To truly grasp the rationale of Ducati production in the sixties and seventies one must look at the evolution of the single-camshaft single-cylinder engines and their division into “wide casings” and “narrow casings”.
Offspring of the Marianna, the Ducati single-cylinders quickly grew in capacity from 100 cc to 175 cc to the 250 cc of the Diana model. The Diana offered a great deal of pleasure to the motorcylists of the time, given that in ideal conditions (straight-through exhaust, choke wide open, and the rider in a head-down position), the bike could reach 140 km/h.
This sports bike was followed in 1965 by the even more aggressive Mach 1 250, a classic in its own time. For thousands of riders the Mach 1 was the world’s ultimate motorcycle. The engine was inspired by the renowned SOHC 175, and had a five speed gearbox (a real rarity at the time). It had a clean profile, with clip-ons, set-back footrests, and a narrow saddle – a great variety of sports
features when sports features were truly uncommon. Motociclismo magazine summed up the bike as follows, “The latest model from this illustrious brand is without a doubt one of the best sports 250’s available today, for its technical
features, style, and rideability. Particularly noteworthy are the powerful SOHC engine with five speed gearbox, powerful acceleration, excellent road handling, and efficient braking.”