Select 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7:
1. US Models 1965 to 2008, 49 to 1130 cc
2. Benelli’s with FA engines 1960?-1975+ 49cc 1-speed automatic
FA (49cc with pedals) is on ’60’s Benelli FA, ‘74-75 Benelli 3FA,
FA (49cc with pedals) is on ’65-69 Wards Riverside 250-D, Riverside 150-D
3. Benelli’s with GM, GK, GK65 engines ’66-73+ 1-speed automatic
GM (49cc with pedals) on ‘60’s Benelli Gentlemen, ‘67 Automatic, ’69 Maverick,
GK (49cc kick start) on ‘60’s-70’s Benelli Gentlemen kick, ’69 Benelli Buzzer
GK65 (59cc kick start) on ’69-71 Benelli Hornet, ’70-72 Buzzer, ’71-72 Hurricane
4. Benelli’s with G2, G2K engines 1974-80+ 1-speed automatic
G2 (49cc with pedals) on ’70’s Benelli G2, G2 Elle ’74-80 Benelli G2, ’76-77 Blazer,
G2 (49cc with pedals) on ’77-78 Moto Guzzi Chiu, ’78-80 Moto Guzzi Robin,
G2 (49cc with pedals) on ’74-80? Motorella, ’74-80? G2, ’78-80? G2 Elle
G2K (49cc kick-start) on ’70’s Benelli G2K, ’78-80? G2 K, ’78 G2 KS
5. Benelli’s with 3V, 3VK engines 1962?-80+ 3-speed hand-shift
3V (49cc with pedals) on ’60’s -70’s Benelli 3V, ’78 Export 3V
3VK (49cc kick-start) on ’60’s -70’s Benelli 3VK, ’75 Benelli 3VK,
3VK (49cc kick-start) on ’60’s -70’s Benelli scooter, ’65-67 Wards Riverside scooter
3VK (49cc kick-start) on ’78 Benelli Magnum 3V, ‘78 Export 3V
6. Benelli’s with 4M, 4MS, 4M65 engines ’64?-77+ 4-speed foot-shift
4M (49cc with pedals) on ’60’s Benelli 4M, ’68-69 Benelli Dynamo Compact
4MS (49cc kick start) on ’65-70 Benelli Fireball, ’65 Wards Riverside 450 SS
4MS (49cc kick start) on ’66-70 Fireball Trail, ’69 Dynamo Trail and Super Mini
4M65 (59cc kick start) on ’71-73 Benelli Mini Enduro, ’70-72 Cougar,
4M65 (59cc kick start) on ’70-71 Dynamo Compact, Dynamo Trail, Woodsbike,
4 M65 (59cc kick start) on ’72-73 Compact II, Dynamo II, Woods II,
4M65 (59cc kick start) on ’74-75 Dynamo Trail, ’76-77 Dynamo
5MS (49cc kick start) on ’76 Benelli Sprint
Here the models are color coded, gray for US, olive for UK, green for others.
Benelli began in 1911 as a family repair shop for motorcycles and bicycles. By 1940 they made a winning supercharged 250cc 4-cylinder racing motorcycle. So they are to be admired like Ferarri and Ducati are.
Here is the Benelli story at Wikipedia.org.
Here is an excellent display of Benelli motorcycles and paraphernalia. Benelli Motorcycle Shrine by Steven Salemi.
Here is a link to the official Benelli Museum, 1970’s mopeds section.
Motobi: In World War Two the Benelli factory in Pesaro Italy was totally destroyed. After the war the factory was rebuilt, but there was discord between the six Benelli brothers. In 1949, Guiseppe Benelli left to form his own company, Motobi. After 13 years of success, Motobi was failing financially, and in 1962 was acquired by Benelli. The combined Motobi-Benelli company produced around 300 motorcycles a day and had 550 employees. Motobi designs continued in production under the Benelli name. After 1962 both names were used by the same factory, Fratelli Benelli S.p.A. Pesaro Italy.
SEIMM (Società Esercito Industrie Moto Meccaniche): The 1970’s were hard times for European motorcycle manufacturers. Low cost and high quality or higher performance machines from Japanese makers took away millions of sales. SEIMM was an Italian government controlled company that would take ownership of failing Italian motorcycle manufacturers. In the 1950’s and early 60’s Benelli and Moto Guzzi were competitors that made similar products. But in the hard times of the “Japanese invasion” they were partners, and shared their rights and resources. That is why the 1978-80 Benelli G2 and Moto Guzzi Robin mopeds are identical.
1981 laws worldwide for manufacturers came into effect for motor vehicles worldwide, made after 1980, including the 17-digit VIN, and noise labeling. Like most other moped makers, to avoid the hassle, SEIMM made and stockpiled 2 or 3 years worth of 1980 models, and sold them in the following years as 1981 and 82 models.
Superb handling: Benelli motorcycles are known for their superb handling. That has a lot to do with the quality of the metal, something you can’t see in photos or spec sheets. In the US, Benelli is most known for it’s awesome 6-cylinder motorcycles, the 750 and 900 Sei, from 1976 to 1984 (1973 to 1989 worldwide). Kawasaki and Honda also had six-cylinder bikes during that period, that went faster but did not handle as well as Benelli’s.
1982 USA laws banned two-stroke, on-road, over-50cc motorcycle engines. This caused manufacturers who made only, or mostly two-stroke motorcycles, like Piaggio and Benelli, to pull out of the US in the mid-1980’s. This is why there are no 65cc to 125cc models in the USA models list after 1981.
Bigger is better: As the years went by, motorcycle engines kept growing bigger. In the 1960’s a 250 was a big bike. In the 1980’s a 250 was small. Especially in the USA, the demand was for bigger, more powerful bikes. The manufacturers were like in a arms race. That is partly why there are no small or mid-sized Benelli motorcycles in the 1980’s USA. It is funny, and a little sad, that in the mid-1980’s USA, if you wanted to buy a new Benelli, you had to choose between a G2 moped that went 30mph, or a 900 Sei sport bike that went 130mph!