PCL’s People with Passion
The First Ducati
As part of our People with Passion series, we wanted to look at the story of the first Ducati motorcycle!
Halfway through the Second World War, designers Aldo Leoni and Aldo Farinelli, developed the prototype for an auxiliary engine designed to be fitted on a bicycle: its name was Cucciolo. It featured a four-stroke cycle and two-speed gearbox, allowing it to make the most of the engine power. It became very popular, very quickly! However, it became clear that the creators were ill equipped to meet such a staggering demand. This is when Ducati, from Bologna, came into the picture.
In 1945, the Ducati brand, already well known and appreciated for its innovative precision machining and radio-electric products, decided to expand its scope of business by launching the Cucciolo line and purchasing all manufacturing rights. In March 1946, the first ten Type 1 Cucciolo engines were manufactured and presented at the Milan Trade Fair in September 1946. In the same year, Ducati completed its T2. Strongly influenced by T1, T2 stood out for remarkable strides in terms of engine efficiency and sturdiness but, most importantly, in its structure. For example, the cylinder had been redesigned to be removable, while the drive mechanism was improved in terms of access; the cylinder head had also been changed and the power increased. The frame was the backbone (much ahead of its time!), and the suspensions were extremely flexible, both front and rear. The engine was cantilever fitted. A sturdy yet practical luggage rack was provided with telescopic suspensions independent from the frame ones.
The company also launched a sporty version of T2, having a power of 2HP and a top speed of 60km/h. Between 1947-1948, the production output was 240 units per day. In 1948, under the leadership of Giovanni Florio, Ducati started the production of the first engine entirely designed internally, the T3. In keeping with the first Cucciolo, the T3 had a three-speed gearbox and a grease-lubricated valve protected by a casing. In 1949 Caproni, a famous wartime airplane manufacturer from Trento, designed a special tubular frame with rear suspensions, which was used on the Cucciolo, giving it a true motorbike style.
This was the dawn of Ducati 60, a “Light motorcycle” model in its full right. A year later the company launched the sporty version of Ducati 60; this version marked the debut of the company in the world of motorbike competition.
The Cucciolo stood out for its incredible fuel-mileage ratio: almost one hundred kilometers on one liter of fuel.1 It was truly a work of art and innovation!
Much like the Ducati brothers, PCL aims for excellence, building upon successful designs to make them better for our customers and always pushing for bigger and better! We love the communities that bring us closer together, and we love the road that we all share which brings us endless smiles and memories!
To all the fans and riders worldwide, the story of the first Ducati is incredible, but we know there are more! Are you a Ducati owner? Share your pics and stories with us on Instagram @pcltireinflation and use the hashtag #PCLlove! Questions? Need your own PCL products? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.