The 350 cc twin was the first design that Franco Lambertini drew for Morini. And as beautiful as the engine was: Lambertini had meant nothing more or less with it than a high-quality, economical and reliable engine for daily use.
An expensive thing
Likewise, such a Morini cost almost as much as a CB 750. But hey, whatever Italians make: the appearance is apparently woven into their genes. The first advertisement for the new Morini appeared in the Italian monthly magazine Motocyclisme and clearly showed that the Moto Morini was intended for 'all kinds' of motorcyclists. The new Moto Morini 350 was unveiled at the Milan Motorcycle Exhibition in 1971.
A construction kit concept
In the years that followed, this power source would be further developed, thanks to its modular design (for example, the cylinders and heads 'front and rear' were interchangeable). That led to twins from 250 to 500 cc. To prevent cooling problems of the rear cylinder, it was set 5 cm 'to the side'. Thanks to the rider's legs, which act like a spoiler, the rear cylinder is often cooler than the front. Plan succeeded!
Also as single cylinders
In addition, 125 and 250 cc blocks were made 'without the rear cylinder'. Models with the 125/250 cc single-cylinders ultimately turned out not to be as great a sales success as the two-cylinders. But what really surprises the public at the unveiling of this motorcycle isn't just the cylinders. It is the total package of technical solutions that, together with the appearance, immediately convinces. From the start of production, the Moto Morini 350 V-twin was equipped with:
- A six-speed bin (very unusual in those days).
- The fully electronic ignition (CDI, so without contact points) from Ducati Elettronica, applied for the first time to a motorcycle series.
- The electronic tachometer (replaced by a mechanical counter on later models) and a fully electronic voltage regulator.
- The camshaft drive by a toothed belt (applied for the first time on a series motorcycle).
- The combustion chambers in the pistons. The cylinder heads are completely flat, according to the so-called 'Heron principle'. This system comes straight from car racing.
- A dry plate clutch (also from racing).
- The electromagnetic fuel tap.
In the meantime, the Morinis have been discovered
But because the trend in classic country is still 'a heavy one is your true', the prices remain on a human level. What does count: the Morinis are slender and slender. For the eye it is therefore nice that the sizes of the proud owner are slightly in line with this. The parts supply is reasonable, only the gear drive in the block deserves some attention. Due to the scarcity of the original, an industrial timing belt sometimes needs to be fitted. And those things are really not suitable for that job. Due to the current market situation, it is recommended to go for such a beautiful and good copy.