Founded in ’59 by Leopoldo Tartarini in Bologna, Italjet has built its name on producing small displacement bikes and scooters. For a brief period around the turn of the millennium (2000-2002), Italjet even campaigned its F125 racer in the 125cc World Championship (Moto3). Back in the 1990s, the Italian marque revamped its product line by introducing a handful of new models over the course of the decade. These models included the Italjet Formula, Velocifero, Grifon (which was powered by a Triumph 900cc triple), and the Dragster.
The Dragster was offered in a range of different displacements: 50cc; 125cc; 180cc; and 250cc, and was noteworthy for a myriad of reasons. Designed by Miguel Angel Galluzzi — who famously penned the Ducati Monster — the Dragster features a “spaceframe” trellis chassis and Bimota Tesi-style hub-center steering (supposedly designed by Elf). Like Honda’s Ruckus, a large part of the Dragster’s appeal was its unique aesthetic.
All of the Dragster models are powered by liquid-cooled, two-stroke singles married to “twist-and-go” automatic CVT transmissions. The 180cc version (technically 176cc) reportedly makes 19.4 horsepower at 8,000rpm and affords a top-speed of over 75 miles per hour. The Dragster also offered underseat storage, relatively wide tires, and disc brakes fore and aft.
This particular Dragster 180 is said to be in great condition both mechanically and cosmetically (aside from a few minor scuffs), and has approximately 2,800 miles (4,493km) on the clock. A new Shorai battery has also been installed. A variety of carbon fiber bits have also been tacked on: seat cowl, rear-fender, and water pump cover. The unusual front-end has also received an upgraded shock courtesy of Ohlins, and the stock exhaust has been replaced with an awesome aftermarket unit capped off with a carbon muffler.
Included in the sale is a laundry list of additional aftermarket goodies — all of which are reportedly still brand new in original retail packaging: PM Carbon Front Mudguard, PM Carbon Front Brake Air Scoop, PM Gasket Set/Seal/Bearing Kit, PM Samco Hose Kit Blue, PM Forged Billet Calipers in Grey, PM Wave Rotor, PM License Plate Fender Eliminator, HEL Brake Lines Black, two PM Seat Pads, PM Billet Clutch Wheel, and a PM Tuning Pro Street Signature Series 172cc Cylinder Kit, of which only 100 units were produced. According to the seller, said parts add up to around $2,500. Your purchase also includes the stock rear fender and passenger pillion.
Because the Dragster was never officially imported to the US, examples are seldom found in the States. For a more thorough look at the strange scoot, I recommend checking out this review on Carole Nash.
You can find this 2001 Italjet Dragster 180 for sale here on Craigslist in Azusa, California with a price of $5,750.