1911 - 1934

Unsere Story

1911 - 1934

The story of Benelli Motorcycles goes back to just past the turn of the 20th century. Six brothers, one story. Six men for a legend to become reality. It was the spring of 1911 when Teresa Benelli, widowed, invested all her family’s money to establish a workshop, hoping to ensure a stable job for her six sons, Giuseppe, Giovanni, Filippo, Francesco, Domenico and Antonio “Tonino” Benelli. At the beginning it was only a service garage, where spare parts for cars and motorcycles were made. But the six Benelli brothers had a much higher ambition, building motorcycles. Eight years later, in 1919, the first engine was born, a two stroke 75cc applied to a bicycle frame, but this did not produce satisfying results. In December 1921 the first real Benelli motorcycle appeared, the “Velomotore”, 98cc two stroke lightweight bike presented in two models, Touring and Sport (125cc), followed in 1923 by a 147 cc version. This is the version Tonino Benelli started to win races on, which made the Pesaro company renown throughout Europe. In 1926 Giuseppe Benelli designed a new motorcycle, a 175cc 4-stroke with an innovative 4-gear driven overhead camshaft. Its performance was equal or superior to motorcycles of larger displacement, which would lead to countless triumphs. Tonino Benelli became Italian champion in 1927, 1928, 1930 and 1931. Production increased (the 175cc was produced in different models until 1933) and sales success lead to enlargement of the Benelli factory when in 1932 the Benelli brothers bought the pavilions of the sawmill in Molaroni, which is now in ‘Viale Mameli’. Two years later Benelli introduced two new racing bikes, a 250cc twin cam and a 500cc. In 1940 Benelli launched a 500cc with side valves and a fantastic racing bike (a 4-cylinder with double overhead camshaft and supercharger that would never be used on the track) but the outbreak of the war forced the company to produce only military motorcycles.