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Motori Minarelli: Celebrating 70 Years of Motorcycling History, Past, Present and Future

Just announced: revolutionary 300 2-Stroke injection engine for enduro racing will be revealed at Motori Minarelli’s stand at EICMA 2021


Seventy years of history: 1951-2021. Motori Minarelli has come a long way, historical company from Bologna that has “ignited” three generations around the world since after World War II.  Its history will have a new chapter now, which sets the line for the future with the 100% acquisition of the company. Among the priorities that were achieved in the last few months, the company showed with pride the agreement with labour unions to maintain and preserve jobs. This is a fundamental condition to increase productivity, making the company stand out even more.

A special day in the historical headquarters in Calderara di Reno (Bologna) was organised on Friday 12th November to celebrate 70 years of success, to the presence of prestigious guests from the past, present and future of Motori Minarelli.

The ceremony was opened with two video-messages from the President of the Emilia-Romagna region Stefano Bonaccini, and the President of the Federazione Motociclistica Italiana (Italian Motorcycle Federation) Giovanni Copioli. These were followed by the greeting by Ruben Sacerdoti, Director of the International Business Department and FDI Attraction of the Emilia-Romagna Region.

Confindustria Emilia’s top management was present with the General Director Tiziana Ferrari, Motor Valley’s vicepresident Andrea Albani, Yamaha Motor Europe’s President Eric De Seynes, among many other guests, customers and suppliers of Motori Minarelli.

Guests were welcomed by Mariano Roman, CEO of Motori Minarelli and Vittorino Filippas, General Director of Motori Minarelli who, together with Nico Cereghini and Marco Riccardi as presenters, recalled the company’s milestones throughout its glorious past.

We were guided by strong emotions – said Fantic’s CEO, Mariano Roman when we acquired this historical brand, which we will proudly lead towards a future where all traditional mobility canons have been completely redesigned. In this regard Minarelli is complementary to Fantic’s project, as it is completely independent and collaborates strongly with many other Motorbikes Manufacturers, pointing at becoming a European motorbike centre and supplying practical and efficient solutions to its customers.

The take-over of Motori Minarelli has been another important move on the national and international scenarios. This has helped increasing value and rating to our Group.

At the foundation of the investments on Motori Minarelli is Fantic: dynamic, relaunched by the group of entrepreneurs VeNetWork, which doubled in growth, not only product-wise speaking (motorbikes, e-bikes and sustainable mobility solutions) but also in terms of turnover in all fields.”

“We have taken such important lead with great enthusiasm said Vittorino Filippas, General Director Motori Minarellithis represents the starting point to enable Minarelli’s growth, taking advantage of the market opportunities and becoming a protagonist. Motori Minarelli is a reality, now entered in the Motor Valley, that keeps investing on innovation, research and development not just for gear and infrastructures, but also designers and collaborations with universities and research institutions. We are really happy to be able to write new pages of Motori Minarelli’s history and at the same time be ready to face a “new era”, full of challenges and ever-more ambitious goals. We will work to reach these goals with great team spirit and professionalism, using all the passion that has accompanied us in Fantic’s relaunch. Together, combining our skills, we will grow quicker and we will keep improving.”

Fantic is owned by a group of entrepreneurs called VeNetWork, whose mission is reinforcing the “Made in Italy” industrial network. “Fantic Motor and Motori Minarelli are companies that should be taken as model to relaunch the Italian economy, – said VeNetWork President Alberto Babanthanks to their ability to combine know-how and skills.

Thanks to the precious documents kept in the historical archives, it was possible to retrace the company’s long journey: from the early years, through the competitions, the world records and the commercial agreements that have characterised Motori Minarelli’s exponential growth, up to the present and the future now together with Fantic. Documents recorded and recounted, page after page, in the book “Motori Minarelli, la storia di un successo” (Motori Minarelli, the story of a success) edited by Massimo Fiorentino and Marco Riccardi, presented in an absolute preview during the ceremony. A book that retraces the history of a legend and of all the key figures who have contributed, in various ways, to the exponential growth of the company both on an industrial level and in motor sport. All this is reconstructed and analysed by the authors with great professionalism, interviewing and telling about those who, over time, have made and will continue to make Motori Minarelli famous.

During the event, some of the champions who made Minarelli’s history in motor sport were also called to the stage. First of all Arteno Venturi, who set four world speed records for the 175cc class riding the Minarelli “torpedo” in 1969 on the track of the English military airport of Elvington. And then there were also the riders who competed in the 125cc World Championship: Loris Reggiani and Pier Paolo Bianchi, who, together with the late Ángel Nieto, contributed to Minarelli’s 4 titles in the 125 Constructors’ World Championship. The story continues today on the off road with the Fantic Racing champions, victorious thanks to the evolutions made by Minarelli on the 4T Fantic.

It was a very special day dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Motori Minarelli, which continues its history with new products and innovations that are always on the cutting edge. Among the first projects of this new course, the imminent arrival of a brand new 300cc 2-stroke injection engine was announced. A power unit designed specifically for off-road enduro competitions, whose concept will be unveiled in a few days at EICMA 2021 at the Motori Minarelli stand (Hall 15, Stand I39). Minarelli makes an important comeback at the 78th edition of the International Motorcycle Show, offering a wide range of engines available to all manufacturers.

A day that also saw the workers of Motori Minarelli gathered for the cutting of the cake with Mariano Roman, CEO of Motori Minarelli, and the President of Yamaha Motor Europe Eric De Seynes.

Below are the statements made by the prestigious guests invited to the 70th Anniversary of Motori Minarelli

“The Region – said Ruben Sacerdoti, Head of Employment and Enterprise of the Emilia-Romagna Region – has supported the birth, development and excellence of the regional Motor Valley, which has now become the world-class Italian Motor Valley. We are thrilled to be able to welcome one of its historical protagonists, Motori Minarelli, back to 100% Italian and renewed in terms of range and breadth of the offer on all 2-wheel mobility. A new protagonist in terms of innovation, sustainable mobility and employment level”.

“Today we are celebrating Motori Minarelli’s 70 years of history – commented Tiziana Ferrari, General Manager of Confindustria Emilia – 70 years that are also a starting point for a new development project 100% made in Italy, in a strategic sector such as the automotive one. It is a source of pride for our region and its attractiveness to have pioneering projects in the field of new mobility: new skills and investments in research and sustainable development that bear witness to our ability to embrace the changes taking place and confirm our manufacturing history made up of people and values.”

“The development trajectories of all the realities that make Motor Valley valuable – explains Andrea Albani, Managing Director of MWC and Vice President of Motor Valley – Minarelli is an example and has lived in the emotion of an exciting parallel between the values and innovation expressed by the company. We have created a virtuous system that holds together prestigious brands, innovative companies, infrastructures and events. In this way the Motor Valley reaches people in a clear way and also takes on the value of a tourist product, generating an even more powerful economic driver.”

Motori Minarelli: The history summary…

MOTORI MINARELLI – Its origins date back to 1951 when it gets founded at F.B.M (Fabbrica Bolognese Motocicli which had as business partners Vittorio Minarelli and Franco Morini) which starts producing innovative motorcylces, starting from the Gabbiano 125cc 2-Stroke, A rivolutionary vehicle characterized by its design and advanced technical solutions.

THE BIRTH OF A MITH – In 1956 Vittorio Minarelli carried on its adventure on its own and converted the company in FB Minarelli. So, it starts a long journey characterized by projects and amazing ideas which see fast bikes of the Minarelli racing department leaving an indelible mark even in the motorsport history with different victories in the 125 World Championship with 4 Manufacturer titles (1978-1981) and a huge list of world records on the track with about 24 victories.

In a short time, the green logo on the yellow background became an icon of the two wheels world, a factory brand, a signature of quality and reliability recognized all over the world. In the meantime, the engine built by Motori Minarelli equip motorbikes and scooters of the most important manufacturers.

FROM THE SPEED RECORDS TO THE 125 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORIES – Minarelli leaves an indelible mark in the motorsport history. The approach starts between 1966 and 1975 when Minarelli take on many speed records. It starts and it ends at the Monza track, speed temple, together with the Elvington track, in the United Kingdom. Minarelli scores a total of 24 World Records with 50cc, 75cc, 100cc and 175cc. From 1978 to 1981, Minarelli competes in the 125 World Championship winning 30 Gran Prixes and the Manufacturers title for four years in a row with its two-cylinder driven by Ángel Nieto (who will celebrate two Pilot Titles), Pier Paolo Bianchi (vice champion in 1978), Maurizio Massimiani (vice champion in 1979) and Loris Reggiani (Italian Champion in 1981).

MINARELLI AND YAMAHA – Motori Minarelli is fast, not on the track only, but industrial wise as well. After the 80’s crisis regarding the motorbikes market, an important agreement with Yamaha has been signed to produce engines for the Japanese Manufacturer. A motivational push which creates a huge amount of work for Minarelli Factory, counting over 45% of moped bikes mounting a Minarelli engine. In 2002 Motori Minarelli is totally owned by Yamaha and starts producing more advanced engines up to 660cc. Equipment and employees from the Research and Development department, collaborate with Yamaha technicians and their know-how, improving considerably Motori Minarelli reputation.

FANTIC ACQUIRES MINARELLI – At the end of 2020 Motori Minareli has been sold by Yamaha to Fantic Motor which acquires 100% of the factory from Bologna. Fantic has been brought back to life and got established, starting from 2014, by the Engineer Mariano Roman, his advanced technician’s team and by VeNetWork trust, a set of companies, presided over 61 businessmen. The same ones who decided to aim for Motori Minarelli future by assigning the general manager role to Vittorino Filippas. After satisfactorily reaching an agreement with the trade unions and workers’ representatives, safeguarding employment levels, the aim is to increase productivity and further enhance the excellence of the Bologna-based motor industry.