Ducati Regolarità 125

Alan Cathcart road tests the Ducati Regolarità 125 - one classic motorcycle that Ducati wishes you never saw.

| January/February 2011

  • ducati regolarita road test
    Alan Cathcart road tests the Ducati Regolarità 125 - one classic motorcycle that Ducati wishes you never saw.
    Photo by Kyoichi Nakamura

  • ducati regolarita road test

Ducati Regolarità 125
Years produced: 1975-1979
Total production: 3,486
Claimed power: 21.8hp
Top speed: 74mph
Engine type: 123.7cc air-cooled piston-port 2-stroke single-cylinder
Weight (dry): 240lb
Price then: $1,950
Price now: $1,150 - $2,500
Fuel capacity: 1.6gal

Lots of famous makes have skeletons in the closet, models they’d like you and everyone else to forget they ever made. For Ducati, that model was the ill-fated Regolarità.

MV Agusta produced a forgettable 50cc moped and 98cc scooter back in the 1950s, and Norton the overweight, unreliable Jubilee 250 twin in the 1960s, a bike even Norton fans shun. So how about the last-ever Ducati single-cylinder street bike — incidentally the first Ducati with a left-foot gear change — of which 3,486 examples were built from 1975 to 1979? Not only did the 125 Regolarità represent Ducati’s only serious attempt to target the offroad market, but it was a two-stroke Ducati! And it was a flop.

Like the dozens of other Italian makes trying to carve a slice of the country’s huge appetite for affordable personal transportation in the Fifties and Sixties, Ducati had made several forgettable 50cc-100cc two-stroke models. But by 1975, when the 125 Regolarità was launched, Ducati was well established as the leading Italian four-stroke performance brand. The idea that it should ever have tried to compete in the booming 125cc enduro market — already filled by 23 other makes — seems short-sighted, at best.

Management miscues

Bureaucrats have never been much good at running bike companies. In 1967, Ducati became part of Italy’s EFIM (Ente Partecipazioni e Finanziamento Industria Manifatturiera), the state-owned conglomerate responsible for the day-to-day operations of Ducati and 114 others within Italy. However, Ducati had the good fortune to have Fredmano Spairani appointed as CEO in 1969. A professional manager with an open mind as well as flair, Spairani listened, learned and acted. Engineer Fabio Taglioni and his colleagues managed to convince Spairani of the values of a product-led strategy based on the large capacity 750cc four-strokes that BSA-Triumph and Honda had just launched, underpinned by a factory race program; that’s how the 750cc V-twin Ducatis that debuted in 1971 came about. MC

Order the January/February 2011 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read more about the Ducati Regolarità 125, including a road test by Alan Cathcart. Order it by contacting Customer Service by email or by calling (800) 880-7567.

November December Vintage Motorcycle Events

Blue Moon Cycle Euro Bike Swap Meet and Vintage Ride

Make plans for the 28th Annual Blue Moon Cycle Euro Bike Swap Meet on Saturday, Oct. 27, followed by the Blue Moon Cycle Vintage Ride on Sunday, Oct. 28!