The project for a second Ducati scooter came about with the aim of satisfying the demands of young people at the time. They wanted a versatile vehicle, which enabled them the opportunity to get around and go further without relying on public transport or their own two feet.
Bearing in mind the fact that many architects had provided designs for two-wheeled vehicles, the Ducati management invited the most important name at the time, Gio Ponti, to work on theirs. He thoroughly fulfilled the brief because the BRIO allowed many families to kick-start their everyday travelling plans.
Unveiled at the 1963 Milan Exhibition,
the Brio was Ducati's second foray into the scooter market, around 10
years after the launch of the Cruiser 175.
The 48 and 80 cc Motoscooter projects all date back to the period between 1957 and1962.
Ponti did not shy away from the concept of standard production, but identified its
value in the perfection of his technical solutions.
Before working on bikes, Ponti had already become familiar with four-wheeled transport. Most of the cars produced in Italy in 1950 had been designed before the war. The first real Italian innovation, the Fiat 600, only came along in 1955. It was against this backdrop that, in 1952-53, Ponti designed the "Diamante" model, whose name comes from the outline he gave it. The car featured flat surfaces on the body, accentuated angles and a high roof that formed its faceted, diamond-like silhouette. The car is, like the Pirelli tower, a work of sculpture.
For the motoscooter, Ponti came up with evolutionary, innovative ideas (without forgetting practical requirements) and a stunning visual impact. He nodded to tradition and created models that people could recognise. He was an innovator who used new lines as the expression of new concepts and meanings.
It was a visionary yet highly functional object and all new, from the engine to the
chassis, highlighting the company's commitment to a strategy of expanding its product range and introducing a series of two-wheeled vehicles with small, two stroke engines, which everybody could afford.
The main features of the scooter are:
- forged sheet metal bodywork, with the front mudguard forming an integral part of the body;
- the engine is located centrally on the swinging arm; a three-gear box has the changing control on the twist grip of the left handlebar; the two-stroke engine has fan-powered air cooling; the bore is 38 and the stroke 42, with a total engine size of 47.6 cc;
- the primary drive uses gears while the final drive uses a chain, making it stand out from the competition.
- the front suspension is based on a leading link system and the rear has a sheet metal swinging arm. The wheels are 1.75 x 9 and the tyres are 23/4 x 9.
- the central drum brake measures 105 x 20 mm.
- the 6V - 18W flywheel-magnet-alternator provides electric power.
- there are two bulbs in the headlamp: a 6V-18W one for the full beam and a festoon bulb, again 6V-18W for the low beam. The rear light uses a 6V-3W festoon bulb.
The Brio handled really well and covered 220 km with a full tank of fuel, at a regulation speed of 40 km/h.
One year after its launch, the Brio 48 was joined by a 100cc version, which was also used by the traffic police in Bologna, and was then replaced by the 50cc, with a 49.6cc engine and a more deluxe finish.