1977 Benelli 750 Sei (747cc transverse six)
76 bhp, 518 lbs, 120 mph
Benelli was bought by sports car maker de Tomaso in 1971. He decided to take on the Japanese manufacturers with something special. To this end the 750 Sei was designed and released in 1974. It was the first ever production six cylinder motorbike. It is claimed that the engine was a Honda CB 500 Four with two added cylinders - similarities being: same bore and stroke, SOHC run by a chain in the centre of the engine and a few others. On other fronts, however, the Sei was distinctly Italian. Squared off design on both the bodywork as well as the engine fins, twin Brembo brakes up front, Marzocchi forks and shocks, Borrani aluminium rims and three Del Orto VHB 24mm carburettors feeding the six cylinders. Also the width was contained by locating the alternator behind the cylinders versus on the CB 500 where it is on the left hand end of the crankshaft.
Once released the bike received highly appreciative reviews for its scope, presence and its Ferrari-like sound - from six separate exhausts. However, there were challenges in terms of the high price as well as a lack of a global distribution and service network. Consequently production terminated in 1977 with, in total, only 3,200 having been produced.
This bike is original specification in almost every respect - including original paint and exhausts. It was bought in 2013. 2WheelsMiklos has undertaken substantial work - in order to improve performance and reliability - on the carburettors, ignition (Sachse electronic ignition fitted), brakes and the somewhat suspect Italian electrics. All of the rubber components have been replaced. It is now a lovely bike to ride and the sound is indeed something special.