c.1959 Moto Morini 125 Corsaro. Before the arrival of its well-known family of 72-degree v-twin roadsters in 1973, Moto Morini’s reputation had rested mainly on its highly successful double-overhead-cam single-cylinder racers that came within a whisker of snatching the 1963 250 cc World Championship from Honda. Moto Morini, founded in 1937 by Alphonso Morini – he had previously been in partnership with Mario Mazzetti under the MM motorcycle brand which established an excellent reputation for its quality product – built 2-stroke lightweights at first before developing a range of fast, overhead-camshaft roadsters during the 1950s. By the decade’s end they had been replaced by a range of small capacity overhead-valve models and a 48 cc two-stroke, which kept the firm afloat until the arrival of the Heron-head v-twins, best known as a 350 cc sport bike in the 1970s. Built in various versions, Morini’s offering in the 125cc class was the traditionally but exquisitely styled Corsaro (or Pirate) air-cooled, 4-stroke, overhead valve single, which was first introduced towards the end of 1958.
Morini was controlled by Cagiva in 1987, then Texas Pacific Group who also bought Ducati, and finally all rights to the brand name were sold to Morini’s nephew in April 1999 trading as Morini Franco Motori SpA. Morini Franco revived its Corsaro model name for one of its big and aggressive v-twin sport bikes produced in the late 2000s but which were withheld from the North American market.
This 125 Corsaro is in excellent condition having been carefully stored in a large private collection. An older restoration, the presentation is holding up well. Paint and brightwork remain in excellent condition with only minor surface rust evident on various fasteners, etc. All can be seen in the photos below.
The c.1959 Moto Morini 125 Corsaro was just treated to a thorough re-commissioning and proven to run as well as the looks would have you believe. And it’s a blast to ride!