Ducati Apollo — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Ducati Apollo v4

Ducati Apollo

270mm )


Concept [ edit ]

In the Berliner Motor Corporation Ducati about creating a to the Harley-Davidson to sell to police around the US Author Greg based on interviews with Berliner, contends that went so far as to ship two Harley-Davidsons to as examples (one was for Moto ), and that Ducati, rather any Japanese company, was the first imitator. [ 4 ]

The Berliner brothers enthusiastic. Ducati’s government was not. It was only when agreed to underwrite a portion of the costs in 1961, that the went ahead. They to call it the Apollo. in honor of the mission series of the time. [ 5 ]

was to produce two prototypes and two extra as spares. Today only one

Mechanicals [ edit ]

Fabio was to develop a bike that to US police specifications, and was bigger any current model Harley-Davidson. decided on an air-cooled 1256cc 90° head V4 using a 180-degree with roller bearing big That crankshaft fitted a horizontally split wet sump with a center main support.

The bore was 84.5mm, and the 56mm. Valve actuation was by and rocker arms .

The engine was a member of the heavy duty cradle frame with a box section front downtube the forward cylinders. A small starter motor and generator fitted. It had a five-speed transmission, at a when most motorcycles had Ceriani developed the suspension but riders today would be by the inadequate front and rear leading shoe 8.675in drum brakes.

The stopping distance was huge, and had to be for. It had a 61.2in (1,550mm) and weighed 596lb (270kg) [ 6 ] Taglioni dismissed the Berliners’ of shaft drive, and chose final drive. The police stipulated 16-inch tyres, so was little choice in that.

[ edit ]

The Ducati Apollo at the Museum

Initially it was putting out (75kW) @ 7000rpm, and could 120mph (190km/h). The Harley of the made 55bhp. The first rider Franco Farne back from his first and said it “handles like a Farne normally rode racers. [ 7 ] It soon became that even specially tyres were not up to the power of the

A tyre disintegrated at speed on the and the test rider rated his “a miracle”. The engine was detuned to 80bhp (60kW). Tyres to disintegrate.

The engine was brought to 65bhp (48kW), and the survival of the tyres became acceptable. was late 1963. In comparison, in Moto Guzzi had used a rear tyre on the Grand 500cc V8. and they had worn with 78bhp (58kW)

In 1964 a gold-painted prototype was over in a formal ceremony.

The in power meant that the could now be outperformed by the British and BMW which restricted the anticipated to police forces. Berliner was advertising, demonstrating the prototype to Chiefs, and genuinely preparing to the Apollo.

Berliner specification sheet [ ]

This is from a promotional distributed by Berliner Motor [ 8 ] which also included a three quarter black and view of the gold bike. The selling price would be in 2008 dollars.

Specifications of the D/B V/4 an exclusive project of DUCATI –

SPORT ENGINE — 4 1260cc, Bore x Stroke x 56mm

Carburetors 4 (SS 1 32mm) Compression Ratio 10:1 Approx. 100HP @ 7000RPM

Carburetors 2 (SS 1 24mm) — Ratio 8:1 — Approx. @ 6000RPM

Gearbox built in with the engine

Electric and kick starter

Five (5) positive shift

Oil sump 3.5quarts

12 volt electrical 32 amp battery

Alternator 200 Watt, engine: 0.50kW


Interchangeable and quickly detachable and rear wheel

Front Ribbed 5.00 X 16inch tire: Block tread x 16inch

Large full hub and rear brakes

Rubber rear sprocket

Roll on stand and side stand

dual seat with Chrome plated hand

Width; Engine 450mm 750mm Ground clearance

Ducati Apollo v4

Chain 5/8 x 3/8 primary chain

Weight approx. 240kg

The first production series be manufactured early in 1965 for the and other foreign markets. scheduled for the United States are for the second half of 1965. The in the USA will be approximately $1500.

— Motor Corporation

Project end [ ]

The Italian government decided the limited market did not justify the costs of production, and withdrew funding. This was a severe to Berliner’s business plans.

It have been a superbike its time, but tire technology was not There were other developed as a result: the 1970 GP bikes and 750cc production V-twins.

The second prototype, a and silver sports version four Dell’Orto SS 1 carburettors, and was on display at Ducati’s factory in Bologna, courtesy of its owner, Iwashita, from 2002 to but now resides in his museum in Yufuin on the of Kyushu. [ 7 ] Its sole public in recent decades was at the 2002 Festival of Speed. The fate of the gold painted prototype is [ 5 ]

Sequel [ edit ]

The Berliner quest for an offering in the police and big touring cruiser market did not end the Apollo. As the Apollo project was up, Joe Berliner saw the Moto Guzzi V7 for the time, a prototype to be entered in a set to begin in 1966, by the Italian of Internal Affairs to select a for their outmoded military and fleet. [ 9 ] Berliner Motor and Moto Guzzi would success selling the V7’s variants, the Ambassador and Eldorado, to the CHP. and other agencies, as as civilian touring riders. [ 10 ]

References [ edit ]

^ Falloon, Ian The Ducati Story: Racing and Models from 1945 to the Day (4th ed.), Haynes, ISBN 978-1-84425-322-7. At the instigation of Joe Ducati was commissioned to build a bike that could with Harley-Davidson. ^ Cathcart, (May/June 2009), Ducati’s 1,260cc V4 Apollo.

Motorcycle . Few motorcycles ever built enjoyed as mythical a reputation as the Apollo, a failed Italian at a Harley-style cruiser for the American [. ] Joe Berliner was convinced of the potential of the police market, especially U.S. anti-trust legislation police departments consider other than Harley-Davidsons. police department specifications increasingly standardized across the favoring the large-capacity Harleys. [. ] the only stipulation was that the have an engine bigger anything in Harley’s range.

date values in: |date= ) ^ Thompson, Jon F.; Bonnello, Joe (1998), . MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company, ISBN 9780760303894. . an 80-horsepower, contraption called the Apollo. It was as a prototype police motorcycle for the who were looking to attract business away from ^ Field, Greg (1998), Guzzi Big Twins . MBI Pub. ISBN 9780760303634. . according to Berliner: ‘What was selling at the in the United States: Harley

So in order to show them we wanted, we sent two Harley-Davidsons to — one to Ducati, and one to Moto (Note none of the Moto personnel interviewed for this recalls ever getting a during this era, but Bianchi recalls getting one Berliner in 1969 to give to a of his in Italy.) [. ] Joe Berliner commissioned to design and build this machine, the Ducati-Berliner Apollo. by a 1,260-cc V-4 engine, the Apollo was to compete for police and touring with the Harley-Davidson big twins.

According to the Berliner spec two versions were to be offered, the four-carb version (shown) and the two-carb version. Only one and one spare were built. the square section downtube, scoops under the tank, (one on each side), and the Harley mimicry.

The Japanese fire the first shot in war; Ducati did. ^ a b on the Apollo . Motorcyclist Magazine. 25 September 2006 ^ An Outline of the History . Ducati. retrieved ^ a b Heritage — Apollo . retrieved 2009-02-21 ^ Specifications of the D/B V/4 . DucatiMeccanica.com. retrieved January 2, ^ Falloon, Ian (1999), Moto Story: Racing and Production from 1921 to the Present . Publishing, p.83, ISBN The prototype was produced during and testing began over the of 1964 and 1965.

In the meantime, a version was also developed, the model being displayed at the Show in November 1965 it was the star of the show. Testing by the police and military began in the V7 initially only completing kilometers before Guzzi’s own rode a further 55,000. minimal engine wear, the V7 won the ahead of offerings from Gilera and Laverda. ^ Field, (1998), Moto Guzzi Big . MBI Pub. p.18, ISBN

About the same time as the production deal fell Joe Berliner first set eyes on an new project from his other affiliate. On a visit to the Moto factory, Berliner was shown a of the new V700 and realized immediately the Before him was a motorcycle that an almost perfect balance the too-massive Harley and the reliable but BMW.

To Berliner, it must seemed that Guzzi had read his mind. He is reputed to exclaimed, ‘Build it for us. Now! While Moto Guzzi had no been considering the possibilities of a version of its new military/police prototype, was just the push the nearly company needed to make the V700 a reality.


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