A perfect storm

There are several reasons why a 1960s manufacturer would use an ohv design rather than an ohc. In this case, the engine is already big and bulky, an ohc top end would simply add to that

“GOOD HANDLING FROM a rigid frame and sporty performance from the five-speed engine make the Tornado a very desirable 650.

Ceriani shock absorbers and Marzocchi front forks deliver a precise ride.

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There’s even an electric start.” In 1975, Cycle World was pretty impressed by this Italian parallel twin – a bike which had more in common with most British twins than the lightweights Benelli had been building for decades.

Back in 1911, Teresa Benelli invested her savings in the Benelli Garage to ensure her six sons could support themselves, and two of the boys were sent to Switzerland to study engineering.

During the First World War the Benelli Garage repaired damaged Italian motorcycles, but they had ambitions. In 1920 they built a 75cc two-stroke engine which was fitted into a bicycle frame.

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The following year the engine had grown to 98cc and was installed into a fully-fledged motorcycle.

Read more in November’s edition of CBG
 

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