Italian Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Idroflex Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Adriano, Bruno and Marcello Ducati of Via Monferrato 7, Bologna, 1949-1954.

A light motorcycle was presented at the 1949 Milan Exhibition by the REOM Company (Societè per il Commercio e l'Industria Radio Elettrica Ottica Meccanica). Built for them by the Marzocchi brothers, the machine has a horizontal unit-construction single-cylinder engine of 105cc, three-speed transmission, with the engine cantilevered in a fashion somewhat similar to the German Imme. The front forks are telescopic and the rear swingarm has hydraulic shock absorbers. The 4.5 h.p. two-stroke engine affords a top speed of 75 km/h.

In the following years it is built by ISSI (Scientific Research Institute of Milan Industrial). 1952 saw two new versions added to the catalogue, the Turismo and Sport, both with 125cc engines. In 1956 they released a 49cc moped version with a pressed metal frame, and a lightweight motorcycle of 98cc with the same frame.

Using the same engine, at the 1953 Turin Salon they presented the 125cc Microbo tandem two-seater three-wheel microcar. Designed by Ezio Cingolani, the alloy-bodied beauty did not enter series production. Photographs of at least four different styles exist, including the quite sporty predecessor of 1952 built by Cingolani, and it is thought that perhaps as many as twelve were constructed.


1. The story goes that the Ducati brothers were accused of collaborating with Mussolini's fascists and the Germans, and had been put up against the wall to be shot, only to be saved at the last minute. More information:

2. It has been suggested that there was a relationship between Guazzoni and Idroflex. A long discussion on, much of it written by a fellow who worked at Idroflex, includes a line by a group moderator: "At this point I would correct the title of the discussion by removing the name Guazzoni which has nothing to do with it."

Sources: MC Storico Conti, Tragatsch p.171, et al.

See also Idroflex, la "sorella" del Cucciolo by Nunzia Manicardi.

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