Motorcycles

FB Mondial returns to production of high-end small motorcycles

FB Mondial returns to producti...
The Hipster sets the foundation for FB Mondial's revival
The Hipster sets the foundation for FB Mondial's revival
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Scramblers are all the rage lately, so it's no surprise that FB Mondial made its return with such a striking example
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Scramblers are all the rage lately, so it's no surprise that FB Mondial made its return with such a striking example
The Hipster sets the foundation for FB Mondial's revival
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The Hipster sets the foundation for FB Mondial's revival
The design and attention to detail that characterizes the Hipster elevates it to the highest end of the entry-level class
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The design and attention to detail that characterizes the Hipster elevates it to the highest end of the entry-level class
The twin exhaust tubes high on the side of the engine is a must for any scrambler design
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The twin exhaust tubes high on the side of the engine is a must for any scrambler design
The Hipster will also be available in a 250 cc version
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The Hipster will also be available in a 250 cc version
FB Mondial fuses modern design elements - like this headlight - in an otherwise classic-looking body
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FB Mondial fuses modern design elements - like this headlight - in an otherwise classic-looking body
A couple of round bar-end mirrors would look much better in our opinion
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A couple of round bar-end mirrors would look much better in our opinion
A round digital instrument will display all necessary information to the rider - in a design apparently inspired by the Ducati Scrambler
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A round digital instrument will display all necessary information to the rider - in a design apparently inspired by the Ducati Scrambler
Two exhaust cans, two shock absorbers (adjustable only for preload) and a wealth of details to delve into
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Two exhaust cans, two shock absorbers (adjustable only for preload) and a wealth of details to delve into
The wavy disk brakes will probably be replaced by standard ones in the final production Hipster
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The wavy disk brakes will probably be replaced by standard ones in the final production Hipster
Two small plastic fenders keep the back end short and tidy
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Two small plastic fenders keep the back end short and tidy
FB Mondial introduced a series of computer-generated color versions of the Hipster and asked the visitors in its Facebook page which they prefer
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FB Mondial introduced a series of computer-generated color versions of the Hipster and asked the visitors in its Facebook page which they prefer
FB Mondial introduced a series of computer-generated color versions of the Hipster and asked the visitors in its Facebook page which they prefer
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FB Mondial introduced a series of computer-generated color versions of the Hipster and asked the visitors in its Facebook page which they prefer
FB Mondial introduced a series of computer-generated color versions of the Hipster and asked the visitors in its Facebook page which they prefer
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FB Mondial introduced a series of computer-generated color versions of the Hipster and asked the visitors in its Facebook page which they prefer
The supermoto version of the 125 cc platform that supports FB Mondial's new start is expected to be introduced at Intermot 2016
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The supermoto version of the 125 cc platform that supports FB Mondial's new start is expected to be introduced at Intermot 2016
The sculpted Piaggio logo at the base of the cylinder gives away the engine's pedigree
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The sculpted Piaggio logo at the base of the cylinder gives away the engine's pedigree
It's really great to see the Mondial logo back on the tank of a production motorcycle - even if it's called Hipster
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It's really great to see the Mondial logo back on the tank of a production motorcycle - even if it's called Hipster
The leather seat/tail unit shines in the Hipster's retro design, although it looks anything but very passenger-friendly
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The leather seat/tail unit shines in the Hipster's retro design, although it looks anything but very passenger-friendly
View gallery - 18 images

More than five decades after its heyday and 15 years since a new motorcycle bore its logo on the fuel tank, FB Mondial returns to mass production with the HPS 125 Hipster. The little Italian scrambler is scheduled to make its international debut next week at the Intermot Cologne show.

The FB in the company name stands for Fratelli Boselli, a noble Italian family from Manerbio in northern Italy that first started motorcycle production in 1948. The company went on to win 10 Grand Prix World Championships (five Riders' and five Manufacturers' titles) in the 125 and 250 cc classes from 1949 to 1957, but hasn't developed a motorcycle engine for more than half a century.

FB Mondial did manage to stay alive until the 1980s with small-production models running on outsourced motors. But despite several revival attempts, the Italian marque has been all but extinct for the last two decades – the 2002 Piega being the sole reminder of this era, essentially a very limited number of Honda-powered exotic superbikes that have since become sought-after collectibles.

Then in 2014 a descendant of the Boselli Brothers, Pier Luigi Boselli, teamed-up with Italian company Pelpi International and began the process of reviving the legendary company.

The sculpted Piaggio logo at the base of the cylinder gives away the engine's pedigree
The sculpted Piaggio logo at the base of the cylinder gives away the engine's pedigree

The first new model of the resurrected FB Mondial is a 125-cc scrambler which will be formally introduced at the upcoming Intermot motorcycle show in Cologne, Germany. The HPS 125 Hipster is powered by a liquid-cooled single-cylinder unit outsourced from Piaggio Group (the same motor has been in use for years in several Derbi models, like the GPR sportbike, Senda DRD supermoto and Terra adventure bike).

The fuel-injected single with double overhead cams produces the class standard of 11 kW (15 hp) – the upper power limit of the European A1 license – via a six speed gearbox. The front end seems quite impressive for such a small bike, with 41-mm inverted forks and a four-piston radial caliper, while at the rear the pair of shock absorbers adds a more nostalgic touch to the ensemble. Rolling on 18-in front and 17-in rear wheels, the Hipster tips the scales at just 130 kg (287 lb) carrying a maximum of 14 liters (3.7 gallons) of fuel in its retro-styled tank.

According to FB Mondial, the Hipster will hit the showrooms in the second quarter of 2017, at a price that will hopefully be revealed in Cologne. Next to the scrambler, an enduro and a supermoto based on the same engine and frame platform are also expected to be unveiled.

The supermoto version of the 125 cc platform that supports FB Mondial's new start is expected to be introduced at Intermot 2016
The supermoto version of the 125 cc platform that supports FB Mondial's new start is expected to be introduced at Intermot 2016

But that's not all, as there is a 250 cc Hipster sibling on the way. Since such an engine isn't currently available in any of the brands that make up the Piaggio Group, we can only assume that either FB Mondial is developing a new engine for the first time in 56 years, or it will employ the powertrain from another manufacturer.

Judging from the disclosed specs, the description of the single-cylinder with one overhead camshaft, 249 cc, 18.5 kW (25 hp) motor bears a striking resemblance to the Zongshen unit that most famously powers the CSC RX3 adventure bike, and certainly looks to be a suitable fit for the HPS 250 Hipster model that is also expected to arrive in late 2017.

We'll have more on FB Mondial's comeback as New Atlas will be reporting from Intermot on October 4.

Source: FB Mondial

View gallery - 18 images
4 comments
VincentWolf
A throwback to the ugly bikes of the 70's. No thanks. EV's are the only welcome bikes for me and many other old farts.
Mayakovski
I wonder if there is any chance that the price will not be stupid.
Dan Parker
This may work in Europe, but probably not in the US. The name "Hipster" has a pejorative connotation here. Also, 125cc is just not enough for anything but scooting around town. You'd get killed trying to take it on a highway, which is a primary venue of travel in the US.
ChristopherEvert
Too bad it won't be sold in America. Don't get me wrong - no company should waste it's time trying to sell a 125cc bike here.
But a 250cc bike could be compatible with our roads, and a great entry-level bike option - provided it comes with an entry-level size price tag. And if this bike came in even a 500cc version, or 600cc - if it's as light as it looks, I'd even be a potential customer.