Real Classic - - Benelli Tornado -

RC reg­u­lar Paul Comp­ton (who you may re­mem­ber from our re­cent Morini fest: he’s def­i­nitely got a se­ri­ous case of Ital­ian in­cli­na­tions) bought a Se­ries Two 1971 Mo­tobi ver­sion of the Tor­nado from North Le­ices­ter Mo­tor­cy­cles a few years back. ‘I wanted to try a big­ger bike than my Mori­nis,’ says Paul, ‘but I didn’t re­ally fancy a Tri­umph twin and Nor­tons were more than I wanted to spend. ‘I also like od­dball bikes and the Tor­nado is most bizarre. I knew it had an all roller bear­ing bot­tom end, but the valve lubri­ca­tion tops off the over-en­gi­neer­ing of the en­gine. Even the rear wheel bear­ings are dou­ble row an­gu­lar con­tact, cost­ing me £25 each! ‘Ear­lier mod­els are kick­start only (the belt driven dy­namo was re­placed with a chain drive starter and an al­ter­na­tor onto the end of the crank for later They’re pretty hard to kick while if you have short legs. I used to ave to put mine on the cen­tre­stand and stand on the foot­pegs. With the fly­wheel ef­fect of the short stroke it was quite easy to stall and in with the heavy clutch it could e no fun in traf­fic. ‘If the bike has been dropped, then one of the lower rear crank­case lugs can get cracked, de­pend­ing on which side it was dropped (the other mounts are in sin­gle shear, but that one is dou­ble and more rigid). Mine was cracked and it was the only (fairly mi­nor) oil leak. I saw a cou­ple of other bikes with the same prob­lem and a spare set of cases I bought were also cracked.

‘I liked its will­ing en­gine, noise, sta­ble han­dling, mas­sive over-en­gi­neer­ing and the ex­clu­siv­ity.’

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