Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Fantic GT Super Six

Wed, April 6th, 2011

NOTE: The GT Super Six was never imported to the U.S.

1977–78 Fantic TX 220 Gran Turismo Super Six
The Fantic GT displaced only 50cc, but given the limitations of the class, it was a screamer. The unrestricted Super Six version (Model TX 220) was a truly hot number in the sporting 50 class, not a moped. It generated at least a full horsepower more any of the other 50cc bikes of the time, which was about a 20% power advantage. It was incredibly peaky, however, only running strongly between 8,000 RPM and its 9,500 RPM readline. Thankfully, the six-speed manual transmission allowed the rider to keep the engine on the boil. As a result, the Super Six could easily run at 55 MPH solo all day long, and exceed 50 MPH with two full-grown riders. The downside was a lack of oil injection and a smokey 20:1 premix ratio.
Little bikes can have unsophisticated frames, skinny tires, and basic components and still handle well. The Super Six had competent if unremarkable suspension and a high-quality Grimeca hydraulic front disc that was nearly overkill.
The Super Six was tasteful and nicely proportioned, but kind of bland, though the mag wheels are a nice touch. Little details like the sidecover lettering are amateurish and the finish on many parts is a bit crude looking.
Little Minnerelli motors were incredibly strong, but the rest of the bike was relatively cobby. Like all tiny bikes, these were routinely trashed by teens. A third of a century later, you're not likely to find one in good condition, even in Europe.
Sporting 50s are immense fun, but not a very useful choice for real transport compared to either the additional 'go' a somewhat larger bike provides, or the convenience of a CVT scooter of similar performance. Deduct my standard 2 points for non-US models and practicality is negligible, though the sizable standard rear rack earns it a half point.
I'll most likely never get a chance to own a Super Six, and I'm okay with that. But if I stumbled across one for sale, I'd want to snatch it up.
It's a rare, exotic hotrod, even if it is only 50cc.