Testi Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Testi Motorcycle History

Manufactured: 1949-1986

Umberto Testi, born in Lugano in 1908, opened a workshop and salesroom in Via Moline dates back to 1932 where he built touring and racing bicycles.

Postwar he moved to Via A. Righi, began adapting his frames to micromotors and in 1948 opened workshops in Via del Borgo, producing mopeds powered by Mosquito engines.

As the business expanded, in 1949 they manufactured 49cc lightweights with Sachs engines, later using both NSU and FB-Minarelli 49cc two-strokes. They added a 147cc Sachs engined motorcycle to their growing range of mopeds, mofas and miniscooters.

Testi had an arrangement, beginning in 1952, with the DEMM company, whose products they sold via Testi Motor, a company they set up in Milan. It is possible that they built the Demm Dick-Dick under licence, and may have used their engines.

Production ceased in 1956.

In 1958, Umberto's son Erio Testi took over the management of the family business which was renamed Velomotor Testi. Production resumed in 1959 with the Turismo E2 followed in 1960 by the Grand Prix De Luxe.

In 1961 they introduced the Trail King, the first 50cc offroad motorcycle.

Other models deserving of mention are the Testina scooter, the America De Luxe and the Week End, which appeared in 1966.

There was a collaboration with the French company Gitane, with machines marketed as the Gitane-Testi, and also with the Standard concern of Sweden which sold rebadged Testi models including the American Weekend Cross.

In Germany, the Horex brand reappeared, producing Testi machines under license. Horex Testi Renntrimm

In 1984, on the initiative of a US financial group, Erio Testi committed all his energy and huge capital to the construction of a large factory in the Chinese city of Foshan, intended for the production of mopeds under the "FOSTI" brand.

After a promising start the Chinese deal faltered resulting in a lawsuit between the United States government and Testi against the Chinese government. As a result, Testi was forced to close.

Production ended in 1986, and the company entered bankruptcy on July 14, 1988.

Sources: MC Storico Conti, Tragatsch p283, Museo del Patrimonio Industriale, Bologna, autoemotodelpassato, et al

Further reading: Velomotor Testi, the Italian motorcycles that the world has lost