Simplex Motorcycles Italy

Today in Motorcycle History

Simplex Motorcycles (Torino)

A Brief History of the Marque

Manufactured: 1922-1950

The firm was established by Luigi Pellini and Mario Ferraris, a lawyer, at Via Vigone No. 29, Torino.

Initially they produced bicycle auxiliary engines built under license to Patrick Engineering of Great Britain. Ferraris left in 1924, and Luigi Pellini continued to build the MotoBici Simplex, and developed complete motorcycles with two-stroke engines of 123cc.

In 1927 four-stroke models were produced using the company's own OHV engines of 149cc, 174cc, and 210cc

The 150 was the their most popular model for 1927 and 28. A 175 was presented for the 1929 season, continuing until 1930 when the "new Simplex" models arrived. These were distinctly motorcycles, as opposed to the earlier machines which had the appearance of a motor bicycle. The 1930 175cc OHV Ala d'Oro was followed in 1934 by a 500cc version. Costing approximately 10 months wages for the working man, the 500 was not a big seller.

After the war there were similar machines with 148cc and 248cc engines, believed to have been assembled from existing spare parts.

Models include:
1930 175cc OHV Ala d'Oro
1933-34 175cc OHV Ala d'Oro
1936 500cc OHV Ala d'Oro 84mm x 90mm b/s, 4 speed, 19" wheels
1936 500cc OHV Ala d'Oro inclined engine
1937 220cc Ala d'Oro
1937 Trisimplex motofurgone
1938 250cc Ala d'Oro

Sources: MC Storico Conti, motoclub-tingavert.it, et al.

N.B. Several firms used variations of the Simplex brand.

matteo at penengofuoristrada.it
I have a little collection Moto Guzzi 65/Cardellino/special model 175 /Airone Sport /Sport 15 year 34/ Simplex 175 Ala d'Oro years 34 For SALE
matteo penengo
Canelli (ASTI)

Sat Jul 15 2006
whh at post dot com
Simplex Ala d'Oro WANTED

Hello, I live in USA and I am looking to buy a 1930-36 Simplex Ala d'Oro 175-210cc motorcycle made in Turin, Italy. Please contact me.
Bill Hooben
Massachusetts, USA
Hello, I've sent a scanned image of a restored '37 210cc Simplex Ala d'Oro. This is exactly the model I'm looking for. I hope you can use it.

The bike in the image was from an Italian dealers website ( www.motoold.it ). The bike was sold in 2004, I think. These are pretty rare machines, even in Italy where almost all of them still reside. I think they never made more than 300 a year in the 30's ... if 20-30 still exist, I'd be surprised.

I am looking for this bike because it had an attractive and compact unit-construction engine which was modern for its day. Italian motorcycles in the '30's were in many ways more advanced than British machines.


Bill Hooben

See Simplex Gallery

If you have a query about Simplex motorcycles of Italy or have some information to add about these classic Italian machines, please contact us