- Written by webmin
While TA wrote last month about the Vinnylonglegs Vincent crossing the auction block in the Bonhams Stafford auction on April 24, that same auction will also feature a number of vintage cafe racers. Some of these names you may not recognize, but they have a few things in common. All are European-built, with road racing in one of the under-350cc Grand Prix classes in mind, and share the small fairing and racing board (seat) prevalent in Sixties and Seventies road course competition.
* 1957 Bianchi 175 used a single-cylinder 8hp overhead-cam engine.
* 1972 Benelli/Motobi model 2C. The Motobi company was started by one of the Benelli sons in 1950 and re-acquired by Benelli in 1962. Motobi bikes were continued with the Benelli tank badges until the early Seventies. Some Motobis were imported into the United States and rebadged as Montgomery Ward Riversides.
* 1977 Aspes 125. This bike featured a two-stroke Minarelli engine made in Italy. Aspes also made a model they called the “Bimbo.”
* 1969 Malanca. Another bike that featured a Minarelli two-stroke, although only 50cc.
* 1978 Villa. These motorcycles were constructed for racing from a 310cc Moto-Villa single-cylinder engine with a six-speed transmission mounted on a Benelli 2C frame similar to the Motobi.
One of the things I found interesting about these bikes is that the Bonhams appraisers estimate they will all sell in the $1,300 to $3,500 range. Genuine affordable fun.
A 1960 Greeves 250, a 1930 Brough Superior, a 1949 Vincent Black Shadow and a 1965 Triumph Thruxton Bonneville are expected to sell for much more than any of these cafe racers, but these small, lightweight bikes are more likely to see action in an AHRMA, USCRA or WERA vintage bike race and are cheap enough that you could easily buy more than one.
You can see what other offerings are included in this auction by visiting the Bonham’ website.