FB Mondial 250 Bialbero




When Mondial decided to retire the 125 two-shaft model that had dominated racing during the years between 1948 and 1952, there was a replacement waiting in the wings. The new Mondial 125 showed its derivation from the old model. It was not that the old 125 had been outclassed by the MV Agusta but that the resources of its engine had been poorly tapped, leaving much of its potentiality undeveloped.

Mondial's designers and technicians concentrated on details. The new engine that they came up with looked quite different from the old one, but it had the same displacement (with the same bore and stroke), two-shaft overhead bevel gear distribution, and only slightly more power—17 h.p. instead of 15 h.p. The crankcase was different and now held the lubricating oil. The chassis had been redesigned and now had front and rear telescopic suspension in place of the front and rear elastic suspension that had been used on the older model.

The new Mondial 125 two-shaft also had a new rider in its saddle. Tarquinio Provini replaced Carlo Ubbiali, who had switched to MV Agusta. The new motorcycle won several races in 1954, and in 1955 it won the Italian championship. There were epic duels that year between the Mondial and Agusta companies in the world championship. The Mondial got better and better but failed to win the championship despite its valiant efforts.

The engine of the Mondial 125 had not been sufficiently modified. While it had enough horsepower it did not utilize the power well. The problem was to get more out of the engine instead of trying to find another one that might not be as reliable. A five-speed transmission had been installed, and the overall fairing made the Mondial 125 look more like a record racer than a Grand Prix racer.
In 1957 Provini, a fierce rival of Ubbiali, had a Mondial 125 that represented a final synthesis of all the company's experiments with the engine since 1948. Now the MV Agusta and the Mondial were on a par with one another. It was all up to the riders.

Ubbiali won the first championship race that season. Provini won the second, third, and fourth races of the season. Taveri, riding an MV, won the fifth race, and Ubbiali came back at Monza to win the sixth and final race of the championship. Mondial had won three and Agusta had won three. The championship was given to Mondial in 1957 because its better placings in the races it lost carried sufficient weight to break the tie in that company's favor.

While the 125 was being developed, Mondial was also working on a 250 model. After the 125's success in the 1955 Italian championship, the Mondial people built a larger version of that model. But they immediately put into the works a 250 two-cylinder, with two 125 engines. This solution provided 35 h.p. at 10,000 r.p.m. But the motorcycle was a failure. It weighed over 300 pounds.
Mondial returned to the single-cylinder formula, this time with full displacement. The new motorcycle that resulted looked like Provini's 125 on the outside, but the engine was quite different. The bore-stroke ratio reflected a very flat engine, and the two-shaft overhead distribution had gears instead of the bevel gear shaft.

In 1957 the Mondial 250 single-cylinder was raced by Provini and Ceyl Sandford. It was Sandford who rode the 250 to win his second world championship. (He had won his first world championship in 1952 in the 125 class, riding an MV Agusta.)

Motorcycle: Mondial 250 Manufacturer: F. B. Mondial, Milan Type: Racing Year: 1957
Engine: Mondial single-cylinder, four-stroke, with two-shaft overhead geared distribution. Displacement 249.1 cc. (75 mm. x 56.4 mm.)
Cooling: Air
Transmission: Five-speed, six-speed, or seven-speed block
Power: 29 h.p. at 10,800 r.p.m.
Maximum speed: Over 135 m.p.h. (with full fairing)
Chassis: Double cradle, continuous, tubular. Front and rear, telescopic suspension
Brakes: Front, central drum, double cam; rear, central drum