Italian manufacturer Benelli motorcycles was established over a century ago in 1911, making it one of the oldest European motorcycle manufacturers still in operation. Benelli’s history is steeped in racing which could be attributed to the companies long existence. During the late twenties, Tonino Benelli won multiple Italian championships on the Benelli 175. During the decades that followed 175 and 250 Benellis won numerous national and world championships, including several Isle of Mann TTs.
Pressure caused by the introduction of more advanced Japanese motorcycles in the late sixties saw the development of larger capacity models. These new motorcycles helped Benelli to maintain a share of the market. In 1988 Benelli merged with fellow Italian motorcycle manufacturer Moto Guzzi for a short time.