In the earlier eighties, Morini and Valentini (a famous Morini dealer) worked together to prepare bikes for some desert rides after Valentini’s son Massimiliano won the six days of Elba.. Specifically, in 1980, during the TransAfrica adventure where 3 stock Morinis raced; 2 among the 6 bikes which completed the race were Camels. Morini also participated at the early Dakar races and Massimiliano ended 4th after few Yamaha xt 500 and a Montesa. Lack of money and serious interest by Morini in the Dakar made the end of the Morini attempt to conquer the podium. There were also some privateers that participated in other races during the 80s but only with discrete success. In the mid eighties, Morini  was sold to the Castiglioni Bros who owned Cagiva and wanted to diversify their brand portfolio. Under Cagiva the Morini received a lift with a new engine, a 507 cc with a hotter camshaft and nikasil cylinders like the beemers. The last of these series of bikes, is the rare Coguaro which is reminiscent of the 90s transalp trend with its fairing and headlights. The Coguaro engine is the only dual sport morini set up with a geared starter incorporated in the engine casing. Other 501s had the additional starter operated with a clutch on the alternator that gave a lot of headaches if not maintained properly  


The bike was bought as it is from a dishonest bike AH (sphynther) dealer in Cuneo. He promised me that the bike was missing some parts but it was strong and in good shape. Well thanks God that I paid very little for it considering the rarity of the model. At first glance, a side panel was missing, the clutch lever was bent and the plastic stone guard missing.The forks gaiters and some of the blinkers were damaged beyond repair.

See the starter housed on the right of the alternator cover. I thought this will work extremely well……wrong .The first surprise after I couldn’t get the bike to start. The alternator housing was demolished and the coils destroyed. Probably an unglued magnet could have caused this mess. I had a feeling that this was not all, and In fact I discovered the starter gear missing a piece of a tooth as well as another gear which houses the starter cushion completely demolished.

I would have expected to find the missing parts in Italy instead I found them in Germany and were delivered to me promptly…soon the bike was completed and put together. I decided not to do a complete overhaul of the bike and therefore didn’t touch the frame. The bike was decent and i left this job to completed in another time.The set has been upholstered, a new leather tool bag in the back and voila…..done

Moto Morini 501 Coguaro




Air cooled, four stroke, 72° V Twin, belt driven single cam operating pushrod 2 valve per cylinder


507.00 ccm (30.94 cubic inches) Bore x Stroke 71.0 x 64.0 mm (2.8 x 2.5 inches) Compression Ratio 11.5:1


2x Dell’Orto VHBZ 25BS

Ignition  /  Starting

kokusan electronic  /  electric

Max Power

41 hp @ 7700 rpm

Max Torque

24 ft-lb @ 7000 rpm

Transmission  /  Drive

6 Speed  /  chain

Front Suspension

Telescopic forks

Rear Suspension

Alloy swinging arm single shocks

Front Brakes

Single 260mm disc

Rear Brakes

Single 230mm disc

Front Tyre


Rear Tyre



203 KGS

Fuel Capacity

22 Litres

2 Responses

  1. Leslie Madge
    Leslie Madge July 12, 2014 at 5:33 am | | Reply

    On Tuesday next I am travelling to The Netherlands and Northern Germany as part of pilgrimage to visit a war grave. You may be aware that a Coguaro that has been for sale since February is for sale in Holland. I have arranged to view with an option to buy. Interestingly one of the issues with this bike is the starter motor. The starter motor must be common to another vehicle so did you ever find this out?
    I wanted an early Morini Camel but the prices they are fetching makes them beyond budget. The Coguaro looks to be a more interesting alternative.
    Thanks for the article

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