Cagiva - SST
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Cagiva D2-492-22-05
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 350
Model : SST
Production : 1979 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


350 SST - 1979

The birth of an empire

At the end of 1978, the Castiglioni brothers bought the Italian branch of Harley-Davidson (formerly Aermacchi of Varese) from its American owners, the AMF Group.

From Small Beginnings

Its initial products, badged "HD Cagiva" (for "CAstiglioni Giovanni VArese"), were hardly earth-shattering. The Castiglioni brothers ran their business wisely and began by becoming a market leader with utilitarian touring machines of 125-350cc, which were only the old Harleys renamed. Once these foundations were safely laid, the marque literally exploded into action, successively acquiring Ducati, Morini and the Swedish Husqvarna Company.

Filling the Niches

By making the most of the product strengths and know-how of these different marques, the group succeeded – like its rival Aprilia –in occupying all the niche markets ignored by the Japanese giants. Their products grew in numbers and engine size, growing from 37,000 motorcycles annually in 1984 (of which 23,000 were mopeds and machines up to 125cc) to over 50,000 units in 1989. Exports accounted for virtually 60 percent of the total; though the majority (21 ,700 units) went to Europe, significant numbers also went to the USA and Japan. The 350 SST touring bike was also developed into a trail version, the 350 SX; these models remained in the Cagiva catalog until the mid-1980s, when they were replaced by bikes, which were of 100 percent Cagiva design, with two and four-stroke engines.


Engine: 341cc (80x68mm) air-cooled songle-cylinder

Valves: two-stroke

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 5-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swinging fork with twin spring/dampers (rear)

Brakes: disc (front); drum (rear)

Wheels: 18 inch wire (front & rear)

Weight: 304 lb

Maximum Speed: 84 mph

This simple 350cc "HD Cagiva Hobby Moto" marked the first step in the establishment of a major Italian marque.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

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François-Marie Dumas

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