CM Motos Bologna

Today in Motorcycle History

CM Motorcycles

Manufactured: 1929-1957
Address: Viale Aldini 28, and from 1930 Via A. Aglebert 22, Bologna

Founded by Mario Cavedagna and Oreste Drusiani1, the CM firm of Bologna developed a reputation for very reliable motorcycles well suited to competition work. The first machine was an OHV 175cc with a three-speed Burman gearbox, with their first serious heavyweight appearing in 1933, an OHV 500cc model. This was followed by an OHC 250 in 1934. The years up until 1940 saw the range expanded with 350cc machines, and several of these remained in production throughout the war.

In 1936 Astra machines were entirely manufactured by CM Bologna, according to the page on Astra history2.

In the late 1930s the factory had around 40 employees, of whom 10 were apprentices.

Mario Cavedagna died on November 14, 1940 and was succeeded by his wife Irma Ginepri, who led the C.M. firm through the difficulties of the war years assisted by loyal collaborators. She saved the workers' jobs, and hid precious motorcycles, machinery and stock from the ravages of the fascists.

The firm was one of the few permitted to continue production during the war - their output was mainly motocarri and similar utility three-wheelers, but of course they maintained development of the machines they were passionate about whilst they awaited the end of the fascist curse.

As a result of the efforts of Irma Ginepri the company was well-placed to resume production once Mussolini had seen justice provided by those who reviled him, his long-suffering countrymen.

Production of pre-war models resumed in late 1945, and a new range of machines was revealed in the early postwar period with the bevel-drive OHC four-speed Gheppio 250 of 1947 along with three OHV models; the Rampichino 250, and Sparviero and Grifone 500s, all with 4 speed gearboxes. 3

In 1949 Franco Cavedagni assumed a management role with his mother Irma,

That year saw the introduction of their first lightweight (motoleggera) 125cc two-stroke with rear suspension and telescopic forks. This was followed in 1950 by a 500cc twin with a 180 degree crank.

The beautiful Francolini OHV 175 appeared in 1956 along with its less sporty Centauro sibling.

The final design was a 150cc two-stroke scooter which did not enter production. The Italian motorcycle industry was in turmoil with many factories closing. CM, unfortunately, was another victim. In 1958 the firm entered 1958 administration, and was declared bankrupt the following year.

The assets of the company were purchased by Mauro Negrini.

Alfonso, son of Oreste Drusiani, founded Comet.

CM Models

Sources: Henshaw,, Musei Patrimonio Industriale

Enrico Ruffini and Antonio Campigotto have written a history of C.M., published by Giorgio Nada Editore. Moto Bolognesi C.M.


1. It is likely that CM also used Astra engines.
2. An article from Museo del Patrimonio Industriale speaks of the Laurenti brothers and Alfonso Drusiani, rather than his father Oreste Drusiani. Biblioteca Salaborsa has an article on Mondial which speaks of Oreste.
3. Gheppio 250 (Kestrel), Sparviero 500 (Sparrow Hawk), Grifone 500 (Griffon).

pauld at vanko dot net
Hello I would like to know if you have any pictures of the 1949-1955 125cc. CM motorcycles.
My father purchased one back in the early 50s when he was a young man living in the Venice region of Italy.
I would also be interested in purchasing one of these CM 125 motorcycles if you know of anyone that has one for sale.
Thank you.
Paul Darisi Have no images other than those in the gallery. Ed.
k.engelen at
Guzzi with CM motocarro 1943
Do hou have information about guzzi and CM working to make a motocarro ad the war?
Karel engelen
Joure netherlands

Can find no evidence of co-operation between the two marques. Ed.

Wed Jan 19 2011
cpabavon at
1955 francolino cm 175
hi we are in need of a wiring diagram for 1955 francolino cm175
Sat Aug 14 2010
abrantkoskimauricio<at>hotmaildot com
moto cm 500cc raice
mauricio cm
ola eu tenho 1 moto CM 500 cc raice 1947 para venda 1 abraço mauricio 18 . 97936599

Fri Dec 04 2009
lyndemotorsports at yahoodot com
CM Three Wheeler motocarro
CM Motocarro
Still needing any service manuals or books

Tue Jun 28 2005
cofranzk1 at
CM italian motorcycles
devo restaurare una CM 125 del 49 cerco foto o letteratura

Wed Apr 20 2005
lyndemtc at
cm motorcycles
I have a CM motorcycle (actually a three wheeler) and need any service literature available.
Thanks Stan

December 18, 2002
CM Motorcycles And Literature Wanted: I am interested in finding anything on these bikes, especially the 125 and 250 two-strokes of the '50's. Also, I have a limited selection of literature which I will gladly share with others.

Bill Hooben, whh at post dot com

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