Ducati has built so many bikes in its history, it’s hard to keep track of all the models that have been produced. In this case, the Ducati 175 Sprint is easy to remember because it offers a unique look with an engine that was built to be a certified road runner.
The 175 Spring was rebuilt for hill climbing between 1970-75, at which time it became a fixture in a lot of local Italian racing events. The bike was powered by a 249 cc SOHC single engine that was mated to a four-speed transmission. The minimalist construction of the bike made it an appropriate candidate for hill-climbs and sprints. It also came with clip-on bars, rear-set foot-pegs, a Veglia competition tachometer, Marzocchi forks, and and a single Dell’Orto VHB 29AD carburetor. Last but not least, the bike rides on Borrani alloy rims with a racing twin leading-shoe drum brake fitted to the front.
The Ducati 175 Sprint was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco for a price of €3,510 ($4,500 at the current rates), well below the estimated price tag of €8,000 - €12,000 ($10,300 - $15,400 at the current 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.
Ducati’s racing heritage is unrivaled in the industry. Back in the 50’s, the Italian bike maker was already blazing trails and winning championships, including the 1955 and 1956 Motogiro d’Italia and Milan-Taranto races.
We’re mentioning those two races in particular because the engines used there ended up being used in a number of production bikes, including the Ducati 175 TS.
The 175 TS was an evolution model from the bevel-drive 175 Sport, which made its debut at the Milan Bike Show in 1956. Despite being a "de-tuned" version of the 175 Sport, the 175 TS still carried a 175 cc SOHC single engine that could produce 12 horsepower, manage a top speed of 68 mph, and do so while mated to a four-speed transmission.
This particular 175 TS also holds special acclaim as it is an early example made a round-the-world trip in 1957 and 1958, ridden by Giorgio Monetti and Leo Tartarini, who later became chief of Italjet. It’s a restored bike that was estimated to hit bid prices of €4,000 - €6,000, which is around $5,000 - $7,500 based on current exchange rates, when it hit the 2012 RM Auction in Monaco. Actual selling price was $3,030.
To say that the Ducati 175 Sport wasn’t an important bike in its time could be considered a huge understatement. Unbeknownst to those that didn’t live through those years, the 175 Sport formed the basis for all the Ducati singles through 1974, with some of the the earliest examples carrying the manufacturer’s most whimsical and elegant quirks.
Dressed in colorful and flamboyant paint colors and fitted with a "jelly mould" fuel tank, the 175 Sport was the picture of unique bike back in the 60’s. But more than just being a picture of uniqueness, the 175 Sport also packed a wallop for a powertrain.
There’s not a whole lot to be said about a bike that comes with a 175 cc SOHC single-cylinder engine that develops 14 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and is mated to a four-speed transmission. It has a top speed of 81 mph and weighs only 229 lbs.
One of those earlier models was auctioned at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco. The bike, CN: DM165/08165, is an excellent older restoration with a colorful red and gold finish. It has the correct hard-rubber SAFA battery, and the chrome is in excellent condition. Expected price range for this 175 Sport was around €5,000 - €7,000, which is about $6,500 - $9,000 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $6,061.