Monday, 14 February 2011

Last chance Morinis

Researching "The last single men" for Benzina #4 (on Morini's 250 single that nearly beat Honda's multi to the 1963 title) I didn't think we'd be seeing the last ever Morinis - but we are. It makes Pete Crawford's interview in the issue with Morini designer Franco Lambertini even more poignant. But Stuart Mayhew at North Leicester Motorcycles tells me it definitely all over, and if you know Stuart's Morini connections you'll know that this time it's definite.

The good news is that the receivers have been persuaded to tidy up the factory by turning what's left into around 40 bikes; the modern Morinis are underrated smashers (the Scrambler's my favourite) and given Stuart can still supply bits for the 350s, spares shouldn't be a worry.

The tragedy is this was just a short term funding problem caused by the banking crisis. Sadly the Italian government's in no position to help Morini out, and infamously the banks are still refusing to lend to private entrepreneurs. I suspect this won't be the last bit of bad news, because the roof's about to collapse at Guzzi's abandoned Mandello del Lario facility and there's no sign of owner's Piaggio started on their promised refurbishment.

Franco finishes his interview by saying to Pete "There is a lot of knowledge and technology in (Morini), good management and importantly a young staff: the young ones can fight, they are committed. Moto Morini can never die: for me it is impossible."

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