Once upon a time there was a Morini Camel 500 (pre Cagiva)

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Desertpistons, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Two Plugs

    Two Plugs Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,439
    Location:
    Groningen Province - Top of Holland
    Very interesting topic! :clap

    I always had a weak spot for the older Paris-Dakar bikes, especially those with the multiple- cylinder engines...

    I wonder, when was this bike first released? Until I have been reading this topic, I always thought the Honda XLV750R was the first V-twin enduro struggling in to the Dakar (first release: the Paris Motorcycle exhibition of 1983)
    #21
  2. Desertpistons

    Desertpistons 80s dakar

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Texas
    Hi two plugs. Some fascination here!

    regarding 2 cylinders:

    Rigoni with a 2 cylinder Guzzi 500TT raced the dakar in 1979!!!!
    Fenouil raced the same year with a BMW boxer.

    Morinis didn't race until 1983 even though they partecipated in other African races -eg Transafrica- before with their 2 cylinders bikes. The creation of a dual sport v twin goes back to earlier than 1983. Valentini worked on the first one in the early 80s if I am correct.


    Regards
    #22
  3. 2volts

    2volts Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia.
    According to http://www.morini-riders-club.com/thebikes/modellist.html the 500 Camel was released in 1981. It had the best styling and lines of the Camel models. There was a version released in late 80's in the dying stages of the companies existence called the "Coguaro" which was a very nice looking bike too.

    I have a 1985 501 Camel. Yes, the dual voltage electric system is downright wierd. Morini motors are really simple and pretty reliable. The 501 motor has Nikasil cylinders and one of the hotter cam grinds and is probably the pick of all the Morini 500 motors. It's a nice bike to ride but I have never done any serious dirt with it.

    pete
    #23
  4. stainlesscycle

    stainlesscycle Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,299
    Location:
    morgantown, wv
    [​IMG]
    here's a pic of my 86 501 camel.. it's definitely my current favorite rider..
    #24
  5. gybeman

    gybeman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Oddometer:
    637
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Old school. The cables would be the speedo drive and front brake cable. The brace on the front hub does the same thing as the one on the back wheel, holds the backing plate of the drum brake in place. Some other brands later ditched the brace and used a tab on the fork to fit in a notch on the backing plate to do the same thing. It all works.
    Great 2-up rough road bike regardless, and 25-30yrs before a WeeStrom.
    #25
  6. stainlesscycle

    stainlesscycle Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,299
    Location:
    morgantown, wv
    and here's a pic of my new one. 111 miles on the clock. just gotta tidy it up a bit - been sitting unloved a long long time.


    [​IMG]
    #26
  7. Desertpistons

    Desertpistons 80s dakar

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Texas
    Congrats. It is a beauty. I am looking for a 501 engine. If you know of anybody that wants to depart from it, give me a yell. Thanks
    #27
  8. stainlesscycle

    stainlesscycle Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,299
    Location:
    morgantown, wv
    hah - part of the deal i made to get this bike involved me trading off a spare 501 motor i had (i have no more spares!)...i am looking for 2 later bulge type transducers and some other little bits for some sports...
    #28
  9. stainlesscycle

    stainlesscycle Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,299
    Location:
    morgantown, wv
    also, they are definitely great 2 up bikes, but kickstarting a bike with passenger on is a pain...

    i'm contemplating a few serious long distance back road jaunts this winter - maybe trailer it to nc or sc and ride a few days to ga/n.fla/etc. and back. then trailer it back to wv... (no, i am not gonna ride it down to sc in 30 degree weather.)
    #29
  10. 2volts

    2volts Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia.
    Well done. That's a good find.
    It looks identical to mine. Must do something about getting it back on the road though.

    pete
    #30
  11. Willis24

    Willis24 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    335
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO. USA
    Is it true that they do not have forced lubrication to the top end? I thought I had read that they were a little weak in this area, but otherwise fairly stout.
    #31
  12. wpbarlow

    wpbarlow Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    11,786
    Location:
    Central NJ
    Did you buy this from a guy named Mack in Pa?

    #32
  13. stainlesscycle

    stainlesscycle Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,299
    Location:
    morgantown, wv
    sure did - was it once yours?
    #33
  14. wpbarlow

    wpbarlow Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    11,786
    Location:
    Central NJ
    Sure was, see post #4.

    You have a good bike there-- must have been made on a Tuesday :lol3

    I saw Mack at Vintage Days and he said you were there. I looked, but no dice.
    #34
  15. stainlesscycle

    stainlesscycle Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,299
    Location:
    morgantown, wv
    it is a good one - i'll pm ya a coupla history questions...


    hermy said 75 of these camels came into the usa and i have 2, and know where 4 more cagiva era ones are, so it's likely that the community of camel owners is pretty damn small...
    #35
  16. 2volts

    2volts Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia.
    I'm in Australia but mine is one of the 75, bought from this gentleman in Texas in about 6 years ago.

    pete

    [​IMG]
    #36
  17. stainlesscycle

    stainlesscycle Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,299
    Location:
    morgantown, wv
    nice! i was wondering what it would look like with red gaiters.
    #37
  18. R1100purist

    R1100purist Which way is north?

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    151
    Location:
    Pensacola, FL
    I am currently deeply infatuated with the moto morini Camel, haha I am hoping this strange desire goes away, so my vstrom isnt worried it will be sold. But where should I start looking for one of these bad boys?
    #38
  19. Desertpistons

    Desertpistons 80s dakar

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Texas
    Hi,

    I presume you are talking about the 501s and if so they show up from time to time on ebay. The are rare and often snapped because of their nikasil engine for a replacement with earlier street morini bikes.

    if you are talking about the first series (MK1-MK2 and MK3) then it is almost impossible to find one and the ones i know are in the hands of collectors or Morini big time afecionados. BTW I sold mine few months ago after i posted on the for sale section.

    Cheers and good luck
    #39
  20. Reposado1800

    Reposado1800 Juicy J fan!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,806
    Location:
    5th and Main
    I don't understand how all the creative juices of the 80's can't carry over to today. These bikes rock and need to come back.
    #40