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.
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