The Cucciolo engine.

An original ad featuring the Cucciolo as a precious gift for a loved one.

Glauco Zitelli into action on the Cucciolo in 1947.


In the middle of WWII a designer named Aldo Farinelli developed the prototype of an auxiliary motor to be mounted on a bicycle: the Cucciolo.
Farinelli's design had a number of major advantages over the competition, above all its four-stroke cycle and two-speed gearing, which used the engine's power to its fullest potential.

The Cucciolo was the development that allowed S.I.A.T.A. to come back to life in record time after having been damaged in the war. In May 1945 a new factory was opened in via Leonardo da Vinci, Turin. The Cucciolo was presented at the Turin Fair in 1945 and the title of the Motociclismo magazine on July 26, 1945 read "A puppy was born in Turin".

Just a few months after the Cucciolo went in production, it became clear that S.I.A.T.A. couldn't handle the great demand for the Cucciolo.

This is where Ducati came into play. Despite the fact that Ducati was previously only well known for its advanced radio electronic and mechanical products, in 1946 it decided to widen the scope of production by constructing the Cucciolo.

In March of 1946, Ducati released the first 10 type 1 Cucciolo engines. The Cucciolo was released to the public at the Milan Fair in September 1946. In the same year Ducati came up with its first original design, the T2.
It was heavily influenced by the T1 design, but made improvements in the engine's efficiency, robustness, and, above all, logic of construction. The cylinder, for example, was redesigned and made removable and the drive mechanism made more accessible, the cylinder head was modified, and the rating was raised. This was really modern at the time and provided flexible suspensions in both the front and back of the bike.
The engine was also developing by leaps and bounds.

The company also sold a sports version of the T2, capable of delivering 2 hp and reaching a top speed of 60 km/h. Over the two year period, from 1947to 1948, production was on the order of 240 pieces a day. In 1948, under the guidance of Giovanni Florio, the first engine designed entirely at Ducati, the T3, went into production.

A natural derivation of the first Cucciolo, the T3 had a three-speed gear system, and a grease lubricated valve gear enclosed in a case. In 1949, a special tubular frame with rear suspension was developed for the T3 by Caproni of Rovereto, a famous wartime producer of airplanes.
The developments on the Cucciolo's frame continued, making it more and more like a real motorcycle. It was completely redesigned and put together in the Borgo Panigale factory, although the frame was still produced by Caproni. The Cucciolo T3 came out in the summer of 1949.

The next development of the Cucciolo was the Ducati 60, the first that was actually considered a "Light-motorcycle."
A year later the sports version of the 60 was brought out, marking the company's move into the world of competition. It had a capacity of 65 cc, a swing-arm fork, and two pairs of telescopic shock absorbers.
Especially noteworthy was the Cucciolo's remarkably low fuel consumption: 225 miles per gallon!



15/02/1947  1st Viareggio racetrack
Mario Recchia
1950 Speed record 50cc - Monza

Technical specification