Little Speed Fiend: 1967 Ducati 50 SL/1

Small and perfectly formed, the little-known Ducati 50 SL/1 is a 2-stroke and the stuff of teenage dreams.

| January/February 2020

1967-ducati-50-sl-1 

1967 Ducati 50 SL/1

Engine: 49.66cc air-cooled 2-stroke single, 38.8mm x 42mm bore and stroke, 11:1 compression ratio, 6hp @ 6,500rpm
Top speed: 60mph-plus
Carburetion: Single, remote-float, 18mm Dell’Orto
Transmission: 4-speed, chain final drive
Electrics: Magneto ignition
Frame/wheelbase: Dual downtube steel cradle frame/45.3in (1,150mm)
Suspension: Telescopic fork front, dual shocks rear
Brakes: 4.65in (118mm) SLS drums front and rear
Tires: 2.25 x 19in front and rear
Weight (dry): 130lb (59kg)
Seat height: 28.7in (730mm)

Ducati isn’t readily associated with 2-stroke motorcycles, but they formed an important part of the company’s marketing strategy in the early 1960s.

Aimed at a new youth market, some knowledgeable fans of Ducati’s history consider the unusual 50 SL/1 of 1967 one of the most beautiful models it ever made.



The ultimate development of a lightweight range first launched in 1961 with the Brisk and Piuma mopeds, the SL/1 took Italy’s crowded micro-motorcycle market to a new level of styling and performance.

The tiny 50 SL/1 featured some significant design elements that would later appear on its much larger 4-stroke singles. Chief among these were the distinctive twin filler caps on the gas tank. Those dual bayonet-style levers became a signature for Ducati’s 1968 “wide case” Mark 3 singles.



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