Rumi 125 Sport

'Rumi is a sig­nif­i­cant name in Ital­ian mo­tor­cy­cling, al­though, iron­i­cally, it’s prob­a­bly still best known for the Rumi race team that pre­pared the Honda RC30s on which Cal­i­for­nian ace Fred Merkel won the first two World Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onships in 1988 and


A sig­nif­i­cant name in Ital­ian mo­tor­cy­cling that dared to be dif­fer­ent

THE RIDE BACK TO the work­shop is the best of the day by far. This is my last chance for a thrash on the lit­tle Rumi, and I have no in­ten­tion of wast­ing it. I'm revving the lit­tle two-stroke twin to its red-line through the gears, its en­gine is scream­ing, the high-pitched ex­haust note is bounc­ing back off the farm­houses and road­side stone walls.

I'm try­ing hard in the cor­ners, too: leav­ing my brak­ing late, flick­ing the bike ag­gres­sively into bends de­spite the bouncy feel from the un­der-damped rear end. Through one fa­mil­iar dip and bend in the road I just about find the courage to keep the lit­tle bike flat out, miss­ing a large patch of mud on the road by mil­lime­tres, then putting my chin on the tank to gain ev­ery last pos­si­ble bit of speed on the fol­low­ing straight…

Fi­nally, af­ter 15 or more min­utes of this fre­netic and very en­joy­able ac­tion, I reach a built-up area and slow down. En­ter­ing a vil­lage mo­ments later, I glance be­hind me — to see pho­tog­ra­pher Oli right be­hind in his el­derly Mercedes es­tate car, ap­par­ently hav­ing kept up with me ef­fort­lessly all the way.

Well, per­haps, I should not have been sur­prised that, al­though I

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