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.
For as long as Ducati has been around, there are only a handful of its bikes that can stake claim to being as beautiful as the 1963 98 T. First introduced at the 1952 Milan show as the 98 model, the 98 T became the epitome of Ducati’s excellence in that era.
The bike came with a pressed spine frame, 17" wheels, and a 98 CC OHV single engine that produced 5.5 horsepower at 6,800 rpm. It had a top speed of 46.5 mph and was mated to a four-speed transmission.
Through a number of updates and modifications, the 98 evolved into the 98 T in 1957 where it lasted for six years until 1963, at which time a full evolution of the bike was done. This particular 98 T model - CN: DM 3614 - came as a restored model with excellent paint and chrome finishes, making for an interesting collection piece for any avid Ducati collector.
Expected bid price at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco ranged from €3,000 - €4,000, which is about $3,800 - $5,200 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $758.
When talking about Ducati bikes with some serious racing pedigree in the 60’s, the Ducati 250 Diana has to be mentioned because it was the very first sporting 250 model that every young man had his eyes set on.
Aesthetically, the racing heritage was pretty evident, specifically the addition of racy clip-on handlebars, handsome new styling, and crackling exhaust note. It also weighed just 265 pounds, making its 249 cc SHC single engine more than capable of being a barn burner.
The horsepower output from the 250 Diana reaches 24 ponies and was capable of blasting off at a top speed of 85 mph. Eventually, the 250 Diana’s success spawned itself into a new model - the Mark 3 Super Sport - one that was more than adept at producing a stout 30 horsepower and mated to a five-speed transmission.
The early example that was on offer was believed to be a Diana, but is of an atypical configuration, akin to the sister model Monza, with high bars and a single seat. It has been finished in a black and gray, two-tone set up with sharp chrome details and was the subject of a thorough restoration.
It was at the RM Auctions in Monaco came with an expected auction price of €4,000 - €6,000, which is around $6,200 - $9,400 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $1,515.
As one of the earliest motorcycles Ducati has ever produced, there’s no shortage of history when it comes to the Cucciolo 65T. Designed by no less than Giovanni Fiorio, the 60 of 1949 became the first real motorcycle in Ducati’s history.
This was then followed by the 60 Sport in 1950, which came with a basic pushrod design and a 65 cc OHV single cylinder engine mated to a three-speed transmission. The model lasted in production until 1967 in the form of the 125 cc Cadet.
Back then, the Cucciolo 65T wasn’t so much into performance, as evidenced by the 2.25 horsepower output it generated. But for a bike of its time, and the technology that was available then, the Cucciolo 65T was as eye-catching then as it is today as a nice old restoration.
The Ducati Cucciolo 65T was put up for auction at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco with an estimated price of €3,000 - €4,000, which is around $3,800 - $5,200 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $3,030.
The Ducati 125 TS has lasted the test of time. Not only has it become one of the finest Ducati bikes ever built, but it also became the base model for which lightweight motorcycles are being designed today.
The 1964 125 TS is powered by a 124 cc SOHC single engine that’s mated to a four-speed transmission. That powertrain is capable of hitting a top speed of 70 mph with peak revs reaching 8,500 rpm.
Despite its less than imposing stature, the 125 TS has become one of the most popular classic Ducatis around. It’s a consistent presence in a number of vintage shows and competitive events, including the prestigious Motogiro d’Italia.
The model that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco was in sound original condition, and came with the bike’s original Rosso Rubino paint, adding history and character to an all-time classic. Expected bid price for the 125 TS was about €3,000 - €4,000, which is around $3,800 - $5,200 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $3,409.
America has always liked its bikes to carry more power. That wasn’t any more evident than with the Ducati 160 Monza, a product of the 125 cc SOHC engine that was increased to 160 cc to cater to the power-hungry US market.
In addition to the 160 cc SOHC single engine that produced a top speed of 63 mph and was mated to a four-speed transmission, the Ducati 160 Monza also came with a bevy of features that further elucidated its Americanized credentials. Among these features include a square tank towards the end of its production run, as well as a side panel and engine number that pretty much let everyone know that the bike came with a 160-cc engine.
The Ducati 160 Monza that made its way to the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco remains in sound, unrestored condition and is also one of only a few models left in the last production run of the 160 Monza line.
The auction price for the Ducati 160 Monza was around €2,000 - €3,000, which is about $2,500 - $3,800 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $1,515.