350 Sport en route to Coupes Moto Legende

72-degree V-Twin, OHV, 2Vpc, Air Cooled, Four-Stroke
344cc (62 x 57mm), 11.0:1 compression ratio
2x 25mm Dell'Orto Carbs
6 Gears
39 bhp @ 8,500 rpm , 25 ft-lb @ 6,300 rpm
Weight : 145 kg (wet)
Power/Weight Ratio : 269 bhp/ton
Max Speed : 100mph


The Sport was one of a pair of models introduced at the Bologna show in 1971 and manufactured from late 1973 onwards. It arrived in the UK in 1974/5, featuring wire wheels and a double drum front brake by Grimeca The Strada, its launch partner, had a milder tuned engine and twin leading shoe brake.

The engine was developed in house by Franco Lambertini. It features parallel valves, Heron heads, electronic ignition and rev counter and an electronic fuel tap - all innovations in the 1970s. Designed for simple and efficient production, many components were modular in nature, allowing for the cost effective expansion of the range.

By the late 70s the Sport had lost its original "snuff box" switches, rounded tank, side panels and seat for a more angular look. The seat remained uncomfortable two up, but had gained a flatter hump, wire-spoke wheels were replaced with cast items (also by Grimeca), brakes were now disc at the front, with a drum retained at the rear.

When introduced the new V twin Morinis sold at a premium to their competitors, such as the Yamaha 350 and Honda 400 Four, but had similar performance. The Sport topped 100mph in early tests, and had excellent handling and braking. Hailed by the press as an "instant classic", the engine was to remain in production as the basis of a range of twin and single cylinder machines for two decades.

MRC Moto Morini 350


1977 350 Sport (Paul Compton)

1977 350 Sport, MRC Cadwell Trackday 2014 (Paul Compton)


Sport & Strada @

Alloy wheel model @

Alloy wheel model @

Alloy wheel model @

K series @


Lots of tests @ Real Classic magazine

Roland Brown compared 12 years of Morini development for Bike magazine in 1986 by pitting a drum-braked Sport against a new K2 and came to the conclusion that they felt "strikingly similar." He found "increased midrange power" from new jets and cams and an improved left-foot change gearbox that made finding neutral a much easier task. The newer K2 engine was hardly more powerful but more refined and easier to use. Brown came away impressed by the "very pleasant" K2 but ultimately preferred the "real classic" drum Sport.

Performance Bikes magazine attended the Club's 1988 track day at Cadwell Park and had great fun with the "friendly" club members on a selection of Morinis, including some tuned by WeeVee that featured their production racer inspired mods including higher compression, hotter cams, bigger valves and more radical porting. They were impressed with "105mph, 65mpg, dead simple maintenance, and boring reliability."

A newly restored 3½ Sport featured in Classic & Motorcycle Mechanics in 1989. As part of its shake-down testing a Suzuki GT750 was unable to stay in touch around the lanes. 85 mph cruising speed, delightful handling and very powerful brakes made the Morini a "thoroughly satisfying and practical classic."

Moto Retro pitted a 3½ Sport against a Guzzi V35 Imola in 2000. Mention was made of the marque's "racing expertise" when it came to the quality of the chassis, and the Morini was summed up as "fizzy and energising" compared to the "laid-back" Guzzi.

Classic Bike published a buyer's guide in 2000, including views from owners and marque experts. 25-year old owner Richard Allfree described the 350s as "pretty cool bikes" with "excellent" handling and "easy to work on."

Hugo Wilson wrote of his trip on his modified 3½ Sport to Spa Francorchamps with a 180mph Suzuki Hayabusa-mounted friend for Classic Bike magazine in 2008. He was pleased with the comfortable "indicated 85mph" cruising speed, aided by rearsets that avoided the "cruel joke" of the standard forward mounted ones. His bike further benefitted from new Hagon springs and shocks that had "re-invigorated" the handling and long-lasting Avon Road Rider tyres.

He took the same bike to Mallory Park for the 2011 Festival of 1000 Bikes, race-prepping it by taping over the lights, fitting NGK platinum spark plugs and adjusting the chain. His lap time of 1 minute 14.8 seconds was only fractionally slower that his fellow journalist's Norton Commando.

Classic Bike pitted a North Leicester Motorcycles-prepped 3½ Sport against two contemporary Japanese 2-stroke rivals in 2013 and were very impressed by the "Italian prima donna", echoing many of the positive comments from contemporary road tests - strong engine, addictive exhaust note, dynamic handling and excellent fuel economy. They felt the 3½'s performance "made perfect sense" on modern crowded roads.

Read the magazine road tests in full in the Library section of the Members Area: Click here

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