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cafe racer

cafe racer


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.

The Ducati 98 Moto Giro ran for a pretty long time in the 50’s and the early part of the 60’s, and was more than just a standard road-going bike. The model that was sitting at the RM Auctions in Monaco, in particular, appeared to have been a period race bike, with some evidence of race-preparation, including a straight-through pipe and a 98 cc OHV single cylinder engine that produced 6.8 horsepower with a top speed of 68 mph. It was mated to a four-speed transmission.

Some quarters even believe that this 98 Moto Giro was a participant at the Motogiro d’Italia, a race that we can safely say is one of the toughest in the sport of bike racing.

With all this history attached to it, it’s no surprise that the bike had an estimated bid price of €8,000 - €12,000, which is around $10,000 - $15,000 based on current exchange rates. What is surprising is that it only sold for $4,545.


The Ducati 125 Cadet/4 was one of the last Ducati bikes to carry the pushrod overhead-valve single cylinder engine. Making it even more attractive as a collector’s piece is that the bike only lasted two years because Berliner, the U.S. distributor of Ducati, decided they were not suitable for the American market.

The 125 Cadet/4 also shared many cycle parts with the two-stroke engine, although the engine was still based on the aforementioned overhead-valve unit. Nonetheless, a number of items on the list were changed, particularly the bore and stroke and the cylinder head design. Likewise, the spark plug was moved to the right, and the two overhead valves were set parallel.

The double cradle tubular steel frame was also similar to another Ducati bike, the 125 Bronco. Finally, the 125 Cadet/4’s 121 cc single-cylinder OHV four-stroke engine was mated to a four-speed transmission. It didn’t have the kind of power that would win races, but it sure did carry enough for a bike made by Ducati.

There aren’t a lot of 125 Cadet/4 bikes on the market today and the bike offered at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco was in unrestored condition. The expected bidding price was €2,000 - €3,000, which is around $2,500 - $3,800 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $758. Ouch!

Back in the late 50’s and the early 60’s, Ducati had the 125 Aurea, considered one of the best push-rod models in the Italian bike maker’s line-up. Carrying a 125 cc OHV single-cylinder engine that produced 6.5 horsepower and mated to a four-speed transmission, the 125 Aurea was capable of hitting a top speed of 53.3 mph.

Back in those days, 53.3 mph wasn’t something you could just scoff at.

As for this 1958 Ducati 125 Aurea, the final series model was being offered at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco. An original example with CN: DM125A/87831, this particular 125 Aurea is finished in a two-tone blue and gold paint finish and could be a candidate for a nice restoration program. It’s the kind of bike that’s going to look completely sick once the restoration job is done.

Interested bidders for this 1958 Ducati 125 Aurea were expected to keep around €2,500 - €3,500 handy, which is around $3,200 - $4,500 based on current exchange rates. Turns out, they didn’t need that much as it was auctioned off for $1,136.


Ducati’s racing heritage is unrivaled in the industry. Back in the 50’s, the Italian bike maker was already blazing trails and winning championships, including the 1955 and 1956 Motogiro d’Italia and Milan-Taranto races.

We’re mentioning those two races in particular because the engines used there ended up being used in a number of production bikes, including the Ducati 175 TS.

The 175 TS was an evolution model from the bevel-drive 175 Sport, which made its debut at the Milan Bike Show in 1956. Despite being a "de-tuned" version of the 175 Sport, the 175 TS still carried a 175 cc SOHC single engine that could produce 12 horsepower, manage a top speed of 68 mph, and do so while mated to a four-speed transmission.

This particular 175 TS also holds special acclaim as it is an early example made a round-the-world trip in 1957 and 1958, ridden by Giorgio Monetti and Leo Tartarini, who later became chief of Italjet. It’s a restored bike that was estimated to hit bid prices of €4,000 - €6,000, which is around $5,000 - $7,500 based on current exchange rates, when it hit the 2012 RM Auction in Monaco. Actual selling price was $3,030.


Every successful business understands that in order to be successful, the ultimate thing you look at is the bottom line. It’s no different for an esteemed brand like Ducati , who at one point in time, decided to produce a range of moped and lightweight two-stroke motorcycles that were all designed to expand their sales volume.

In 1961, Ducati decided to release the 48 Piuma, a relatively simple bike that was catered to students and young adults alike. It came with a 48 cc single-cylinder, two-stoker engine that was mated to a single three-speed unit gearbox, with a hand gear change incorporated in the throttle grip.

Compared to the other models released at that time, the Brisk, the Piuma has larger section tires, which really doesn’t count for a whole lot in the bigger scheme of things.

The particular 48 Piuma that was at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco was in original and unrestored condition with an estimated bid price of €1,000 - €2,000, which is around $1,200 - $2,500 based on current exchange rates. Actualy selling price was $1,136.

To say that the Ducati 175 Sport wasn’t an important bike in its time could be considered a huge understatement. Unbeknownst to those that didn’t live through those years, the 175 Sport formed the basis for all the Ducati singles through 1974, with some of the the earliest examples carrying the manufacturer’s most whimsical and elegant quirks.

Dressed in colorful and flamboyant paint colors and fitted with a "jelly mould" fuel tank, the 175 Sport was the picture of unique bike back in the 60’s. But more than just being a picture of uniqueness, the 175 Sport also packed a wallop for a powertrain.

There’s not a whole lot to be said about a bike that comes with a 175 cc SOHC single-cylinder engine that develops 14 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and is mated to a four-speed transmission. It has a top speed of 81 mph and weighs only 229 lbs.

One of those earlier models was auctioned at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco. The bike, CN: DM165/08165, is an excellent older restoration with a colorful red and gold finish. It has the correct hard-rubber SAFA battery, and the chrome is in excellent condition. Expected price range for this 175 Sport was around €5,000 - €7,000, which is about $6,500 - $9,000 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $6,061.

Good examples of the Ducati 200 Elite are hard to find these days, which is was made this particular model that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco truly worthy of some collector’s prized bids.

First introduced in 1959, the Ducati 200 Elite was developed by boring the 175-cc motor by 5 mm, to a capacity of 204 cc. That move resulted in an increased output of 18 horsepower at 7,500 rpm with a faster top speed of 87 mph. Not too shabby for a bike built in 1959, right?

More than just its performance capabilities, the Elite 200 also featured a jelly mould tank, clip-on bars and dual mufflers of the 175, and 18" wheels.

As far as the bike that was in question - CN: DM200E/154587 - it was put through an old restoration job, but despite that, it still came with excellent paint and chrome details, making it a true vintage ride in every sense of the word.

Expected bids for the 1959 Ducati 200 Elite ranged from €7,000 - €9,000, which is around $9,000 - $11,600 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $9,091.

The wide range of Ducati bikes that were auctioned off on May 11, 2012 present a list of some of the most historically significant machines the Italian bike maker has produced.

One in particular is the Ducati 125 TV ’Testone,’ a bike that first broke into the motorcycle scene back in 1961 as part of Ducati’s line of 125 cc bikes. Despite introducing a more powerful range of 175 cc SOHC bikes four years earlier in 1957, the 1961 TV ’Testone’ still carried the 125cc powertrain until 1968.

As classic bikes go, the 1961 125 TV ’Testone’ is the very definition of the word. In addition to its impressive powertrain, which produced an output of 6.5 horsepower, the bike also carried some significant styling cues other Ducati bikes, particularly those that carried Taglioni’s revolutionary sporting designs.

The model that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco carries the chassis number DM 1931 and has been dressed in Ducati’s iconic and traditional Rosso Corsa colors. Despite being half a century old, the bike still remains in great condition and was expected to be sold for a bid price of anywhere between €2,500 - €3,500, which is around $3,200 - $4,500 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $2,652.


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