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Singin' in the Rain

This is an extract from the story of this image in Benzina 7: “Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t, was all that was going through my mind” remembers Chris Mayhew when asked about this fantastic photograph by Alan Horner. Chris is part of family business North Leicester Motorcycles, recently relaunched as Lusso Veloce. Although they deal with all things Italian it’s clear that Morini V-twins hold a special place in their heart. So when they decided to enter the UK Earlystocks they simply tweaked a 500cc roadbike. But at the first round they entered almost resulted in a fourth and a second place; but ‘almost’ because another rider took their grid slot on the second race and in the confusion Chris got bumped down to fourth at a Stewards Enquiry. So the team arrived at the penultimate round of the series at Cadwell Park with a point to prove. Rain was hissing down as the grid assembled, as mixed a bunch of bikes as you could ever see. Two classes of bikes lined up together, Chris once again on their self-prepared Morini 500, one of the older, smaller capacity, bikes. But of course these smaller, more nimble bikes hoped to be more competitive in the wet. Wet? Actually, more than just wet - water was streaming across the track and standing in deep puddles in some dips. “Although I’d qualified fourth, with so little power the Morini just goes backwards off the grid,” says Chris, matter of factly, “and I’d never ridden the bike in the wet so I just felt my way round, picking off a few other riders and started thinking to myself; ‘We could do something here.’ The bike was fishtailing, but these Morinis handle so beautifully. I was even running the same tyres that I’d run in the dry (Dunlop KR124/6s). By the time I was into second overall with only the (pole sitting Yamaha) XJ550 in front of me, I realised ‘we can do this’ and nipped in front of him to take the lead. We won by 0.66 seconds, with a pair of Suzuki Katana 1100s in third and fourth, and a 1000cc Le Mans in fifth. Not bad!” And nor is the stock list at – the early Morini Sport (bottom pic) is £8500, but the range goes from a BSA Gold Star to aTZ750. Worth a look

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