Page 178. 1952 Ducati Cucciolo Radior 48cc 4-Stroke. SOLD

1952 Ducati Cucciolo Radior Cyclemotor 48cc 4-Stroke


This is an original Ducati Cycle-Attachment Cyclemotor, built under license in France. Before Ducati started making complete motorcycles, they produced these 48cc four-stroke cyclemotor engines to attach to a bicycle of your choice.

They were the top of their class, being used for long-distance lightweight riding. In France they were made under license by Rocher, and sold to various French cycle manufacturers, who fitted them to top-of-the-range machines. Bear in mind that, while in Great Britain, cyclemotors were cheaper than motorcycles, in France these bespoke cyclemotors were more expensive then much larger capacity motorcycles of the day.

This one is being sold for restoration. The engine is stuck and it’s missing its exhaust. It has the correct Gurtner carb. The Radior frame is in original paint, and has an attractive design. It will require new tyres and the petrol tap is missing. Though I can tell you about the history of radior and Cucciolo, that’s all I know about this actual machine.

With the value of early Ducatis soaring, if you fancy restoring a rare, interesting and valuable machine yourself, this represents a much cheaper option to get you started.



Ets Chapolard and Goubet
9 avenue Pierre Semard, Borough (Ain)

Joseph Chapolard, a smart businessman, started his first business in 1904. The first shop sold and repaired various brands of sewing machine, bicycles, motorcycles and automobiles. He soon created his own brand – Radior – with an assembly plant for cycles and sewing machines. In 1911, he moved to larger premises in Avenue Pierre Sémard opposite the station, with a modern factory at the Pont de Lyon added in 1920.

In 1926, Radior began building motorcycles. His first model, presented at the Paris Salon of that year, had a 175cc Moser engine. By 1927 the range expanded, with 250cc, 350cc and 500cc proposed, with engines from various specialist manufacturers. With the introduction of the new BMA tax class for 100cc machines with pedals, the Radior Radiorette, with an Aubier Dunne engine, became popular. Chapolard and Goubet also started making their own 2-stroke engine under the brand Nervor.

Postwar Radior BMA’s featured a variety of proprietary engines: in 1952, Mosquito and Cucciolo engines were used; VAP were fitted in 1953; in 1954 they offered a choice of models, with VAP or Mistral 48cc or the 98cc NSU. VAP motors were used again in 1955. They also made various postwar 125cc and 175cc machines, using their own Nervor engines; these engines were also supplied to other companies such as Hurtu and Manufrance.

In 1954, a 250cc twin 2-stroke called the Bison was introduced (above). The market at this time was extremely competitive. The Bison was not enough to stave off the company’s cashflow problems and, unfortunately, the company went out of business the following year.

To see my 1953 prototype Radior (frame number 2) with 98cc NSU Quick engine






The first prototype Cucciolo, the T1, is a wonderful ‘collectors item’ but the design was flawed and it’s not very usable. The T2 – the 1950 model used here by Zwang – was the revised version manufactured by Ducati themselves and is a machine that can be ridden to its full potential. To quote the Ducati Museum:

In the middle of WWII a designer named Aldo Farinelli developed the prototype of an auxiliary motor to be mounted on a bicycle. Farinelli’s design had a number of major advantages over the competition, above all its four-stroke cycle and two-speed gearing, which used the engine’s power to its fullest potential. [This was later known as the T1]. Ducati, which up until that time had produced radios and electrical components, partnered with another Italian firm, SIATA, to produce the Cucciolo, or ‘Puppy.’ By 1946, the rights to Cucciolo production had become exclusively Ducati’s.

In 1948 Ducati came up with its first original design, the T2. It was heavily influenced by the T1 design, but made improvements in the engine’s efficiency, robustness, and, above all, logic of construction. The cylinder, for example, was redesigned and made removable and the drive mechanism made more accessible, the cylinder head was modified, and the rating was raised. []



cucciolo_history – Page 38

At the Online Cyclemaster Museum you can read more of the HISTORY OF CUCCIOLO. And I’ve also reproduced downloadable versions for you of the Cucciolo T2 Engine Illustration & Parts List (in French) and Cucciolo T50 handbook (in English).













OWNER: BuyVintage Online Auctions

LOCATION: Brighton, E.Sussex, United Kingdom


DELIVERY is not included in this auction.

This means that it is not my responsibility,

BUT I can put you in touch with a delivery chap and organize collection;

you liaise with them direct re delivery and pay them separately.

Great Britain – delivery is ONLY £70 for this motorcycle to main parts of England;

extra to extremities such as Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, etc (and may take longer to arrive)

(Please email your postcode if you want to confirm price).


(Collection when they’re in my area; delivery when in yours).


If you want it fast, please organize your own collection.


Ireland & N. Ireland – I’ll recommend some companies, but you’ll have to organize it yourself.

Europe – delivery is probably around €400 to Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, etc. I can recommend two companies.

North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc – I’ll organize all the crating and shipping for you.

PAYMENT: Paypal is okay for cheap items; otherwise deposit only on paypal please.


You must communicate with me before the end of the auction to discuss payment and shipping options.


AFTER PURCHASE: Please email me your phone numbers; I prefer to speak to all purchasers personally.

I do everything I can to make your purchase a pleasurable experience.

I’ve been selling obscure vintage vehicles on ebay since 2002.

Sharing similar interests, I’ve become good friends with many of my customers.

Please feel free to email or phone with any comments or questions…


VEHICLE CONDITION: Vintage vehicles are wonderful beasts

– but each has an individual personality and they sometimes have bad days just like you and me.
You will need basic mechanical skills (or a local mechanic) to use one on a regular basis.

Two-strokes invariably need basic servicing before starting them, if they’ve been left to stand for more than 3 weeks or so.

These are rare vehicles whose values are not necessarily based on running order.



If you have any questions about this (or any other vehicle in these BuyVintage Online Auctions),
you can contact Colin in our Customer Service Department between 9am and 7pm daily:

By Phone – (UK 0044) 07866-126469

By email –

The Auction Catalogue is our website –



to see what’s currently being sold



Published on June 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

%d bloggers like this: