Inside the Ducati Factory

Part One – With Phil Aynsley

I’m guessing that at least some of you have visited the Ducati factory and gone on the tour around the production lines etc. You undoubtedly saw the very large and prominent blue & yellow entrance to the Engine Test/Race Dept. annex. You might have even had a peak in through the small window before the guide dragged you away.

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – By Phil Aynsley

There is no missing where the Race Dept. is to found!

Well here is a look at some of what is on the inside…

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – By Phil Aynsley

Offices and meeting rooms in the centre with engine test bays on the outside (and no, I wasn’t allowed to poke a camera in those).

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - Water-cooled, belt driven DOHC triple-cylinder 350 Ducati - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – Water-cooled, belt driven DOHC triple-cylinder 350 Ducati – By Phil Aynsley

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - Water-cooled, belt driven DOHC triple-cylinder 350 Ducati - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – Water-cooled, belt driven DOHC triple-cylinder 350 Ducati – By Phil Aynsley

In 1971 the company’s management decided Ducati should challenge MV in the 350cc GP class. As Ing. Taglioni wasn’t in favour of the idea, the Ricardo firm in England was commissioned to produce a design. The result was this water-cooled, belt-driven DOHC triple. Four-valve heads (with six header pipes) and a seven-speed gearbox were used. Despite development during 1972 the motor only reached 50hp at 14,500rpm. The project was abandoned the following year with the motor never having gotten past the bench test stage.

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - 1957 Pushrod 125 - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – 1957 Pushrod 125 – By Phil Aynsley

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - 1957 Pushrod 125 - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – 1957 Pushrod 125 – By Phil Aynsley

This 1957 prototype design for a pushrod 125 never made it into production.

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - Supercharged 350 Pantah - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – Supercharged 350 Pantah – By Phil Aynsley

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - Supercharged 350 Pantah - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – Supercharged 350 Pantah – By Phil Aynsley

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - Supercharged 350 Pantah - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – Supercharged 350 Pantah – By Phil Aynsley

Both turbo and supercharging were experimented with by Ing. Taglioni. This is a 350 Pantah motor fitted with a supercharger. The turbo version is rumored to have spectacularly self-destructed during bench testing when the waste-gate stuck open.

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - Ducati Muletto three-wheel utility vehicle - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – Ducati Muletto three-wheel utility vehicle – By Phil Aynsley

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - Ducati Muletto three-wheel utility vehicle - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – Ducati Muletto three-wheel utility vehicle – By Phil Aynsley

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - Ducati Muletto three-wheel utility vehicle - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – Ducati Muletto three-wheel utility vehicle – By Phil Aynsley

Nearly all the Italian manufacturers produced light 3-wheeled utility vehicles. Ducati’s were the small 2-stroke Fattorino and much larger Muletto – powered by 175 (1957), then 200cc (1958) OHV 4-stroke motors. This prototype OHC 200cc version was tested in the late ’50’s for a revised version of the Muletto.

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - Ducati Desmosedici RR development engine - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – Ducati Desmosedici RR development engine – By Phil Aynsley

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - Ducati Desmosedici RR development engine - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – Ducati Desmosedici RR development engine – By Phil Aynsley

One of then many development motors for the Desmosedici RR.

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - Ducati engine for Cagiva Elefant mtoor, this is a 904cc engine from 1990, the year Edi Orioli won the Paris-Dakar on a Cagiva Elefant - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – Ducati engine for Cagiva Elefant mtoor, this is a 904cc engine from 1990, the year Edi Orioli won the Paris-Dakar on a Cagiva Elefant – By Phil Aynsley

Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy - Ducati engine for Cagiva Elefant mtoor, this is a 904cc engine from 1990, the year Edi Orioli won the Paris-Dakar on a Cagiva Elefant - By Phil Aynsley
Ducati Factory, Bologna, Italy – Ducati engine for Cagiva Elefant mtoor, this is a 904cc engine from 1990, the year Edi Orioli won the Paris-Dakar on a Cagiva Elefant – By Phil Aynsley

Ducati had a long history of providing the power plants for Cagiva’s Paris-Dakar Elefant race bikes. This is a 904cc motor from one of the 1990 bikes. Rider Edi Orioli won that year on an Elefant.

Part Two HERE

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