Revival Cycles Moto Morini 500GTS 1 THUMB In a game of word association it's unlikely that 'the 1980's' will elicit a response of 'good taste'. So when a client approached Alan Stulberg of Revival Cycles with an old Morini and thoughts of '80s Italian Supercars the potential for catastrophe was but a few 'TURBO' badges away. Thankfully, Revival have a useful knack of taking any design brief and transforming it into beautiful shapes in metal. Their Ducati 900ss from last year managed to take the aesthetically awkward trellis frame and stretch it in a genuinely original take on a cafe racer, so the Morini was but the latest challenge in a long list of the unusual. Revival Cycles Moto Morini 500GTS 2 The '70s and '80s were not the best of times for Moto Morini. The 350 and 500 twins were really the last gasp of a company, although steeped in racing heritage, were waiting for rescue at the dawning of this century. A key reason to take on this bike then, Revival are well regarded for choosing the road-less-traveled; this orphan was about to receive the full Gordon Gekko from Alan and the Team. Taking the non running 1980 Morini 500, stripping it right back and trying to inject a little Ferarri chest-hair charm is certainly a challenge, if grace is to be retained. Revival Cycles Moto Morini 500GTS 3 The push-rod v-twin was a big focus of both time and money on this comparatively low-budget build. It's really the centerpiece of the bike and a great bit of design. Although a pushrod engine, Morini enclosed them within the cylinder fins giving the engine a simple and timeless quality. However, the starter is a known weak point on these Morinis so to capitalise on the look of the engine, Revival decided to do away with the whole setup, relying solely on the kickstart. This allowed the engine covers on both sides to be modified lightening the 'blockishness' of the cases and exposing the dry clutch for some visceral kinetic interest. The charging system was also upgraded with a new stator and a reliable spark provided by a Light Speed optical electronic ignition. Revival Cycles Moto Morini 500GTS 4 The rolling chassis received a thorough going over. Font suspension was rebuilt with upgraded internals and a set of Progressive shocks out back have come together to make the Morini handle surprisingly well (by all accounts). Braking was keep factory at the back, deemed perfectly adequate, but the front received a very useful upgrade. A custom rotor carrier and bracket were machined up to allow the fitting of a more modern Brembo disc and dual-piston caliper assembly. This was coupled with a modern Brembo front master cylinder and in house micro stainless brake lines front to back. Alan says "the whole lot comes together to make a significant upgrade to the braking capabilities of this machine. This little guy stops on a dime and the brakes are very responsive." Revival Cycles Moto Morini 500GTS 5 The high-low exhaust pipes may have echoes of modern GP bikes, yet the arrangement is not just for display. It allows for equal length headers, balancing the exhaust pulses to maximise performance of the two pots. The handbuilt system was capped with neat, integrated CONE silencers, providing a mellifluous v-twin soundtrack which the new owner will undoubtedly enjoy. Rider controls were thoroughly updated, the custom footpegs included tucking away the rear master cylinder. The M-Switches and POSH grips fully update the bars and a lovely bare, blasted finish make the cockpit a special place to sit and look a while. Revival Cycles Moto Morini 500GTS 6 The underside of the tank was extensively modified so the entire electrical system could be neatly tucked away. A super-lightweight Anti-Gravity Lithium battery provides the power, with the starter now removed it's more than up to the job of powering the day to day running. The bike's auxiliary systems are controlled by a full set of MotoGadget's finest, replacing the awkward spaghetti with a skeletal loom. Alan is a huge fan of the German Electro-Meisters, and recommends using them on all Revival builds now. Bulletproof reliability, outstanding quality he reckons they'll long outlive the bike. Revival Cycles Moto Morini 500GTS 7 Lighting fore and aft is nice and custom, the front headlight bucket modified to contain the Motogadget Speedo and an all-in-one headlamp/LED turn signal combination. A great example of the visual trickery gone into this bike to simplify all the ancillary systems. At the rear, a strip LED was fabricated directly into the seat pan, sitting just above the rear frame hoop, providing indicator, brake and rear lighting duties. The seat was then beautifully upholstered by Ginger at New Church Moto in a rich Tan colour, reminiscent of those inspirational '80's Ferraris. Revival Cycles Moto Morini 500GTS 8 The finishing touches are those splashes of colour. The original 7-spoke Mag wheels were retained and once given a fresh coat of factory gold, provided the perfect complimentary finish to the Ferrari grey metallic paint on the tank. All this adds up to a charming little bike. One with clear influences from the OTT inspiration, but sidestepping the bluster to end up with a classy, unusual and beautifully functional bike. In Alan's own words "Moto Morini never actually built a “GTS” model, but it’s definitely what we wanted out of this little guy…to put in a little Ferrari passion and perhaps get a little Ferrari feeling out of it." Check out more of the Revival Crew's builds on their site
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