These days, we associate Ducati with tire-shredding 200 horsepower superbikes. But in the years after WW2, Ducati was best known for producing a tiny 98-pound motorcycle called the Cucciolo. Cucciolo is Italian for “puppy,” and the bike was named after the high-pitched bark of its tiny exhaust. By 1952, an incredible 200,000 Cucciolos had left the factory, but few survive today. And outside Europe, they’re very rare. So it’s great to see some love for the humble 49 cc single, with this immaculate restomod from Tony Prust of Analog Motorcycles. The owner is Michigan man Del Thomas, who’s been Tony’s customer since 2013.
“The original design aesthetic was along the lines of our “El Matador” Triumph Bonneville,” says Prust. “A vintage look with natural metals and patina. Del had mocked up a tank out of cardboard, but we ended up making one using stainless steel. Cardboard doesn’t hold fuel very well! We fixed some stuff on it, but it wouldn’t look good in bare metal even with the repairs. So we painted it a Kingfisher Blue, a Ducati color from the 1960s Monza. It would give a little nod to Ducati’s heritage, and match well with the metal, brass, and leather.” With the looks sorted, it was time to make the bike function. Tony machined up bearing spacers for the shaft, and modified a crank set so that the engine would fit in the frame. Then he made the tank and the decorative leather straps that sit on top.
The Cucciolo is sprinkled with lovely brass, aluminum, and stainless steel accents. Free Form Designs CNC’d up a set of brass pedals, and Tony made all the cables in-house, to ensure they fitted just right. Dane Utech of Please Be Seated handled the sublime leatherwork. After the tank was sanded down and brush-finished, Jason at Artistimo Custom Design clear coated it. He also painted a version of the original “Little Puppy” Cucciolo logo, with matching blue and gold striping. “Del now has six decades of Ducati in his collection,” says Tony. “Some are custom and some are stock, but all are loved, ridden and enjoyed.”