2019 - 2020 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer
Ducati refined its Scrambler lineup ahead of MY2019, and the Café Racer benefits from a number of improvements. New graphics, a new seat, and old-school laced wheels buff curb appeal, but it ain’t all about the vanity. The factory upgraded rideability and safety as well. In other words, Duc took one of its best mid-size rides and made it even better.
2017 - 2018 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer & Desert Sled
Ducati’s Scrambler line grew yet again in the 2017 model year with the addition of the Café Racer and Desert Sled. The Scrambler range has proven to be a veritable mine of possibilities as Ducati capable model in the entire range, and the Café Racer, well, it comes set up to look cool in an urban environment. Both rides get the same 803 cc mill that powers the rest of the Scrambler variants along with much the same chassis, but the differences, however minor, make all the difference in the world.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer & Desert Sled.
The Ducati 500L Pantah Desmo was auctioned with an estimated price of €3.000-€4.000. At the heart of the motorcycle lies a 499 cc SOHC Desmo V-twin engine which is mated on a five speeds transmission. The motorcycle has a pretty interesting history behind it and is one of Ducati’s iconic models.
At the end of the 1970s, Ducati was in trouble. The vertical twins weren’t selling, so management went to designer Fabio Taglioni to see if he had any ideas. He handed them plans for another ground-breaking V-twin, based on his 1973 Armaroli DOHC Grand Prix racer.
The new bike was the belt-drive camshaft 500-cc V-twin Desmo Pantah, and its racing version, the TT2, would win four Formula 2 world championships between 1981-84. Taglioni’s new engine was smaller and quieter than the outgoing bevel-drive twins and was fitted in a trellis frame. The belt drive would be a feature of Ducati engines from that day forth. The Pantah’s electronics were by Nippon Denso, brakes were by Brembo, and its top speed was about 120 mph. The bike on offer is in good original condition with two-into-one exhaust, and many collectors prefer the early, smoother fairing.
Hit the jump for more pictures of the Ducati 500SL Pantah Desmo.
A classic Ducati 750 Super Sport was put on sale at an auction with an estimated price of €15.000-€20.000. This bike is in nice condition with good paint and chrome and alloy wheel rims.
When the 401 round-case 750 Ducati Super Sports were completed in 1974, two-strokes looked like they were going to dominate Formula 750, with the Yamaha TZ 700 leading the way. Ducati elected to contest endurance racing, which did not restrict engine size. They bumped up the 750 SS engine by using a pair of 450 racing pistons to create an 864-cc motor—the 900 SS.
In 1975, both the 900 SS and 750 SS used the square-case engine, with the 860 sleeved down to make the 750 SS. They were basically the same bare-bones production racers as the 1974 models, with right-side shift, a small CEV taillight, fibreglass gas tank, Conti pipes, open bellmouth carburettors and no turn signal provisions.
Only 246 ‘900 Super Sports’ and 249 ‘750 Super Sports’ were built, and an amazing 198 of the 500 went to Australia. The 1976 Super Sports would be civilised, with left-side shifting, steel gas tanks, carburettor air cleaners and quieter Lanfranconi mufflers (though Contis would usually be included in the crate).
Any 1975 750 Super Sport would be a rare find indeed these days, and this model is always sought after by serious Ducati collectors.
Hit the jump for more pictures.
A Ducati 750 200 Miglia Imola Corsa Replica was auctioned with an estimated price of €80.000-€120.000. The motorcycle has an interesting history, as it was constructed from a frame given by the Ducati racing department to Mr. Saltarelli in 1975, as prize money for his racing efforts with his private team of Ducati racing motorcycles.
Mr. Saltarelli decided to build the motorcycle as a spare racer for his team. The bike has received a complete restoration in 20000 because Mr. Saltarelli wanted to display it at his museum.
The motorcycle is currently fitted with a large endurance type racing tank, Marzocchi leading axle forks, three Lockheed disc brakes and the “left high-right low” Conti exhausts.
The 200 Mile Imola 750 Ducatis represent the pinnacle of collectible Desmo V-twins and are on the wish list of every Ducati collector. This is a unique model as none of the factory bikes are available to purchase today.
Hit the jump for more information.
The history of the Ducati 750 SS Corsa is pretty interesting as is strongly related to the famous Mike Hailwood.
Mike Hailwood’s comeback victory at the Isle of Man in 1978, 11 years after he had retired and at the age of 38, holds a warm spot in the heart of every Ducati fan. But mention Paul Smart at Imola in 1972, and one will generate even more enthusiasm. At that Italian racetrack on 23 April, 1972, 70,000 race fans watched underdog Ducati defeat the world’s best riders on what were previously assumed to be the world’s best bikes. The riders included world champion Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read, Cal Rayborn and Walter Villa competing in the inaugural 200-mile race, much like Europe’s Daytona, with more than $40,000 in prize money.
Agostini took off in the lead with Smart and Spaggiari behind him, but Smart passed him on lap four and Spaggiari a lap later. After that, the two Ducatis diced with each other until the finish—Spaggiari passing Smart but then running wide as he started to misfire, low on fuel. The Ducatis finished one-two at an average speed of 97.76 mph, with Smart, Spaggiari and Agostini sharing the fastest lap at 100.1 mph. The “green frame” Ducati 750 Super Sport had arrived.
However, it looked as though two-strokes were soon going to rule Moto GP, and Ducati switched the V-twin to endurance racing, which had no engine restrictions. By boring the cylinders to 86 mm and using 450 racing pistons, the 864-cc 900 SS was created. The new bike made its race-winning debut at Montjuich Park, Barcelona, where Benjamin Grau and Salvador Canellas won the 24 hours endurance race in July 1973.
Hit the jump for more pictures.
In 1968, the wide-case 350-cc Mark 3 Desmo was the fastest production Ducati one could buy, with 103 mph on tap, or 112 mph with a noisier megaphone pipe. There were several options: high touring bars instead of clip-ons and even a racing kit with more radical camshaft, fairing a range of main jets and megaphone exhaust.
The bike was unmistakable with early examples having twin filler caps on the fuel tank and the white-faced Veglia tachometer on the right fork crown. The fuel tank was chrome plated on the sides, with a metal Ducati badge, and the headlight and fenders were chrome plated.
When the 450-cc engine was introduced in 1969, the range was redesigned somewhat, with a square-slide Dell’Orto carburettor replacing the previous SS1, a single filler cap fuel tank and individual speedometer and tachometer, instead of the headlight-mounted speedo in the 1968 model. A cut-off Silentium exhaust silencer replaced the bullet exhaust.
Cycle magazine tested the 250-, 350- and 450-cc models imported to the U.S. and reported that the 250-cc and 450-cc engines had a wide power band, while the 350-cc was basically a bottle-rocket, with power coming on with a rush at 6,500 rpm. Not surprisingly, the 450 cc was fastest through a quarter-mile at 16.6 seconds, but the 350 did it in 17.6 seconds, and that was cut to 15.15 seconds with a megaphone exhaust, suggesting that the Silentium pipe restricted the bikes performance significantly.
Hit the jump for more pictures.
A vintage 1969 Ducati 450 Mark 3 was auctioned with an estimated price of €3.000-€4.000. The motorcycle is powered by a 436 cc SOHC single engine paired with a five speeds transmission.
The 450-cc Mark 3 model was introduced in 1969, following the new wide-case 250/350-cc a year earlier. The 450-cc frame had an extra gusset along the top tube like Spaggiari’s racer, including a wider chain and sprocket and slightly longer Marzocchi forks. All 450s had a new type of Dell’Orto square-slide VHB 29 carburettor, and the bullet silencer was replaced by the cut-off Silentium type, which could be long or short. The bike on offer appears to be in sound condition and is finished in its original red and black, with some re-finishing to the paint. This model was produced for the Municipal Police and is known as “Vigili Urbani.” Its reduced 8.4-to-one compression ratio, solo seat and valanced front mudguard are all factory correct.
Hit the jump for more pictures of the Ducati 450 Mark 3.
A classic 1974 Ducati 750 SS Corsa was presented to an auction by a private seller. The bike has an estimated price of € 40.000 - € 60.000 and was prepared at Reparto Corse Ducati with the help of Franco Farne and is Carlo Saltarelli’s own 750 SS which he campaigned as a privateer in both 1974 and 1975. The model was painted grey in 1974, then carrying race number 43, and then repainted white and red, carrying number 23.
The frame and engine numbers suggest this machine left the factory as a 750GT and was up-rated to the competition specification in period. The comprehensive specification includes Marzocchi front forks, adjustable rear Marzocchi shocks, Scarab brakes, Veglia competition tachometer, Tommaselli handlebars, front oil cooler, competition exhaust, competition camshafts, twin Dell’Orto PHM 40-mm carburettors, lightweight clutch, lightweight pistons and Borrani rims.
Hit the jump for more information on the Ducati 750 SS Corsa’s history.
A reserve bike prepared by NCR for Hailwood in the 1979 was put on sale by a private owner with an estimated price of €20.000-€30.000. The body of the bike was NCR, the engine was up-rated, but the frame was a standard 900 SS.
The bike has Brembo brakes, Marzocchi forks and Marzocchi rear shocks. It has a Veglia competition tachometer, twin Dell’Orto PHM 40-mm carburettors, front oil cooler, Campagnolo wheels oil pressure gauge, Verlicchi handlebars and light clutch.
All enthusiasts know the story of Mike Hailwood’s return to the Isle of Man TT races in 1978 and his success on the Steve Wynne Ducati 900 SS, which led to Ducati’s first World Championship.
At 110.62 mph, Hailwood broke Phil Read’s lap record by nine mph on the way to an immensely popular victory. He followed up with a win at Mallory Park the next weekend, a crash at Donington and a 3rd place at Silverstone against much faster opposition. Ducati was thrilled with the TT result and promised to build Mike Hailwood replicas and also give Hailwood a factory bike for the 1979 TT.
Hailwood tested the 1979 F1 bike at Misano but crashed before any changes could be made, cracking two ribs. After numerous delays, Ducati sent two NCR endurance race bikes to England; one was an endurance machine, and the other was a TT1 variant with a wet clutch engine. Wynne tried numerous modifications—even fitting the 1978 frame—but the bikes could not produce enough power and handled poorly. The best Hailwood could do was 5th place in the TT, and he declined to ride the endurance bike in any other races.
Mario Recchia started as a Ducati mechanic in 1946 and was a pivotal figure in the racing department for many years. Recchia was also a skilled rider, winning his first race on the Via Emilia in 1947 on a Cucciolo and becoming champion of Emilia Romagna province in 1951. According to the vendor, Recchia raced this bike on street circuits in 1950. He rode it to work in Bologna during the week and raced it on Sundays.
Recchia raced with Bruno Spaggiari, Franco Villa and Franco Farne and also built and tuned their engines. He competed in the 1955, 1956 and 1957 Motogiro D’Italias, but one of his best stories is his roadside repair in a Milan-Taranto race. His Cucciolo broke in Sienna; he dismantled it and discovered the bearings had seized. Lacking any oil, he used the banana he had bought for lunch and finished the event.
When Carlo Saltarelli began working at the Ducati factory in the early 1970s, he and Recchia became lifelong friends. Recchia was present when Saltarelli opened his museum to the public in 2000, and he gave Saltarelli his racing Cucciolo as a gift. Mario Recchia passed away soon thereafter in 2007.
This bike was restored approximately 30 years ago and is presented with a handsome patina. Owned by two pivotal motorcycling figures, this machine offers a rare opportunity to own a piece of Ducati history.
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).
The Ducati 98 was one of a number of OHV pushrod bikes built to capture the entry-level market. To a certain extent, that’s why the 98 became such a popular bike back in the day. It wasn’t a weakling by any stretch of the imagination, and it didn’t cost buyers a whole lot of money.
The 98 was powered by, predictably, a 98 cc OHV single cylinder engine that produces 5.5 horsepower at 7,500 rpm with a maximum top speed of 54 mph. Not too shabby for a bike of its stature.
As one of the earliest versions of the 98 model, the bike was more than capable of bringing joy to riders the only way Ducati knows how. The example that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco comes in a pale gray and blue paint finish to go with plenty of chrome details.
The Ducati 98 was bought at a price of just €2,048 ($2,600 at the current rates), just below the estimated auction price of €3,000 - €4,000 ($3,800 - $5,200 at the current rates).
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.
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 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!
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.