Reader’s Ride: Moto Morini 3½

Moto Morini 3 L Side

Today, we a have a cool reader’s ride from Charlotte: a very clean Moto Morini 3½ for sale.  Click on the link for the original Craigslist post.  Morini is very much the forgotten Italian marque: they never had much of a presence in the US, since they never really made a big-bore machine to compete in the North American market, and their smaller machines never had quite the cache of a Ducati or Moto Guzzi.

Moto Morini 3 R Side

The 3½ was a classy little machine blessed with world-class handling and returned excellent fuel mileage, although the 344cc 72° V-twin’s provided fairly unimpressive power.  The overall look is simple and classic, but the motor contains some interesting technology: it featured a six-speed transmission, belt-driven cams, and “Heron” heads that have a flat underside and parallel valves.  Combustion in a Heron-head engine occurs in the concave surface of the piston top.

This relatively unusual configuration was also used in the small-bore Guzzis and provided simplified manufacturing and impressive fuel economy.

Moto Morini 3 Dash

The 3½ was introduced in 1974.  I’m not sure what year this particular example is: it appears to be an early, drum-braked model, as later versions had a single or optional dual-disc front.  The seller is asking $8,500 for this rare little machine.

-tad

Moto Morini 3 L Side Rear

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