Lost in Translation: 1977 Benelli Sei 750 for Sale
Everything sounds beautiful and exotic when spoken in French or Italian, especially if you don’t understand the language. I mean, couldn’t Bidet be a luxury water-fountain manufacturer? And don’t Quattroporte and Benelli Sei just roll off the tongue? What’s that you say? Quattroporte just means “four doors” and Sei is just Italian for “six”? Well that’s disappointing… So basically, today’s Benelli Sei 750 is the epitome of “truth in advertising”: a motorcycle from Benelli that displaces 750cc and has six cylinders.
It sounds way less sexy when you put it that way.
Of course, when you’ve just produced an exotic, inline-six motorcycle, giving it a fancy name probably isn’t necessary: the bike speaks for itself. And that’s exactly what Alejandro De Tomaso intended: when the bike was introduced, it was meant as a statement to the Japanese “big four” that the Italian brands could compete with them on every level. Not completely true, of course, but at least in terms of engineering extravagance it was accurate.
The early 750cc bikes were superseded by a 900cc version in 1978 that looked basically identical, only with more displacement. Styling is relatively conservative, although that fat engine sitting across the frame shouts the bike’s intentions loudly enough, with a wall of exhaust headers that helps create one of the most exotic noises in motorcycling. You might be tricked into thinking the cylinder count would give it a car-like exhaust note. The reality is a ripping noise that’s impossibly smooth and electric, head-turning in a way that the styling is not.
From the original eBay listing: 1977 Benelli Sei 750 for Sale
A Six cylinder Italian work of art, one of the three or four of the best sounding motorcycles in the world and one of the most coveted collector motorcycles available today. This example has been with the same owner/mechanic since 1979.It was loved, taken care of, and ridden until 1995 when it was professionally and meticulously restored by him from the ground up,mechanically and visually,work including a complete engine overhaul with all new parts as well as a full restoration of chassis and all ancillaries. As noted in photos, the motorcycle will come with a complete new 6 into 6 exhaust system, as well as a new seat cover and stock turn indicators. Documentation and photos accompany it. The bike has since been ridden sparingly by the same owner from 1996 till 2016 and shows 16000 miles on the clock (800 miles a year),which was zeroed after the restoration in 1995. It still looks and drives like new and will be a great addition to any collectors or enthusiasts garage. These motorcycles have been climbing in value right through the last few years and show now signs of slowing down. They rarely come up for sale and are almost impossible to find with this kind of record and history since new. I purchased it only a short time ago with the intention of keeping it indefinitely in my collection but as life and timing inevitably goes,a one owner Vincent Black Shadow that I have been trying to buy for ten years has eventually been offered to me by its original owner and in order to buy it,I sadly have to sell the Benelli and two other motorcycles in my collection. This motorcycle is not and will never be for the bargain hunter or time waster out there so please don’t waste your time or mine. If I don’t get the price that it is worth or very close to it, I will just have to pick another one of my motorcycles to sell in its place. This is a genuine opportunity for an intelligent and savvy collector or afficionado who is looking to buy a Perfect Benelli 750 SEI,don’t miss it and hate your decision later,both financially and emotionally. Thank you for looking. Like a boss.
Yes, the seller actually included “like a boss” at the end of the listing.
Introduced in 1972, years before the similarly-spec’d Honda CBX, the Sei was never really produced in great numbers, although they do show up on eBay from time-to-time, often in slightly-abandoned condition, which is interesting because very nice CBXs show up for sale all the time. No big surprise though, since the Sei is a pretty expensive bike to maintain and source parts for. Many probably needed maintenance and were just left to rot when owners found out what service and parts were going to cost. I think they’re a bit like 80s Alfa Romeos used to be: interesting and exotic, but expensive, difficult to maintain, and not really worth all that much. They languished in obscurity for a long time, although prices seem to be on the rise now.
This particular example appears to be in very good shape both mechanically and cosmetically, although that cracked tachometer face would really annoy me, and the seller mentions a complete cosmetic and mechanical restoration. That’s very reassuring, although that Buy It Now price of $17,000 seems pretty ambitious, even for a bike this nice.