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Italian Motorcycles

1959 Ducati 85 Sport

The Ducati '85 Sport' was developed by engineer Renzo Neri at Ducati Meccanica. It was one of a series of Ducati entry-level models in the late 1950s. The production of the Ducati '85 Sport' lasted only three years, from 1958 to 1960 and was not hugely popular with its target audience, most likely due to the relatively low power developed by the four-stroke engine..

Neri joined Ducati in 1943, which at that time mainly produced for the arms industry. After 1945, Neri was principally involved in the development of the Cucciolo 48cc 'clip-on' engine and its successors, the Ducati Cucciolo 55, 60 and 65cc. However the first half of the 50s were the glory days of the Ducati Cucciolo 'click-on' engine after which its days were numbered as the 65 T fell out of fashion. Ducati began developing new lightweight engines early on, to hold its own in an ever-expanding competitive market of lightweight motorcycles,

Ducati Meccanica was one of many Italian companies that did well in the 1950s with the production of sporty lightweight motorcycles, such as the Ducati 98, 98N, 98T, 98TL, 98 Sport (98S) and 98 Super Sport (98SS). These were single-cylinder OHV engines with pressed steel 'open cradle' frames, which were produced between 1952 to 1958. The '98 Sport' was sold in London in 1956 for £178.10 (converted to current purchasing power, a small £4,488).

During the same period, other engine manufacturers began to move in this market of lightweight motorcycles and gradually the Italian streets were flooded with light 2- and four-stroke engines. One may wonder whether such great competition from different motorcycle manufacturers and because of the huge diversity of lightweight motorcycles made the task of the dealers easier. These always had to advise and assist their customers with few resources and always alert the potential buyers...

Specifications

Engine: Single cylinder four-stroke OHV

Bore & stroke: 45.5 x 52 mm

Compression ratio: 7.5:1

Engine Capacity: 84.55cc

Maximum power: 5.5 h.p. (4.1 kW) @ 7,200 rpm

Valve train: Overhead valves arranged in "V" form

Carburettor: Dell'Orto ME 15BS

Cooling system: Air cooled

Ignition: 6V, 28 W generator (type: Marelli CW 250 N)

Lubrication: Wet sump forced circulation with mechanical gear pump

Transmission: Gear primary, chain final (3/16" x 8.5mm Regina chain)

Clutch: Cable operated, wet clutch with multiple discs in oil bath

Gearbox: 4-speed foot-change

Starter: Kick-starter

Throttle: Cable operated

Frame type: Double cradle tubular and pressed steel

Front Suspension: Telescopic fork

Rear Suspension: Swinging fork and semi-hydraulic dual shocks

Front Brake: Drum

Rear Brake: Drum Ø 116mm x 25mm

Front Tyre: 2.50 x 19 inches

Rear Tyre: 2.50 x 19 inches

Seat: Dual seat

Fuel tank capacity: 12.78 litres

Fuel consumption: 2.1 litre per 100 kilometer

Top speed: 76 km/h

Weight: 80 kg

List price in 1959: 141.000 Lira

Source: Hessink's NL


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