The Ducati 125 Aurea was a Ducati motorcycle made from 1958 to 1962; it was only superficially different from the Bronco of 1960 to 1966.
The process that produced the Aurea, and the Bronco that followed, was a form of motorcycle marketing that was practiced with this marque at the time. Ducati’s American importer, Berliner Motor Corporation would fly their US dealers to Italy to view the models in Ducati’s lineup, alongside a choice of handlebars, seats, gas tanks and fenders that would fit on that model, and the dealers would pick which components in combination with which bike would most likely sell in the US market. By this process, the 125 cc full-cradle framed 125 TV ended up with the stylish sporty fuel tank of the 125 Sport. a much higher spec model. Two years later, the Aurea would have its low, racing or drag bar style handle bars replaced with upright touring handlebars, and have added knobby, off-road tires, producing the 125 Bronco. [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ]
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^ Falloon, Ian (2004), Standard Catalog of Ducati Motorcycles 1946-2005 . Iola, WI: KP Books, p.23, ISBN 0-87349-714-7. In 1958, the 125 ohv lineup expanded to include the sporting Aurea, with the 125 Bronco joining it in 1960. The 125cc ohv engine was redesigned, and the external oil line disappeared as there was a separate larger oil sump underneath the crankcase, similar to the overhead camshaft singles.
An engine breather tube ran up from the rear of the crankcase, and although there was still a flywheel magneto, a battery was added to power the lighting and horn.
This revamped engine was installed in a chassis similar to the 125 TV, but with the sporting 15-liter gas tank shaped like that of the overhead camshaft 125 Sport. Complementing this tank was a sporty headlight, cigar-shaped muffler, and from 1960, the distinctive two-tone saddle of this period. ^ The Ducati Story: Road and racing motorcycles from 1945 to the present day (4th ed.), p.37, At the request of Berliner in the US, the 98 cc Bronco appeared in 1959, and by 1960 the ohv model range was the 85T and S, 98 Bronco, Cavallino and TS, and 125 Aurea.
The Aurea was an unusual model in that it used the twin cradle frame of the 1956 125TV, with the more sporting headlight and petrol tank of the 125 cc overhead camshaft bikes. The overhead valve motorcycles were definitely budget Ducatis, as the 125 Aurea, despite looking like a 125 Sport, only developed 6.5 bhp at 6,500 rpm from its 55.2 x 52 mm engine. The compression ratio was 6.8:1 and an 18 mm Dell’Orto carburettor was used.
Performance didn’t match that of the contemporary 125TS with its 10 bhp. ^ Falloon, The Ducati Story. p 38. Both [the 98 Bronco and 98TS], and the 125 Aurea, had a four-speedgearbox, and the TS boasted a more sporting riding position. The Bronco continued to be produced in 125 cc form and during 1964 it received a slightly restyled 125 cc engine, with square finning, but still with the engine specifications of the 125 Aurea.
Then in 1966 a new 125 cc overhead valve engine was designed, with dimensions 53 mm x 55 mm. This 121.3 cc engine was installed in a model known as the 125 Cadet/4 Lusso (the 4 denoted speeds, while lusso means ‘luxury’). ^ Thompson, Jon F.; Bonnello, Joe (1998), Ducati . Osceola, WI: MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company, p.21, ISBN 9780760303894. Every year the Berliner Motor Corp. chartered a plane and flew 70 or 80 of its top dealers and their wives to Italy for a visit to the Ducati factory.
Such trips were part pleasure, but mostly business. The meetings gave dealers a chance to suggest what what might sell to their respective constituencies. [. ]So on the occasion of a dealer visit to the factory, the factory might set out 20 different fuel tanks and seats, lined up with a selections of handlebars and fenders. The dealers would come to a consensus about what combination of tank, seat, and fender the American enthusiast saw when he next visited his Ducati dealer.
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