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Another Bologna Beauty

Ducati were once just another of the many motorcycle factories around Bologna, perhaps their most famous fellow bike builder being Moto Morini. This one’s probably my favourite – the 3½ with disc front brake but still with the Borranis and the original Sport look, especially that humped seat.

This image is by Paul Hart (featured in a past post with a 400 Four photo) and as with that pic this was taken on 35mm film with an Olympus OM-2N. He’s a complete Vespa scooter nut, and. He takes mainly images of classic cars and scooters, just as he finds them. He believes certain quality is achieved with film, especially when taking shots of vintage subjects. Look out for him on Flickr. We featured his work and book in Benzina 12. This photo was in Benzina 7 (sorry - sold out) as an intro to a piece on Chris Mayhew’s success on a 3½ based racer.

But the real 3½ fans probably want Benzina 4 , with an interview with its designer Franco Lambertini – here’s a taster.

“The best engine for a bike is a V-twin. It is as narrow as a single, compact and good for a wide range of applications. This was important given that I had no idea what types of motorcycle it might be required to power in the future. At the beginning, in 1971 when I conceived the first engine[having left Ferrari] the purpose was to produce an engine for the future.

I was also always thinking about a modular engine, so we could use the same basic concept for different cylinder capacities and engine layouts. Only through modularity could the basic engine life be kept long and the production costs kept low, which they had to be, given that annual production numbers were always going to be relatively small.

Economy of production was an important consideration too, as during the 1970s it has to be remembered there were no CNC machines. Simplicity of processes and manufacture were major factors we had to consider.

...so I studied the options from a base of a 125cc single upwards, with singles of different sizes being doubled up for use in V-twin configurations. The sound of the twin cylinder engine was very important also, as it is something you feel inside, it appeals on a human and emotional level”


It sure does.





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