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Posted on by Sulthoni

The mid-’70s were not kind to Ducati, which had discontinued its 250/350/450 singles and round-case 750 GT, Sport and Super Sport and had pinned its hopes on parallel twins, the non-Desmo 860 GT and 900 GTS. The 900 Super Sport had passionate adherents but needed to have broader appeal. That happened in 1977 with the Darmah 900 Sport Desmo, which was the company’s mainstay for five years. It was a detuned 900 SS, with smaller 32-mm carbs, an electric start, two-up seat, Bosch electronic ignition, Nippon Denso gauges, warning lights, headlights and indicators. Best of all, the price was competitive with Japanese bikes. People remember the 900 Super Sport fondly, but the Darmah is probably more historically important.

One of these original bikes was presented at an auction wearing an attractive black and gold paint job for the fairing and wheels. It is from the second production run, complete with luggage storage.

Posted on by Sulthoni

Mario Recchia started as a Ducati mechanic in 1946 and was a pivotal figure in the racing department for many years. Recchia was also a skilled rider, winning his first race on the Via Emilia in 1947 on a Cucciolo and becoming champion of Emilia Romagna province in 1951. According to the vendor, Recchia raced this bike on street circuits in 1950. He rode it to work in Bologna during the week and raced it on Sundays.

Recchia raced with Bruno Spaggiari, Franco Villa and Franco Farne and also built and tuned their engines. He competed in the 1955, 1956 and 1957 Motogiro D’Italias, but one of his best stories is his roadside repair in a Milan-Taranto race. His Cucciolo broke in Sienna; he dismantled it and discovered the bearings had seized. Lacking any oil, he used the banana he had bought for lunch and finished the event.

When Carlo Saltarelli began working at the Ducati factory in the early 1970s, he and Recchia became lifelong friends. Recchia was present when Saltarelli opened his museum to the public in 2000, and he gave Saltarelli his racing Cucciolo as a gift. Mario Recchia passed away soon thereafter in 2007.

This bike was restored approximately 30 years ago and is presented with a handsome patina. Owned by two pivotal motorcycling figures, this machine offers a rare opportunity to own a piece of Ducati history.

Posted on by Sulthoni

Mike Haliwood is a pretty important figure in Ducati’s history as its name is strongly related to the Italian manufacturer.

When Mike Hailwood returned from New Zealand to ride the privateer Sports Motorcycles 900 SS in the Isle of Man TT F1 race in 1978, some say it was Ducati’s greatest victory ever. At 38, Hailwood had not raced at the Isle of Man for 11 years, but he beat Phil Read’s lap record by nine mph on his way to victory.

Ducati offered him a factory bike the next year, but it was unequal to the task: Hailwood finished 5th and did not ride it anywhere else. However the TT legend was alive and well, and Ducati marketed a Mike Hailwood Replica in 1979 in red, white and green. The MHR had Darmah Nippon Denso instruments and switch gear, Conti exhausts, Brembo brakes front and rear and 40-mm carburettors. The first MHRs had kick starts and one-piece fairings, and Motor Cycle Weekly tested one at 129 mph.

Ducati has built so many bikes in its history, it’s hard to keep track of all the models that have been produced. In this case, the Ducati 175 Sprint is easy to remember because it offers a unique look with an engine that was built to be a certified road runner.

The 175 Spring was rebuilt for hill climbing between 1970-75, at which time it became a fixture in a lot of local Italian racing events. The bike was powered by a 249 cc SOHC single engine that was mated to a four-speed transmission. The minimalist construction of the bike made it an appropriate candidate for hill-climbs and sprints. It also came with clip-on bars, rear-set foot-pegs, a Veglia competition tachometer, Marzocchi forks, and and a single Dell’Orto VHB 29AD carburetor. Last but not least, the bike rides on Borrani alloy rims with a racing twin leading-shoe drum brake fitted to the front.

The Ducati 175 Sprint was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco for a price of €3,510 ($4,500 at the current rates), well below the estimated price tag of €8,000 - €12,000 ($10,300 - $15,400 at the current rates).

The Ducati 98 was one of a number of OHV pushrod bikes built to capture the entry-level market. To a certain extent, that’s why the 98 became such a popular bike back in the day. It wasn’t a weakling by any stretch of the imagination, and it didn’t cost buyers a whole lot of money.

The 98 was powered by, predictably, a 98 cc OHV single cylinder engine that produces 5.5 horsepower at 7,500 rpm with a maximum top speed of 54 mph. Not too shabby for a bike of its stature.

As one of the earliest versions of the 98 model, the bike was more than capable of bringing joy to riders the only way Ducati knows how. The example that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco comes in a pale gray and blue paint finish to go with plenty of chrome details.

The Ducati 98 was bought at a price of just €2,048 ($2,600 at the current rates), just below the estimated auction price of €3,000 - €4,000 ($3,800 - $5,200 at the current rates).

Despite what we know of Ducati these days, the Italian bike maker was, at one point in a time, a developer of small variation motorcycles. One of those models was the Ducati 50 Sport, a machine that featured a 48 cc single-cylinder, two-stroke engine mated to a three-speed transmission.

The 50 Sport was one of the bikes that carried this powertrain and in doing so, it became one of the most popular bikes not just for pleasure riders, but also for competition too.

This particular 50 Sport is an example of an older restoration that remains remarkably attractive despite its age. Its silver and blue paint makes for a perfect pit bike for vintage races, or if that’s not your thing, joy rides on the open countryside.

The 50 Sport was sold at a price of €3,510 ($4,500), right around the estimated price - €2,500 - €3,500 ($3,200 - $4,500) - before it was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco.

The Ducati Paso first came to life in 1984 after the Cagiva brothers officially took over Ducati . Concerned that the company lacked enough product models, the new owners approached Massimo Tamburini, recently the “ta” of Bimota. They asked him to build a bike that came with a revised square-tube frame that was developed for Yamaha’s FJ1100. And so, the Ducati Paso was born.

The Paso was designed to carry a rear cylinder that was rotated so that a single Weber 44DCNF 107 carburetor could control both cylinders. In 1991, Mikuni carburettors were substituted and finally replaced by a Weber Marelli fuel injection from the 851. Unlike some of the Italian bike maker’s enduring models, the Paso line didn’t last very long as the model was discontinued in 1992.

This particular model, a 1991 907IE Desmo, is the final version of the Paso. It has a 904 cc fuel-injected SOHC Desmo V-twin engine mated to a six-speed transmission and 17" wheels replacing the undesirable 16" size, which turned in too sharply. The bike is in good original condition and with an aftermarket exhaust, it’s got some life left.

The bike was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auction in Monaco. Estimated bid price for the bike was at €2,800 - €3,800 ($3,400 - $4,700 at the current rates), although it was only sold for €2,048 ($2,500 at the current rates).

In 1985, a new era for Ducati began after ownership was transferred from the Italian Government EFIM Group to Cagiva, based in Varese in Northern Italy. Under Cagiva, Ducati’s first all-new model was the Paso Desmo .

The Paso was designed to generate a broader public appeal, one that would spearhead a new generation of bikes that would allow Ducati to reinvent itself. The Paso made use of a 748cc SOHC Desmo V-twin engine that came mated to a six-speed transmission.

In addition, the Paso came with plenty of significant changes, including the reversed rear cylinder head to allow the installation of a dual-throat automotive-style Weber carburetor. The bike also had a box-section steel frame was a traditional double downtube, full cradle design, with an aluminum swing-arm and linkage rear suspension, and last, a pair of 16" Oscam wheels fitted with low radial tires.

The bike was scooped up at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco at a price of €1,170, which is around $1,500 based on current exchange rates.

Ducati’s global reach in the motorcycle market is unrivaled in the industry. At one point in time, they even designed a bike for the American market, appropriately called the 175 Americano.

Designed in the styling cue of its American contemporary, Harley Davidson , the 175 Americano featured balanced mudguards, crash bars, high pull-back handlebars, twin air horns, a dual seat, studded trim, and a handle for the passenger, along with dual mufflers from the 175 Sport.

At the heart of the 175 Americano is a 175 cc SOHC single engine that was mated to a four-speed transmission, engine specs that were a premium back in its heyday.

For the model that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco, it was as rare as it came, especially considering that 175 Americanos in good condition are pretty hard to find nowadays. The older restoration model was finessed in a two-tone blue and silver paint finish with matching chrome details. It was sold at a price of €3,803 ($4,800), a figure that’s slightly less than the expected bid price of €5,000 - €7,000, which is around $6,400 - $8,900 based on current exchange rates.

The wide-case Ducati 450-cc Desmo single was the fastest production Ducati anybody could buy before the birth of the V-twin 750 Sport. That’s why when one of these models hits the market, they become so highly sought after.

The Desmo Corsa Replica is powered by a 436cc SOHC Desmo single engine and mated to a five-speed transmission. The engine comes with twin spark plugs, a single Dell’Orto PHM 40-mm carburettor, twin Bitubo rear shock absorbers and Marzocchi forks. The wheel rims are alloy, and the five-speed gear shift is mounted on the left.

Though built as a hill climb racer in 1990, the bike on offer is based on a 1972 example and is said to have been ridden by no less than Marcello Peruzzi, who won the Italian Historic Hillclimb challenge in 1995.

The bike was sold at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco for €9,360 ($11,700), fairly below the €14,000 - €18,000 ($17,500 - $22,500) that it was expected to fetch.


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