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 Benelli - 500 Quattro
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Photo ou archives : archives FMD

Capacity : 500
Model : Quattro
Production : 1974 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


500 Quattro – 1974

Copycat design

In the 1970s, two of the most famous Italian marques — Moto Guzzi and Benelli, which had come under the control of the Argentine-born Alejandro de Tomaso — attempted to counter Japanese technology with a new range of bikes. It was a bold venture that would seriously damage the financial health of the de Tomaso group.

Four-Cylinder Pioneer

From its blown 250 in 1939 to Pasolini's 350 in 1974, via the World Champion machine ridden by Carruthers in 1963, Benelli had been one of the leading pioneers of the transverse four in Italy, along with Moto Guzzi, Bianchi, Gilera and MV Agusta.

A Fatal Error

However, Benelli now committed the fatal error of not being true to its image by producing a 500 that was a dead ringer for the Honda. lt had the same bore and stroke, the same layout with a single overhead-camshaft and primary transmission by internally-toothed silent chain, the same general design of crankcase and chain covers — and even an identical performance, although Benelli claimed 7 hp and 800 rpm more than the Honda. Of the entire Benelli-Guzzi multi-cylinder range, only the more original 750 Sei enjoyed any success. The others, faithful copies of the equivalent Hondas, sold mainly in Spain and Italy, where there were severe curbs on the imports of Japanese motorcycles. Despite some reliability problems, these Benellis gave the impression that their maker had taken a lot or trouble over the level of finish.


Engine: 498.5cc (56x51mm) air-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke

Power Rating: 55 hp @ 9800 rpm

Valves: overhead-camshaft

Fuel System: Four 22mm DellÂ’Orto carburettors

Transmission: 5-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swing arm with twin spring/dampers (rear)

Brakes: twin 9.8 inch drums (front): drum (rear)

Wheels: 18 inch wire (front & rear)

Weight: 434 lb

Maximum Speed: 118 mph

In its early years, the 500 Quattro did not have disc braking. Picture shows the 1974 model.

Le fichier Moto Passion réalisé par François-Marie Dumas réunit près de deux mille photos accompagnées d'un historique très complet des machines présentées.
Il sera progressivement mis à jour ici et toute information complémentaire est la bienvenue sur info@moto-collection.org.

Cette documentation unique, qui constitue sans doute l'encyclopédie la plus exhaustive jamais écrite sur l'histoire de la moto, a été réalisée avec l'assistance de nombreux spécialistes dont principalement Didier Ganneau, Christophe Gaime, Mick Woollett, Jean Goyard, Bernard Salvat, Christian Rey, Yves Campion, Helmut Krackowizer, Michael Dregni, Michel Montange, etc. que je remercie ici.

Disponible sur demande :
- Les fiches originales sur papier
- Les photos et archives signées de mon nom en haute définition ou les documents originaux.
Me contacter sur info@moto-collection.org pour les conditions et droits d'utilisation.