Friday, February 25, 2011

Notable engineer countdown - at #6, Fabio Taglioni – adapted desmodromic valves to motorcycles

I'm sorry, I couln't resist. I'm told this guy's an avid motorcyclist. For a photo of the real Fabio Taglioni, go here.
Taglioni was the chief designer at Ducati from 1954-’89. Although many “Ducatisti” would like to believe that Ducati invented the “desmo” valve system (using a second cam to close the valves, instead of valve springs) the patent was held by Daimler-Benz. Still, it was Taglioni who realized that the system would benefit fast-revving motorcycle engines which, in the 1950s, were limited by the reliability of valve springs. When he mated two Ducati 350cc singles to create the first Ducati 90-degree V-twin, he created one of motorcycling’s truly iconic designs.

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