Giancarlo Morbidelli’s private collection can be found in Pesaro on Italy’s Adriatic coast. As you enter the large, modern museum two bikes flank the stairs leading to the viewing area overlooking the collection. On the left is the first motorcycle Morbidelli built, in 1967, a 50cc 2-stroke Grand Prix bike. On the right is the last complete bike he built, in 1997, the mighty 850 V8 sports tourer. In the space of those 30 years he made his fortune manufacturing wood working machinery, ran a Grand Prix team that won four World Championships using bikes of his own design, set up a factory (MBA) that produced competitive privateer GP bikes in quantity (and which gathered another two World Championships) and slowly continued to accumulate motorcycles. Up the stairs and the view is jaw-dropping. Four main ‘halls’ house the bulk of the collection which is laid out in chronological order, production bikes mixed with racing models in an ever escalating ode to the technological improvement of the motorcycle. Each bike stands on its own mirrored plinth so you can easily see the bits normally hidden by fairings.
The ’40 and ’50’s ‘hall’ contains many fabulous Italian machines. This MV Agusta 125 Bialbero (DOHC) Competizione dates from 1952 and is similar the bike Cecil Standford won MV’s first world championship on. It made 15hp at 10,800rpm, weighed 76kg and had a top speed of 155kph. Across the way is perhaps the sole example of the Linto 75 Bialbero. This 1956 machine produced 9hp at 11,000rpm and had a top speed of 167kph.
By Phil Aynsley