In the mid-1940s, Ducati, who were making radios and miscellaneous electrical components at that time, partnered with an Italian company called SIATA, in order to start making motorcycles. And the Cucciolo (Italian for puppy…) was one of the first efforts of the fledgling company.
The 1948 Cucciolo T2 was the first motorcycle which Ducati designed on their own. It was powered by an air-cooled, 48cc, single-cylinder engine, which was mated to a two-speed gearbox. The engine only made 1.5 horsepower at 5500rpm, but there was a Sports version (!!!) for those who wanted more performance – 2.0 horsepower, and a claimed 60km/h top speed.
The 1948 Cucciolo T2 led to the T3 in early-1949, which had a three-speed gearbox, stronger tubular chassis, rear suspension and grease lubricated valve gear enclosed in a case. As usual, Ducati also offered a Sports version, where the engine capacity upped to 65 cc, a swingarm fork was added, and two pairs of telescopic shock absorbers were bolted on. All heady stuff for those days! The bike was moderately successful in racing, and Ducati never looked back since then…
Here's the very interesting Ducati Virtual Museum - you'll want to visit all seven 'rooms' there.Also see:
Ducati PS1000 LE: Paul Smart rides again!
Bike magazine readers: 'Carl Fogarty is an idiot!'
Memorable: The mighty Munch Mammut TTS-E
Racy reptile: The Bimota Tuatara
Blast from the past: Silver Dream Racer
Brough Superior: Rights to name on sale
Libero Liberati: 500cc motorcycle GP racing world champ in 1957...