Category: Motobi

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, 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

1968 MotoBi Race Bike

If you take a look over at the eBay auction for the 1968 MotoBi  you can see why it caught my eye. But when I started to look for information about the company and what they did, I am thankful for those women for my new found knowledge.

Giuseppe Benelli, oldest of 6 Benelli brothers that were Benelli motorcycle, left the family business in 1949 to begin MotoBi(with a capital B for those in the know). Beginning with 2 stroke scooters, by 1955 he and his two sons produced their first four stroke motor, and soon came to dominate the Junior class Moto Sportive Derivate dalla Serie racing series in Italy. This was the minor leagues for racers like Roberto Gallina, Silvano Bertarelli and Eugenio Lazzarini who them moved to larger bikes in Italy.

From the seller

            Beautiful museum quality restoration by Kent Riches

            This classic racer has had a no-expense spared restoration to make this piece a true museum quality motorcycle. Flawless paint, accurate decals and badging are just some of the fine detailed work. 

The MotoBi did make it to the US through Cosmo Importers along side Giuseppe family’s Benelli motorcycles, and appears to have been rebadges in some cases, and maybe even sold through Montgomery Wards. The Wise Family who ran Cosmo did put the MotoBi into the hands of some state side talent, Kurt Liebmann (I am a fan of the Liebmann family for what they did with BMW at AMOL Precision)  and Jess Thomas. Thomas was able to take a 205cc MotoBi to victory in the 1962 US GP in Daytona, defeating factory RC162 from Honda.

More from the seller

Zanzani frame modifications for road racing

C2 camshaft

Ceriani forks

Grimeca brakes

Radelli rims

Rob North megaphone exhaust

Dellorto carb with velocity stack

Fiberglass fairing tank and tail

The motor is fresh and ready to run

MotoBi was out of racing by 1970 and the company was closed by 1977. The downfall of another small Italian motorcycle can be linked to the growth and domination of Japanese bikes, both in the sale of personal motorcycles and on the race track. There is a revival of the MotoBi name, so hopefully we will soon see some ultra rare, ultra expensive Italian Beauties from Pesaro, Italy. BB