Moto Morini Motorcycles

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Moto Morini Corsaro 125 1958

This Moto Morini Corsaro 125 'prototype' with aluminum tank did not achieve production.

Before the arrival of its well-known family of 72-degree v-twin roadsters in 1973, Moto Morini's reputation had rested mainly on its highly successful double-overhead-cam single-cylinder racers that came within a whisker of snatching the 1963 250cc World Championship from Honda. Moto Morini, founded in 1937 by Alphonso Morini - he had previously been in partnership with Mario Mazzetti under the MM motorcycle brand which established an excellent reputation for its quality product - built 2-stroke lightweights at first before developing a range of fast, overhead-camshaft roadsters during the 1950s.

By the decade's end, they had been replaced by a range of small capacity overhead-valve models and a 48cc two-stroke which kept the firm afloat until the arrival of the Heron-head v-twins, best known as a 350cc sport bike in the 1970s.

Built in various versions, Morini's offering in the 125cc class was the traditionally but exquisitely styled Corsaro (or Pirate) air-cooled, four-stroke, overhead valve single, which was first introduced towards the end of 1958. Morini was controlled by Cagiva in 1987, then Texas Pacific Group who also bought Ducati and finally all rights to the brand name were sold to Morini's nephew in April 1999, trading as Morini Franco Motori SpA.


Engine: Single cylinder four-stroke OHV

Bore & stroke: 56 x 50 mm

Compression ratio: 7.6:1

Valves per cylinder: 2

Engine Capacity: 123.08cc

Maximum power: 9 h.p.

Carburettor: Dell'Orto

Cooling system: Air cooled

Ignition type: With alternator

Lubrication: Wet sump forced circulation with mechanical gear pump

Transmission: Gear primary, chain final

Clutch: Cable operated with multiple wet disc in oil bath

Gearbox: 5-speed foot-change

Starter: Kick-starter

Throttle: Cable operated

Frame type: Open cradle tubular and pressed steel

Front Suspension: Telescopic fork and shock absorbers

Rear Suspension: Swingarm with hydraulic shock absorbers

Front Brake: Drum

Rear Brake: Drum

Front Tyre: 2.75 x18 in.

Rear Tyre: 2.75 x18 in.

Seat: Duck tail race seat

Fuel tank capacity: 14 litres

Top speed: 108 km/h (67.1 mph)

Weight: 90 kg

Source: Hessink's NL