Bo­sis 125cc Fan­tic

Classic Trial - - CONTENTS -


Many of the ma­chines used in the far away world rounds such as Amer­ica and Canada were left there af­ter the events and used by the var­i­ous im­porter-sup­ported riders. Some were sold af­ter the event. Many were ‘Pukka’ works pre­pared ma­chines, but some were stan­dard ones where the riders took with them their sus­pen­sion and en­gine tun­ing parts. These were a form of dis­pos­able ma­chine, and in many cases, a rider would ro­tate around three or four ma­chines dur­ing any one sea­son. At the end of the com­pe­ti­tion sea­son Fan­tic, to­gether with many other mo­tor­cy­cle com­pa­nies, was do­nat­ing used com­pe­ti­tion ma­chines to its riders and also to im­por­tant mem­bers of their team. This is ex­actly what hap­pened to this fac­tory pre­pared ma­chine that Diego Bo­sis had been us­ing. Here Ital­ian col­lec­tor Carlo Ramella tells us the full story of the ma­chine and how it came into his hands, and our for­eign test rider Justyn Norek Jnr test rides the ma­chine. Words: Justyn Norek Jnr, John Hulme and Carlo Ramella Pic­tures: Justyn Norek Jnr and Bog­dana Norek

What is It?

CARLO RAMELLA: This fac­tory pre­pared ‘works’ Fan­tic 125 found its way af­ter its work­ing life into the pri­vate hands of riders in the Pied­mont re­gion in Italy near where I am based, and it was used by dif­fer­ent own­ers in club­man tri­als com­pe­ti­tions. Even­tu­ally, it was ac­quired by my nephew Rodolfo who has used it, as had many young boys of his age be­fore him, just for fun. Af­ter some time he asked me if I could sell it for him. I went and viewed the Fan­tic and did not re­alise that it was an ex-Diego Bo­sis ma­chine and the sig­nif­i­cance of it. I ad­ver­tised it for sale, and two teenagers came to view it, but we could not agree on the price oth­er­wise this Fan­tic might have been lost for­ever....or even worse dis­man­tled for spare parts!

One day my good friend and ex-tri­als rider Pippo Bar­to­rilla vis­ited me and I showed him the Fan­tic: “I am very in­ter­ested in pur­chas­ing it” he said “as it’s a very spe­cial tri­als ma­chine” — I was not in­ter­ested in keep­ing it, so we quickly agreed on the price and I sold it to him.

Af­ter some months he came to me with this ma­chine all per­fectly cleaned up with new many new parts and he said to me: “This Fan­tic is an ex-works ma­chine of Diego Bo­sis; I recog­nised it be­cause dur­ing those years I was of­ten rid­ing with Fabrizio Cer­chio who was the Fan­tic Team sports trainer, and I have seen this ma­chine sev­eral times.

I Want it Back

CR: I could not be­lieve that I am such a se­ri­ous col­lec­tor of tri­als ma­chines and did not re­alise what it was… Pippo showed me some de­tails con­firm­ing this is ex-Bo­sis ma­chine like the spe­cial brake pedal, foot-rests, Mikuni car­bu­ret­tor, a ‘su­per soft’ clutch ac­tion, spe­cial mud­guards and num­ber plate holder, all rel­e­vant to this Bo­sis ma­chine. The give-away I should have spot­ted was the 240 model frame as Bo­sis was train­ing us­ing a 240 en­gine be­fore switching to 125 for com­pe­ti­tion use due do the age limit. At this point, I ex­plained I wanted it back, and it duly came back to my col­lec­tion, and so I was very happy, to say the least.

From time to time I use it for an ‘Old Trial Com­pe­ti­tion’ or moun­tain trips, just for fun, be­cause it’s so light and easy to ride over any ter­rain with a good power de­liv­ery de­spite the fact it’s ‘only’ a 125cc. This ma­chine now joins its other Fan­tic broth­ers as I have one of the pro­to­types Jaime Su­bira Fan­tic 300 ex-works mod­els and an ex-works Renato Chi­aberto Fan­tic 300. Yes, I love my three Fan­tic ma­chines!

How Good?

JUSTYN NOREK JNR: When I asked my good friend Carlo what tri­als ma­chines we could test from his col­lec­tion he sug­gested the Fan­tic 125cc ex-works ma­chine of the late great top Ital­ian tri­als rider of the eight­ies Diego Bo­sis, as along with him I am a se­cret Fan­tic fan! The ma­chine test took place at Carlo’s moun­tain house where he has a wide va­ri­ety of ter­rain to ride on. Carlo and Pippo (Bar­to­rilla) were al­ready wait­ing for us with the ma­chine pre­pared and ready for some static pic­tures.

With­out wast­ing too much time, we took the Fan­tic to var­i­ous places search­ing for at­trac­tive shots. As I am keen on four-strokes, I was par­tic­u­larly cu­ri­ous to try this small two-stroke. One kick on the for­ward rather than back­wards kick-start lever and the en­gine was run­ning with its par­tic­u­lar ‘Fan­tic’ sound that you eas­ily recog­nise. The kick-start ar­range­ment is unique in the tri­als world, but you very soon get used to it and ap­pre­ci­ate the ben­e­fits of be­ing able to start the en­gine while sat down on the ma­chine.

With my fa­ther busy, my mother, Bog­dana, had come along to take the pic­tures, and much to my de­light I soon had her stood in po­si­tion in the river! Af­ter a few min­utes of rid­ing around to get the feel­ing of the Fan­tic and I jumped down into the stream bed. The first thing that im­pressed me most is how light this ma­chine feels; I be­lieve this is very much a good feel­ing from all the Fan­tic tri­als ma­chines I have rid­den, they feel im­mensely light to ride and in ac­tion.

A Light­weight Sen­sa­tion

I be­lieve that this was due to the fact that they started with a 125cc en­gine ca­pac­ity size be­fore mov­ing to 156cc and then to a 212cc be­fore fi­nally ar­riv­ing at the 249cc. This light­weight sen­sa­tion changed the way tri­als ma­chines were rid­den, in­tro­duc­ing the style of Thierry Michaud and Jordi Tar­res. The ease with which you could move the Fan­tic around was in­cred­i­ble. I must say that it feels very close to the mod­ern ma­chines but, of course, with lim­i­ta­tions due to its age.

An­other feature I also quickly felt at home with was the han­dling and rid­ing po­si­tion which was just per­fect for me. It has ex­cel­lent brakes, and the sus­pen­sion is al­ways al­low­ing for an easy pas­sage over ob­sta­cles while eas­ily re­main­ing in full con­trol of the ma­chine.

The main con­cern (or dif­fer­ence) for me when rid­ing was that you had to rev the en­gine harder to get the per­for­mance from it. At the start of the test, I stalled the en­gine few times, but this was 100% rider er­ror on my part. As I be­came more fa­mil­iar with it, I was think­ing of just how Diego would have felt about chang­ing the en­gine from the 125cc for the 212cc one as it would have given it so much more power but con­tin­ued with the light­weight sen­sa­tion.

An­other great as­pect of the ma­chine is a very light clutch ac­tion which re­sisted all my abuse when try­ing mod­ern ‘tricks’. If I only we could fit the 249cc en­gine, but Carlo will not al­low me to do that, so I have a so­lu­tion. I will find and buy a 249cc Fan­tic as there are still plenty of such ma­chines around and now I un­der­stand why those mod­els are so pop­u­lar in clas­sic tri­als.

As you can gather, I was very im­pressed with this Fan­tic and my only re­gret was not watch­ing Diego Bo­sis per­form on it. And now for a lit­tle bit of ad­vice: just go out and buy a Fan­tic whether it is a 125, 156, 212 or 249, just buy it!

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