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125 Desmo

The adoption of the Desmodromic system in Ducati single-cylinder racing engines was a turning point in Ducati’s history. This photo shows the 125 Desmo and Fabio Taglioni surrounded by mechanics Recchia, Mazza, Alberto Farnè and chief engineer Loli.

The 125 Desmo was the first Ducati bike ever displaying the prancing horse.

Gianni Degli Antoni after the Hedemora win on the 125 Desmo (in Sweden) in 1956.

 
 

With the Desmodromic valve system in 1956, Ducati single cyclinders reached the height of their development. In this sense, the 125 Triple Camshaft Desmo marks the first truly recognizable Ducati. Its creation was a defining moment in the history of motorcycle engineering. Taglioni was quoted in Motociclismo magazine as remarking, “The main purpose of the system is to force the valve to follow the distribution diagram as closely as possible. Energy losses are virtually negligible, performance curves are more uniform and reliability is improved.”

The engine and frame of the Triple camshaft Twin cylinder 125 constitutes a rare example that perfectly sums up the historical context of its origin in the 50s.  From a technical perspective, this was one of the most fertile periods in the history of motorcycle racing.  In fact, the international regulations, unlike those of today, gave a free hand to designers, who were able to try out every conceivable approach.



In 1958, just one year before its withdrawal from official participation in competition, the Bolognese manufacturer not only came out with its fantastic Triple-camshaft single-cylinder Desmo 125, but also developed the Twin-cylinder which came in third at Monza.  At the same time, Taglioni was designing a double-camshaft four-cylinder!

Palmares

15/07/1956  1st 125 GP Championship - Hedemora (Sweden)
Gianni Degli Antoni
1958  1st 125 Senores Italian Championship
Bruno Spaggiari
1958
1st 24 Horas de Montjuic (125)
Maranghi/Mandolini
1958
2nd 125 GP World Championship
Alberto Gandossi
1958
2nd 125 GP World Championship
Manufacturer's Title
6/07/1958  1st victory 125 GP Championship - Spa Francorchamps 
Alberto Gandossi
1958
1st 125 Seniores Italian Championship
Bruno Spaggiari
1958
1st 125 Seniores Italian Championship
Manufacturer's Title
1958
125 Juniores Italian Championship
Franco Farnè
1958
125 Juniores Italian Championship
Manufacturer's Title
1959
1st ACU 125 British Championship
Mike Hailwood ©
1960
1st ACU 125 British Championship
Mike Hailwood ©

Technical specification

  • ENGINE

  • TRANSMISSION

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