Historic Racebike Illustrations: 1972 Ducati 500GP, In The November Issue

Historic Racebike Illustrations: 1972 Ducati 500GP, In The November Issue

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Featured In the November 2022 issue of Roadracing World:

 

        Ducati is a company with racing in its DNA. Racing helped promote and sell Ducati’s initial range of single-cylinder streetbikes, but in the 1960s, multi-cylinder, more reliable and faster machines from Japan were dominating this market. 

        To make life even tougher for Ducati, the expanding American market wanted motorcycles that were 650cc or larger, a need mostly filled by British 650cc twin-cylinder machines. 

        Ducati’s chief engineer Fabio Taglioni was working on an engine design for a 750cc sport motorcycle. His concept was a V-Twin with one cylinder set at 90 degrees to the other for near perfect primary balance, producing little engine vibration, while in comparison British Parallel Twins vibrated like jackhammers! Although there was nothing new about 90-degree V-Twins, the world had not seen such an engine for a long time. To prove the concept, Taglioni was asked to design a 500cc version for a Grand Prix racebike…

“Historic Racebike Illustrations: 1972 Ducati 500GP,” by Mick Ofield

 

Utilizing the 250cc Ducati single-cylinder bore and stroke of 74mm x 57.80mm, Taglioni’s engine was up and running by the end of 1970. And while the bike’s success rate was not what Ducati wanted, it did help build public acceptance of the L-twin engine configuration in sportbikes. Read the story of Ducati’s first GP machine—it’s in the latest issue of Roadracing World!

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