Despite what we know of Ducati these days, the Italian bike maker was, at one point in a time, a developer of small variation motorcycles. One of those models was the Ducati 50 Sport, a machine that featured a 48 cc single-cylinder, two-stroke engine mated to a three-speed transmission.
The 50 Sport was one of the bikes that carried this powertrain and in doing so, it became one of the most popular bikes not just for pleasure riders, but also for competition too.
This particular 50 Sport is an example of an older restoration that remains remarkably attractive despite its age. Its silver and blue paint makes for a perfect pit bike for vintage races, or if that’s not your thing, joy rides on the open countryside.
The 50 Sport was sold at a price of €3,510 ($4,500), right around the estimated price - €2,500 - €3,500 ($3,200 - $4,500) - before it was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco.
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.
Ducati’s global reach in the motorcycle market is unrivaled in the industry. At one point in time, they even designed a bike for the American market, appropriately called the 175 Americano.
Designed in the styling cue of its American contemporary, Harley Davidson, the 175 Americano featured balanced mudguards, crash bars, high pull-back handlebars, twin air horns, a dual seat, studded trim, and a handle for the passenger, along with dual mufflers from the 175 Sport.
At the heart of the 175 Americano is a 175 cc SOHC single engine that was mated to a four-speed transmission, engine specs that were a premium back in its heyday.
For the model that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco, it was as rare as it came, especially considering that 175 Americanos in good condition are pretty hard to find nowadays. The older restoration model was finessed in a two-tone blue and silver paint finish with matching chrome details. It was sold at a price of €3,803 ($4,800), a figure that’s slightly less than the expected bid price of €5,000 - €7,000, which is around $6,400 - $8,900 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.
The Ducati Scrambler is a classic in every sense of the word. Even back in the 70’s, it was already one of the Italian bike maker’s more popular models.
The 350 Scrambler, in particular, was the first model to be offered with the wide-case single engine in 1968, followed by the 250- and 450-cc models. The 350 Scrambler was powered by a stout 340 cc SOHC single engine that was mated to a five-speed transmission. It came with a 10-to-1 compression ratio that provided much needed performance improvements to the bike. The 350 Scrambler also featured a Veglia speedometer, which was mounted in its Aprilia headlight.
For this particular 1973 Ducati Scrambler 350, the piece is in nicely restored condition, with good chrome and orange and black paint finishing off the pretty slick overall set-up of the bike.
It had an estimated bid price of €5,000 - €7,000 (around $6,300 - $8,900 based on current exchange rates) when it went up for auction at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco. Actual selling price was $12,121.
The Ducati 100 Sport was first introduced in September 1957 and was pegged as the smaller sibling of the 125 Sport and Touring models. Despite its less-than-stellar engine prowess, the 100 Sport endeared itself because of its light weight and overall mobility.
It’s no secret that a lot of people enjoyed the 100 Sport, not because it carried a 98 cc SOHC single engine that was mated to a four-speed transmission, but because it was economical, tax-friendly, and entered the market at a time when small engine bikes were becoming the rage over in Europe.
The model that was up for grabs at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco - CN: DM 250748 - was an older restoration model that came with the original two-tone, silver and blue paint scheme. The expected auction price for the lightweight classic bike was about €3,500 - €4,500, which is about $4,500 - $5,800 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $2,652.
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.