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.
Estimated price: $4,000-$6,000 US
Specifications: 864 cc SOHC Desmo V-twin, five speeds.