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Britax Ducati

1949-1956

Britax Ducati

Britax Ducati

The now famous Ducati firm started as many others by selling basic vehicles just after the war. In fact they did not start with a vehicle but with a small 48cc clip-on engine called the Cucciolo (Little Pup) originally designed during WWII by Aldo Farinelli. It was a four stroke engine compared to the competitors two strokes like the Musquito by Garelli.

The clever design had valves operated by pull-rods rather than push-rods and was built in a unit with a two-speed pre-selector gearbox with a 9-plate oil-bath clutch. All shafts ran on roller bearings.

In Brittain the firm Britax was importer of these Ducati Cucciolo engines to be build into clients bicycles. In 1953 they made there first complete motorcycle for which Royal Enfield supplied the bicycle parts, the Britax Cucciolo, which was announced at the 1954 Earls Court show in London.

The 48cc overhead-valve Cucciolo was of unitary construction incorporating a two-speed transmission and was beautifully constructed (According to Motorcycling magazine). The Enfield cycle featured a heavy duty frame with pressed steel girder forks similar to Royal Enfields 125cc model RE, rubber suspension with check action, 26" x 1.75" wheels fitted with Dunlop Carrier tyres. Hand operated internal expanding 4" brakes to both wheels, lycett saddle, 6-volt 15 watt Lucas lamps, a carrier, toolbag and tools.

A Motor Cycling road test of the time was very impressed by the 30 m.p.h. in top gear, also by the stopping power of the 4" brakes. The price was nearly £62 including the purchase tax.

Over the time more than 400000 Cucciolo engines were constructed but very few have survived and even less of the Britax bikes.

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