The Ducati Scrambler is a classic in every sense of the word. Even back in the 70’s, it was already one of the Italian bike maker’s more popular models.
The 350 Scrambler, in particular, was the first model to be offered with the wide-case single engine in 1968, followed by the 250- and 450-cc models. The 350 Scrambler was powered by a stout 340 cc SOHC single engine that was mated to a five-speed transmission. It came with a 10-to-1 compression ratio that provided much needed performance improvements to the bike. The 350 Scrambler also featured a Veglia speedometer, which was mounted in its Aprilia headlight.
For this particular 1973 Ducati Scrambler 350, the piece is in nicely restored condition, with good chrome and orange and black paint finishing off the pretty slick overall set-up of the bike.
It had an estimated bid price of €5,000 - €7,000 (around $6,300 - $8,900 based on current exchange rates) when it went up for auction at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco. Actual selling price was $12,121.
The Ducati 100 Sport was first introduced in September 1957 and was pegged as the smaller sibling of the 125 Sport and Touring models. Despite its less-than-stellar engine prowess, the 100 Sport endeared itself because of its light weight and overall mobility.
It’s no secret that a lot of people enjoyed the 100 Sport, not because it carried a 98 cc SOHC single engine that was mated to a four-speed transmission, but because it was economical, tax-friendly, and entered the market at a time when small engine bikes were becoming the rage over in Europe.
The model that was up for grabs at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco - CN: DM 250748 - was an older restoration model that came with the original two-tone, silver and blue paint scheme. The expected auction price for the lightweight classic bike was about €3,500 - €4,500, which is about $4,500 - $5,800 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $2,652.
Everything about the Ducati 500 Sport speaks about the tremendous tradition of the Italian bike maker.
First launched in 1975 on the 350 cc and 500 cc vertical twin engines, the Ducati 500 Sport shared the design cues of the 860GT, a bike that didn’t perform in the market as Ducati would have liked. Trying to cut their losses, they decided to combine the design of the 860GT with the performance from the new valve-sprung engines. After much tweaking and developing, Ducati finally had a bike that could live up to the hype.
Not only did the 500 Sport Desmo appear with a twin down tube frame and Desmo heads, it also had superior handling and good brakes, qualities that became important in the reinvention of Ducati’s 500 Sport line.
The model that was shown off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco - CN: DM500B/502562 - was a red and white model that was described as being in "sound original condition." Expected bidding price for the 500 Sport was €3,000 - €4,000, which is about $3,800 - $5,200 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $758. Ouch!
For all the classic Ducatis that were scheduled to be auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco, it’s nice to know that there were also modern examples waiting to be had. One of them was the 2002 Ducati 998R, a bike that was developed from the 2001 996R and comes in pretty limited availability.
Only 700 models of the 998R were built, and this particular model, CN: ZDMH200AA2B021283, was one of the bikes that was homologated to race specifications, allowing it to compete in the World Superbike Championship in 2001.
The 998R is powered by a 999 cc DOHC liquid-cooled Desmo V-twin engine that has been mated to a six-speed transmission. It carries a different crankcase from the standard 998 and came with a deep oil sump. It also had a more radical cam and an even more oversquare configuration with 104x58.8 mm bore and stroke.
The particular model auctioned in Monaco was number 635 of the 700 limited edition models. It only had 144 miles on its meter, and is considered being ’as-new’ condition. Bid price for this 2002 998R was expected to fetch about €6,000 - €8,000, which is around $7,700 - $10,400 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was a whopping $21,212. Someone wanted this bike bad!
Ducati designer Fabio Taglioni once had an on-again, off-again relationship with Ducati. In the late 1970s, Taglioni found himself back in favor and produced another ground-breaking design, the belt-drive camshaft 500-cc V-twin Desmo Pantah, whose racing sibling, the TT2, would hand Ducati four Formula 2 world championships between 1981-84.
The success of Taglioni’s design was significantly smaller and quieter than the outgoing bevel-drive twins, as well as cheaper to build. When the engine was boosted to 600 cc in 1981’s 600SL, the model gained a better fairing and a hydraulic clutch.
The 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco featured a Ducati 350 SL Pantah Desmo, a rare 350cc iteration of the model range that was being offered in good original condition and came with a two-into-one exhaust. The red and yellow paint is particularly distinctive, as is its 350 cc SOHC Desmo V-twin engine that was mated to a five-speed transmission.
The bike came with an estimated bid price of $3,000-$4,000, but it was sold for $4,545.
Some classic and historical bikes are really worth all the pretty pennies you can afford. This 1976 Ducati 860 Corsa is one of them.
Created in 1973 after Ducati elected to contest endurance races, which had no engine size restrictions, the 860 Corsa became one of the most competitive race bikes the Italian bike maker has ever built. To ensure that the bike carried as much wallop as it could have, Ducati bored the 750-cc engine to accept racing pistons from the 450 single. This resulted in an 864 cc SOHC Desmo V-twin engine that was mated to a five-speed transmission with an output of up to 90 horsepower at 8,200 rpm. With these racing modifications, in tow, the 860 Corsa was able to notch double victories at Barcelona’s 24-hour race at Montjuich Park.
The model that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco is a very clean example of a 1976 square-case 900 SS racer, with right hand gearshift, NCR-style fairing and the handsome original Imola fiberglass tank. It has Campagnolo alloy wheels, Marzocchi forks with the desirable center axle, adjustable rear Marzocchi shocks, a 2-into-1 competition exhaust and Dell’Orto 40-mm carburetors. It carries no race number, but the restoration work appears to have been recent and is in tip-top shape.
The expected auction price for the 860 Corsa was about €18,000 - €20,000, which is around $23,300 - $25,800 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $6,061.
If you go back to the history of Ducati , you’ll know that the 60’s wasn’t exactly all too kind to the Italian bike maker. With the onus being dubiously put on producing two-stroke bikes, Ducati went back to bikes in the latter part of the decade, developing the "wide-case" single engine in ’67 and ushering a whole new range of bikes that included the Ducati 250 Mark 3.
Despite carrying the same basic overhead-camshaft engine architecture, the 1970 250 Mark 3 featured revised crankcases that were much wider at the rear where it mounted the frame. The sump capacity was increased to 2.5 litres, and the kick-start was much stronger, as was the new rear frame section. Add all that with a 249 cc SOHC single engine mated to a five-speed transmission and you had a bike that was clearly worth all the attention it received.
In addition to receiving a single filler fuel tank, the 1970 250 Mark 3 also received a speedometer and tachometer mounted on the top triple clamp instead of in the headlight shell. The example that was presented at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco is an older restoration model that is in very good condition, with good chrome and a very original specification.
This classic Ducati had an estimated selling price of about €3,000 - €4,000, which is about $3,800 - $5,200 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $4,545.
The boon of Ducati’s two-stroke engine craze hit fever pitch in the 60’s and one model, in particular, was the recipient of the many small capacity two-stroke models Ducati built during the decade.
That model is the 1962 Ducati 48SL Cacciatore, a bike that was originally created specifically for the Italian market in 1964 and came with combined components from the 48 Sport and the 80 Setter.
The engine of the 48SL Cacciatore - a 48 cc single-cylinder two-stroke engine that’s mated to a three-speed transmission - isn’t a world-beater by any means whatsoever. But where it lacked in power, it more than made up for by being a dual-purpose model with a hand gear change, universal tires, higher braced handlebar, higher exhaust on the left, solo saddle, rear rack, and dual rear sprockets.
The 1964 Ducati 48SL Cacciatore that was offered at the 2012 RM Auctions - CN: DM48SL/0041 - is in original and unrestored condition. The combination of age and condition may translate to a little restoration job, but one that doesn’t involve anything too drastic.
Expected pricing was around €2,000 - €3,000, which is around $2,600 - $3,800 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $1,515.
Knowing Ducati the way we do now, it’s hard to imagine these guys once built bikes that weighed just in excess of 107.9 lbs. But back in the 60’s, the Ducati 48 Sport was one of these bikes, and it was the Italian bike maker’s little darling red bike.
Packed with only a 48 cc single cylinder, two-stroke engine and mated to a three-speed transmission, the 48 Sport had a powertrain that’s nowhere near what Ducati builds these days, although it still packed a respectable 50 mph top speed. It’s relatively small stature featured a myriad of components, including clip-on handlebars that could be fitted with foot pegs. It also had a kick-start instead of pedals and an uncompromisingly attractive red and gold paint finish to go with all that chrome.
The model that was auctioned of at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco was a beautifully restored piece that was in excellent condition. For its stature as one of the most attractive small capacity machines produced by Ducati, this particular Ducati 48 Sport was being pegged with an auction price of €3,500 - €4,500, which is around $4,500 - $5,800 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $4,167.
Back in the early 70’s, Ducati built a number of 350-cc Mark 3s for the Swiss Army. But since the Swiss Army were limited to use only Swiss bikes, the Ducati 350 Mark 3s were rebadged as Condors.
To ensure that these bikes were up to the standard of the Swiss Army, the Italian automaker addressed a number of shortcomings in the original Ducati design, including the oil filter, which was modified to fit a standard Ducati. Other changes made to the bike include a bolt-up exhaust flange, an oil dipstick, and filler setup. Finally, the rear wheel was designed to be removed without having to deal with the chain, while the seat mount and electrical connectors were designed for ease of access.
All told, the bike at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco, which was powered by a 340cc SOHC single engine and mated to a five-speed transmission, was in good, original condition. It’s yet to be restored, which it may need in some respects, but it’s still good enough to fetch €3,000 - €4,000, which is about $3,800 - $5,200 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price, however, was $2,273.