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1960 Ducati 200 MX
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"Taglioni & his
World Beating
By Mick Walker
Taglioni-B&W Taglioni-BACKCOVER Taglioni-INCOLOR001


1960 Ducati 200 Motocross

Hello Ducati enthusiasts! Here it is, one of the most rare and desirable ducati singles ever built. I have used the word “built” not “produced” as this motorcycle is truly a “one-off” factory made motorcycle direct from the prototype race shop. According to Mick Walker this bike is “the best” and “one of the last remaining examples” of the 15-20 175 and 200 motocross machines that were made in total. Only one 175 Motocross was imported into the UK during 1959 and no 200 Motocross ever made it to that country.  Ducati’s interest in off-road competition motivated the factory to hand-build these special machines.  The 200, which produced 19 bhp at 7500 rpm, was the equal of race winning 250’s of that era. Unfortunately for Ducati they sold very few of these machines as its quality alone was not enough to generate sales. The problem was the price! These hand built one-off machines were almost 10% more expensive than the BSA B34 Gold Star 500!

This motorcycle utilized a standard Ducati 200cc O.H.C engine.   Actual capacity is 203.783cc with a compression ratio of 8.5: 1. The carburetor is a Dell’Orto SS 27 A with F 20 filter bent 45 degrees and a separate elastic float chamber, type SS2. After that almost every other component is a “one-off” or “coach built”.

The braced frame has massive gusseting around the headstock and double downtubes underneath the engine unit, making the frame into a full-loop cradle type with a solid skid plate to protect the engine case. The swing-arm is also stronger than any standard production Ducati single with a completely different design around the rear suspension support and rear wheel spindle chain adjuster fitting. There is a different loop from the back of the tank to the upper suspension mounts and an additional bracing loop under the seat, between the suspension mounts running over the mudguard.  The foot pegs actually bolt to three separate lugs welded to the frame.

Ok all you Ducati experts; have you ever seen a set of 180 mm conical brake hubs like these? I think the wheels and hubs might be the most beautiful parts on this bike! Look at the chrome steel rims that are “shouldered” like the alloy rims of that period! Hand painted spokes, no wonder the bike was so expensive compared to those leaky British bikes! 21 inch front wheel and a 19 inch rear, this bike was ahead of its time. The front forks are also hand built with a very unique set of caps and an air equalization tube. The handlebars have braces to the fork caps and the control lever mounts are welded on. The brake and clutch levers are also unique to this bike.

The slim tank and seat actually look the part of a 1960 MX race bike. The fenders also appear to be “coach built” but the side tool boxes and the headlight appear to be stock Ducati parts. I have also never seen this style tail lamp assembly and tail lens on other Ducati’s.

I am the third owner of this bike. The previous owner bought it from a Ducati Dealer that had acquired the bike new from Berliner. He used the bike as his personal dirt bike for many years. When I first examined photos of the motorcycle I immediately noticed the gold painted frame, cherry red tank, tool boxes, different frame and styling. I recognized the 200MX model but was confused as I had never seen one before. I called my friend Malcolm Tunstall, Syd’s Cycles, in St. Petersburg Florida and he confirmed the identification but said he had never seen one either! Malcolm suggested I contact Reno Leoni in New Jersey and again he confirmed that it was a 1959 or 1960 200MX. I asked him what it was worth and again he said he had never seen one and that I should “just buy it!”

I had the bike professionally restored at Harry’s Motors in Denver Colorado. The restoration took over two years but was worth the wait. This bike is a museum piece! The engine is completely rebuilt to better than factory specifications, has never been run, and the “new” old stock battery is still “dry” (no acid).

Documented by Mick Walker: See attached.

“The 200 Motocross was only built to special order (1959 and 1960). It is doubtful that more than thirty examples were actually constructed.”[ Walker, Mick 2000, Taglioni And His World Beating Motorcycles, MBI Publishing Company, page 117 (color photo) Page 79 (B&W photo) Back Cover Jacket (color photo)]

“Built in very small numbers during 1959 and 1960 extremely rare and desirable 200 motocross.”  [Walker, Mick 2002, Illustrated Buyers Guide 3rd Edition MBI Publishing Company page 34 (B&W photo)]

“Dear Mike, Nice to talk with you on the telephone this evening.  As promised I’m forwarding photocopies of the Motocross (175)which was imported into the UK during 1959 for ex road racer/become dealer, Alan Trow (seen in one of the pictures). No 200 Motocross ever made it to this country. I believe only around 15-20 175 and 200 Motocross machines were made in total”. (In a personal letter to me from Mick Walker dated 24 August 1993).

Shipping available door to door w/in lower 48 states for ~ $603 through Bevel Heaven

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