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Cucciolo 2005 Project
Owner: David Goldfarb
Built By: Bill Johnson and Mark Savory


Cucciolo 2005
The goal is to create a modern version of the Ducati 1946 Cucciolo (motor powered bicycle). Since the Ducati 49cc single engine hasn't been made in 60 years, a China's made 48cc 2-stroke engine will need to be used instead. The bike will be for the third party, so it need to fail with in his guideline. The body work will be a little different then the 40's Ducati and a under the project price limit.

Type Single cylinder 2 stroke
Total displacement 48 cc
Cooling system Air


1946 - Cucciolo
In the middle of WWII a designer named Aldo Farinelli developed the prototype of an auxiliary motor to be mounted on a bicycle. Farinelli's design had a number of major advantages over the competition, above all its four-stroke cycle and two-speed gearing, which used the engine's power to its fullest potential.

Ducati, which up until that time had produced radios and electrical components, partnered with another Italian firm, SIATA, to produce the Cucciolo, or "Puppy". By 1946, the rights to Cucciolo production had become exclusively Ducati's. In 1948 Ducati came up with its first original design, the T2. It was heavily influenced by the T1 design, but made improvements in the engine's efficiency, robustness, and, above all, logic of construction. The cylinder, for example, was redesigned and made removable and the drive mechanism made more accessible, the cylinder head was modified, and the rating was raised. The company also sold a sports version of the T2, capable of delivering 2 hp and reaching a top speed of 60 km/h.

Over the two year period, from 1947 to 1948, production was on the order of 240 pieces a day. In 1948, under the guidance of Giovanni Florio, the first engine designed entirely at Ducati, the T3, went into production. A natural derivation of the first Cucciolo, the T3 had a three-speed gear system, and a grease lubricated valve gear enclosed in a case. In 1949, a special tubular frame with rear suspension was developed for the T3 by Caproni of Rovereto, a famous wartime producer of airplanes. A year later the sports version of the 60 was brought out, marking the company's move into the world of competition. It had a capacity of 65 cc, a swing-arm fork, and two pairs of telescopic shock absorbers. Especially noteworthy was the Cucciolo's remarkably low fuel consumption: 225 miles per gallon!

Ducati Cucciolo 48cc Engine

Type Single cylinder 4 stroke
Bore and Stroke 39mm x 40 mm
Total displacement 48 cc
Lubrication Oil sump splash
Cooling system Air
Carburetor Weber carburetor with 9 mm choke
Ignition Magneto flywheel ignition
Transmission Two-speed gearbox
Primary drive By gear
Power 1.5 HP at 5,500 RPM

Ducati Cucciolo 1946-1948
Cucciolo 2005 Project - Concept Drawings
Cucciolo 2005 Project - December 6, 2005
First two engine were received damaged, finial got a good engine the last night. A China made 48cc 2-stroke single cylinder. We are now Just waiting on arrival of the frame, then after making some measurements, we can head to the local bike shop and get the rest of the components.
Cucciolo 2005 Project - January 7, 2006
The Schwinn knock off frame, with the integrated gas tank, was back order yet again. So we canceled that order and when out locally and acquired a real Schwinn single speed bicycle.
Cucciolo 2005 Project - January 12, 2006
Since the engine wasn't designed for a real Schwinn frame, some structural changes will have to be made and a gas tank fabricated and integrated in to the frame itself. We are creating custom mount to better support the engine as well. Once we have the frame rebuilt with the gas tank, we'll send the frame to the painter. Then do the final assembly.
Cucciolo 2005 Project - January 28, 2006
With the frame complete and bike preped we now wait for the painter to finish. Then we can proceed with final assemble.
Cucciolo 2005 Project - March 19, 2006
The project bike is now 90% assembled and in the home stretch. A few unforeseen details to work out, such as the handle bar angle for the throttle, reinforcing the clutch control (the China make control is a little cheesy) reinforce the kickstand to support the engine weight better. Then we can make the finish the assemble and take it for a ride.
Cucciolo 2005 Project - April 17, 2006
The bike is complete and now being tested as Mark and I ride it around the local streets. Testing lead to a last minute replacement of the rear wheel and hub assembly (plus a matching front wheel). We also added additional venting for the gas tank and upgraded the fuel hose.
Cucciolo 2005 Project - April 19, 2006

After a few more test rides, the bike is complete and ready for delivery in the morning!
We put over 20 miles on the finished bike. With a top speed of 27.9 mpg. Other then the multiple delays and poor quality of some of the materials the project went pretty well.

Click Here For more information about Bill Johnson, The DucCutters' club President and founder.





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Motor Vehicle Modification
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