Ducati’s v-twins are 50 years old in 2020. Few other motorcycles have created such a stir on road and track and, perhaps more interestingly, few have performed so well in racing while exciting such emotion in fans.
The aural, sensory treat of a big, booming v-twin does something to people. It’s surely the only reason that Harley-Davidsons are still popular.
But on the track? There’s no arguing with the limits of piston speed. Not usually. Ducati’s engineer Fabio Taglioni designed its v-twin in 1970. Taglioni was an old friend of Enzo Ferrari, who had tried to lure him to Maranello. For some time Ducati race bikes were also adorned with Francesco Baracca’s prancing horse, because Taglioni’s father had flown with Baracca in the First World War.