Motom Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

1953 Motom 48 Junior SS

The Motom marque was the third largest producer of motorcycles in Italy during the mid-1950s, after Moto Guzzi and Garelli.

Founded in Italy in 1945 by Lancia engineer Battista Falchetto and businessman Frua Ernesto de Angelis and active until early 1970s, Motom was unusual among European manufacturers of mopeds and ultra-lightweight motorcycles in preferring the four-stroke engine rather than the ubiquitous two-stroke.

Falchetto and De Angelis both were inspired by the sales of Ducati's Cucciolo motorcycle with a similar style of engine. The first Motom, the 48cc Motomic, was exhibited at the 1947 Geneva Salon.

The motorcycle proved popular and was soon followed by a succession of derivative models, all 48cc in capacity until 1957. Famed Gilera designer Piero Remor joined the company briefly in 1953 and both the styling and mechanical details were tidied up during this time. Pressed-steel spine frames were another Motom trademark although, as time progressed, models with tubular frames were introduced and proprietary Peugeot and Z├╝ndapp two-stroke engines adopted.

Power output exceeded 2HP @ 4500 rpm which was quite high for its capacity (and was easily tuned to produce more) and as a result the Motom was soon used in small capacity racing. In 1953, it won its class in the 3200 km Giro d'Italia at an average speed of almost 65 km/h. in 1958, the factory team won every 50cc race held in Italy!

Built-in unit with a three-speed gearbox, the 48cc Motom engine had bore/stroke dimensions of 39 x 40 mm and produced 1.5h.p. @ 4,500 rpm. A rigid frame and centre spring blade type front fork were features, while later models had telescopic forks and plunger rear suspension. On early models, the fuel tank was incorporated into the frame while on some later ones it was a separate component.


Engine: Single cylinder four-stroke OHV

Bore & stroke: 39 x 40 mm

Maximum power: 48cc

Engine Capacity: 1.5 h.p. @ 4.500 rpm

Valves per cylinder: 2

Carburettor: Dell'Orto

Cooling system: Air cooled

Lubrication: Wet sump forced circulation with mechanical gear pump

Transmission: Gear primary, chain final

Clutch: Cable operated with multiple wet disk

Gearbox: 3-Speed gearbox with handlebar control

Starter: Kick-starter

Throttle: Cable operated

Frame type: Pressed steel rigid frame

Front Suspension: Telescopic fork and shock absorbers

Rear Suspension: Plunger rear suspension

Front Brake: Drum

Rear Brake: Drum

Front tyre: 2.00 x 18 in.

Rear tyre: 2.00 x 18 in.

Seat: Dual seat

Fuel tank capacity: c.10 litres

Fuel consumption: 1 litre per 75 km

Top speed: 60 km/h (37.28 mph)

Weight: ca. 50 Kg

Source: Hessink's NL

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