By Kevin Cameron

How can we bven think about a "coolest motorcycle?" Coolest what motorcycle? Okay, there's Steve McQueen's Triumph (he had several), which is one kind of cool. Did General Patton have a chrome-plated, pearl-handled motorcycle?

For me, "cool" comes down to ideas, not to shining by reflected light. And as I walked up and down the house think-

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Some discounts, coverages payment plans, and features are not available in all states or in all GEICO companies Boat and PWC coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Motorcycle and ATV coverages are undetwittten by GEICO Indemnity Company Government Employees Insurance Co • GEICO General Insurance Co. • GEICO Indemnity Co. • GEICO Casually Co These companies are subsidiaries of Sertrshire Hathaway lue The GECO Gecko Image © 1399 - 2010 GEICO: Washington. DC 20076. CO 2010 GEICO

ing about this, the 1963 Moto Morini 250cc single-cylinder GP bike leaped to mind. Built by a tiny company and ridden by Tarquinio Provini, this machine won four Grands Prix and came within two points of taking the world championship from Honda that year. In the process, the Morini became the world's fastest single-cylinder machine by lapping circuits faster than the great British 350 and 500cc Singles of the time.

I never saw the Morini run, but a friend came back from the 1964 USGP at Daytona and said, "That thing works so hard that all its engine castings shine with oil that's like sweat soaking through."

Its 72 x 61 mm cylinder gave 37 hp at 11,000 rpm 46 years ago, comparing well with the 33 hp of today's four-stroke 250 MX engines. Designed after extensive experiments with desmo, three-valve and four-valve heads, the 2V racer was the work of Alfonso Morini, Dante

Lambertini and ex-Mondial cylinder-head specialist Nerio Biavati. Continuous testing was the basis of the Morini's competitive edge and reliability.

How can the past be cool when today's computer-driven MotoGP bikes are so fabulous? Who can resist a giant-killer story of ideas and a few determined individuals against the corporate juggernaut? I can't. Even if Morini didn't quite grasp the title, they reached mightily for it! □

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