Italian Motorcycles

Motorcycles Built in Italy

Notes on some of the rarer Italian marques

This page lists brands for which we currently have only an historical precis. For a more complete listing visit the Italian Index.

See also Obscure Italian Marques.

A

Abarth 1930s


Accumolli
Manufactured in Turin in 1950, this was powered by a Piaggio engine, alloy bodywork, 12 x 3.00 wheels.
Source: woiweb.com


Adiva

Nicola Pozio established Adiva in July of 1996. He formed an agreement with Benelli, and the first Adiva was displayed at the Milan motorcycle show in 2000 as the Benelli Adiva. A new range was introduced in 2007 under the Adiva brand brand.

The adiva-world.com site has more information.

Sources: bike.net, Wikipedia, et al


Adriatica
1973-89
Giuliano and Alvaro Vernocchi ran a GP race team under the name of their agricultural equipment firm Adriatica. They commissioned Dutch engineer Jan Witteveen to build a 250cc tandem twin engine and housed this in a chassis created by Alessandro Strada and Dervis Macrelli.
A later version with a Yamaha engine was ridden by Randy Mamola with considerable success in the 1979 season, limited largely by the lack of adequate brakes for Randy's riding style. This and other issues with Team Adriatica caused him to leave, as discussed in Cycle World, January 1980.
Walter Villa joined the team for the 1980 season.
Sources: ozebook.com, eurospares.com, Cycle World


Albertazzi
Manufactured by Luigi Albertazzi, 1945-1967
Address: Via Savenella 40, later Via degli Angeli 14 (from 1950 ca.) Bologna
Prior to WWII Luigi Albertazzi was well-known as a rider in all forms of the sport, often riding Rudge and Moto Guzzi. In 1945 he ran a bicycle and motorcycle workshop in Via Savenella whilst continuing his sporting activity, obtaining excellent placings also in scrambles at Imola in 1948.

Albertazzi, a dealer for Alpino, created sprung frames for Alpino lightweights. Around 1950 he moved the company to Via degli Angeli, and that year he won on a Triumph 350 at Imola, obtaining the National Motocross Trophy.

His racing and motorcycle dealing activities began to take second place to new interests and in 1960 he assumed management of a metalwork factory in Via L. Valeriani.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


All Cars 1974~1989


Ambrosini

Situated in Passignano, Trasimeno, the firm was best known as an aircraft manufacturer. They built the Freccia AZ 150cc from 1951 to 1953, one of which is displayed in the Sciarpetti collection.

See Freccia-Azzurra


Aquila (Rome)

The Aquila name was used by Luigi Monteverdi & C. of Rome Between 1953 and 1955 (1) they built motorcycles with SOHC engines of 175 cc and 160 cc in Turismo, Sport Lusso and Gran Sport versions.

The project engineer Ferruccio Fortina Piacenza worked for some years with Count Boselli at Mondial,

Moto Aquila participated in endurance races including the Motogiro of Italy and the Milan-Taranto race.

Notes 1. Possibly 1954-1958. 2. See also Aquila Marques

Source: motodilombardia.it


Arcellis & Tarditi
Company formed in 1952 in Borgomanero, 60 km northwest of Milan.
Their 125cc two-stroke engines were employed by Aldbert in 1954
Sources: Moto di Lombardia, dati.acs.beniculturali.it


Arciero
The chassis for these were manufactured by Italtelai, engines were Franco Morini.
Models included Arciero Eagle, Hawk II, 1978/78 Sea Gull
Sources: myronsmopeds.com, et al.


Augusto Bonori
Manufactured in Bologna, in Via Gastone Rossi 13 (formerly Via Rodi), in the Cirenaica district.
A manufacturer of motorcycle tanks, it appears he also assembled motorcycles. Photographs show a mid-fifties style light motorcycle with a Sterzi engine.

Source: collezioni.genusbononiae.it/products/dettaglio/29259


Automirage

Manufactured by

Built in Bologna 1976 to 1987

The firm initially built dune buggies before swapping to three-wheeled microcars in 1976. The first of these, the Mirage 3, was powered by a Franco Morini 50cc engine which drove the single rear wheel. It had a fibreglass body shell and seats for 2 people - the passenger needed to be quite petite.

In 1982 they released the S3R with a larger body sporting a Minarelli 125cc engine, and the BCB A52 with a 252cc or 325cc twin-cylinder Lombardini diesel.

Sources: 3-wheelers.com, smallcarsclub.com


Autozodiaco 1968-1981


B

Baldi
Manufactured in Viale Guidotti Beyer, Bologna, in the 1950s

A photograph exists of this moped, which is believed to be the product of a Baldi workshop based in Viale Guidotti, outside Porta Sant’Isaia. The frame is of steel tubing with a double cradle and the engine resembles an F.B.M., with unit construction and an integral pedal crank. It is thought to be a prototype, so possibly very few were built..

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


Ballanti


Barbiero

Binassi 1971~73

(Not to be confused with MB, Moto Benassi)


BM
1928-1931, a collaboration between Antonio Baudo and sidecar maker Meldi using JAP OHV 500cc engines. See also Meldi, below.
N.B. Not to be confused with Moto BM, (BM Bonvinci)
Sources: Tragatsch p89, et al.


Bombaci 1978-1988


Bompani
Built in Boano, the Bompani Cross 125 1977 had a Yamaha engine. Few were built, and it has been described as "home-made".
Source: mangiapolvereoldirtbike.blogspot.com, et al


Bruzzesi
Manufactured by the brothers Dario and Poerio Bruzzesi of Fabriano (Ancona) 1924-1926
Using a Train 123cc two-stroke engine, they created a lightweight motorcycle with which Poerio Bruzzesi competed in local events, without much success.
The machines were chain drive with Salmson magneto and Amac carburettor, two-speed gearbox, and 26" x 1.75" wheels.
Source: Benelli Museum


C

gimk logo

Cariani Gimk
Manufactured in Reno Centenese (10 kilometers from both Bondeno and S. Agostino) in the province of Ferrara.
1960s to the early 1980s. Built a variety of models, mostly mopeds with single and 3-speed gearboxes, almost all with the GIMK marque (for gimkana, most likely) and Minarelli engines. Some were very sporty indeed.
Sources: passione50cc.forumfree.it, motoclub-tingavert.it


Carpio
Manufactured 1930-1935
Used 98cc and 124cc Aubier-Dunne and Stainless engines
Source: Tragatsch p101


Cavallino
Manufactured by Savi Ferdinando & C. of Via Saffi 69, Bologna.

Societa Autoconstruzioni Veicoli Industriali r.L.
A small number of inexpensive three-wheelers were constructed in 1953 powered by Puch engines. These were marketed as "il cavallino".

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


cce-design logo

CCE Design

Trials machines designed and built by Emilio Carra, the first appearing around 1983 (or possibly earlier).

These were mostly unique machines hand-crafted using a variety of engines from Ossa, Gilera, and Moto Guzzi, and frames using specialist tubing from Mechanical Steel and Columbus.

They built the Puma Trials with a Tau engine, examples of which are featured in the gallery.




Cerbiatto
cerbiatto logo
Manufactured in Bolgna by M. Ceneri
Late 1940s to early 1950s, these were cyclemotors using Mosquito engines.
Cerbiatto = fawn
Sources: BuyVintage.com


Chizzolini

Built in 1897, the Chizzolini Vetturetta was powered by a twin-cylinder 211cc De Dion-Bouton engine which gave the 4-wheeler a maximum speed of 12 km/h.

Source: velocetoday.com


CIMT Gribaudi Sidecar

Displayed at the 1947 Milan Show, as reported in The Motor Cycle December 1947 issue. Superbly styled, the sidecar has adjustable suspension.

Source: South-Bohemian MC Museum


CNA Rondine 1923-1935


COM
Manufactured by Carbonero & Schoch, Torino, 1926-1928
Built lightweights using 123 and 173 cc single-cylinder engines.
Sources: Tragatsch p106, wikipedia.nl


Cremonini
Manufactured by Augusto Cremonini, 1949 to 1952.
Address: San Giovanni in Persiceto (Bo), Via Pio IX Bologna
Established in 1904 as a bicycle manufacturer, Augusto and his sons Alfiero and Bruno developed the business over the years with around twenty employees in three workshops which did the welding, painting and final assembly.
After the war they built, along with bicycles, mopeds powered by Garelli Mosquito 38 and 38B, Ducati Cucciolo, Industria Torinese and Meccanica ITCM.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


Crevimbar
Crescentini, Vimini and Barilari built a 198cc two-stroke in 1924. Only three examples were built before the partners fell out and production ceased. The motorcycles worked well enough - one of them was still performing on the Wall of Death at Togni circus some 20 years later.

Source: Benelli Museum


CR&S, Milan


D

D.B.
Manufactured around 1955-1956, probably in Bologna.
Lightweight sports motorcycle with four-stroke Sachs engine. A period photograph demonstrates its existence, but little is known of the marque.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


DE-CA
From 1954 to 1957 the firm built 98cc ohv singles and also a 123cc vertical twin, along with a 49cc bicycle clipon engine.
Source: Tragatsch p113


D&C (De Stefani & Conti)


DKW-Cavani 1948~1957


E

Energica
The Energica project began in Modena in 2010, and in 2014 the Energica Motor Company was formed and their first electric motorcycle, the Energica Ego, was presented at Monte Carlo that year.

F

Falchetto
Manufactured around 1954-1956, it was fitted with a conventional piston-port 125 or 160cc two-stroke in a modern frame with telescopic forks and rear suspension, possibly both from Testi. It is thought to have been built in Bologna.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


Favari

Manufactured in Treviso in the 1920s using Train engines. An advertisement reads:

"Favari-Train - Filli Favari - Fuori Por'a Manzoni, Treviso."




FiM

FiM logo

FIM Chihuahua 50cc Modello 50, Salon Torino 1976

Information about this machine is sparse.



Fini and Ballant - Eredi Fini
Married couple Angelo Fini and Enrica Mazzetti established the Casa del Ciclo - Eredi Fini business in 1940. Both died in September 1946 and their children, still minors, took over with help of a tutor. In 1949 Anna Maria Mazzetti (3), with her husband Bruno Ballanti, assumed control. They built bicycles, and sold Atala accessories. From 1955 they also marketed mopeds with modified suspension powered by F.B. Minarelli engines (and probably others) under the brand name Ballant, and possibly also used the Fini marque.

From 1959 the company was managed solely by Anna Maria Fini (Casa del Ciclo e Sport) with headquarters in Via Indipendenza in Bologna and many branches in the area (Calderara, Funo di Argelato). The firm remained active in the cycle-motor sector until 1977, when construction of mopeds and motorcycles ceased.
N.B.
1. A machine by G.B. of Bologna powered by a Veggetti 75 engine is associated with Casa del Ciclo, so it is possible that this was built by Eridi Fini and marketed by G.B., of whom very little is known.
2. There is another marque named Ballanti
3. Her name is also given as Anna Maria Fini.

Sources: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna; collezioni.genusbononiae.it, digital.fondazionecarisbo.it.


Fit
1950-1954. Built 123c and 14cc lightweights using their own frames and JLO engines.
Source: Tragatsch p 135


G

GAOMA
The firm produced a 65cc scooter named Daino in 1951 with bodywork by Magni of Milan. Later models had 75cc engines, and they remained in production until 1954.
See also Bertoni of Lodi
Source: motoclubstoricoconti.it


Galetti

Built in Milan, 1923-1927

On the 19th of April 1924 Andrea Galetti was practising for the 1924 Circuito di Belfiore motorcycle race, to be held near Mantua on the 20th.

Andrea swerved to avoid a cyclist, lost control and landed badly. He died of his injuries a few hours later.

The 500cc machine had been built in his brother Mario's workshop in Milano.

Galetti was from Castel d'Ario, as was Tazio Nuvolari, to whom he may have been related. Nuvolari won the race the following day, riding a 500cc Norton.

Sources: motorsportmemorial.org; Mauro Colombo


Ghezzi & Brian

Established in Missaglia, Lecco by Giuseppe Ghezzi and Bruni Saturno from 1995, these are high-end Moto Guzzi-based sports bikes.

Production began in 1999 with the Supertwin 1100, and this was followed by the unfaired Furia. In 2004 the Fionda appeared. More recent models include the Dr John Tribute.

They have had good results in competition and were involved in the development of the Moto Guzzi MGS-01 Corsa.

Sources: motorencyclopedie.nl, ghezzi-brian.com


Gianca

GM


Gnesutta

Enrico Gnesutta with workshops at Via Dante, Milano, was a bicycle manufacturer who is thought to have built a limited number of motorcycles under the "Gnesutta" in the years 1899 to 1900.

According to AISA, "In 1899 ing. Adolfo Schlegel, Director of Officina Meccanica E. Gnesutta of Milan, built a light car, possibly fitted with a Welleyes engine."

Fausto Alberti married his daughter, and Gnessuta had a senior role in his son-in-law's company. It was he who chose the company name of Sertum, the name he applied to his bicycles.

Sources: Moto di Lombardia, AISA Associazione Italiana per la Storia dell’Automobile, et al


GP (Griffoni & Piccini)

In 1927 Luigi Griffoni and Libero Piccini of Falconara Marittima (Ancona) built a motorcycle named GP. It had a 216 cc four-stroke horizontal single-cylinder engine of their own design which ran on diesel or petrol. It was only built that year.

Not to be confused with the GP by Guzzi and Parodi, the forerunner of Moto Guzzi.

Source: Benelli Museum


Grillo

Manufactured by the brothers Guglielmo e Stefano Marzocchi
Via A. Zannoni 64 Bologna

Built from about 1949 to 1953 the Grillo used a 49.9cc twostroke fitted to a chassis with front and rear suspension and integral fuel tank. Aspects of this machine were patented in 1950. There was also a more convential moped version at a considerably lower price.

Several hundred of these were produced before the production rights were sold to NSV (Nanni Società Velomotori).(1)

The Marzocchi brothers had previously worked with SSR Ducati which had suffered a series of woes resulting in the loss of many staff and led to the closure of the Borgo Panigale factory in 1949.

The Ducati brothers, who had left the Ducati company during this period, approached Marzocchi with a project - they requested a light motorcycle with an engine of about 105cc and full suspension including telescopic forks. Ten of these were built and were displayed at the Milan Motor Salon of 1949 as the Idroflex.

N.B. 1. The NSV section gives a slightly different account.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


Guia
Manufactured by Officine Ettore Buralli, Vanam, Milano, 1950-1954
Built lightweights with two-stroke engines of 98, 123 and 147 cc. A Turismo model was available with a pressed metal frame, and a Sport with tubular frame.
Sources: wikipedia.nl, Tragatsch p153.


H

Harlette
According to Wikipedia NL the Harlette was built as a 123cc and 173cc two-stroke at the Puch factory in Austria for Harley-Davidson importers in France, Italy and Belgium and were produced from 1925 to 1928, and that in France they were also sold as Harlette-Géco because they were sold to Gerkinet & Co. in Jeumont.
However, Bretti Brothers differ somewhat, telling us that MAS produced the Harlette as a fourstroke in 1930. Further information here: MAS Harlette
Sources: wikipedia.nl, Bretti Brothers, Tragatsch p155.


I

IBIS
Manufactured by Industria Bicimotociclistica Italiana Sperimentale, 1948-1950
Address: Via del Piombo 2 and Via F. Sabatucci 11, Bologna
Founders: Canzio Bonora, Walter Sita, Antonio Ceroni, Anita Frascaroli

Built light motorcycles with two-stroke engines of 50cc and 75cc.

Unrelated to Ibis of Turino

Sources: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna, et al.


ICEMI
1926-1928, Milano
The firm built motorcycles using their own engines along with 175 to 500cc units from Blackburne and JAP. Production volume was low.
Source: storiadimilano.it


IMC
Manufactured by Industrie Meccaniche Calzolari, 1954-1957
Address: Via Emilia Ponente 207/6, Bologna
Founders: Angelo Calzolari, Liliana Gambarini, Marco Pagliano, Alberto Gregorini

Based in Vignola, the IMC firm built their first micromotor in 1949, and patented it in 1951. These engines were supplied to Alfredo Focesi of Milan who presented them under the Gloria brand at the XXVII Salone di Milano in 1949.

IMC 48 engines were also sold to Pietro Negrini, who moved his company from Bologna to Vignola in 1949.

Around 1954 IMC constructed mopeds under its own name. In 1954 he opened a branch in Bologna, in Via Emilia Ponente, but sales were slow and bankruptcy ensued in 1957.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


J

Jada 1972


Junior
Manufactured by Edoardo Mascagni of Antignano (Livorno), 1924-1935
Son of Italian opera composer Pietro Mascagni, Edoardo built motorcycles using his own frames which housed JAP SV and OHV engines of 173 to 499 cc, Blackburne 248 and 348cc OHV engines, and also built his own two-stroke engines of 174 and 346cc. These were quite possibly JAP Aza engines built under licence.
He died in the Abyssinian war in 1935.
Source: Tragatsch p181


L

L'Alba
Manufactured by Giorgio Valeri Alba 1924-1926, these were lightweight motorcycles with German OHV 198cc engines.
Source: motoclubstoricoconti.it


Ladetto
The Ladetto brothers traded under the Ladetto marque from 1923 to 1927 at Via Giacosa N° 19, Turino. They sold components to Alato among others, and possibly built their own motorcycles.
Joined by Blatto, the firm's name became Ladetto & Blatto, reverting to the original name when he left in 1930. The company ceased production in 1932.
Sources: Tragatsch p72, amicidellemotobicisottocanna.blogspot.com


Lawil

Manufactured by Lawil S.p.A. of Pavia, Lombardia, 1967-1988

The firm was closely associated with the French Lambretta and the Italian Innocenti companies.

The principals of the firm were Henri Willame (Director of the French Lambretta) and Carlo Lavezzari (Designer), and the Lawil brand is derived from their names.

The vehicles were all four-wheel microcars powered by 125cc and 250cc two-stroke engines. These were sold in Italy, and in France as the Willam.

Sources: Wikipedia, et al


Leri

The firm produced mopeds in the 1950s and possibly into the 1960s.

Founded 1898 in Bagnolo by Nogarole Rocca and Giovanni Rinaldi. In 1923 Rinaldi's son Leopoldo moved the factory to Cinisello Balsamo, adopting the brand names Leri (Leopoldo Rinaldi) and Mirella for the bicycles.

The business moved to Muggio in 1958. It remains operational - leribiciclette.it

Sources: lot-art.com, woiweb.com et al

LGM

The company built GP racers including 50cc machines.

LGM was raced in GP events by S. Zattoni and Ezio Mischiatti in 1978, Massimo de Lorenzi in 1984, and Éric Saul in 1986.



Librenti
A four cylinder 500cc GP machine built by Giancarlo Librenti using a frame by Carlo Verona of VRP, it was campaigned by Marco Papa during the 1992 season. The highly regarded "Fuzzi" Librenti, who collaborated with Malanca and was mechanic for Agostini in 1976, suffered a heart attack and died in 1993 at the age of 56. The project was taken over by VRP.
Sources: motociclismo.es, et al.


Longhi Sidecars
Manufactured by G. Longhi - Via Arena, 2, Milano (1948)
Built numerous models from the 1920 until 1950 or later.
Search: Longhi


M

Maer

Manufactured in Italy c1977~1983

In 1980 they produced a 125mx in two versions, air-cooled and liquid-cooled. Other models included a 250 Hiro and a 380cc MX500.

Claudio Bissaro was a dealer for Maer 1978-80.

The marque is somehow related to Verona, perhaps from the same area.

FB group: https://www.facebook.com/Italcross-Registro-Storico-Moto-Maer-Verona-640680879338192/


Marinella

Marinavia Farina SRL was founded in 1946 by industrial designer Domenico Farina with headquarters in Milan. He designed and built several sailplanes and a twin-engine aeroplane powered by de Havilland, first flown 1947, in which year it won the Coppa dell'Aria at Milan.

A 125cc scooter was displayed at the 26th Fiera di Milano, in 1948.

"The aeronautical firms which in the past built gliders and sailplanes are chiefly represented by Messrs. Ambrosini A.S.I of Passignanon sul Trasmeno, and Messrs. Marinavia Farina, of Milan. The latter, however, suspended all activities in consequence of bankruptcy." Sailplane and Glider magazine, May 1950.

Sources: secretprojects.co.uk, et al


Mazzilli
Manufactured by Giorgio Mazzili 1970-1975
Off-road machines of 49cc to 248cc were built, models included the RSC 125 using a Sachs engine and in 1976 the LHS125 enduro.
Prior to producing machines for general sale, in 1956 Giorgio Mazzilli of Milan built a batch of five off-road machines using an Aldbert 175cc 4 stroke engine. Mazzilli rode this motorcycle in many off-road racing competitions and also at the Valli Bergamasche.
Sources: wikipedia.nl, Moto di Lombardia


mb moto-benassi logo

MB
Meccanica Benassi, founded in 1953, built mopeds, light motorcycles and road racers from the 1950s to the 1970s. Models include a 1958 125cc two-stroke with rear suspension. Examples of their road racing machine are featured in the Poggi Collection
The company remains actively involved in light agricultural equipment, cultivators and motor mowers. See www.benassi.it

N.B. Unrelated to Binassi


Mead Flyer

After the death of their father, Maurizio, Secondo, Giacomo and Mary Temperino returned to Italy from the United States where they had been born and in 1907 set up an automotive workshop in Principe Oddone 44, Turino, named Officina F.lli Temperino.

In 1908 they began building their own motorcycle, perhaps under license, which they marketed under the Mead Flyer brand. A subsequent and different model, still with the same brand, was presented at the 1911 Turin international exhibition.

"In the midst of the chaos [of the 1908 Turin Show], he noticed some "Mead Flyer" brand motorcycles, elegant, solid and equipped with a gearbox (a rare device on motorcycles of that time), optionally combinable with the sidecar. The exotic name (recalling a "Mead Cycle Company" of Illinois, active between 1897 and 1898, of which Maurizio may known) suggests that they were built under license, or even imported, unlike the second type of motorcycle, commercialized a couple of years later." ~ Donatella Biffignandi, museoauto.it.

Subsequently the firm became Società Anonima Vetturette Temperino which built automobiles under the Temperino brand. Manufacture continued until 1924, and an English branch was active until 1940.

Sources: it.wikipedia.org, et al


Meldi
Manufactured by Officine Meccaniche Giuseppe Meldi, Torino, 1921-1953
Limited production of racing motorcycles using 248, 348 and 498cc engines from JAP and Rudge Python.
The firm produced sidecars, and also built twelve cyclecars using Della Ferrara and other engines. Production of these ended in 1933.
In conjunction with Antonio Baudo the firm produced BM motorcycles between 1928 and 1931. These are not to be confused with Moto BM of Bologna.
Sources: wikipedia.nl, wikipedia.de, et al.


Mercury Engines
Tomaselli motorcycles of 1934 used Mercury. Vaschetto motorcycles were powered by 250 and 500cc Mercury engines. FB, Mello and Moto Columbo fitted Mercury.


Merli
Manufactured by Medardo Merli Motocicli, Parma, 1929-1931
Built lightweights with 173cc Train two-stoke engines.
Source: wikipedia.nl, Tragatsch p209.


Metrakit
Located at Castel di Sette, Mozzagrogna, the firm built a variety of junior competition off-road and road racing machines, and a large range of performance products. They sponsored many races at national and international level, and developed a Mini GP School for which they built 50cc road-racers. The firm had a strong Spanish influence.
Their website's last updates were for 2014.
Sources: civ.tv, metrakititalia.com (archive).


Michelini Engines
Manufactured by Mario Michelini of Bologna, much of the factory's output was absorbed by Mondial who suffered considerably when Michelini production ceased following Mario's death in an accident in 1961. Michelini, who had established a good working relationship with Giuseppe Boselli of Mondial, supplied all of their of four-stroke 125 and 175cc engines.
Source: Nunzia Manicardi, Moto di Lombardia.


Moretti (Primo Moretti)

Manufactured 1925-1932 [1]

Primo Moretti rode with Frera and Moto Guzzi before building his own motorcycles using Rudge Python engines and his own frames. Forks were from FIT of Milan (Fabbrica Italiana Telai) and the wheels, hubs, brakes and other components were also locally sourced.

Around 10 or 15 machines were built.

Primo served as a motorcyclist during the first war, he raced with Frera from 1920 until late 1924, and then with Guzzi from 1925 to 1940 (by which time he was considered an "old man" by his compatriots). He was a close friend of Nuvolari, and also raced with the likes of Varzi, Bandini, Ruggeri and Bordino. The laurels he received during his racing career would have sunk a ship - the list was very long. During this time he managed a motorcycle dealership.

Immediately after the end of the second war he rode to Mandello to renew his relationship with Moto Guzzi. On the return trip he had a collision with a truck.

Notes. 1. Moretti motorcycles may have been built earlier than 1925 and later than 1932, but they are recorded as being raced in those years. The primomoretti.it website mentions only a 175cc Moretti, but the Benelli Museum site speaks of Rudge Python engines being fitted.
Sources: Benelli Museum, primomoretti.it


Monterosa
1954-1958
Manufactured 49cc lightweight motorcycles using Itom engines.
Source: wikipedia.nl, Tragatsch


Moto Arnaldi
Arnaldi built some 30 quality motorcycles in Cascina, Pisa during the 1930s. These were also sold in Liguria. Early machines had British engines including JAP, and then when the embargo on English goods was enforced he used German and Italian engines.
A known survivor, possibly the first one built, has a JAP 170cc OHV engine with exposed coil-type valve springs.
Moto Arnaldi Gallery
Source: Renato Paganini


Motoplast
Manufactured by Virginio Stanga in the 1970s and perhaps early 80s, these were frame and bodywork kits which transformed a variety of machines into high-performance roadsters.
Stanga was a competition rider who competed in the 1979/80 Tourist Trophy, 1975/76 Le Mans, and the 1978 Bol D'or, among others.


Murnigotti

Giuseppe Murnigotti (Martinengo, 1834 – 1903)

"Over the course of his life, Murnigotti filed patent applications for five inventions. Of these, the third, filed in 1879, described the design of a motorcycle running on gaseous combustion (suggesting the use of hydrogen) and a tricycle with the same engine and the ability to carry two passengers. Murnigotti never built a prototype, but a model can be found in the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan."

Source: it.wikipedia.org,


MVB
Manufactured by Moto Valla Bologna in the 1950s
Address: Vicolo Alemagna 1 Bologna
Founders: Filippo and Gaetano Valla
Production was limited and only one survives, a Sport model.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna

Another marque with the same name in Milano: MVB 1954-58


MZV
Manufactured in Bologna c.1965-c1990
Via Edoardo Ferravilla 10, Bologna (via brochure)
Built 50cc mopeds named Cobra (a tubone), Cambridge, Safari and Montreal. 4, 5 and 6 speed engines were from Minarelli and Franco Morini, frames from Verlicchi. Many of these were imported to the United States by MBI of Pennsauken, New Jersey.
Source: icenicam.org.uk - a very informative and well-written article, with a chuckle or two for good measure.


N

Nadia
Mopeds built in the vicinity of Bologna of which images exist but little is known.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


NCR


Nello
Manufactured 1977 in Bologna.
It is possible the marque was also known as NF and was built 1972-1977.
Source: wikipedia.nl, et al.
NB. Few references to such a marque have been found.


NP

Nerio Pancaldi has been building specials as a hobby since the early 1960s. Typically he will convert a small Italian OHV engine to DOHC, some of which have desmodomic heads.

Several of these are on display at the Collezione Moto Poggi.


Niki

Presented at the XXXV Salone di Ginevra, March 1955

The Niki price list offered mopeds in Turismo, Gran Sport and Gran Lusso versions powered by NSU 48cc engines, and also offered an alternative 48cc F.B.M..

N.B. There is a Malanca Nicki, unrelated.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


NSV

Manufactured by Nanni Società Velomotori), c.1940s-1950s.
Address: Via Porrettana 45 Bologna
The firm built a few hundred velomotors using the Grillo engine supplied by brothers Guglielmo and Stefano Marzocchi who had worked with Nanni during the war supplying firms like Ducati with precision components.

NSV also produced their own engines in tipo Normale and tipo Sport. These had teething problems which were remedied, but competition in the field was strong and also Marzocchi decided to concentrate on suspension and dropped their engine project. As a result NSV ceased motorcycle production.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


O

O.C.C.
Manufactured by Officina Cocchi & Compagno from the 1940s to c.1953.
Address: San Giovanni in Persiceto (Bo), Via Modena 6 Bologna
Founders: Enrico Cocchi and Alfio Bonasoni
Cocchi joined Ducati as an apprentice and later worked with Officine Calzoni.

Bonasoni was known locally for motorised bicycles which included Ducati Cucciolo, some with front suspension. O.C.C. also manufactured forks, stands and exhaust systems. Motorcycle construction continued until the years 1952-1953, with about 40 units completed, but by this time competition from the larger manufacturers caused them to cease.

Cocchi & Bonasoni acquired agencies for Innocenti and NSU and continued until 1965, with their workshop repairing and servicing automobile engines, trucks, motorcycles and agricultural equipment.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


Ohvale
Manufactured by Ohvale SRL, established 2021
Via Evangelista Torricelli, 25 – 31021 Mogliano Veneto (TV)
Valerio Da Lio created a series of high-quality racing mini-bikes with the aid of Mariano Fioravanzo. The single-cylinder four-strokes were made available with engine sizes of 110cc, 160cc 190cc and 212cc. The 110 has automatic transmission, the others are all four-speed.

Sources: ohvale.com, ohvaleusa.com


OMB (Bologna)

Manufactured by O.M.B. (Offcina Meccanica Bazzanese), 1947-1949

Enrico Pedrini, Guerrino Marsigli, Marino Sereni and Claudio Masi were associated with this project.

Address: Bazzano (Bo), Piazza Garibaldi 8 Bologna

The O.M.B. 350 Super Sport was presented at the 1947 Milan Motor Show. It had telescopic forks and rear suspension, and with a compression ratio of 7/1, it delivered 26 bhp at 7,000 rpm, giving a top speed of 140 km/h. It aroused much interest, but they were short of money and were forced to drop the project.

N.B. There is another OMB in Torino.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


OMC

Mopeds built at Via Menghini, 8, Budrio, near Bologna.

Manufactured by Odino Macchi Ciclomotor

An example pictured at mondo50cc.forumfree.it showed a lightweight two-stroke of probably 50cc sans pedale with small mag wheels. Another at subito.it is described as "...tubone prototype college Cambridge oemmeci o. M. C. Omc minarelli 4-speed from 1978" has conventional wire wheels, no pedals, vertical two-stroke engine, telescopic forks and swing-arm rear.

Several pages use both OMC and Oemmeci together, but OMC factory advertising of 1987 does not mention Oemmeci.

Sources: mondo50cc.forumfree.it; subito.it; et al.


P

Passarin

Antonio Passarin of Milano built a 3-wheeled microcar named the Minima in 1935. It was powered by a 120cc Sertum Batua two-stroke engine.

Later in 1935 Passarin designed a speedboat which launched torpedoes, and there is a patent in his name from 1926 describing a rubber mounting block similar in concept to the Silentbloc.

Sources: autopuzzles.com, et al


Pecori

Built in 1891 by Enrico Pecori the machine wss powered by a flat twin-cylinder engine with chain drive to the rear wheels. It includes the definitive components of steam vehicles, with "gas compression to more than 7 atmospheres, flexible and light steering, front engine and propulsion by chain transmission, spoked wheels surrounded by a rubber tire..."

Source: antiqbrocdelatour.com, museoauto.com


Piarino
Folding scooterette with 50cc CR Motori Italia. Manufacturer unknown
Source: klaus-flechsig.de


PL
Manufactured by Luigi Piermattei, who had been the accountant for Merlonghi of Tolentino. When it closed he took over the company and in 1927 began production, under the PL brand, of the same 98cc and 132cc models. The new machines were somewhat refined but maintained the appearance of the Merlonghi. Later he fitted Train engines from France. The venture came to a halt at the onset of the depression, in 1929.
Sources: Benelli Museum, ik6cox.it.


Puma
Designed and built by Giuseppe Trubiani of Villa Potenza (Macerata) in the 1950s using JLO two-stroke engines. He only made two.
Source: Benelli Museum


PWS

Manufactured by

Built in San Polo d'Enza by Roberto Manfredini, these motocross machines were initially fited with an experimental Mac Minarelli engine and later with with 250cc Tau engines. They were early adopters of monoshock suspension.

Source: Moto Cross e Regolarità d'Epoca (M.C.R.E) FB Group


R

Rebus

Manufactured by

According to Mauro Colombo, the Rebus motorcycle was produced in Milano during the period 1908 to 1910.

Restelli was incorporated in Milan in 1909 to build aero engines (under the Rebus brand), and during the Great War also designed an economy four cylinder automobile. They later built a 1½ litre car which had some sporting successes, driven by its designer and builder, Enrico Restelli.

Sources: aisastoryauto.it, Mauro Colombo


Ribetti

Recorded as being the first motorcycle to exceed 10,000 rpm, only one example of the 1925 125cc machine survives and is displayed at the Bassella Museum in Spain.



Rocca
Manufactured by Amedeo Rocca in Bolgna.
From 1956 to 1960 Rocca supplied two-stroke engines to the Boselli Brothers of Mondial of up to 175 cc. Rocca entered bankruptcy for the fourth and last time in 1960, adding to the serious woes Mondial was experiencing.
Source: Nunzia Manicardi.


Rondine Motor 2000-2023, (Rome)


Royal Prince

Built by Prati, the Italian importer of Royal Enfield, in the years 1933-1934, the Royal Prince was powered by New Imperial engines of 175cc and 250cc OHV engines inclined at 20°. The 175 was built specifically for the Italian market and was fitted with a Lucas ignition system and a 3-speed gearbox.

Source: Museo Nicolas


S

Saglietti
Manufactured 1923 - 1924
Giovanni Saglietti, Turin. An established bicycle producer who sponsored a racing team of some 10 cyclists in the mid-1920s.
A surviving example is fitted with a VIS engine by Gazzi, and a photograph exists of Giovanni and his wife with motorised bicycles from around 1950, indicating that the firm may also have produced these.
Source: amicidellemotobicisottocanna.blogspot.com


SAM Cyclecars 1923-1928


S.A.M.E.M.
Manufactured by Società Anonima Motocarri Elettrici Moretti, 1932-1955
Founder: Giovanni Moretti
Address: Torino. Bologna, Via G. Marconi 20 Bologna (offices from 1944)

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


S.A.M.P.

Manufactured by Società Anonima Meccanica di Precisione, c.1936-1954

Address: Via P.A. Rappini 29, later Via Galliera 12 (office) e Via Ponte Romano 38 (workshop). Then in 1958, Via Stalingrado 79 (workshop) Bologna

Pre-war they manufactured quality gears of all kinds, and by 1939 were producing worm gears and a variety of other parts for cars, motorcycles and tractors.

Around 1952 they began building micromotors and in 1954 two models were offered of their Farfallino 48cc two-stroke.

Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


  • San Cristoforo 1949-1953

  • Sangiorgi
    Manufactured by Giuseppe Sangiorgi
    Address: Strada Mazzini 47, and from 1957, Via A. Albertazzi 24 (office) and San Lazzaro di Savena, Via Emilia Levante 201/11 (office), Bologna.
    Sangiorgi was in business from 1919 to 1959, and built motorcycles from the postwar period to about 1953.

    Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


    Saturnia
    Manufactured by Alfredo Bondi and Ernesto E. Masina in Bologna, 1927-1928
    Later Alfredo built the Bondi motorcycle.

    Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


    Serafini
    Manufactured by August Serafini in 1950.
    A native of Bologna, Serafini built a SOHC Special 250 in Florence. He was well-known for his model aircraft engines.

    Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


    Siamoto

    Manufactured 1996~2005

    81030 Gricignano (Caserta), Zona Industriale Aversa

    Several scooter models were listed in the 90s, all with 50cc Minarelli engines apart from the Scross. This was an offroad scooter fitted with mx tyres and suspension. It was powered by a two-stroke reed valve 49cc Franco Morini engine.

    In later years they also produced the Siamoto Enduro 125, Geco 125 Custom, Geco 250 Custom and Supermotard 125.

    Sources: en.everybodywiki.com, et al


    Sidecaritalia

    Via Dei Mille, 6

    Cava Manara, Pavia

    Builds custom sidecars of considerable quality. Their website displays fine examples of Moto Guzzi, BMW and others.

    Source: sidecaritalia.com


    Sillaro

    Built by Giovanni Casadio of Castel San Pietro, Bologna

    Casadio was the owner of a business which sold and repaired bicycles and motorcycles in the 1950s- 1960s.

    Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


    Silvani
    Moped manufactured in Bologna in the 1950s, as evidenced by a photograph. Currently no further information is available.

    Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


    S.I.M.A.M. 1956-1958


    Snark
    The Snark Moped company of Carteret, New Jersey marketed a series of mopeds built by Italvelo & Italtelai. Powered by Minarelli and Franco Morini engines, models included Snark Satellite (1978), Bianchi Satellite and Bianchi Snark, and there were also Benelli mopeds.
    The Satellite models, built by Italtelai, were also sold by Arciero and Pacer under their own brands.
    Source: myronsmopeds.com


    Spaviero
    1954-1955
    The small company built motorcycles fitted with OHV 98cc parallel twin engines.
    Source: Tragatsch p276


    Stella
    1924-1927
    Built by Max Türkheimer, these were fitted with 173cc Blackburne engines.
    An O.T.A.V. catalogue of 1907-08 mentions the Stella engine, implying that it was built by Türkheimer.
    See also Astra
    There several companies which used the Stella brands - see Stella Marques
    Sources: wikipedia.nl, period advertising.


    T

    Terra Modena
    Founded in 2003 in Modena, the firm built single-cylinder four-stroke supermoto machines in limited numbers.
    The motorcycles have 450cc engines with a 98mm bore, and are fitted with carbon lenticular wheels and a carbon handlebar manufactured by Strawber. Most of the other components are of aluminium, titanium and magnesium.
    Source: it.linkfang.org


    Thunder
    1952-1954
    Thunder Motori Srl, Reggio Emilia built motorcycles using parallel twin engines of 173cc.
    Source: wikipedia.nl (NIT)


    Totaco

    Logo


    Manufactured in the early 1950s, these were bicycle attachment engines.
    They were also built under license in Denmark by BBE in Esbjerg, 1954.
    Sometimes incorrectly spelled "Totako".


    Tosi

    Manufactured 1926-1927

    Franco Tosi began building diesel engines around 1907, and developed a thriving business. Tosi partnered with Emilio Bozzi to build Wolsit motorcycles, and at some point one of the Maserati brothers was working with the Tosi firm.

    Franco Tosi Meccanica went on to become a major force in Italian industry, producing ships, submarines and large steam turbines. The company had 6000 employees in the 1970s. It was bought by one of the Castiglioni brothers, owners at the time of Ducati.

    Sources: wikipedia.org, Cycle World, Mauro Columbo.


    V

    Vaghi 1920s


    Veggetti
    Manufactured by Società Industrie Officine Veggetti, 1941~c.1955
    Address: Via D. Calvart 4, Bologna

    Born in 1904, Carlo Veggetti, former head of the turning department at SASIB, in 1941 founded with Vincenzo Mignani the firm Costruzioni Meccaniche Mignani, in Via D. Calvart. Those premises became the headquarters of the Società Industrie Officine Veggetti, established in 1946, with Veggetti as President. In the following years, employing about 15 people, they produced components for SASIB and the Boselli brothers. They built telescopic forks and 75cc engines for motorcycles. These engines were designed by Veggetti and around 7 or 8 units were produced each week. They were supplied to several motorcycle manufacturers including Cimatti, Invicta and Müller. There were other engines including a 125 of which little is known.

    Carlo Veggetti died in 1955 and the firm ceased activity.

    Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


    Verona 1970s & 80s Motocross


    Vertemati


    Victory
    1950-1955
    Motocicli Giovanni Francesconi of Padua (Padova) built lightweight motorcycles powered by Villiers 98cc and 123cc engines.
    Source: wikipedia.nl


    Villa

    Manufactured by Amleto Villa of Strada Maggiore 10, Bologna, c.1953 to c.1959.

    Established before 1928, Amleto Villa built and sold bicycles, accessories and spare parts. The young Marco Cimatti won a Gold Medal on a Villa bicycle at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932. After the war, Villa built mopeds; at least one type in 1953 and two others released in 1959. Competition from larger manufacturers made it impossible to compete, and moped construction ceased. Villa continued with his bicycle business.

    The marque is unrelated to that of Walter Villa

    Source: Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna


    VOR
    1996~
    VOR Motori, Ronco Briantino, Milan
    Associated with the Vertemati brothers, the firm built large capacity motocross and enduro machines. The brand was acquired by Mondial.
    Source: wikipedia.nl


    Vyrus

    Ascanio Rodorigo was a member of the Bimota race team, working with Massimo Tamburini on projects which included the Tesi. Rodorigo left Bimota to form his own company, and the Vyrus is the result. It is widely regarded as one of finest sports machines ever built.

    Website: vyrus.it

    W

    WRM

    Manufactured in Almenno San Bartolomeo, Bergamo, 2004-2007

    With extensive use of carbon fibre and light alloy, the 450 MX1 model appeared in motocross events and in the Supermoto World Championship.

    Sources: wrm-motorcycles.com, it.wikipedia.org


    Z

    Zanzi

    Manufactured by Officine Meccaniche Zanzi of Ivrea, Torino, 1953 to 1956

    This was a moped named "Piviere" with a 49 cc twostroke engine mounted below the pedals. It had rigid rear and pressed metal parallelogram forks.

    Source: OTTW

    N.B. Another source gives dates of 1953-1960.



    Zoppoli

    Built in in Genova by Fillipo Zoppoli between 1948 and 1954 (1) the Zeta was more of a scooter than a motorcycle due to its quite small wheels. It was powered by Ducati Cucciolo two-strokes and later by MV Agusta engines.

    Models

    Motopiccola Z48, Ducati 48 cc 2T engine, 2 speed, 2.50 x 13" tyres, max speed 50 km/h
    Motozeta 60 Ducati engine, 3-speed
    Z46 MV Agusta engine

    N.B. 1. Another source gives dates of 1947 to 1952

    Sources: ottw.es, et al