It’s difficult to imagine Ducati without their trademark desmodromic engines, but before Fabio Taglioni implemented an early triple camshaft desmodromic design on the 1956 Trialbero Racer, all Ducatis used conventional springs to close their valves.

For the uninitiated, a desmodromic engine uses a camshaft to both open and close the valves, rather then relying on a spring for the closing portion. It adds complexity and some tuning difficulty to an engine, but Ducati swears by it and has used it on many of their major models from the late ’60s onwards.

Fabio Taglioni was a newly hired engineer in the mid-50s at Ducati, he would go on to be inarguably the most influential technical mind to ever work at the legendary Italian motorcycle manufacturer.

“The main purpose of the (desmodromic) system is to force the valve to follow the distribution diagram as closely as possible. Energy losses are virtually negligible, performance curves are more uniform and reliability is improved.” – Fabio Taglioni