Humble Beginnings: Ducati 60

An eBay addiction proves fruitful when collector Dave Ryan snatches the apple of his eye, the Ducati 60, Ducati’s first real motorcycle badged as such.


Ducati 60

Engine: 59.57cc air-cooled 4-stroke overhead valve pullrod singe, 42mm x 43mm bore and stroke, 8:2 compression ratio, 2.25hp @ 5,000rpm
Top speed: 37mph (60kph)
Carburetion: Weber 15 MFC
Transmission: 3-speed foot shift, chain final drive
Frame/wheelbase: Tubular steel/45.5in (1,156mm)
Suspension: Telescopic front fork, cantilever rear suspension, friction shock
Brakes: Front and rear single drum breaks
Tires: Two Pirelli 1.75 x 22in
Weight: 98lb (45kg)
Fuel capacity/mpg: 1.3gal/164mpg
Cost then/now: 143 lire ($4.71/$3,000-12,000)


Ducati celebrated its 90th anniversary as a company in 2016, releasing a commemorative book and updating its museum. An arguably more important milestone (at least to readers of this magazine) happens in July 2019 — the 70th anniversary of the first complete motorcycle to roll out of the Borgo Panigale factory: the Ducati 60.


An abridged version of the genesis of these bikes follows — thanks to the works of Ian Falloon and information from Bruno Ducati written in a forward to Ducati: 50 Golden Years by Luigi Bianchi and Marco Masetti. More resources came from the book Il Cucciolo, un Gigante by Giuliano Musi, photos of a “CCC” owned by Alan Moseley, and Ducati’s historical information (a large part of which seems to have been deleted from its website). I must also mention the Ducati Pushrod Singles group and the wealth of information available from its various sources. A couple of members stand out for the help they provided to me: the aforementioned Alan Moseley, and John Henry. Their vast knowledge (and thirst to add to it) were valuable assets in my journey for understanding this history.

james mcmullen
4/9/2021 5:32:18 PM

Why is it called a pull rod engine? Is there a schematic or photo of the valve train?

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