Fantic Motor is an Italian manufacturer of motorcycles. The company began in 1968, manufacturing and exporting enduro motorcycles, mini-bikes and go-karts.
Today they continue in the same genre, though the names have changed to dual-sport and motard (supermoto), and they have not returned to the US market.
|Founder||Mario Agrati and Henry Keppel-Hesselink|
Fantic began exporting to the United Kingdom in 1972, as part of a wave of manufacturers who took advantage of "sixteener laws," legislation that forbade sixteen-year-old motorcyclists from riding motorcycles up to 250 cc, as they had been used to. As a result, European and Japananese manufacturers exported their sporty and lightweight below-50cc engines, which had been common in Europe, to England also. Fantic produced a "sensational chopper moped" and a TI ("Tourismo Internazionale)," both of which became very popular quickly, with the reputation of being some of the fastest mopeds on the market, going as fast as 70 mph.
In the 1980s, Fantic enjoyed success in the Observed trials world championships, taking three titles as well as seven wins at the prestigious Scottish Six Days Trial.
1968 – A story that began years ago …
Dr. Mario Agrati, of Agrati Garelli from Monticello Brianza, breaks away from their family business to join Henry Keppel, who was responsible for Foreign Sales at Garelli. Together they start a company that produces mini-bikes, go-karts and enduro bikes, for the American market. The company name is Fantic Motor and in 1968 it started in Barzago.
1969 – Fantic Caballero
In November 1969, for the first time, the International Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan presents an off-road vehicle of 50 cc: the Fantic Caballero. Caballero Cross 50 was a scrambler, developed by Julius Maffessoli on a Verlicchi frame, silver, motorized with a Minarelli P4 SS with the characteristic yellow tank. It was not a race bike, but a simple moped with sporting appearance, affordable and able to satisfy the growing desire for off-road motorcycle. The Caballero rapidly expanding discipline among boys.
1970 – First production of Fantic Caballero
In spring of 1970 Fantic passed the first production series of Fantic Caballero thinking about an initial production of about 500 units. They build 10,000. By the end of 1970 Fantic introduced the new models; the Super Special 4M and 6M Competition.
1971 – Fantic Caballero 100cc
In this year, the 100cc Fantic Caballero was manufactured and sold. In the same year it was presented at the Milan Super Rocket, and from that time it was available to buy.
1972-1973 – Chopper 50cc and 125cc
Chopper 125. The production started with the 50cc and the 125cc Chopper of Fantic. Following by the great American ferment, which also arrive in the “old continent”. These bikes are characterized by a long front fork, greatly inclined. Fantic creates some of the most interesting European bikes.
1974 – Caballero 125cc with Minarelli engine
In 1974 Fantic introduces their first model, the Fantic Caballero Regularity, all with a Minarelli 125cc engine and also the first model of the Cross 125. Mounted with a single cylinder 2-stroke, available in 3 colours.
1975 – Fantic Motor Racing Team
The Fantic Motor Racing Team is created and start to participate in competitions of motocross. The team consists three young drivers. Christmas Noseda in the 50cc class, Moreno Fossati and Gianni Guanziroli in the 125 class. From this year the 50 cc models have a new thermal unit, designed by Fantic, and models between now and 1980 will be divided into three different types: “Super”, “Casa” and “Competizione”. The first two are allowed for road use, the third is made only for race use.
1976 – Caballero Regolarità 125, six-gears (6M)
Caballero Regolarità 125 undergoes changes with a new thermal unit made by Fantic based on Minarelli, but now with the six-speed gearbox.
1977 – First Trial 125
The prototype of the first Trial 125 model is built and later that year the production starts. The Trial 125 has a new thermal unit produced in Fantic and start the very first race in the Junior Championships of Trial.
1978 – The debut of Mik 26
It debuted in 1978, the first Mik 26, which is the Caballero 50 competition that will make the leap to the pilots of Fantic, admired even today among the fans. Motocross competitions continue with the help of pilots increasingly renowned. The Mik 26 is used only by the riders in 78’, while it is put on the market the following year. Also was in 78’ in production “The Parador” moped which helps to significantly increase the turnover of Fantic. The photo below shows the Mik 26 in 1980.
1979 – Fantic Trial 50cc and Trial 200cc
In 1979 Fantic began to produce the 50cc Trial and later the 200cc Trial. In the image below, for race was also produced a 75 cc version.
1980 – First Trial competitions
They start the first year of Trial competition with foreign and Italian riders, also the results in motocross were still good. Fantic also builds the new 125cc model for motocross. In the picture below there is the rider Roberto Daverio.
1981 – Year of great triumphs
1981 was the year in which Fantic won the Six Days of Elba Island, from that year it was no more called Regolarità, but Enduro. Fantic wins both in the European championship, as in the Italian. This was the year of Gualtiero Brissoni and Angelo Signorelli. Fantic created a whole new collection with engines made in Fantic. Fantic today will have a new target in addition: reach the top even in Trials Competition.
1982 – Fantic Trial 240
Gilles Burgat was hired to compete in the Trials. The previous year he had won the world championship of trials with SWM. It was built the “Trials 240”, the first trials with a motor of Fantic. Bugart get third in the championship with the “240”, while in the Italian championship senior, Fantic get the second and third positions with Miquel and Gianni Tabarelli. In the 50cc Diego Bosis won, this was the beginning of his great career as a rider, thanks to Fantic.
1983 – Fantic Trial 300
Fantic continuous their pursuit to reach the World Cup title in the Trial. In this view it is built the prototype of the “300 trial”. Gilles Bugart finished fourth in the World Trial, Renato Chiaberto second in the Italian Senior, Diego Bosis as always first in 50cc.
1984 – The start of Thierry Michaud for Fantic
Thierry Michaud, who comes from SWM, run in the Fantic Trial team. He gets the third position in the World Trial. Renato Chiaberto won the Senior Championship Trial, Bosis won the Junior Trial Championship. Fantic is ready for the next big jump! In the photo below Gilles Burgat.
1985 – First World Championship for Fantic
Fantic build their first trialbike with Mono shock and front disc brake, named the “301”. With this bike Michaud won the First World Fantic. Top photo by Michaud and 301 in Germany, struggling with the last round of the World Championship.
1986 – Second World Championship for Fantic
Fantic comes with the “301 Series 2” and this, together with Michaud results in a Second World title for Fantic. Fantic is now part of the top manufacturers.
1987 – New Trial 303
Michaud at the helm of the new trial “303”, comes third in the world championship by beating Tarres.
1987 – I Girasoli
Michaud the rider of the new trial “303”, becomes third in the world championship by beating Tarres.
1988 – Third World Championship for Fantic
In 1988 the Third World title of Trail is won again by Fantic again with the legendary Frenchman, Michaud, with a new “303 Series 2” completely revised. With this machine he beat the Spaniard Jordi Tarres.