Fongri “5 1/2 Hp”, 1921, Italy
Fongri was born in Turin in 1910 from the Grignani brothers, motorbikes manufacturers, and Fontana. Fongri initially built single-cilinders side-valves JAP-powered motorcycles.
Eugenio Grignani, cofounder of the brand and technical manager of the company, was a meticulous technician and cared for details, so much so that contrary to the use, he decided to design and produce internally the carburetor and the gearbox too.
The 5 1/2 HP was ready after WWI and proved to be successful, winning the 1919 edition of the Italian Championship.
The winning convinced a group of industrialists from Milan to invest 5 million Lire (a significant amount of money at the time) to industrialize the product: so the collaboration with SAOM “Società Anonima Officine Meccaniche” from Ceriano Laghetto started.
Due to the advent of the 1929 economic crisis and the Italian protectionist politics of the time, the company closed in 1930.
In 1925 the 5 1/2 HP was updated with disk brake at the front, a unique innovation that we will see massively applied only years after WWII.
- Side valves
- Magneto ignition
- Multiple disks clutch
- Chain drive
- Rigid frame
- Mechanical brakes