Tagged: 1968

Rebuilt Vintage Roadracer: 1968 Motobi 250 Sei Tiranti for Sale

1968 Motobi 250 6 Tiranti L Side Front

This Motobi Sei Tiranti is new to me, so I did a bit of digging. It was a race bike based on the “Sprite” and built by Primo Zanzani, a roadracer and self-taught motorcycle tuner who came onboard Motobi to develop the four-cylinder 250GP bike and later race bikes based on the egg-shaped Motobi single, helping them earn the 250cc Junior title in 1966, 1967, and 1969.

1968 Motobi 250 6 Tiranti L Side Detail

“Sei Tiranti” refers to the six head studs on the later model homologation bikes that provided additional strength versus the street Motobi’s four head studs that allowed for higher compression and more revs as they chased after more power.

1968 Motobi 250 6 Tiranti Front Wheel

The race bikes were pretty far from the street bikes in every way allowed by the rules in this class. The bikes often bore only a superficial resemblance to the street bikes on which they were supposedly based and included sand-cast cases along with many other trick parts. The bike weighs in at just 223lbs dry, making for pretty good performance when combined with the 33hp and 5-speed box.

1968 Motobi 250 6 Tiranti L Side Rear

Motobi was originally known as Moto “B” Pesaro for founder Giuseppe Benelli and their home province of Pesaro, the name later was shortened to Motobi. After an early disagreement with his brothers, Giuseppe went his own way, making small-displacement motorcycles until he was brought back into the fold in 1962 when the larger Benelli company acquired him, possibly making for awkward family dinners thereafter…

From the original eBay listing: 1968 Motobi 250 Sei Tiranti for Sale

Have a look first at this video of the history of Mr. Primo Zanzani…..his bikes won over 500 races in the 50s and 60s. This racing motorbike, belonging to the history of the racing motorbikes, has been hand built fully by him in person. Fully original in any single parts. Very very rare bike. last one has been sold in Japan for 95.000 euro. Immensive collectionist value.
Visible in our museum in Fano.

Recently restored and fully rebuilt by Mr. Zanzani, still alive and living in Pesaro.

The original listing is found on eBay.co.uk, but the bike is currently in Fano, a province of Pesaro, very near where it was born. Interestingly, this should be a very authentic rebuild, since Primo Zanzani is still very much alive and running his family business, as well as producing race replicas that appear to be accurate in every detail.

1968 Motobi 250 6 Tiranti L Side Fairing

The classified listing states the price as £30,000 which as of today equates to about $47,000, which is some serious change for a motorcycle of any sort, although the seller helpfully cites that previous examples have sold for even more.

I’m very new to Motobi, so if any of our readers can enlighten me further, I’m happy to hear from you!


1968 Motobi 250 6 Tiranti L Side

Marvelous Mutt: 1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph for Sale

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph L w Fairing

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, if you weren’t happy with the handling of your stock motorcycle, you could contact a number of different specialist frame companies for your racebike or road-legal custom. Among these, the name “Rickman” ranks among the very best, right up with Spondon and Egli, producing frames and bodywork for buyers who wanted something truly exotic.

Early on, they focused on offroad racing, but their catalog eventually encompassed roadracing and street bikes as well, starting with the engine and transmission from the Triumph Bonneville like this particular example.

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph R Rear

Rickman’s signature frames were constructed from lightweight, nickel-plated tubes that provided a stiff foundation for improved suspension, and many featured internal oil-passages that replaced oil tanks and coolers. The completed hybrids were amusingly named “Metisse,” French for “mongrel.”

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph L Front

For the most part, the company produced kits instead of complete motorcycles, supplying frames and bodywork: engines, transmissions, wheels, and electrics not included. A wide variety of engines were fitted snuggly into Rickman frames over the years, but Japanese big-bore machines featured heavily in their later output. Like Bimota, they recognized that the handling of these machines could be improved, and the resulting bikes featured the best of both worlds: Japanese engineering and reliability combined with British innovation to create fast, nimble, and rare bikes that could compete on road or track.

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1968 Rickman Metisse Road Racer for Sale

The condition of this machine is highly original, un-restored, and preserved, having covered 828 miles since new. All of the numbers are factory correct and original. It is the 650 cc engine. The gearbox is also original to the machine. This Norton is completely original and has never been apart. I am the third owner from new, the first long-time owner being the legendary female motorcycle trailblazer Barbara Lee Weber of Chicago. It is in preserved, original, and almost showroom new condition.

The paint is the original red and is nearly flawless. The original decals are still applied to the gas tank. The plastic sidecovers are in excellent condition and are not in need of any type of repair.  

All of the original accessories, including the headlight and very hard to find tail light, are in operational condition and in excellent original condition.

The Rickman Triumph on the road is very easy to handle, and rides down the road very tight, with no shakes, shimmies, or rattles. It shifts and accelerates smoothly and holds the road as it should.  

There is absolutely NOTHING that needs to be done to this machine to ride it occasionally and enjoy it as a showpiece. Unlike other machines for sale on the internet, this one is ready to ride and not in need of any expensive service once you get it home.  

1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph Engine Detail

There’s a ton of additional information, original documentation, and photographs over on eBay, so pop on over for a look. Bidding is pretty active on this one, with five days left and the Reserve Not Met at $9,100. If you’re looking for a Rickman, this is a very nice, unrestored example of their original road bike with as detailed a history as you’re ever likely to find.


1968 Rickman Metisse Triumph R No Fairing

1968 Aermacchi / Harley Davidson 350cc Sprint Racer

1968 Aermacchi 350 Sprint L Side

Watching riders hang off vintage race bikes like this 1968 Aermacchi/Harley Davidson 350 Sprint is inspiring, and has me dreaming of something like this. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Aermacchi and how they ended up being associated with Harley Davidson, here’s a little recap.

The old chestnut is that “history repeats itself” and in Harley Davidson’s case, it’s certainly true: in recent years, Harley bought boutique motorcycle manufacturer Buell and, after a few years of struggling with that unlikely union, dissolved the brand. What should have been a way for Harley to produce modern, sporting motorcycles was instead seen by “The Faithful” and Harley’s network of dealers as their “red-headed step child” and was shunned. Which is a real shame, since Erik Buell is a maverick in the truest sense of the word, something Harley claims as part of their image.

1968 Aermacchi 350 Sprint L Side Engine

Back in 1960, an eerily similar situation was unfolding. After the Second World War, Italian seaplane manufacturer Aeronautica Macchi began manufacturing motorcycles to meet the needs of a population hungry for inexpensive transportation. Harley saw the brand as a way to quickly gain access to lightweight, sporting motorcycles they could sell to Americans, and purchased a 50% stake in the company’s motorcycle manufacturing operation. In the mid-70’s, Harley purchased the remaining shares and held on to Aermacchi until they sold it in 1978.

1968 Aermacchi 350 Sprint R Side Engine

The seller helpfully describes the build of this track bike in detail. From the original eBay listing: 1968 Aermacchi/Harley Davidson 350cc Sprint Racer for Sale

After building, racing, and winning six national championships on 350cc Aermacchis, scoring victories with every vintage club in America and Canada, Giannini Racing is offering this race ready example for sale.

Built from the frame up with all new parts, this classic vintage Aermacchi road racer represents some of the finest workmanship in the country.

Paint and unnecessary parts stripped, lightened, reinforcement and modification welding, fitted with new bushings and tapered steering head bearings, painted with black epoxy enamel.

Internals completely rebuilt with new bearings on the crank, connecting rod, transmission, and camshaft.

New Aries high compression racing piston has been fitted into a re-bored cylinder and fitted with racing rings. Racing cam with longer duration and higher lift, working with lighter lifters and reground valves and seats fitted with R&D valve springs.|
New dry clutch drives a 4-speed transmission with new sprockets and a 530 special Regina racing chain.

A Dellorto vintage square slide carburetor with air stack and factory manifold has been fitted to a matched, ported head with a new cable and Domino twist throttle controlling the fuel delivery.

A specially fitted PVL, variable advance, self generating ignition supplies the spark with a kill switch mounted to the clip on handlebars.

Although these vibey little four-stroke singles aren’t the most refined machines, and lost out in terms of performance to two-stroke competition at the time, they’re stone-axe simple, well-built, and parts for them are readily available.

If you’re looking to get into vintage racing, this could be your ride: it’s ready to go, just add some vintage dinosaur juice. But move quickly: there’s not much time left on this auction!


1968 Aermacchi 350 Sprint R Side

1968 Rickman Metisse Roadracer for Sale

1968 Rickman Metisse L Side Dark

This 1968 Rickman Metisse caught my eye last week.  The Rickman brothers began their bike-building business in the 50’s and 60’s by designing frames to cradle the typically ill-handling bikes of the era. Early machines were built for offroad racing, but their designs expanded to include roadracing and even streetbikes.

Their innovative frames were stiff and light, constructed of distinctive nickel-plated tubing that, on some machines, even contained the engine oil to improve cooling and save the weight of a separate oil tank. The bikes were typically sold as kits that included Rickman’s signature frame and any bodywork: builders needed their own donor bike to supply engine and electrical.

1968 Rickman Metisse R Side

A pretty wide variety of engines found their way into Rickmans over the years, including the Norton twin found here. The finished machines were light and handled well.  And the Rickman brothers clearly had a sense of humor: while “Metisse” sounds very exotic and sophisticated, it actually translates roughly to “mongrel.”

1968 Rickman Metisse L Side

From the original eBay listing: 1968 Rickman Metisse Road Racer for Sale

I have a 1968 Rickman Metisse Road Racer with certificate of authenticity issued by MRD Rickman.

The motorcycle is a genuine Rickman MK111 oil bearing Road Race frame, not to be confused with lower specification frames made for general street use. Manufactured in 1968 by Rickman Bros , during the period of brothers Derek and Don’s ownership of the company.

In 1982 the motorcycle underwent a total rebuild with the intention of returning it to the track for the upcoming season. Like many things the rebuild took longer than was originally planned and consequently the motorcycle was ultimately outdated by the time it was completed and as such never raced in its current form.

It has a Norton Commando 750cc motor with matching numbers to frame that was built and fitted to the frame by Norman White at his Thruxton shop in England. The motor uses twin Amal Mk11 carburetors along with Lucas electronic ignition. Belt Drive primary to AMC gearbox. Marzocchi suspension front and rear with CMA 4 leading shoe front brake and Yamaha TZ rear.18” Akkront aluminum rims with stainless steel spokes and fitted out with Yokohama race tires. Cuppini controls

The motorcycle is in fantastic condition, having spent most of its life since 1982 on display.

The listing refers to this as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” and, while sellers typically overstate the value and rarity of their wares on offer, this machine might be one worthy of the phrase with the oil-bearing frame and relatively unusual Norton powerplant. But the bidders seem to be thinking otherwise: there’s only one day left and bidding is only up to $9,100 with the reserve not yet met.


1968 Rickman Metisse R Side Rear


1968 Sprint Aermacchi 250cc

I have been  infatuated with 1960’s Italian Motorcycles lately. I really think that era of motorcycles had some of the best styling. That’s part of the reason I’m posting this Aermacchi today. The other reason is it’s a great example of an unrestored classic bike.

1968 Sprint Aermacchi 250cc For Sale on eBay

Seller’s description:

1968 Harley Sprint / Aermacchi 250cc  This is a great running and looking ORIGiNAL PAINT unrestored bike. These are very popular for the moto giro events.  Currently has cafe bars but I will include an NOS set of original handlebars. The bike does have a nice patina and elegantly shows its age. New tires last year with almost zero wear on them and new gel battery this year.  This bike is ready to ride and fun to ride.   I just have too many bikes and need to thin them out.  Also have a 68 Sprint flat tracker that has been beautifully restored that will be listed soon.  Will accept personal check that must clear prior to shipping. No warranty.  This bike is also for sale locally and the auction maybe ended at anytime. I do have a current NH title. The horn is a reproduction and I do have the original rear carrier / rack. 

A great bike for going to a vintage bike get together or to hang out with the hipster cafe racers.


1968 BSA Spitfire

With a long history of racing motorcycles on the Isle of Britain most of the major manufactures offered there interpretation of a racing bike. These bikes were often a replica of the factory racing entries, or a bike which offers all the traditional racing bits on the current models. In the case of BSA in the late 1960’s this model was the Spitfire, and this 1968 Spitfire offered here on eBay is a time capsule of the top of the line US model.

The BSA A65 engine has been highlighted here on CSBFS before, but those were the middle of the line Thunderbolts and Lightings, this one is the SPITFIRE. Offered from 1966-1968 the Spitfire has twin carbs, high compression engine, is hard starting and difficult to tune. The fantasy power numbers that it developed were 54hp@7250rpm from 654cc with a 9:1 CR. When BSA entered the Spitfire in the 1968 750cc Production TT on the Isle of Man, even giving up 100cc to the competition, it was timed at 132mph and finished 3rd.

Most of the difficulty were addressed by this MkIV. First offered with open velocity stack on Amal GP carbs, by the MkIV those were replaced by more user friendly Concentric carbs with air filters. Another improvement in tunability was a set of individual Lucas adjustable ignition points, allowing you to dial in smooth and accurate timing for each cylinder.

From the seller



Most of the British company of the time would offer the US market bikes a different “look” then those offered in the UK. The British boys would get clip-on’s, rear sets and large endurance tanks. US would get small “peanut” tanks, and high bars, and this bike has both, and to my eye, looks wrong.

This is a bike in which the buyer is going to have to make a decision. 10 years ago a nut and bolt restoration, with the end result being a glossy, better then factory look was popular and got the big bucks. These days original paint it cool. Will you buy this bike and ride it as it came from the factory, or tear it down and make it better then the factory original?


1968 Harley-Davidson Ala Verde

Always looking out for a small, red, sporting Italian single, this Aermacchi offered on eBay caught my eye. What is different from previous small, red, sporting Italian singles we have highlighted here on CSBFS, is that this Italian was made by Harley-Davidson.

After WWII small displacement bikes became popular with returning vets and their growing family. With reparations, or war booty, Harley was able to offer small 2-stoke bikes developed in Germany in the 1930’s and handed over to Harley after the war. By 1960 Harley decided that a 50% stake in an Italian Company named Aermacchi could fill dealerships with single cylinder bikes to take advantage of a need. But dealers had to start stocking a whole new parts catalog and its mechanics had to buy a strange tool, something called Metric. By 1978 the experiment was over and Harley sold Aermacchi to some guys named Castiglioni, who went on to also buy a company name Ducati.

From the seller

            Aermacchi Harley-Davidson is practically new with only 2 miles. This Ala Verde has been restored and was kept on display (inside) the owner’s shop in San Jose,CA This unique motorcycle was sold in limited numbers and it’s rarity is appreciated by collectors of Italian motorcycles. Harley-Davidson began to market the Ala Verde to satisfy the American customer demands of smaller motorcycles featuring a sporty race inspired gas tank, clip on handlebars and a small pexi-glass fly screen

It looks like the Ala Verde, which means “Green Wing”, was offered in two series. First offered from 1959-1967 with a 4 speed, and then again from 1970-1972 with a 5 speed. With the quirk of US titling, this bike is likly a 1967 that was not sold until 1968. The 246cc would give you 19hp and be able to fly you about at 87mph. Can you imagine walking into a Harley dealership and saying “I will take that Electa Glide, and throw that little bike in the saddle bags.”

Today there are many of thes Italian Harley’s being used for what the Italians intended; going fast, as fast as they can. BB