Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Beta Tester: 1958 Moto Beta XTR-125

Back in the 1950's the Italian motorcycle industry was hitting its stride.  The war and its damages were receding and prosperity was returning.  Beta, established in 1904 as a manufacturer of bicycles, was one of those companies that jumped on the prosperity bandwagon, beginning motorcycle manufacturing in 1948.  Throughout the 50's Beta manufactured sporty, road going two strokes that could be used in competition on Motogiros. Beta still exists today, manufacturing specialized Trials bikes for the likes of Dougie Lampkin and Albert Cabestany.  Find this 1958 Moto Beta XTR-125 for sale in Stanwood, WA for $9,500 via craigslist.

The XTR-125 was powered by an air cooled two stroke displacing around 125cc's.  I couldn't find any specs for the exact displacement or hp figures, I'd guess around 12 smokey hp.   The XTR-125 has the gear shifter on the right and rear brake lever on the left, opposite of today.  Prior to 1975, most European bikes had the shift on the right and brake on the left and the Japanese bikes had the shift on the left, brake on the right until the U.S. Government mandated the left shift, right brake layout.

The cool deco-ish speedo integrated into the streamlined headlight indicates 950 miles, but who knows and who cares.  With a 60 year old oddball, its the condition, not the mileage!

The tank is in good shape and looks like it still has its original paint with green pinstripe and cool filler cap.  The bike is said to have been stored indoors and the lack of rusty fasteners appears to confirm this.  The ad doesn't mention anything about the title, so the usual yadda, yadda, yadda about a bill of sale bike applies.

See a more stylish bike to go with your cafe racer jacket and pudding bowl helmet? Email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com

Gianni is Daily Turismo's resident Italianophile and two wheel aficionado. 


  1. I picture all this in black-and-white, a traffic circle built around some crumbling bit of statuary with a bunch of Vespas and Fiat 500s working on their apogees and perigees, while some stubbly twentysomething blats out of the foreground on this, slows to let the cloud of castor oil dissipate, stops at the curb to pick up a big-haired brunette in a tan sweater, then buzzes off into the hydrocarbon scrum.

  2. minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/mcy/5254888754.html
    I'm the owner of a sassy 1970 moto beta scrambler, it's got 11 miles on it and I'm only asking 3600, I'm skeptical of the year of the one that Gran Turismo has provided because it doesn't look like a 50's bike to me, I've got several other Italian fifties bikes and the styling cues are just a little bit different, neat rare bike though

    1. Does look like the Craigslist seller is a bit optimistic in his dating of the Moto Beta.

    2. I have a 1966 Moto Beta XR-50 that is a intact, and preserved. Probably hasn't run for 40 years. Is basically complete except for a missing switch on the handlebars. Make me and offer. Email for pics: ddorman@rcn.com


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