1967 Mototrans 250 Four
With Phil Aynsley
The Spanish Mototrans company was formed in 1958 with the merging of the Maquitrans and Cliper concerns who imported the Ducati Cucciolo and 98cc bikes respectively.
Mototrans was licensed to manufacture Ducati motorcycles and began with the 125 Sport in 1960. The company went on to become an important part of Ducati’s growth during the 1960s with many race wins (particularly in the Barcelona 24 hour races) as well as building a range of models that were sold by Ducati, as Ducatis.
However the company did occasionally develop their own designs – the most ambitious of which was the 1967 MT 250/4 GP bike.
Only a single bike was built (with an additional motor) with Auto Savelli (ex-Benelli) and Renato Armaroli (ex-BMW Motorsport & Ducati) as the designers/engineers.
The engine is quite unusual in being basically two parallel twins joined together. Two coupled 180º crankshafts and even twin head castings, each featuring its own cascade of gears driving the camshafts, were used.
The heads used a two valve design with an included angle of 63º. By the time development ceased in 1969 a magneto ignition (sourced from an outboard motor) had been fitted. It was driven by a toothed belt from the RHS front camshaft.