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.


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.

The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5.00 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $29.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $34.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter