Starting in the 1950s, department stores like Sears and Montgomery Ward rebadged Italian small displacement bikes from Puch, Gilera, and Benelli and sold them right out of their brick and mortar stores, or even out of the mail order catalogs. MW was particularly fond of Benelli, and rebranded the Benelli Cobra into the Montgomery Ward Riverside 125. As a buyer, you were expected to complete final assembly, taking care of pieces like the handlebars, controls, front fender, front wheel, seat, etc, and MW estimated that assembly would take 30 minutes. Today we feature the bike that MW enjoyed so much – the original Benelli Cobra, a 125cc street scrambler.
In its Italian homeland, this bike was actually called the Benelli Leoncino. The motor is a piston-ported two stroke, with a kick starter on the left and the shifter on the right. 4 speeds, 1 up, and 3 down. MSRP was $369, and it bought you speeds up to 68 mph and mpg of up to 119. The 2-cycle engine put out 6.5 horsepower, which only had to push 297 pounds.
This specific Benelli Cobra is quite striking after a nut and bolt restoration that included a repaint in the factory blue. You’ll also get the shop manual, parts manual, some spare decals and advertising brochures.
Find this Benelli Cobra for sale here on eBay with a BIN price of $4,000 in Ojai, California.