AN OWNER SPEAKS
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.’