Saturday, February 11, 2012


Ducati “Siluro 100”: Winner Of 46 World Records

The 50s witnessed enormous activity on behalf of motorcycle manufacturers who at that time were deeply committed both to winning the world records that had caught the public’s imagination and promoting sales of mass-produced motorcycles. In November of 1956, on the banked track at Monza, riders Mario Carini and Santo Ciceri took turns on the Siluro (torpedo), powered by a 98 cc engine with single overhead camshaft – also seen on the Gran Sport used in track and road competitions. By the end of the session, 46 world records had been broken, not just in the 100 class, but those in the 125, 175 and even 250 classes.

With just a few mechanical adjustments, the Marianna was transformed into a record-breaking vehicle. The only change was the addition of a Dell’Orto SS carburetor with a 25 mm choke instead of the 20 mm version normally used. More importantly, the superbly streamlined fairing – in light aluminum, hand-modeled alloy, fixed to the chassis by a slender tubular framework with silent-blocks – was designed by engineer Nardi to ensure maximum aerodynamic penetration and to prevent vibration from damaging the fairing.

The maximum power of this single overhead camshaft motorcycle was estimated at around 12 hp at 10,000 rpm. That may not sound like much nowadays, but during its fastest lap, the Ducati “siluro” averaged 171.910 km/h. This exceptional session was divided between record-breaking speeds on a 50 km competition and six-hour endurance rides – providing further proof of the reliability of this small engine

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