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.

  • 1970 Ducati 350 Desmo
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    340 cc SOHC Desmo
  • Transmission:
    5-Speed Transmission
  • Displacement:
    340 cc
  • Price:
    € 12500
1970 Ducati 350 Desmo Exterior
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1970 Ducati 350 Desmo Exterior
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1970 Ducati 350 Desmo Exterior
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1970 Ducati 350 Desmo Exterior
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1970 Ducati 350 Desmo High Resolution Exterior
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  (1) posted on 10.28.2014

I lived in Bangkok, Thailand 1968-1971 and owned and raced both 250 and 350 Desmos. Suprisingly the 250 proved to be the faster of the two after modifications of course. We replaced the alternators with magnetos from early models so we could get rid of the batteries. We also added a second 10mm spark plug and dual points. We used to routinely rev the 250’s to over 10,000 RPM and the only failure we ever had was with the main crank bearings. We had a local machine shop mill us some from much stronger material and that solved the problem. The 350 ran hotter and if you were not careful would melt a piston in the heat. The 250 Desmos where the king of the race tracks and were able to easily outrun even the larger bikes of the day. We raced them on all kinds of tracks including dirt ovals, dirt road courses, and paved road courses all with the same machines!

I have owned a lot of bikes since then, including a 749 and Monster 901SIE but none of them were as good as the 250 Desmo!

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