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.
The Ducati 125 Formula 3 bikes were born from Fabio Taglioni’s iconic 100-cc Gran Sport, a model that set the pattern for Ducati singles for the next 20 years. With its 100 cc SOHC bevel-drive single generated engine that produced 9 horsepower at 9,000 rpm with a top speed of 80 mph, the Gran Sport became the barometer for all other Ducati single bikes built in the 50’s.
One of the bikes that was born from this lineage is the Formula 3, or F3 for short. Whereas the Gran Sport carried 100 cc at its disposal, the F3’s powertrain was increased to a 125 cc SOHC Desmo single engine, a move that also resulted in a bump in horsepower to 12 ponies at 9,800 rpm and an increased top speed of 93 mph. The Desmodromic valve gear, which mechanically opened and closed the valves, was developed from the Mercedes-Benz technology they used on their straight-eight W196 Grand Prix cars. While Mercedes never used it in on its production cars at that time, Taglioni saw the opportunity to develop it for racing purposes.
Eventually, the Ducati F3 became available in different powertrain trims, including the 125 cc, the 175 cc, and the 250 cc. All these later models gained enclosed valve springs, with the larger bikes also carrying an improved twin-leading shoe Amadoro brake. Steering head angles and rear suspensions were also altered to improve handling while larger megaphone exhausts were fitted into the bike’s overall set-up.
The Ducati Formula 3 is a model that was developed exclusively for racing purposes with Ducati preparing them for private racers. The model that will be auctioned off is one of these examples: an original, unrestored F3 with a factory number plate fly screen, alloy wheel rims, Dell’Orto SS1 250 carburettor, Veglia competition tachometer, and an Aprilia headlight. Characteristic of its authenticity can be seen on the present patina on the bike, an irreplaceable quality that not only shows its age, but also its condition.
Expected auction price for the 125 F3 is around €20,000 - €30,000, which is around $26,000 - $39,000 based on current exchange rates. Rm Auctions will be taking the highest bid on May 11, 2012 in Monaco, so get those check books ready!
Classic Ducati bikes usually fetch a hefty price in an auction setting. And when you’re talking about classic Ducati’s, the 98 Sport belongs front and center on that list.
Built in 1953 to join the ranks of the Ducati 98 N and the Ducati 98 T OHV, the 98 Sport became an immediate success in the market, despite its modest performance capabilities. At the heart of the Ducati 98 Sport is a 98 cc OHV single cylinder engine that’s been mated to a four-speed transmission. The powertrain was capable of producing 6.8 horsepower with a top speed of 56 mph. Those numbers may not mean much compared to the bikes Ducati has in its line-up today, but back then, that was enough to make the 98 Sport one of the most popular bikes the company’s range.
One of the 98 Sport bikes will be up for auction by RM Auctions on May 11, 2012 with a price range of €3,500-€4,500, which is around $4,500-$5,800 based on current exchange rates. The auction model comes fully restored with a silver and black two-tone paint finish to go with chrome and alloy rims.
The Ducati Cucciolo 48 has a history that not a lot of bicycles in the world can stake claim to. Launched just after World War II, the Cucciolo 48 became an overnight success with Ducati selling over 200,000 models before 1950.
Back then, the Cucciolo 48 became the definition of the a high-end, powered-bicycle that no other in its class could compete with. Not only did it come with a classic design that included a dark red paint, chrome finish, and a sprung front fork, the Cucciolo was also powered by a 48 cc OHV single cylinder engine that came with a two-speed transmission and could handle 20 mph while traveling 180 miles on a full tank of fuel.
You won’t see a whole lot of these bikes on the road these days, but one in particular is set to go on auction in Monaco on May 11, 2012 at an expected bid price of around €2,500-€3,500, which is around $3,250-$4,500 based on current exchange rates.
As classic masterpieces go, the Ducati Cucciolo 48 belongs in that rarefied air.
The Honda CB450 Cafe Racer "Bonita Applebum" started its life as a 1971 Honda CB450 bought from eBay, and believe it or not, the bike was built in a small apartment. After buying all the items needed from eBay, Pepe Luque - the guy who now owns the bike - started to clean, paint, and spit polish every piece before installing them on the frame.
Besides some minor fine-tuning, Luque worked on this project all by himself, including upsizing the main jets to compensate for the airflow in and out of the motor and replacing the Pirelli tires for some Firestones. As for the exterior paint, it was inspired by a CB450 Armadillo, while the handgrips and seat color was suggested by his flatmate. Why is the fact that he built the whole thing by himself so noteworthy? Well, Pepe Luque is colorblind.
When explaining how he came about picking the colors and getting everything just right for the bike to work, he said: "The main section I really struggled with was the wiring of the bike. As you could imagine, being color blind did not help with the colors of the wires. I was very fortunate that my girl and my brother’s wife helped with labelling the wires. For instance, yellow with a white trace, I labelled FLB (front left blinker) and so on. It took me by surprise that I nailed the wiring on first go."
Hit the jump to watch the video. Full story
Derbi has unveiled details on the limited edition Mulhacén Café 659 Angel Nieto, a bike dedicated to the “12+1 World Champion” Angel Nieto, the man who contributed the most to make the Derbi brand famous in the racing world.
This special bike features a fire red lower section with a black horizontal band extending the entire length of the motorcycle in pure Seventies racing style. The bike rides on 17-inch alloy rims and features impressive 320 mm rear brake with Brembo radial caliper and the backlit digital instrument panel are the proof of the attention with which this new model was planned and created.
The Mulhacén Café features a robust and reliable Yamaha-Minarelli single-cylinder four-valve 659-cc engine (Euro 3 compliant), steel tube frame with aluminum swingarm and the refined progressive linkage on which the original adjustable lateral mono shock absorber operates
The ergonomics of the motorcycle have been carefully reworked for the street, and now offer a more comfortable ride for both driver and passenger making it also suitable for long distance riding.
You might remember Roland Sands’ KTM 530 EXC café racer that we’ve shown you a month back. We’re getting deeper into the story with detailed pictures from during the build and three inside videos of the café racer conversion. The process consisted mostly in shortening the suspension and the adding of a custom made bodywork with incredible results.
The conversion was aimed at emphasizing both performance and styling in an attempt to create the Super Single style. The idea sounds great and the bike is a dream to ride, just as Roland Sands describes: "The bike is super fun to ride, it’s light, agile, torquey and stylish. It does everything you want a good road bike to do....it just does it better." Hit the jump for the inside videos. Full story