Nearly New: 1977 Benelli 500 Quattro for Sale

1977 Benelli Quattro L Side

1970’s Benellis like this 500 Quattro fill an interesting niche in the vintage biking scene. Produced during the controversial DeTomaso era, when the Argentinian seemed to own just about every struggling exotic nameplate out there, from cars to bikes. Rumored to be based heavily on Honda’s CB four cylinder, the Benelli is a very solid machine, but offers up nothing really exceptional, aside from that exotic nameplate.

1977 Benelli Quattro Tank

Which is a shame, as Benelli is a company with a storied racing history. Founded in 1911 as a repair shop, they were producing bikes by 1919 and winning championships in the late 1920’s. They had a great deal of success during the 1960’s, especially in the 250cc class.

Being the Italian equivalent of a Honda CB isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just unfortunate that such a famous, high-performance brand couldn’t offer up something just a little bit more…

1977 Benelli Quattro L Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Benelli 500 Quattro for Sale

This was one of the leftover bikes I had when I was a dealer for Benelli in Westchester County, NY. Great condition always stored indoors. I used a dealer plate when I demoed the bike or take it to shows. Never registered. I have the original MSO that goes with the bike and will provide a bill of sale. Some chrome is missing in places. Exhaust pipes are in excellent condition. Gas tank has been cleaned, sealed and re sprayed. Carbs cleaned. New battery installed. Just rode down the street and transmission shifted fine. Clutch works as it should. Brakes work great. Lights all work. Speedometer is in kilometers. Tool kit and owners manual included. Tires are original. 

1977 Benelli Quattro Dash

The starting bid for this original little gem is $10,000 with no takers so far and little time left on the auction. This is a hard bike to price, considering DeTomaso-era Benellis are about as rare as hen’s teeth in the US these days. In general, we see the more exotic six-cylinder Sei: the four cylinder bikes are virtually unknown here, making them exceedingly rare, but of interest only to Benelli fans.

1977 Benelli Quattro Front Wheel

And if you are a Benelli fan, you’re most likely looking for something more vintage. But for riders who want a bike that’s just a bit different than a run-of-the-mill Japanese four, this might fit the bill. You certainly aren’t likely to find one as nice or with such low mileage ever again.

-tad

1977 Benelli Quattro R Side

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6 Responses

  1. sr88 says:

    Waaaaaaay overpriced, probably why no bidders.
    I understand when De Tomaso took over Benelli he wanted to produce 4 and 6 cylinder motorcycles to get the Worlds attention, ASAP. Not having the time to develop their own engines,the Benelli engineers used Honda’s engine design as a basis for their 4& 6 cylinder engines.
    I believe they also built a 250cc 4 cylinder motorcycle along with the 500. I would like to see one, they are really rare.

  2. ducatiasti1 says:

    Check the bottom of the listed title of the motorcycle. Cosmopolitan Motors Hatboro Pa. What you know now as Fast by Ferracci. The one and still reigning champion for all things “tits” and exotic for the entire east coast. Can you DIG IT teddy?

  3. tad says:

    That was the perceived “problem” with De Tomaso’s approach: he “cheapened” the product in an effort to make the companies profitable, mass-producing luxury. Sort of the Chrysler K-Car approach. For all the flack he sometimes gets though, he’s probably the reason Maserati and Moto Guzzi survived the 1980’s… I saw a little Benelli 250 once at Cafe Desmo, years ago. Angular little thing with the gauges set into the top of the tank… Very neat bike.

    And I’m not sure I actually agree that this is actually all that overpriced. I mean, it is about as perfect a nearly zero-mile Benelli Quattro as you will ever find again. I just think that finding the right buyer for this particular bike may not be so easy…

  4. sr88 says:

    Auction ended – no bids. I thought $10K was getting into a decent 750 Sei territory. IMHO I was thinking about $8,500. Although the Statement of Origin from Cosmo Motors is cool.

  5. tad says:

    I think your price is probably a better bet. It IS the most pristine, low-mileage Quattro you’re ever likely to find, but that’s still only gonna be worth so much. And I know I’d rather have a decent Sei than a perfect Quattro…

  6. sr88 says:

    I know I’d rather have a decent Sei than a perfect Quattro… I agree, plus personally I think a same year Honda CB-550 is the better motorcycle.