In 1963, the Berliner brothers (Ducati importers in America), gave Ducati a really ambitious mission: to create a rival to the Harley-Davidson. Probably this bike, whose technical specifications were almost freakish for the time (and would still be so today), was thought of as an alternative for police departments around the U.S.: the idea of this quantity of orders drove American importers wild.
This “colossus” was born in 1964: a titanic vehicle with a capacity of 1,257 cc and a four cylinder 90° V configuration. The most intriguing aspect of this goliath was that it was not merely designed on the drawing board or as a “concept bike” to be taken from show to show. It underwent rigorous tests, during which its main flaw became apparent. At the time there were no motorcycle tires capable of supporting the bike’s tremendous power and torque. Most of the tests were carried out by Librenti, but Farné also gave it a try. His opinion is unequivocal: “It was like driving a truck. I didn’t like it.”
In an attempt to make it roadworthy, the power was reduced from 80 hp to 65 and it was fitted with special tires. However, the Apollo never got beyond the prototype stage and very few of them (only two in fact) were ever made. Today only one survives.