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Cagiva Elefant 650
Cagiva Elefant 650

350/650

Though the dual-purpose Elefant initially seemed an unlikely recipient for the Pantah engine, it was to become one of the longest running of all Cagiva/Ducati models. Over many years it built a loyal following, particularly in Italy and Germany where large dual-purpose motorcycles have always been very popular. The Elefant also had a successful competition life in important desert races such as the Paris-Dakar and Pharaoh rallies.

First dis­played in 750-cc form at the end of 1983, this was the first 750-cc version of the Pantah engine in a production motorcycle. As with the 750 Fl, however, it was some time before the Elefant went into production. This pro­totype 750 was a high-specification model, with gaitered Forcelle Italia forks and a single Grimeca front disc brake.

The turn signal indicators were incorporated in the sides of the fuel tank, and the black-painted 750-cc engine featured a reversed rear cylinder head, hydrauli­cally actuated wet clutch, and Dell’Orto PHF 36 A car­buretors. The red-painted, box-section steel frame and “soft-damp” rising rate rear suspension with an alu­minum swingarm set the layout for future Elefants.

Unveiled at the Cologne Show at the end of 1984 was a further prototype, now 650 cc, with Marzocchi forks with exposed fork tubes, and normal indicators on stalks. While some prototypes had a rear drum brake, the show version featured a rear disc brake and De Carbon shock absorber. The first production Elefants, in 350- and 650-cc, rolled out of Cagiva’s Schiranna plant at Varese in May (650) and June (350) 1985, differing from the pro­totype in several details.

Most notable of these was the addition of a kick start. The general layout of the engine (with a reversed rear cylinder head), frame, and suspen­sion would continue through to the Gran-Canyon of 1998. It proved to be a successful formula and the Ele­fant and its derivatives were highly competent dual-pur­pose motorcycles, with an emphasis more on the street than off-road.

However, its off-road capabilities were vindicated when Hubert Auriol rode a works 650 Elf/Ligier Elefant to seventh place overall in the 1985 Paris-Dakar Rally. He followed this with a fourth place in the Pharaohs Rally in October 1985. Auriol almost won the Paris-Dakar event in 1987 on an 860-cc proto­type but for an accident with only a day to go.

The 92×64-millimeter engine produced 80 horsepower at 8,500 rpm, enough to propel the Lucky Explorer Cagiva to speeds of more than 180 kilometers per hour (112 miles per hour).

Engine and Drivetrain

Early 650s had the cable-operated wet clutch of the 350, the hydraulically’ actuated 14-plate dry clutch of the 650 Alazzurra (the later type, with “HC” cast into the cover). In an effort to reduce clutch effort the Ele fant used a rectangular master cylinder with a smaller, 13- Millimeter piston. Unfortunately this also reduced the travel in the clutch slave cylinder, resulting in an abrupt engagement.

The engines of both the 350 and 650 Elefant were shared with the respective Indiana, though with black engine cases. This included the gearbox ratios and primary drive, though the Elefant also had a kick start in addition to the normal electric start. The lever was on right, with the kick start shaft positioned at the rear of the engine.

The 350 used the Dell’Orto PHF 30 DD carburetors of the 350 Indiana, but the 650, rather than featuring Bing carburetors, also had Dell’Ortos. These were PHF 36 MD/Ss. A two-into-one exhaust exited through a large muffler on the right. Output for the 350 was 33 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, withthe 650 producing 52.4 horsepower at 7,500 rpm.

The 650 Elefant also had an oil.


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Cagiva Elefant 650
Cagiva Elefant 650

Early 650s had the cable-operated wet clutch of the 350, Final drive was by a 106-link Regina 0-ring chain. For this soon becoming the hydraulically’ actuated 14-plate dry 1986 there were some further developments. In response clutch of the 650 Alazzurra (the later type, with “HC” cast to complaints of overly strong throttle slide return springs, into * the cover).

In an effort to reduce clutch effort the Ele ………………- the carburetors now featured a push-pull linkage and elefant used a rectangular master cylinder with a smaller, 13- lighter return springs.

Millimeter piston. Unfortunately this also reduced the

travel in the clutch slave cylinder, resulting in an abrupt Ignition and Electrical System engagement. TI-ic engines of both the 350 and 650 Elefant Unlike the Indiana with its Kokusan ignition, ignition were shared with the respective Indiana, though with on the Elefant was the Alazzurra Bosch BTZ with Moto­black engine cases. This included the gearbox ratios and plat coils.

This was a three-step type, providing 5 degrees primary drive, though the Elefant also had a kick start in of advance to 1,700 rpm, 25 degrees to 2,600 rpm, and a addition to the normal electric start. The lever was on the maximum advance of 32/33 degrees at 2,900 rpm. Spark right, with the kick start shaft positioned at the rear of the plugs were Champion L82Y. In keeping with the trends engine.

The 350 used the Dell’Orto PHF 30 DD carburetor- of the mid-1980s, much of the equipment was square or tors of the 350 Indiana, but the 650, rather than * featur- rectangular. This included all the lights and instruments. ing Bing carburetors, also had Dell’Ortos. These were These were Veglia, a left-mounted speedometer and PHF 36 MD/Ss.

A two-into-one exhaust exited through a right-mounted tachometer, with a set of six warning large muffler on the right. Output for the 350 was 33

lights and the ignition key incorporated on the top han­horsepower at 8,000 rpm, with ti-ic 650 producing 52.4 diebar triple clamp. Switches were new and followed the horsepower at 7,500 rpm. The 650 Elefant also had an oil pattern of other Cagiva Ducatis. During 1986 Elefants

Cagiva Elefant 650
Cagiva Elefant 650
Cagiva Elefant 650
Cagiva Elefant 650
Cagiva Elefant 650

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