1980 Benelli Sei 900
1980 Benelli Sei 900
- Single ownership since 1985
- First production 6-cylinder motorcycle
- Restored condition
- Good history file
- Rides well
The Benelli Factory was sadly destroyed during the Second World War however with aid from the Americans they were soon up and running again producing mainly lightweight street bikes for post-war Europe. These largely mundane machines were soon to be joined by more racing focused bikes and in 1962 they produced one of the finest small capacity multi-cylinder bikes – the 250cc Four Cylinder Racer. This jewel like motorcycle was later enlarged to 350cc and 500cc capacity with which they took on the new Japanese top dogs winning the world championship in 1969 and proving themselves one of the finest manufactures of multi-cylinder engines.
At this point the Benelli concern was acquired by Alejandro deTomaso and under his stewardship and flair the company reach new heights. Possibly the most amazing road bike that Benelli built during this period is the 750Sei – the world’s first 6 cylinder production motorcycle in 1972. The imposing chrome and alloy engine was placed across the frame with 6 separate upswept exhausts sweeping along the length of the bike making an Italian wail so distinctly different to the multi-cylinder Japanese bikes. The engine boasted a 13-bearing crankshaft, a single overhead camshaft that was fed by 3 Dell Orto VHB 24mm carburetors and delivery was through a 5-speed gearbox. This generated 76bhp and was capable of 120mph.
Customer deliveries for the new Sei started in 1974 but they were soon over shadowed by Honda’s own 6-cylinder response, the CBX. Benelli came back in 1980 with an enlarged 900cc version of the Sei along with added improvement to the gearbox, crankshaft, 6 into 2 exhaust and now with a dry clutch (which had been a weakness on the 750). Power was increased to 80bhp and the top speed was now a claimed 134mph. Another party piece of the new 900 Sei was linked brakes so that the foot operated rear brakes also applied the front brakes lightly as well (this was a system borrowed from Moto Guzzi which had also been acquired by deTomaso). The wheels were now Campagnolo cast alloy with a disc at the rear rather than the wires and drum of the 750.
These outrageous bikes were often referred to as ‘Flashbikes’ in period as they were rare, expensive, European and high performance. Their scarcity has led to them being highly priced by collectors today.
The 1980 Benelli Sei 900 we are proud to offer here must be one of, if not the best example in the country. Its current owner acquired it in 1985 with 18,000 miles on it and he described it as ‘well used’ and ‘in need of a lot of work to make it nice’. So he set about the task of restoring the bike to its full glory improving or changing ‘absolutely everything’ including all the bearings and seals, powdercoating, rebuilding the forks and swingarm, completely new exhaust and stainless pipes, seat, wheels, cables, carbs, duplex chain and sprocket, the list goes on. The engine was in good order so no major work other than usual servicing has been done to it.
As you can see from the pictures, the bike remains in fabulous condition. Like many of these bikes it is a highly prized possession and only goes out on occasional dry days and it well pampered. There is a large history file with the bike that shows all the work and parts that have been acquired over the years.
As collectors bikes go it is hard to think of a more interesting, usable and outrageous motorcycle than the 6-Cylinder Benelli Sei 900.
Please call if you would like to arrange a viewing