There was a point in Ducati’s history when it actually offered budget bikes at, well, budget prices.
Back in the 50’s, one of those bikes was the Ducati 85 Turismo. This particular beauty was catered to entry-level buyers, with powertrain options ranging from 48 cc to 125 cc.
As for the 85 Turismo, the bike was, for all intents and purposes, a simple and economical machine that became known for its commuting and short-distance runs. It was powered by an 85 cc OHV single engine that was mated to a three-speed transmission.
Design-wise, the 85 Turismo was a stud on two wheels. To ensure its appeal despite the simple powertrain options, Ducati designed the bike with an ode to its more expensive SOHC counterparts.
The model that was sold at the 2012 RM Auctions was a very tidy older restoration finished in red with a white tank and good paint and chrome. It was sold at a price of €1,755 ($2,255) which was below its listed bid price of €2,500 - €3,500 ($3,200 - $4,500).
More photos of the Ducati 85 Turismo after the jump
Talk about a bike that was designed to be "bare as bones."
If that phrase needed any more explanation, you only need to look at the Ducati 250 Sprint. This is a bike that came with a minimalist design, as well as Ducati’s new 249 cc SOHC single wide-case engine that was mated to a five-speed transmission.
The 250 Sprint was built for sprint racing and hill climbing, with the latter being a popular form of racing back in Italy during the 60’s and the 70’s. Back then, the Ducati single engines were a popular choice amongst enthusiasts. The 250 Sprint not only came with that powertrain, but they also had a significantly larger Dell’Orto PHF32AS carburetor and twin spark plugs. To save weight, the seat and tailpiece were made from fiber-glass, as was the fuel tank. In addition, the bike also came with rear-set foot-pegs, clip-on bars, and a fly-screen with a Veglia tachometer whereas the wheels came with Borrani rims.
Despite carrying an estimated auction price of about €8,000 - €12,000 ($10,300 - $15,400), the bike was only sold at a price of €4,095 ($5,250) at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco.
Before the Ducati 175 broke into the scene, the Ducati 125 Sport was the quintessential early Ducati single. Fast forward to today’s time, and the now classic bike has become the perfect machine for vintage events anywhere, including the Motogiro d’Italia.
But back then, the Ducati 125 Sport was in a league of its own, weighing only 221 pounds and featuring a 124 cc SOHC single engine that produces 10 horsepower and mated to a four-speed transmission. The 125 Sport was capable of hitting a top speed in excess of 70 mph, and when combined with a design that’s as streamlined as any Ducati bike ever built, it was the perfect on-the-road companion for all those merry joy rides.
This particular 1955 Ducati 125 Sport - CN: DM125S/7564 - comes with a two-tone red and white paint finish complete with a distinctive scalloped fuel tank, signature clip-on handlebars, and fully restored chrome finishes.
Expected auction price at the RM Auction sin Monaco was around €3,500 - €4,500, which is around $4,500 - $5,800 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $4,545.
It’s hard to imagine that Ducati has been building bikes for as long as they have. But for all those years in production, you’re bound to get a number of models that have become classics in their own right.
Take the 1973 Ducati 450 Desmo Scrambler for example.
With the anticipation of Ducati’s desmodromic valve gear back in the late 60’s, coupled with the success and popularity of the Ducati Scrambler, it figured that the two would somehow be tied-up together to create a completely new bike. That’s when the Ducati 450 Desmo Scrambler was born.
With the technology being fitted into the bike, the 450 Desmo Scrambler became a must-have purchase for Ducati enthusiasts back in the day, in large part because of the bike’s impressive performance credentials, highlighted by a 16.6-second time through the quarter-mile. On top of its performance characteristics, the 450 Desmo Scrambler was also fitted with an individual speedometer and Veglia tachometer rather than the headlight-mounted unit sometimes seen on 250-cc and 350-cc models.
The model that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco carries the chassis number DM450S/466142. It’s an unrestored model in good condition with a two-tone, black-and-yellow finish with a 436 cc Desmo single engine mated to a five-speed transmission.
Bidding price for the bike was expected to hit €8,000-€10,000, which is around $10,400 - $13,000 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $12,121.
The Ducati 900 S2 was built on the joint platform of the 900 Darmah SS and the 600SL Pantah, with the latter supplying the body work of the bike.
The reason for doing so centered on Ducati’s decision to rationalize its production lines at that time. To their credit, though, they still managed to make a bike that not only looked good, but performed up to the standards of its predecessors.
The Ducati 900 S2 is powered by an 864 cc SOHC Desmo V-twin engine that’s mated to a five-speed transmission. It was also offered with either electric or kick-start options, as well as being fitted with 40-mm Dell’Orto carburetors.
Aesthetically speaking, the 900 S2 was also the picture of attraction - the bike was given a bevy of color options, including bronze with yellow, orange and red stripes, or red and black.
The Ducati 900 S2 that was present at the 2012 RM Auctions is an original model, one that was once displayed in a museum. Expected bidding price for the bikes go for around €5,000 - €7,000, which is about $6,400 - $9,000 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $5,303.
The Ducati 450 Mark 3 was born when the wide-case engine was first introduced in 1968. Not only did this new technology pave the way for bikes like the Scramblers and the Mark 3 Sports to become legendary bikes, but it also gave Ducati plenty of options on where to use this new engine.
In the case of the 450 Mark 3, its arrival in the market in 1969 provided customers an opportunity to enjoy the wide-case engine, not just with the 450 cc, but in either 250 or 350 cc displacements altogether.
But this is all about the 450 Mark 3, which not only came with the aforementioned engine, but also carried an extra gusset along the top tube like Spaggiari’s racer, which featured a wider chain and sprocket and slightly longer Marzocchi forks. On top of that, the bike also featured a new type of Dell’Orto square-slide VHB 29 carburetor while the bullet silencer was replaced by the cut-off Silentium type. In the end, the Ducati 450 Mark 3 became a bike that not only looked the part of a true hardcore cafe bike, but also performed like one too.
The model that was offered at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco is an original - CN: DM450M3/700368 - with a Rosso Rubino paint and some splashes of patina, which shows its age. The expected bid price was around €3,000 - €4,000, which is around $3,900 - $5,200 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $6,818.
Go back to the 60’s in Italy and ask what kind of motorcycle was in vogue back then. Chances are, a majority of the people you ask will say "Scramblers."
As one of the most popular wide-case single bikes at the time, the Ducati 450 Scrambler was, for all intents and purposes, a true road warrior on two wheels. It wasn’t intended to be used for off-road competition and in addition to the 450 version, it also came in 250 cc and 350 cc trims. The only reason why the 450 Scrambler didn’t carry a 500 cc engine was because the crank throw wouldn’t clear the gearbox.
Nevertheless, the 450 Scrambler still packed plenty of punch to go along with an impressive frame that included an extra gusset along the top tube like Bruno Spaggiari’s racer, a wider chain and sprocket, slightly longer Marzocchi forks, and a silencer that was changed in 1969 to the cut-off Silentium type.
The Ducati 450 Scrambler - CN: DM450S/467407 - that was auctioned off at the 2012 MTM auctions in Monaco remained in unrestored condition, complete with its original yellow painted body and alloy wheel rims. Expected bidding price for the bike ranged from €3,000-€4,000, which is around $3,900 - $5,200 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $7,955. Well done!
One of the biggest winners at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco was the Ducati 750GT.
First introduced to the market in 1971, the 750GT was the personification of a flash-bang Ducati . It was flashy, to say the least. The first examples of the 750GT came with silver painted frames with the tank and side covers finished in a colorful blend of metallic colors that included gold, lime green, bright blue, or red.
Colors notwithstanding, the true highlight of the 750GT was its 748 cc SOHC V-twin engine that was capable of hitting top speeds in excess of 120 mph. The surest sign that Ducati went and invested a whole lot in the 750GT was because of the laborious and painstaking detail they took just to build one.
The construction of the engine was so precise that it took up to eight hours to assemble one unit, making sure that all the bevel-drive gears and bearings were correctly set up. If it was a racing engine, Ducati would take two days to build one. Initially, the bike’s sales lagged until Paul Smart won at Imola in 1972 with the 750GT, beating some of the best manufacturers this side of the galaxy. As a result, the 750GT became a legend of sorts, with Taglioni even saying that its engine was the best he ever designed.
As for the Ducati 750GT that was offered at the RM Auctions, that one came in excellent overall condition with superior paint, chrome details, and even the early Amal carburetors. The 750GT sold for a staggering €38,025 ($48,800), a price that’s miles north of what the estimated €12,000 - €15,000 ($15,400 - $19,000).
The Ducati 98TL isn’t the most glamorous of all Ducati bikes, but it still belongs in the list of any Ducati collector worth his salt.
The 98 TL was effectively the touring version of Ducati’s once-famous 98 cc OHV pushrod series. It was a little cheaper than the Italian bike maker’s sporting OHC models, and with the cheaper price tag, the 98 TL was considered one of the most economical and lightweight Ducati bikes in history.
The model that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco is finished in red and has been described as a "nice original," a phrase that should come as music to the ears of Ducati collectors. It’s still owed a nice restoration job, but that should come with the territory if you’re going to make a bid for it.
Speaking of bids, the 1954 98 TL - CN: DM 13105 - was expected to have a bid range of about €2,500 - €3,500, which is around $3,300 - $4,500 based on current exchange rates. Actual auction price was a disappointing €585, which is about $751 at the current rates.
Back when cafe racers didn’t come with all the technology and design dynamics of today’s models, bikes like the Ducati 65 Cucciolo Sport were the kings of the road.
As the sporting version of the Ducati 65, the 65 Cucciolo Sport was as popular a cafe racer as they’d come. It featured a dual seat, clip-on handlebars, and the same steel body design that has made up the true classic Ducati.
In addition to its styling, the 65 Cucciolo Sport also carried an impressive powertrain in the form of a 65 cc OHV single cylinder engine that produces 2.5 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and is mated to a three-speed transmission. It wasn’t the most powerful Ducati of its time, let alone any time, but for sheer riding pleasure, the Ducati 65 Cucciolo Sport was in a true class of its own.
The model that will be auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco on May 11, 2012 - CN: DM 56026 - is an older restoration model with a red and black paint, good chrome, and a black vinyl seat. Expected bid price for the bike is around €3,000 - €4,000, which is around $3,800 - $5,100 based on current exchange rates.
More photos of the Ducati 65 Cucciolo Sport CN: DM 56026 after the jump.