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The Man behind the Brand

This is Franco Malenotti, the man who penned both the Morini Turbo and the Laverda RGS. Some suspected, some knew (congrats Paul) that the two were connected but Malenotti achieved so much more. Now almost 70, and calling himself a former Roman "gentleman rider", he graduated in economics and commercial sciences in 1967 and the following year in law. In 1969 Malenotti began importing Honda motorcycles into Italy and would also distribute Suzuki, Yamaha, Moto Guzzi and Yuasa batteries. He had a successful national level racing career, and his styling work involved Honda, KTM and 9 years at Aprilia. Enough already? He was just getting going. In 1992 he founded Symbol Helmets with Lino Dainese (yes, that Dainese), a business that’s still making ski helmets.

In 2004 he bought and reinvented Belstaff, selling it 2012 to buy the rights to Matchless motorcycles. For now it just sells fancy high end clothing (Kate Moss was the model at launch) and a rather over the top (to my eyes) new Matchless Model-X was unveiled in 2014 (bottom pic).

He’s recently appeared on Matchless Radio (catch it on Facebook) promising the Model-X will happen alongside a new G50. A one-man dynamo and a fine example to those of us thinking of slowing down in our sixties.

#motorcyclestyle #classicbike #classicbikes #classicmotorcycle #motorcyclehistory #caferacerculture #motorcycledesign #moriniturbo #laverdargs #laverdargs1000 #matchless #matchlessmotorcycle #belstaff

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