1964 Ducati folding mini-bike

With Phil Aynsley


I am constantly amazed at the turns of fate that occasionally result in a bike that in normal circumstances would have been lost to history, instead surviving to be photographed in the present.

Ducati Minbike Folding PA MO Scooter
1964 Ducati folding mini-bike

Here we have the sole prototype of a “folding” minibike that Ducati developed in 1964. It used the 48cc fan-cooled 2-stroke motor that was to be found in several of the company’s production bikes of the time such as the 48SL.

Ducati Minbike Folding PA MO Scooter
Two-speed 48cc fan-cooled 2-stroke motor

The two-speed gearbox was operated by the left twist grip and a whole 1.35 or 1.5hp (in the SL – depending on the market) was available.

Ducati Minbike Folding PA MO Scooter
A 1.35 or 1.5hp variant was available

The prototype used the simple method of a sliding square-section main frame member together with handlebars that slid down into the rigid front forks to achieve its change in dimensions.

Ducati Minbike Folding PA MO Scooter
1964 Ducati folding mini-bike

Full street equipment included head and tail lights, horn and luggage rack. The seat was fixed to the top of the fuel tank. The handlebar brake lever controlled both front and rear brakes.

Ducati Minbike Folding PA MO Scooter
Tank mounted seat, keeping things compact!

The bike was sent to Ducati’s US importer Berliner for evaluation, and in the twist of fate alluded to earlier, years later became the pit bike for well known Ducati tuner and team owner Reno Leoni.

Ducati Minbike Folding PA MO Scooter
1964 Ducati folding mini-bike

When he retired and moved back to Italy the bike was obtained by one of his riders, Peter Calles, who happens to be a friend of mine…

Around the world with The Bear Peter Thoeming Part cover

Around the world with The Bear | Part 16 | London to Marseilles

Around the world with The Bear - Part 16 The King of Every Kingdom Around the world on a very small motorcycle With J. Peter “The Bear”...
Mondial Twin Paton ImagePA cover

F. B. Mondial 250cc twin-cylinder GP Racer

F. B. Mondial / Paton 250 GP Racer With Phil Aynsley I have been fortunate enough to have photographed quite a few F. B. Mondials over...
Around the world with The Bear Peter Thoeming Part Cover

Around the world with The Bear | Part 15 | Switzerland, Germany, Wales, Ireland...

Around the world with The Bear - Part 15 The King of Every Kingdom Around the world on a very small motorcycle With J. Peter “The Bear”...
Around the world with The Bear Peter Thoeming Part Cover

Around the world with The Bear | Part 14 | Greece, Yugoslavia & Italy

Around the world with The Bear - Part 14 The King of Every Kingdom Around the world on a very small motorcycle With J. Peter “The Bear”...
Around the world with The Bear Peter Thoeming Part Cover

Around the world with The Bear | Part 13 | Turkey to Greece

Motorcycle Touring Around the world with The Bear - Part 13 The King of Every Kingdom Around the world on a very small motorcycle With J. Peter “The...
Moto Guzzi PA Guzzi Cover

Moto Guzzi ‘bird beak’ 250 racer

1953 Moto Guzzi 250 Bird Beak 250 Guzzi GP Racer With Phil Aynsley Moto Guzzi won the first post-war 250cc World Championship in 1949 with rider Bruno...
Around the world with The Bear Peter Thoeming Part Cover

Around the world with The Bear | Part 12 | Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey

Around the world with The Bear - Part 12 The King of Every Kingdom Around the world on a very small motorcycle With J. Peter “The Bear”...
Twin Ring Motegi Honda Collection Hall HCH view L Cover

Kuniyoshi Iwata runs Honda’s Twin Ring Motegi Collection Hall

Twin Ring Motegi Honda Collection Hall The Twin Ring Motegi Collection comprises Honda's history of motorcycling since the late 1940s, when Soichiro Honda built his...
HONDA REBEL

A deep dive into the Australian Motorcycles Sales Data | 2019

Motorcycles Sales Figures Australia 2019 Despite record low interest rates and fairly low unemployment, retail sales across almost every product sector came under massive pressure throughout...
BMW Big Boxer Engine

100 years of BMW Boxer production, how it all started…

BMW Boxer Engine Centenary Martin Stolle was a talented young engineer in the development department of BMW and he was having great fun riding his...