Moto Morini was founded by Alfonso Morini in 1937 as an Italian motorcycle in Italy.
Before founding Moto Morini, Alfonso Morini had also produced motorcycles in conjunction with Mario Mazzetti in which these motorcycles were produced under the name MM.
Moto Morini was taken over by the Cagiva Group in 1987, then again in 1996 the Moto Morini name was purchased by the Texas Pacific Group, which had at that time had also bought Ducati and then finally in 1999 Moto Morini's rights were purchased by the company called Morini Franco Motori which was actually founded by Alfonso Morini's nephew back in 1954.
Alfonso Morini, who was born in 1898, began his life in the motorcycle business when he was16 at which time he had gotten a job repairing motorcycles and soon after he was able to open his own workshop. During the First World War, Alfonso Morini was in battle as part of the 8th Motorcycles Unit in which he was stationed in Padova.
In the year of 1925, Mario Mazzetti, who was very impressed by Alfonso Morini's work, then asked for Morini to build him a racing bike with a one cylinder 125 cc 2-stroke engine. Mario Mazzetti planned to make Morini the designer, builder, and racer of the same bike. Together, Alfonso and Mario were successful at racing, under the MM name badge, and Morini's finest racing moment, which came in 1927, when his MM 125 managed to take six world records in Monza, during the 1927 Grand Prix of Nations and Morini also set a new world speed record in 1933 for a 175 cc motorcycles with a speed of 162 kilometres per hour.
By 1937 Morini and Mazzetti had to part ways and so Morini went off to start production of a 350 cc as well as 500 cc three wheelers, which were produced under the Moto Morini name.
Moto Morini's manufacturing was once again interrupted with the onslaught of war by the recent beginnings of the Second World War in which Moto Morini's factory was converted in order to produce aeronautical components for the war efforts, but because of the factory's government contract in 1943 the factory was bombarded.
Undeterred by the events of the Second World War, Moto Morini managed to release a new 3 speed transmission, one cylinder, 2-stroke 125 cc motorcycle in 1946 from their newly built factory which was constructed in order to replace their old factory which had been devastated during the war.
By 1956, production and sales had increased so much that Moto Morini had to move to a larger manufacturing facility to keep up with the demand for their motorcycles which was only heightened by their numerous motorcycle racing victories since the end of the Second World War.
It was June 30th, of 1969 when Alfonso Morini died at the age of 71 so his daughter who was named Gabriella Morini took over the management of Motor Morini and managed to remain in control of the company until 1986.
The early 1980's were a trying time for the Moto Morini Motorcycle Company as the company had several labour disputes as well as quickly diminishing sales and so on February 18th, of 1987 Gabriella Morini, who had ran the company since her father's death a decade earlier, sold Moto Morini to a Castiglioni firm known as the Cagiva Group. The Cagiva Group assured Gabriella Morini that Moto Morini was an important addition to their Cagiva Group, yet Moto Morini had been allowed to decline and so by 1993, their main factory had to be closed and one of their lines were moved to another location.
By 1996 the Moto Morini name was to be sold again, this time it was sold in a packaged deal along with the Ducati name, to TPG, in which TPG had no plans what so ever to revive the Moto Morini name as they had just wanted the Ducati name.
The last sale of the Moto Morini name came in 1999, when Morini Franco Motori purchased the name from TPG, as the owner of Morini Franco Motori, was the nephew of Alfonso Morini, and he could not bare any longer the Moto Morini name being swept under the carpet as so many other pioneering motorcycle companies have been.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 05/06/2008