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Ducati Desmosedici

Ducati Desmosedici

Posted on by Sulthoni

The mid-’70s were not kind to Ducati, which had discontinued its 250/350/450 singles and round-case 750 GT, Sport and Super Sport and had pinned its hopes on parallel twins, the non-Desmo 860 GT and 900 GTS. The 900 Super Sport had passionate adherents but needed to have broader appeal. That happened in 1977 with the Darmah 900 Sport Desmo, which was the company’s mainstay for five years. It was a detuned 900 SS, with smaller 32-mm carbs, an electric start, two-up seat, Bosch electronic ignition, Nippon Denso gauges, warning lights, headlights and indicators. Best of all, the price was competitive with Japanese bikes. People remember the 900 Super Sport fondly, but the Darmah is probably more historically important.

One of these original bikes was presented at an auction wearing an attractive black and gold paint job for the fairing and wheels. It is from the second production run, complete with luggage storage.


The Ducati Paso first came to life in 1984 after the Cagiva brothers officially took over Ducati . Concerned that the company lacked enough product models, the new owners approached Massimo Tamburini, recently the “ta” of Bimota. They asked him to build a bike that came with a revised square-tube frame that was developed for Yamaha’s FJ1100. And so, the Ducati Paso was born.

The Paso was designed to carry a rear cylinder that was rotated so that a single Weber 44DCNF 107 carburetor could control both cylinders. In 1991, Mikuni carburettors were substituted and finally replaced by a Weber Marelli fuel injection from the 851. Unlike some of the Italian bike maker’s enduring models, the Paso line didn’t last very long as the model was discontinued in 1992.

This particular model, a 1991 907IE Desmo, is the final version of the Paso. It has a 904 cc fuel-injected SOHC Desmo V-twin engine mated to a six-speed transmission and 17" wheels replacing the undesirable 16" size, which turned in too sharply. The bike is in good original condition and with an aftermarket exhaust, it’s got some life left.

The bike was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auction in Monaco. Estimated bid price for the bike was at €2,800 - €3,800 ($3,400 - $4,700 at the current rates), although it was only sold for €2,048 ($2,500 at the current rates).


In 1985, a new era for Ducati began after ownership was transferred from the Italian Government EFIM Group to Cagiva, based in Varese in Northern Italy. Under Cagiva, Ducati’s first all-new model was the Paso Desmo .

The Paso was designed to generate a broader public appeal, one that would spearhead a new generation of bikes that would allow Ducati to reinvent itself. The Paso made use of a 748cc SOHC Desmo V-twin engine that came mated to a six-speed transmission.

In addition, the Paso came with plenty of significant changes, including the reversed rear cylinder head to allow the installation of a dual-throat automotive-style Weber carburetor. The bike also had a box-section steel frame was a traditional double downtube, full cradle design, with an aluminum swing-arm and linkage rear suspension, and last, a pair of 16" Oscam wheels fitted with low radial tires.

The bike was scooped up at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco at a price of €1,170, which is around $1,500 based on current exchange rates.

The wide-case Ducati 450-cc Desmo single was the fastest production Ducati anybody could buy before the birth of the V-twin 750 Sport. That’s why when one of these models hits the market, they become so highly sought after.

The Desmo Corsa Replica is powered by a 436cc SOHC Desmo single engine and mated to a five-speed transmission. The engine comes with twin spark plugs, a single Dell’Orto PHM 40-mm carburettor, twin Bitubo rear shock absorbers and Marzocchi forks. The wheel rims are alloy, and the five-speed gear shift is mounted on the left.

Though built as a hill climb racer in 1990, the bike on offer is based on a 1972 example and is said to have been ridden by no less than Marcello Peruzzi, who won the Italian Historic Hillclimb challenge in 1995.

The bike was sold at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco for €9,360 ($11,700), fairly below the €14,000 - €18,000 ($17,500 - $22,500) that it was expected to fetch.


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.

Before the 750 Super Sport V-twin and Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari’s amazing 1-2 at Imola in 1972, no Ducati bike could go as fast as the 450-cc Desmo Corsa .

The 450 Desmo Coras first appeared at Rimini in 1968, where it amazingly pulled 50 horsepower at 9,000 rpm. The 450 had twin plug ignition, larger valves, a 42-mm Dell’Orto carburetor, and a 10-to-1 compression ratio, reinforced swing arm and Fontana twin leading shoe front brake.

The rich racing history of the 450 Desmo Corsa is a true testament to its reputation as one of the fastest era bikes in the Italian bike maker’s history.

The bike that’s being offered is a well-prepared and unrestored Italian series racer that was once ridden by Nencioni. It’s been finished in red and white and features Borrani alloy rims, Dell’Orto SS1 carburettor, Marzocchi forks with a Fontana front brake, Veglia tachometer, and Menani handlebars.

This particular machine was also displayed at the Ducati factory museum and prominently featured in the official Ducati museum book. It comes with an attestation from NCR confirming it was race-prepared by Ducati with special racing components.

The bike was sold at the RM Auctions in Monaco for a price of €29,250, which is around $36,400 based on current exchange rates.

When Ducati began using carbon fiber on their bikes, they predictably used it on a limited edition, single-seat Ducati 900 Super Sport . Built from 1992 to 1996 as the Ducati 900 Superlight, the bike used the aforementioned carbon fiber material on a number of its components, particularly the mudguards and the clutch cover.

Initially, the Italian bike maker wanted to build 500 models of the bike, but bumped that up to 900 pieces after incessant public demand. After the 900 Superlight enjoyed success in the market, Ducati built the Superlight II in 1993, replacing the composite wheels with Brembo units and adding a floating rear disc brakes setup. They also fitted in a powerful 904 cc V-twin SOHC Desmo engine that produced 73 horsepower and was mated to a six-speed transmission.

The Superlight II that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco was model no. 34 of the 1993 series. It came in original condition, had good paint, and is considered one of the rare super bikes that would find a nice home in a motorcycle collector’s garage.

The bike sold for €4,095 ($5,260), below the estimated auction price of €4,500 - €6,000 ($5,800 - $7,700).


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