Moto Morini was founded in 1937. Initially the company of Alfonso Morini built two-stroke lightweights before Morini developing a range of fast four-stroke roadsters during the 1950s, the first of which appeared at the Milan Show in November 1952.
In the following years the success of Morini 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 mighty Honda. Morini chose to pitch its newcomer into the hotly contested 175cc market sector, machines of this capacity being immensely popular in Continental Europe at this time. The Morini 175 Turismo was powered by an overhead-valve engine built in unit with a four-speed gearbox, which went into a state-of-the-art set of cycle parts consisting of a swinging arm frame and telescopic front forks. It was not long before a sports version arrived in the form of the GT (Gran Turismo) which would be the first of many high-performance variants.
Introduced for the 1954 model year at the same time as the GT, one of the most famous of the latter was the Settebello (Seven of Diamonds) that commenced a run of models named after card games popular in Italy. Although intended for production-class racing, the Settebello was sold with full road equipment and could be distinguished from Morini's other 175 models by its larger cylinder head containing hairpin valve springs (all the others used coils). Following the budget-priced Briscola (trumps) the last of the card game-themed 175s was the Tresette (Three Sevens) which was newly introduced for 1958 together with the sporting Tresette Sprint. Distinguishable from the 'cooking' Tresette by its camshaft-mounted ignition points, the Sprint incorporated a high-compression piston and 22.5mm Dell-Orto carburettor and produced 13bhp @ 6,500 rpm, an output good enough for a top speed of 73mph.
Engine: Single cylinder four-stroke OHV
Bore & stroke: 60 x 61 mm
Compression ratio: 7.9:1 (9.2:1)
Engine Capacity: 172.38cc
Maximum power: 13 h.p. @ 6,500 rpm
Valves per cylinder: 2
Carburettor: Dell'Orto 22mm
Cooling system: Air cooled
Ignition type: Electric system with 6 volt battery, 7 ampere
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: 4-Speed foot-change
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 Ø 180 mm
Rear Brake: Drum Ø 158 mm
Front Tyre: 2.50 x 19 in.
Rear Tyre: 2.75 x 19 in.
Seat: Dual seat
Fuel tank capacity: 15 liters
Fuel consumption: 2.5 litres per 100 km
Top speed: 130 km/h (80.7 mph)
Weight: 105 Kg
Litt: Moto Storiche Magazine, Volume 6. no. 53, May 2000, pages 26 - 29
Litt: Legend Bike Magazine: Volume 11. no. 113, February 2002, pages 7 - 14
Source: Hessink's NL