FB Mondial 125






Mondial 125 Two-shaft 1950


The Italian Grand Prix had been run at Monza from its very first edition. Because of war damage, however, the 1948 edition of the race was held at the international circuit in Faenza. Among the various two-wheelers that had been making names for themselves on the finest tracks in Europe, there was also a new contender, the Mondial 125. It was competing for the Italian light motorcycle championship.

The main feature of the Mondial 125 was its four-stroke engine. This type of engine had not been used for some time, at least in the smaller-displacement models, because it was believed to provide lower perform-
ance than a two-stroke engine.

The former Italian 500-class champion, Francesco Lama, drove the 125 at Faenza. The motorcycle had the misfortune to be put out of the race by a simple breakdown, but before that happened it raced the fastest lap and stood up to the strongest MV and Morini two-stroke engines.

In 1949 the leading motorcycle manufacturers entered their racing models in the first world speed championship. Mondial, which had formerly built trucks, was new to the field of touring vehicles, but it could not pass up this chance to demonstrate its engine's technical superiority. The company gave Nello Pagani
Mondial 125 Two-shaft, 1948 model a 125 to race. He won all the races in his class, and thus the supremacy of the four-stroke engine was established.

Meanwhile Morini and MV Agusta were improving their racing motorcycles. Morini had readied a very fast single-shaft two-wheeler. MV Agusta waited for the results of the 1949 Grand Prix races before modifying its vehicles. With such competitors the 1950 championship season was a hard one for Mondial, but the company had not been resting on its 'aurels.

The two-shaft engine had been powered up and the body retouched. But the greatest innovation was the aluminum fairing. It covered the whole motorcycle, leav-ln9 only the front wheel exposed. This fairing had been developed on 'he basis of the 1949 record attempts.

The new motorcycle made its debut at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 1950. Gianni Leoni rode a Mondial 125 to first place, winning a second world title for the Milanese company and for its official driver, Bruno Ruffo.
The old engine built by Alfonso Drusiani for Mondial in 1948 proved unbeatable in the 1951 world championship Grand Prix races, with Carlo Ubbiali in the saddle.

Motorcycle: Mondial 125 Two-shaft Manufacturer: F. B. Mondial, Milan Type: Racing Year: 1950
Engine: Mondial single-cylinder, four-stroke, two-shaft overhead distribution with bevel gears. Displacement 123.5 cc. (53 mm. x 56 mm.)
Cooling: Air
Transmission: Four-speed block
Power: 12 h.p. at 9,000 r.p.m.
Maximum speed: Over 80 m.p.h.
Chassis: Tubular, continuous, double cradle. Front and rear, elastic suspension
Brakes: Front and rear, side drum

Mondial 125 Bialbero1951

1951 MONDIAL 125. Despite a lot of scepticism on the part of many riders in the "big" events, a race for 125 c.c. machines was run in the 1951 T.T. series, over two laps of the Mountain circuit. Starters included a large number of British specials, a couple of Spanish Montesas—and four Italian Mondials and an Italian M.V.

The last-named retired on Bray Hill on lap 1; the Mondials then completely dominated the race, finishing in the first four berths and all averaging over 70 m.p.h. and winning silver replicas. Next man home, J. S. Bulto (Montcsa), averaged 63 m.p.h. . . .
The race was led on both laps by Ulsterman Cromie McCandless (one of the brothers responsible for the "Featherbed" Norton frame) who averaged 7485 m.p.h. overall and established a lap record of 7534 m.p.h. on his second tour. He was tailed home by Carlo Ubbiali, making his first visit to Manxland. . . .
The machine that in 1951 was far in advance of its contemporaries had lines which, only a few years later, looked almost archaic.

The spindly looking frame had short-movement plunger-type rear suspension; at the front, blade-type girder forks were used with no rebound damping. Both wheels were big-diameter, with very narrow section tyres. Only in the engine department did the machine have features which were retained for a long period.
Unit construction for engine and gearbox was employed, with the magneto enclosed in the front of the crankcase. Both the cylinder and cylinder-head were very deeply finned, with the drive to the camshafts enclosed within the finning. Cutaways were made in the head fins to allow the hairpin pattern valve springs to be exposed at their extremities for cooling.

After the race, when the machines were stripped for measurement, the mechanics said this was the first time the heads had been off since they
left Italy, no work being necessary throughout the practice period.

Engine: single-cylinder 125 c.c. o.h.c; drive to camshafts
by gear train. Ignition: Marelli magneto.
Transmission: gear primary drive to four-speed gearbox;
final drive by chain. Frame: duplex cradle with single top-tube and plunger
rear suspension; bolted-in struts from saddle nose
to bottom rails. Forks: girder with one compression spring.