a motoplat conversion. I do love riding this bike but I want it to have a little more GO......Thanks....Matt

Sun Feb 04 2007
willgfill2 at msn dot com
early 60's 125 &175 racers
I sold a friend two early 60's zanellas that were set up for road racing, one has a long fiberglass tank, both have clip ons and expansion chambers. He is looking for any old literature/parts
colorado usa

Mon Jan 15 2007
antoniocruz at speedy.com.ar
Owners Manual
Zanella - Minarelli
Please can you tell me where can I find instructions and schematics tu rebuild a Zanella - Minarelli with a 50 c.c. motor year 1964 - 1968.
It was made by Zanella in Argentina with license from Minarelli in Italy.
Buenos Aires

Mon Dec 11 2006
jmerloromero at hotmail dot com
Hola: he restaurado recientemente una Zanella 125 CC de 1972 y tengo otra de la misma marca de 175 CC totalmente original ; puedo proporcionar para el que necesite, la direccion de una tienda donde comprar en Argentina casi todos los repuestos. Un saludo . jorge

Translation: Hello: I have recovered a Zanella 125 CC of 1972 recently and have another one of the same 175 mark of CC totally original; I can provide for that it needs, the direction of a store where to buy in Argentina almost all the spare parts.

Sat Aug 12 2006
puchman at aol dot com
1960 to today
I would like to know if there is enough interest out in cyber space to try to start a Zanella Owners Club and registry here in the United States. Email me please with any ideas.
orlando, fl
Sorry, but no, at least not yet, after working for 45 years, now it's time to relax and do something I have always wanted to do......OK, maybe more than one thing, but I have always wanted to restore the first motorcycle I owned back in 1960, a shiny candy-apple red, (very used) 100 cc Zanella! But this one will start and run without pushing 2 blocks at 12-15 miles an hour first. Besides, with me at 63, 15 minutes of good sex and a bicycle ride would kill me! I've been thinking about keeping a photo log of the restoration, something I should have been doing with the Puch's all this time. thanks for all your help tom in orlando

Mon Jul 10 2006
puchman at aol dot com
We, the Zanella owners of the world (both of us) at one time used your most helpful list to swap stories of how we had one actually running once, but now we can only wait to see if the motorcycle world even knows we exist. Without our name (Zanella) on your board, we are powerless. tom in orlando

Apologies. Have reinstated link in left navbar. Ed.

Tue Jun 27 2006
map at telpin.com.ar
Modelos de Zanella

He leido algunas cosas erroneas en cuanto a las Zanellas Argentinas que al menos son de mi conocimiento. Del 75 al 77 se fabricaron los modelos Sapucay (Con "S" y no con "Z" como he leido) y Surumpio (No "Sarumpio") cuyos motores eran identicos, de 125cc. y con encendido a platinos. La Surumpio era modelo de Cross y la Sapucay de calle. En los años 78 y 79 se fabricó la "Chacarera" y la "Andina", de cross y de calle respectivamente, identicas a sus antecesoras Surumpio y Sapucay, solo que las últimas se fabricaron con encendido electrónico "Motoplat", y algún agregado de lujo para el caso de la Andina, como tener batería, lo que permitía tener luces y bocina "normales" y un comandos de luces en el puño, de origen japones (Yamaha) La foto que figura como "Zanella Zapucay" NO se corresponde con el modelo. La expuesta en la foto es una Z200 que además no está en estado original. Para lo que gusten, aquí estoy. Cordialmente. Marcelo
Pinamar - Buenos Aires - Argentina

Translation: I have read some eroneous things as for the Zanellas Argentinas that al less are of my knowledge. Of the 75 al 77 the model were manufactured Sapucay (With "S" and not with "Z" as I have read) and Surumpio (Not "Sarumpio") whose motor they were identicos, of 125cc. and with lit to platinum. The Surumpio was model of cross-country Race and the Sapucay of street. In the years 78 and 79 was manufactured the "truck farmer" and the "Andean", of cross-country race and of street respectively, identical to their predecessors Surumpio and Sapucay, except that the last they were manufactured with lit electronic "Motoplat", and some aggregate of luxury for the case of the Andean, as to have battery, what permitted to have lights and horn "normal" and a commands of lights in the fist, of origin Japanese (Yamaha) The Photo that figures as "Zanella Zapucay" does NOT correspond with the model. It is exposed in the photo is a Z200 that besides is not in original state. For what like, here I am.

Wed Jan 25 2006
megaquestion at yahoo dot com
Service manual
Can anybody send me the Zanella Due service manual, I want the engine parts catalogue and schematics
Zanella for sale here: http://zanella.relacionarse.com/index.php

Wed Nov 16 2005
mitoner at yahoo.com.ar
Gustavo Graña
La empresa argentina Zanella, a fabricado durante muchos años motores Zanella con licencia Minarelli, y son copias de estos. Las motocicletas Sarumpio, Zapucai 125cc a 200cc tienen motores copia Zanella-Minarelli de 5 velocidades. Tambien las versiones ciclomotores de 50,60 y 70cc tienen motores Zanella-Minarelli de fabricación argentina. Existen todos los reemplazos en el mercado argentino en la actualidad.Saludos.

Translation: The business Argentina Zanella, to manufactured for many years motor Zanella with license Minarelli, and are copies of these. The motorcycles Sarumpio, Zapucai 125cc to 200cc they have Zanella-Minarelli copy motors of 5 velocities. Tambien the versions mopeds of 50,60 and 70cc they have production Zanella-Minarelli motors Argentina. All the exist replacements in the Argentine market currently

Sun Apr 10 2005
2motomatt at earthlink.net
zanella 125
I am looking for parts for my 1961 zanella 125. Need stuff.

Hey there I don't have any pics as of yet. But I am looking to get some parts for it : points, engine bearings, piston rings and wrist pin, top and bottom end stuff. Also, a race seat(one with a hump on the back). Does any one make a expantion chamber pipe for this bike? Thanks, I can't wait to get this bike on the road. Matt

Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2005
subject: looking for zanella motorcycle parts
Email: azsteelz at cox.net
message: looking for parts for a 'turismo super sport', serial number z 125/13026. My twin brother in SanFrancisco is looking to restore this model; year 1961.

September 24, 2002
Hi, I'm writing from Houston, Texas. I am trying to find the representative or manufacturer of Zanella in Argentina. Would you happen to have this information? Thanks, B.P.Flynn -- BFlynn at diamondmccarthy dot com

September 17, 2002
Zanella moped bikes are made about 30 years ago in argentina, and made from italian technology and parts. I can also contact you with their usa representative. I import them to lima - peru and are excellent and very dependable.

I will be pleased to contact you to argentina or their office in the u.sa.

Carlos Velarde E.
J & C Bearing Perú S.A.
Ph : (0511) 440-4477
Fx : (0511) 440-9930
e-mail : carvel at rodaresa dot com
Web page : www.rodaresa.com

December 5, 2001
Hi, My name is Patricio Garcia, from Argentina now living in NYC. If you want information on this brand I can provide you some. The Zanella 175 was made in Argentina in the 60's and 70's. It had a four speed transmission and was basically a very modest bike. Later came the 200cc Surumpio and the 125cc Zapucai. The 125 had a motor copied from the italian Minarelli 125 with a five speed transmission and better reliability. The 175 engine became quite good in the Argentinian Karting championship until the mid 80's. The 125 has quite a tuner following and the engine has been quite developed; use of yamaha rings, race pistons, Motoplat ignition (electronic) lightweight clutch basket, ported cylionders with extra transfers and porting plus a race exhaust can put at least 35 horses. The gearbox is quite strong, it can take the abuse of clutchless shifting at high revs, which is needed in karting.

I hope this info is helpful, if you need help with tuning, performance, or fixing up bikes you can e mail me anytime. -- TUCUMANO1 at aol dot com

May 27, 2001
Zanella marca Argentina de motos, fabricadas entre 1960-2001. Este salio en febrero de 1961 en la revista Parabrisas. Saludos Mario. -- mrestaine at infovia.com.ar

Sheldon's best translation:
Zanella motorcycles were manufactured in Argentina between 1960-2001. This advertisement was in the February of 1961 magazine Windshield. Greetings Mario. -- mrestaine at infovia.com.ar

April 29, 2001
Dear sir.
Do you have any zanella 100cc to sale? If you have, please let me know the price. And if you have some picture, please send me.
Thank you,
Henrique -- comitt at asinfo.com.br

April 22, 2001
Prezado Senhor:
Solicito favor informar o preço do Motorcycle Zanella 125 cc. Novo assim também a disponibilidade. Agradeço qualquer informação sobre a venda destes Cyclomotores Zanella.
Cordiais saudações,
Henrique Comerlato Neto -- comitt at asinfo.com.br

From Sheldon: My best translation of Brazilian (Portuguese):
Dear Sir: I would like to know the price of my Zanella 125 cc Motorcycle. And also how easy it will be to sell. I thank you for any information you can give on my selling this Zanella motorcycle. Cordials greetings, Enrique Comerlato Grandson

March 28, 2001
I have a super sport 125 that has 325 ml. on it and it runs good. -- BSbelgian at aol dot com

March 20, 2001
I'm from Argentina and I can tell you this motorcycle was made here for many years. It's a good machine but made as an economical vehicle. There's a lot of those around here. Just let me know.... See ya -- Roberto H. Livingston -- rlivingston at intergate.com.ar

February 27, 2001
I have been searching for 25 years for another one of these motorcycles, but they were so poorly built, they didn't last long. -- Tom in Orlando Florida USA -- PUCHMAN at aol dot com

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