’58 Moto Morini Tresette Sprint
What’s a Tresette? A quick search and I find it’s a card game. So, my guess here is that the folks at Moto Morini are gamblers. If you look at their history, I think I’m right. The Moto Morini story is interesting but it seems to share a common thread with a lot of Italian motorcycle builders over the years, some still here…many gone.
A quick lesson on Moto Morini. Alfonso Morini was born 1898 and at the age of sixteen opened his own motorcycle repair shop. After WW1, Morini went to work with Mario Mazetti designing and building racing motorcycles. In 1927 an ‘MM’ 125cc motorcycle set six world records at Monza then in 1933 set a speed of 162 KPH on a little 175cc motorbike. Apparently these guys knew how to build small fast motorcycles. In 1937 Mazetti and Morini parted ways and Moto Morini was born. Morini had good success in racing, actually giving the great Giacomo Agostini his start.
Alfonso Morini passed away in 1969 at the age of 71, his daughter, Gabriella took over the company eventually selling it to Cagiva which also owned Ducati. That whole company was later sold to the Texas Pacific Group. TPG pretty much left Moto Morini for dead. In 1999 a new company was started to revive the famous Italian marque. New bigger, faster and generally well received motorcycles were built but alas, financial woes set in. Just as recently as last week, it looked like there was a good buyer for Moto Morini. However, disputes with the trade union brought that to a halt so it looks like Moto Morini is going into the history books. Again.
While looking for something interesting to write about today I came across this really neat little bike. I have a motorcycle collector friend who spends a great deal of time, and money on small displacement Italian bikes and this is right up his driveway. And into his collection.
A 1958 Moto Morini 175CC Tresette Sprint. The bike is beautifully restored. The owner bought it from someone in Italy who described the bike as perfect in all ways and yet…the description, as it often can be, was not quite accurate. Like I said the bike is truly beautiful and if you were simply going to put it on a shelf, there is nothing to do to this Morini. If you want to ride it though, you have a little work to do. The owner is very upfront it doesn’t run all that well and for not that long. The owner’s and my guess is that is a fuel delivery issue…hey it was a long boat trip from Italy. Should be a pretty simple problem to cure and when you do, you can ride it in the Moto Giro America. How much fun would that be??!! Oh, there is one more little problem…it’s a bit pricey. Rarity does have it’s price.