The motorcycling world looked on in awe when Benelli began production of the 750 Sei in 1974; a six cyclinder engine in a motorcycle was genuinely ground-breaking. It was generally accepted that the engine was based on the four cylinder Honda CB 500 engine, which had simply been copied and expanded by 50%, to give a six cylinder 750cc unit. Despite this the bike was very well received, with the six into six exhausts quickly taking on an iconic status. For an expensive bike, it sold relatively well with Benelli producing some 3,800 units by the time that it was replaced by the 900 Sei in 1979.
The 900 was based on the same engine, bored and stroked out to just over 900cc. There were a number of technical changes, together with a restyle of bodywork, and new exhausts with a change to a six into two configuration branded as Silentium exhausts. The new bike was more powerful producing 80 bhp and a top speed of 134mph was claimed, although this seems to have been closer to 125mph according to contemporary reviews. Whilst the reviewers found that purely in terms of power the bike was a little behind its Japanese competition, such as the Honda CBX 1000, and the Kawasaki Z1300, they found it a real joy to ride as a result of its excellent handling and powerful brakes. Although the bikes were produced until 1988, only approximately 1800 were built making them a rare and sought after model.
Having ridden our Benelli 900 Sei we can certainly echo the sentiments of the 1980s reviewers. We have been lucky enough to find a bike showing only 6,000 miles in excellent condition that starts, runs, and rides exactly as it should. It pulls strongly delivering torque all the way through the gearbox, but feels surprisingly light, and handles beautifully. We believe the bike to be in largely original condition, with its Silentium exhausts intact. It is in an investment grade bike ready to ride or show or both. It would make a wonderful addition to any collection.
The bike is MOTed until August 2015, and is ready to ride away.