Photo ou archives : M. Montange
125 Jarno Â– 1987
A major comeback
The 1980s saw a major revival of the Italian motorcycle industry, which started by marketing a series of 125 sports machines, for the category was undergoing a dramatic expansion in the home market.
Tribute to Saarinen
Aprilia, Cagiva, Gilera Â— all lhe leading marques vied to present their 125 as the most powerful, the fastest, the next best thing to a racing bike and the nearest in size to a 250. Benelli, which had a great deal to do to regain its rightful place, played an emotive card by naming its 125 sport, launched late in 1987, "Jarno" in homage to the famous Finnish rider Jarno Saarinen, tragically killed on the first lap of a 250 race at Monza in 1973.
Compared with its Italian rivals, the Jarno was rationally dimensioned and was closest to the Cagiva Freccia in the integral fairing of its mechanism, the integral fairing flowing into the rear "bodywork" along the style pioneered by the Ducati Paso. Equipped with a remarkable chassis and a brilliant engine, the Benelli-taken in isolation-generated very positive comments. Unfortunately, its rivals Â— especially the fiendish Cagiva Â— outgunned it in terms of power and pure performance. The only field in which the Benelli genuinely excelled was that of braking, in which it was truly extraordinary.
Engine: 123cc (56x50mm) water-cooled single-cylinder
Power Rating: 27 hp @ 9800 rpm
Valves: two-stroke; automatic intake valves and electronically controlled exhaust valve
Fuel System: 28mm carburettor
Transmission: 6-speed, chain final drive
Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swing arm with twin spring/dampers (rear); travel (front/rear) 5.1/4.7 inches
Brakes: twin disc (front): disc (rear); four-piston calipers
Wheels: 100/80x16 inch (front): 120/80x16 inch (rear)
Weight: 260 lb
Maximum Speed: 100 mph
Elegant, up-to-date and superbly finished, the Benelli Jarno marked the Renaissance of the ltalian motorbike industry.