Although during the difficult post-war years Italian streets buzzed almost exclusively to the sound of small domestic single-cylinder two-stroke motors, two-cylinder two-stroke two-wheelers were virtually non-existent.
Bradford’s Scott Motorcycle Company had produced a 408cc two-stroke twin way back in 1908, with the firm enjoying much racing success with subsequent models between the wars, but East German and Japanese manufacturers didn’t make two-stroke waves until the mid 1950s and early ‘60s.
Back in Italy, just three firms produced two-cylinder two-stroke bikes in the post-war period: CM, Rumi and Motobi, and the first to do so was CM Motocicli of Bologna. Its 250 twin broke cover in 1949 and went into production the following year. The motor was essentially the result of pairing two CM 125 singles, and they in turn had been inspired by an earlier DKW 125 single. The first CM 250 produced an unremarkable 8.5hp at 5,000rpm, but before long power and performance had increased, CM had ditched girder forks for telescopics, and T, Sport and Super Sport (SS) variants had been added to the model range.
The 1954 CM 250 on sale here was purchased new by Giuseppe Sgamma of Turin, a privateer who raced it in the 1955 Milan-Taranto, and in two Moto Giro d’Italia events. It was recently lovingly restored, and it remains in his family’s ownership to this day. It comes with Italian registration and an FMI historic homologation card.
As two-stroke enthusiasts lament the recent demise of the ‘stinkwheel’, this rare, significant and very special CM should warm the cockles of anyone who loves the smell of burnt premix in the morning.