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 Benelli - Quattro Gran Premio
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Benelli D2-492-09-14
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 250
Model : Quattro Gran Premio
Production : 1960 - 1969
Category : (R) Racing


250-4 Grand Prix - 1969

Thirty years to win a world title

As early as 1940, Benelli unveiled a spectacular supercharged water-cooled 250cc four with an unbelievable performance: 52.4hp @ 10,000rpm and a top speed of 143mph! The outbreak of war and the ban on supercharging brought the project to a premature end but in June 1960, twenty years later, the company from Pesaro unveiled a new 250cc racing four.

Technical Innovation

Unlike the rival MV Agustas and Gileras (and the 1940 250-4), the new Benelli had near-vertical cylinders. Its open double cradle frame soon gave way to a classic loop frame and, after two years' development, the Benelli started racing in 1962. After winning its first victory in 1964 at Barcelona, the 250-4 distinguished itself in 1965 by winning the Grand Prix des Nations at Monza and by – temporarily – becoming the first works machine to fit twin hydraulic disk front brakes. Previously it had used a four-cam drum brake controlled by dual levers, which called for skill and a strong right hand. In its original six-speed version, the 250-4 developed 140hp@ 13,000rpm and weighed just under 270 lb.

The 1969 World Champion

It was not until the late Sixties that the Benelli-4 really dominated the international scene with first Renzo Pasolini and then, in 1969, Kel Carruthers, who won the world 250cc championship. It was one of only two world titles ever held by Benelli. Ambitiously, Benelli then planned a bizarre 32-valve 250cc V8, but once again the project fell victim to a change in the rules, which restricted 250cc racers to two cylinders.


Engine: air-cooled 247cc (44x40.6mm) transverse four-cylinder with magneto ignition and dry-sump lubrication

Power Rating: 55hp @ 15,000rpm

Valves: shaft-driven twin overhead camshafts, 8 valves

Fuel System: 4 Dell'Orto carburetors

Transmission: 7 speeds

Suspension: telescopic fork (front); swinging fork (rear)

Brakes: drum (front and rear)

Wheels: 3.00x18in (front); 3.25x18in (rear)

Weight: 256 lb

Maximum Speed: 152 mph

The 250cc world champion bike was subsequently developed into a 16-valve 350 (inset).

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

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