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January 10th, 2017

Possibly the greatest gift Fabio Taglioni gave Ducati was the desmodromic engine, a technology that the Italian brand would use extensively and exclusively till date. But it all started back in 1955 when the newly appointed Taglioni would first debuted his unique valve actuation method on the 98cc 100 Gran Sport single on the racetrack. While the desmodromic valve actuation wasn’t exactly new technology back then, it was the first time it was incorporated successfully on a motorcycle. The resulting three sets of cams that drove the valves was nicknamed the ‘trialbero’ which literally meant three shafts. Taglioni’s new engine design was such a runaway success that when it was carried over to Ducati’s next racer, the 1956 125 Trialbero at the Swedish Grand Prix with rider Degli Antoni aboard, the machine lapped all the competitors one by one to create one of the most iconic victories ever in Ducati’s racing history.

This motorcycle here is one of those very first Ducati desmodromic 125cc trialbero prototype racers that were created, that has been restored back to original condition as of 2005. While the cylinder head has been reworked by the previous owner, the 125 Trialbero incorporates a frame bearing number ’03’ mated with engine no ’02’ while the fairing is a replica of the original that was made back in 56′. The 125 Trialbero would be going on sale at the Las Vegas Motorcycle auction held by Bonhams on January 26.

Ducati 125 Trialbero Right Ducati 125 Trialbero Left

In Taglioni’s own words, “The primary purpose of the system is to force the valve to follow faithfully the distribution diagram, while the energy-saving dispersed is almost negligible. It has a greater consistency in performance and greater safety operation.” While the desmodromic system is quite more complicated compared to a regular spring-operated valve system, it does have its advantages, specially when the engine is running at high rpms. The 125 Trialbero was one of the first motorcycles that allowed Taglioni to test out his new engine design. Based on the same, the legendary Italian designer would go on to develop the company’s second trademark, the famous L-Twin engine, while also coming up with a unique incredible V4 prototype called the Ducati Apollo.

Ducati 125 Trialbero desmodromic engine Ducati 125 Trialbero desmodromic engine left full Ducati 125 Trialbero desmodromic engine fairing tail Ducati 125 Trialbero desmodromic prancing horse Ducati 125 Trialbero desmodromic fairing front Ducati 125 Trialbero desmodromic speedo Ducati 125 Trialbero desmodromic carb Ducati 125 Trialbero desmodromic right side profile Ducati 125 Trialbero desmodromic right side bevel ducati trialero 125 rear Ducati 125 Trialbero Front Ducati 125 Trialbero Tank

Images: Bonhams

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