Wards/Benelli 250

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Mr. Vintage, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Mr. Vintage

    Mr. Vintage Family Dude

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    902
    Location:
    The Palouse
    An obvious gap in the strange medley of Italian, Japanese, big, littleish, and largely dirt-oriented bikes in my garage, I have secretly lusted for a motorcycle to fill the small-vintage-Italian-four stroke-street-single niche in the fleet. There's an endless selection of bikes that could foot the bill (Ducati singles are certainly drool-worthy), but most are well out of my price range of the equivalent value of something the kids can live without this month (clothes: yes, food: maybe not). So I was content, for a time, to dream...

    Enter my Craigslist-surfing brother, who not only finds this lovely specimen but negotiates a sale for one dollar per cubic centimeter:
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    It's a circa 1968 Montgomery-Wards Riverside 250, a rebadged Benelli, last licensed in 1971 and with 1400 some-odd miles under the Pirelli's. Complete short of a taillight lense, the corresponding bulb, a half-dozen rear spokes, and the air in the front tire. Oh, and a title....

    I drove the 80 miles north to get it, and just managed to cram it in my van with the rear fender unattached. My two boys and two big dogs barely winced at being inserted in the remaining gaps in the car. My wife drove herself home, separately.
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    Once home and with beer in hand I was able to do more of an assessment...

    (Like the actual project, I'll be slow and deliberate with my posts - stay tuned.)
    #1
  2. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    699
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    Uniontown, MO
    Some bikes just have a "look" that's hard to describe, but you know it when you see it. Well, I'd say....here's that "look". What are your plans for it?

    Lynn
    #2
  3. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Location:
    chico,just below rag dump(nor-cal)
    That thing is cherry and very attractive for a Benelli, I myself just brought a 1968 360 Greeves home yesterday,twin piped,leading linked,chromed out,hardly a ding on it and should run with minor fettling .
    Pure funk on wheels,I like it! I have to make a pic small enough to post here.
    #3
  4. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

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    Nov 16, 2007
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    962
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    Branson MO
    Nice score. The darn thing looks pretty good, and would look great with some clean up and a seat cover. Make it run and ride it.
    #4
  5. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    chico,just below rag dump(nor-cal)
    Here it is.
    #5
  6. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    And another,Id like to see that 250 Benelli on the road,neat little bike.
    This Greeves is just pure 60's dirt bike somehow,I had to have it the second I saw it. Plus the price was right.
    #6
  7. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

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    May 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,626
    Location:
    Mike's Sky Rancho

    Wow!
    #7
  8. El Hombre

    El Hombre Banned

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    I'd do a light "cafe racer". Clip-ons, seat with the aero look, otherwise, just clean it up and ride it.

    That looks like a Pirelli MT-53 rear tire. Those are so popular with the vintage crowd that Pirelli pulled the mold out and ran a bunch of them a couple of years ago. David Edwards, former editor of Cycle World, was one that was connected enough to get one. Always thought that was a really neat pattern....
    #8
  9. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

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    :clap yep +1
    #9
  10. chiefrider

    chiefrider Chrome won't get you home

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    [​IMG]

    Tom in Salem
    #10
  11. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    McMinnville, Oregon
    Nice score! That bikes looks really clean compared to most old Monkey Wards finds - should be fun!
    #11
  12. El Hombre

    El Hombre Banned

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    Yeah, that sort of thing. Don't know about the "mosca screen", or the front fender. Looks like it was made for a lot bigger diameter tire. But the Akronts, exhaust, seat, that's the ticket. You got an MT-53 too. Does that breather hose, oil it? That's one serious breather hose....
    #12
  13. MZRider

    MZRider Neo-Luddite

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    790
    Location:
    Western MD
    A VW Vanagon isn't exactly the best bike hauler, eh? :-) That's why I bought a Eurovan instead.

    Saw this Wards/Benelli 250 racer at Vintage M/C Days @ Mid-Ohio back in '03. Add lights and this is how I'd like mine to look.

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    Sorry for the poor photo quality, cheap little digicam I had at the time left a lot to be desired.
    #13
  14. AustinJake

    AustinJake DR650 - Versys

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    Austin, TX
    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    Shot recently at a vintage bike ride-in.


    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. Minimike

    Minimike Been here awhile

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    Jan 9, 2006
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    911
    Location:
    Tellico Plains, TN
    350CC. 174 miles on the odometer.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    If you want to go racing the Benelli 250 pushrod motore is leagal for 200 GP.

    Just in case, you really want to play.
    #17
  18. Mr. Vintage

    Mr. Vintage Family Dude

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    902
    Location:
    The Palouse
    Wow - there seems to be some interest! I'll try to do something exciting at some point...

    Part of what makes this bike so cool to me are the details. Besides the timeless styling, the finer points reveal a motorcycle designed and manufactured by people. A survey of names on the bike included the names Brevetti, Magnetti Marelli, Veglia Borletti, Dellorto, Pirelli, and Pagani.
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    Of course after staring at it for a while I had to see if it would start. My brother had already changed the oil, but I inspected the powdered remains of the gas in the carb, deciphered the battery bypass switch, and kicked it over. It wasn't quite as easy as the video makes it seem, but close:
    <OBJECT width=480 height=385>
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    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Yy4nj2m_k0Q?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></OBJECT>
    #18
  19. nsu max

    nsu max Been here awhile

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    399
    #19
  20. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    Jul 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Central New Mexico, 7420ft above sea level
    My buddy had a Benelli (Wards Riverside) 50cc two stroke when we were kids. The thing was tiny...like 16in wheels. Very nice looking, almost exactly like the op. When he got it, i remember asking him if it was a two stroke or a four stroke, her asked how do i tell? I told him well a two stroke is like (made the sound) and a four stroke is lower like this, (made the sound) he contimplated it for a second, then said proudly, I think it must be a three stroke then...I laughed till I was crying! BTW I had a Yamaha MX60 (DT60MX 1971) at the time and was racing it...I was 12.
    #20