Ducati Berliner 1260 Apollo

Ducati Apollo
In the late 50s, Ducati’s US importers asked head office to create a Harley-Davidson rival for police use. The Apollo appeared in 1964, with a 100 hp four-cylinder 1,200 cc engine, and a fatal flaw: there were no tires capable of handling the bike’s power and weight. According to Ducati test rider Farné, “It was like driving a truck. I didn’t like it.” So the power was reduced, and the Apollo was fitted with special tires. Unfortunately, this Ducati bike never got beyond the prototype stage and only two were ever made. The gold machine in the picture has disappeared: the other, a black and silver sports version, appeared briefly at Ducati’s factory museum in Bologna in 2002, courtesy of its owner Hiroaki Iwashita. Motorcyclist Online has the full story.

  • Seth

    OK, I’ll put the info correct.
    There was only one bike made and two motors.
    The Berliner Brothers gave the Ducati Factory a blank check to make the Apollo. The bike was call the Ducati/Berliner as seen on the side covers.
    If you like, I have the factory photo of the bike and the spare engine and can scan and forward. The bike was sold by Mike Berliner to Bob of DomiRacer who then sold it to the Japanese collector.
    I also have the life size, scale mechanical drawing of the side view of the Apollo given to Michael by Dr. T. This drawing was hung on the wall in his office and he gave it to Michael as a gift (hey, why not the Berliner’s paid for the project).

    • That’s interesting about the single bike: I was relying on Ducati’s own website, which says: “However, the Apollo never got beyond the prototype stage and very few of them (only two in fact) were ever made. Today only one survives.”

  • … and if you would like a better look at the Bi-Pantah mentioned in the second half of the article…


    page 3.


  • Hi, I just found this with ‘StumbleUpon’.
    What a great find! Why the conflicting stories about the quantity of bikes produced?
    Seth, you say you have knowledge of only one bike? Could it be that the other was a mock up?

    Now I’ll need some closure on this . .

    Thanks for the heads up on this extremely rare Duke.