First Ride: 2007 Moto Morini 91-2

Corsaro too lairy? Then here's a more amiable naked.

Posted: 2 April 2008
by Jon Urry

Nostalgia is a powerful thing. There is no way half the crap that's sold on eBay would have been shifted if it wasn't for someone, somewhere, remembering their youth. And the bike world is no different.

There is currently a revival in the retro bike market, or at least for modern bikes that look like their predecessors. Moto Guzzi, Ducati's Sportclassics and Triumph's Bonneville range are now joined by another famous name of yesteryear enjoying a resurgence: Moto Morini.

Those who aren't of an age that goes misty eyed at the mention of the Moto Morini 31/2 perhaps won't understand the significance, so here's a potted history. The Morini 31/2 was a 350cc V-twin of the late 70s that was fast for its time and fell into a cheap insurance bracket. Maybe not as quick as RD350s and 400s of the day, but for those with a discerning palate, desirable nonetheless. And the 91/2 pays homage (read 'cashes in') on the nostalgia created by this bike.

Which is all a bit confusing, because the 91/2 doesn't have a 350cc engine, or a 950cc as the name suggests, but rather a de-tuned version of the 1187cc V-twin used in the firm's Corsaro. Somewhat wisely Morini has taken the edge off the 140bhp engine and created a far less aggressive 117bhp version for the 91/2. And that's no bad thing as the Corsaro's engine is, quite frankly, a bit too much.

In its de-tuned guise there's still more than enough power to make the 91/2 fast enough to be fun while having the feeling of control that the Corsaro sometimes lacks, especially in the wet. From low down, power builds at a gentle rate while still retaining a bit of the Corsaro's top-end kick.

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