Friday, November 27, 2015

FB Mondial to get going again, will make a comeback with Hipster 250, Hipster 125 in 2016

The all-new 2017 Mondial Hipster 250 and Hipster 125 scramblers look pretty good to us, though the name "Hipster" is a bit tacky. FB Mondial also plan to design and build at least three other bikes between 2017 to 2023. Welcome back, Mondial!

Remember FB Mondial? It’s yet another of those once-great Italian motorcycles companies that have disappeared into the mists of time, with occasional, mostly unsuccessful attempts at ‘resurrection’ made by various people over the last few years. Based in Bologna, Italy, FB Mondial (with the ‘FB’ standing for Fratelli Boselli) was set up in the late-1940s by the Boselli family. Their bikes were apparently pretty good because from 1949-1957, FB Mondial won four motorcycle roadracing world championships in the 125cc class and one world championship in the 250cc class. In fact, up until the late-1950s, companies like Honda, Ducati and MV Agusta were using Mondial motorcycles as examples, to learn and improve their own machines.

Mondial’s gradual decline started in the early-1960s, when the company stopped making their own engines, preferring to buy engines from other manufacturers and using those (albeit with Mondial’s own chassis and other components) to build Mondial-branded bikes. Production finally stopped in 1979.

From the late-1990s up until the present time, there have been various attempts at reviving Mondial, with one of the interim owners even building an all-new Mondial superbike – the Mondial Piega 1000 – using the engine from the Honda RC51 (also known as the RVT1000R in the US and VTR1000 in Europe and other markets). In 2005, Mondial Moto S.p.A. was bought over by one Piero Caronni, who also owns the production rights to the twin-stroke Bimota V Due 500. Caronni still, apparently, owns the rights to the Mondial name, having renamed his company as Gruppo Mondial S.r.l. Indeed, after all these years, the Mondial Piega 1000, Mondial Starfighter, and the Bimota V Due 500 are still being offered by Caronni via this website!

And now, this is where things get a bit murky. At the EICMA show in Milan this year, there was news of FB Mondial making a proper comeback with a range of modern machines. But this has nothing to do with Piero Caronni. Instead, one Lord Pier Luigi Boselli (a descendant of the original founder of FB Mondial) along with his friend, Cesare Galli, aim to revive the FB Mondial motorcycle brand, starting with the Hipster, a scrambler that will be made available with 125cc and 250cc engines. And that’s not all – in addition to the Hipster 250 and 125, Mondial already plan to design and build at least three more bikes between 2017 to 2023, with a range of different engines.

The 2017 Mondial Hipster 250 gets a liquid-cooled SOHC 4-valve 249cc fuel-injected single-cylinder engine, which produces 25bhp and 22Nm of torque. The Hipster 125 gets a liquid-cooled SOHC 4-valve 124cc fuel-injected single-cylinder unit that kicks out 15bhp and 12Nm of torque. Both bikes get a 41mm USD front fork, twin rear shocks, steel tube chassis, and have a dry weight of about 130kg. Both bikes ride on 18-inch (front) and 17-inch (rear) wheels, shod with 100/90 and 130/70 rubber. There’s a single 280mm disc brake at front, with radial-mount 4-piston calliper.

Scramblers currently seem to be the flavour of the year, with everyone from Ducati to BMW to Moto Guzzi doing one. So, starting with the Hipster 250 and Hipster 125 scramblers might be a good idea for FB Mondial. We think the Hipster looks pretty cool and Mondial just might be on to a good thing if they are able to build good-looking motorcycles that boast high levels of build quality and offer modern levels of handling and engine performance, at a competitive price. Welcome back, FB Mondial!

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