Ducati Cucciolo

medha@Throttle|Updated: September 27, 2016 15:31

Ducati's first bike- the Cucciolo (Italian word for puppy) got its name due to its distinct bark sound from the exhaust.  During the World War II, Aldo Farinelli began working with the small Turinese firm Siata (Società Italiana per Applicazioni Tecniche Auto-Aviatorie) with the idea of developing a small engine that could be mounted on a bicycle. With its weight a little over 17 pounds (7.7 kg), two speed pre- selector transmission and giving 180 miles per US gallon (77 km/l) when installed in a bicycle, soon the firm began selling the Cucciolo engines to public.


Soon the demand outstripped the limited production capabilities as the bike offered amazing mileage. It became impossible for Siata to manage the growing demand and hence found a manufacturing partner in Borgo Panigale, near Bologna. Ducati was a well-known name in electronics and appliances, and in the post-war torn Italy, it was looking out for new opportunities, so a licensing agreement with Siata was reached. 


In 1952, with 200,000 Cucciolos already sold, Ducati finally offered its own complete moped based on the successful little pull rod engine, removing the pedals and adding a 3 speed gearbox, creating the model 48 (produced until 1954) and model 55E and 55R. The model 48's fuel tank was integrated into the frame, and a swingarm type rear suspension. The following models were becoming more and more real motorcycles, with pressed-steel frames. The engine capacity grew to 60 cc, models 60 and 60 Sport, and finally to 65 cc, 65 Sport, 65T, 65TL and 65TS.