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.

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