The Last Breath of Moto Morini

Moto Morini logoMoto Morini has had a long and storied era in the motorcycle industry; since it was founded by Alfonso Morini in 1937 the company has been through at least five different owners. Most of those ownership changes have come over the last quarter-century or so, though. During that period, many large and sometimes disruptive changes came and went at the factory.

By the start of the 21st century, though, Moto Morini had competently developed its own 1187cc 84° V-twin engine – it was designed by one Franco Lambertini – and a line of motorcycles was created based around that torque-laden lump. However, even given some good, solid reviews and decent pricing on their models, Moto Morini will be shuttered once and for all in 2011.

Moto Morini Granpasso H83 in Silver This epic collapse came about after news that an attempted buyout by Paolo Berlusconi, brother of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, fell through in July 2010. Morini was already in Italian-style liquidation since 2009 when this came about, but Berlusconi already owned Garelli and was interested in keeping Moto Morini producing and selling bikes.

It seems that Moto Morini’s creditors or the government of Italy did not believe Berlusconi capable of such a feat, so it was turned down and all assets of Moto Morini are to be sold.

Moto Morini Granpasso H83 in RedShortly after the announcement that the purchase deal had not gone through, an announcement came from the Bologna factory that Moto Morini was selling the remaining stock at an incredible discount. A PDF document was put online with a list of remaining models and their prices (here).

A good example is the Granpasso H 83 Titanium in black for only €6720 (US$9160), which is a reduction of nearly €4000 (US$5450) off suggested retail. There are even better deals available, but you must contact Moto Morini’s factory directly for current stock numbers and availability.

Moto Morini’s demise is a sad tale in a bad economy, but it had been coming for some time. It was unfortunate that the marque could not generate enough interest in their products quickly enough to make the entire operation fiscally stable. The motorcycle industry has lost another storied manufacturer, and we may never see it return. All we can do is hope that once the economy is in better shape some interest in reviving the brand gets into the mind of a person capable of doing so. Until then, the Moto Morini models strafing the streets now are all that we will ever have.

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Shift Rider Rafal Pasierbek: A Gymnast on Wheels

Stunter20131Videos showing motorcycle stunters are so prolific on the Internet that I have become almost numb to them. However, the folks at Shift Racing sent AllAboutBikes a video of a stunt rider that is pretty dang amazing. The stunter is Rafal Pasierbek of Poland and the guy is more like a motorized gymnast than a typical stunt rider. Pasierbek, who goes by the moniker “Stunter 13” will keep you interested with his frenetic and athletic maneuvering.

If you Google Rafal Pasierbek, most of what you will find is in Polish. But my search revealed that he is so respected that stunt riders from around the world travel to Poland to train with him. French stunter Julien Welsch (who also has a video on our site) makes the trek across Europe to train with Pasierbek and says that he is one of the hardest workers in the sport. Visit the Shift website and see what you think:

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Valentino Rossi Wins 2011 Laureus Award For Comeback of the Year

Rossi_Wins_Laureus_AwardLooking at the final point standings of the 2010 MotoGP season, it would be hard to tell that Valentino Rossi had injured his shoulder and broken his leg, forcing him to miss four rounds in 2010. That’s because Valentino Rossi still found a way to get onto the podium at the end of the season. For his accomplishment, Valentino Rossi has just been awarded the 2011 Laureus Award for “Comeback of the Year.”

The Laureus Academy, which is made up of 46 of the greatest sports people of all-time, recognized Rossi’s accomplishment on Monday. The Laureus Academy voted that Rossi’s return to racing, which only took 41 days after fracturing his right tibia, was the most impressive comeback of the year.

US golfer Paula Creamer, Belgian tennis star Justine Henin, American sprinter Tyson Gayand, and athletes Merlene Ottey and Carolina Kluft were also considered for the award.

The Laureus Academy awarded Rafael Nadal with the Sportsman of the Year Award and Lindsey Vonn, an American Skiier, with the Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Rossi continues to work hard in preperation for the 2011 season, but the MotoGP rider’s shoulder is still vulnerable. Rossi has until March 20th to build his strength before the MotoGP riders rev their engines in Qatar.

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Dunlop D402 Harley Davidson Touring Tires Review

The Dunlop D402 H-rated tire was engineered and tested with Harley-Davidson to allow maximum performance for a true touring tire.  The Dunlop D402 is manufactured with  a 3-ply polyester casing and two fiberglass belts.  This enables the D402 to offer greater load-carrying capacity and stability for Harley’s cruiser bikes.  The Dunlop D402 has a computer optimized tread profile with an offset center groove.  This helps improve rider confidence over rain groves and reduces cupping to provide even wear.  This tire is available in black wall, slim white-wall and wide white-wall in both front and rear sizes.

The Dunlop D402 HD Tire is available for Front, Rear, and as a Package Deal.

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