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.
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!