Nine-time Grand Prix motorcycle racing champion Carlo Ubbiali passed away on June 2, 2020. He was 90 years old. In his 12 seasons of Grand Prix competition, the “Fox” captured six 125cc titles and three 250cc crowns. Ubbiali rode MV Agustas to eight of those championships, but the rider’s first 125cc title was with Italy’s F.B. Mondial in 1951. Seventy years later, the recently revived brand honors the all-time great with the HPS 125 Ubbiali.
Built on the brand’s neo-retro HPS platform, the special-edition naked bike pays homage to the nine-time champ with several styling upgrades. Donning the iconic silver/royal blue F.B. Mondial color scheme, the HPS adapts the brand’s classic livery to the model’s sporty spirit. Angular graphics and gold pinstripes toe the line between modern and retro while the Italian flag colors on the tank recognize F.B. Mondial and Ubbiali’s country of origin.
While the Fox used the number 77 during his 1951 championship season, the HPS 125 Ubbiali touts the number 9 on its side plates, a reference to the rider’s nine Grand Prix titles. The royal blue saddle further distinguishes the special-edition eighth-liter naked from its counterparts while the taller, wider handlebars relax the rider triangle. Despite the aesthetic and ergonomic upgrades, the HPS 125’s underpinnings remain.
Ubbiali may have ridden a two-stroke 125cc F.B. Mondial to the 1951 crown, but the HPS’s liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valve, four-stroke 125cc is much more suited to modern roadways. The new Dell'Orto fuel injection and Euro 5 compliance also make the mill more convenient than ever. No, you probably won’t win any races with the 13.5 horsepower and 7.7 lb-ft of torque on tap, but the HPS 125 remains a tractable and stylish option for urban riders.
At €4,595 (≈ $5,300 USD), the Ubbiali Edition is a nominal markup on the HPS 125’s €4,465 (≈ $5,200 USD) MSRP. Yes, the F.B. Mondial HPS 125 Ubbiali is essentially a styling exercise, but it’s a fitting and affordable way to celebrate the life of a legendary Grand Prix rider.