1963 Ducati Diana 250 for Sale

1963 Ducati Diana 250 L Front

Well, this is always a pleasure to find: a classic bike in beautiful shape with clear photography and a detailed description. While other manufacturers found sales success in the US with the bigger-displacement machines that are so popular here, Ducati continued to plug away with its more European offerings that emphasized handling over outright power. The Diana featured very sophisticated specifications for such a small machine, including a “unit” design for the engine and gearbox, all-aluminum construction, and a overhead cam driven by a distinctive tower shaft that can be seen on the right side of the engine.

1963 Ducati Diana 250 R Rear

A combination of light weight and a broad spread of useable power meant that the tiny machine could compete with much larger bikes and still handle curves like an outright racer.

The natural light, detail shots do show some very minor imperfections, but that’s no shame as the seller freely admits to actually riding this little jewel. It’s also not completely original, as this particular example has basically been brought up to Diana Mark III spec with valve, carb, and cam upgrades that allowed power to be boosted at the expense of a narrower powerband, which was in turn mitigated by the extra gear in the transmission.

1963 Ducati Diana 250 R Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1963 Ducati Diana 250 for Sale

This is a rare, early Diana before the more common red/black MK III model.   But the engine has been upgraded to the MK III specs with MK III Cam, SSI 27 carb, high compression piston, and 40mm intake valve, 36mm exhaust (I think, don’t remember for sure).  Some features of this model and this particular bike:

7 rib early brake drums
Borrani WM1/WM2 rims
Painted spokes per original
Original tread pattern Chin Shen tires
Front brake Ferrodo linings, turned to fit drum per vintagebrake.com
Nimh 5 cell battery (no acid) and disconnect inside tool box
Clear title (states 1964, most Ducatis I have bought are titled the year following build)
Good kick start gears and upgraded spring
Seat carcass and cover newly made
Aluminum castings carefully cleaned to retain original finish, no bead blasting!
Has correct “stilleto” clutch and brake levers.  Very cool and not PC.

Engine has been rebuilt with all new bearings, piston, guides, valves, etc.  It hasn’t been run in 5 years but I squirted gas in the carb this morning and it fired right up!  Tank is clean and dry.  Does not leak oil, feel free to display indoors but it would be more fun to ride!

Things not correct with the bike:

No choke cable to carb.  Doesn’t need it.
NOS muffler has same diameter as header pipe.  SS tubing sleeve connects the two.  (Reproduction muffler readily available)
High handle bars discarded for the lower ones on the bike.  This model sometimes came with clip-ons which are readily available.
5 speed engine per explanation above.  There is no visually apparent difference.  4 speed engine cases (included) match title.

1963 Ducati Diana 250 R Tank Detail

Bidding is up to $6k with the reserve not yet met, but that’s no surprise, given the condition. This is one of those “if you’re looking for one of these, this is the one to buy” situations, and I’d expect any additional expense will be well worth it. Maybe not completely original, but it’s hard to argue with the results. Even the updated 5 speed box makes good sense, and the original 4 speed is included if you feel the need for that sort of authenticity.

The seller states that you should “feel free to display it indoors but it would be more fun to ride” and I heartily agree!

-tad

1963 Ducati Diana 250 R Side

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