1967 Ducati Diana MKIII

1967 Ducati Diana 250 R Front

Fans of modern motorcycles become so used to the short product cycles of Japanese machines, the two-year grind of mechanical and cosmetic updates to keep the product fresh and moving off of the sales floor. But that all changed with the recent stock market crash. These days, a 2014Yamaha R6 looks virtually identical to one from 2006 except for paint and graphics.

It’s easy to forget how many classic models were in production for years, with relatively few changes. Ducati’s 250 was introduced in 1961 and the machine continued in Mark 3 guise until 1974.

1967 Ducati Diana 250 Carb Detail

The Ducati Diana 250 Mark 3 was lacking in cubes, but not in sophistication. Introduced in 1962 the Diana featured a five-speed gearbox and Ducati’s complex and tunable bevel-drive, single overhead cam engine..

Light weight and a tuned powerplant pushed the 249cc machine beyond the 100mph mark to an as-tested top speed of 104, making it the fastest 250 in the world at that time, and one of the best handling, as well. It wasn’t cheap, but this sort of pedigree seldom is.

1967 Ducati Diana 250 Tool Box

From the original eBay listing: 1967 Ducati Diana Mark 3 for Sale

It is a 1967 English model Mark 3, which replaced the Mach 1 model (simple decal engineering) from that year on & has all of the near-impossible to find original hardware on it: the correct rear sets with the curved brake lever, the smooth fork crown, the proper clip-ons & hand controls, the proper 150 mm headlight & switches. The brake light assembly is original.  The brake light switch is original too. The Veglia tach, drive, & mount are original units, not replicas. 

The engine is the original, proper Mach 1 spec unit, with hot cam & 29mm carb, which has been gone completely through by a competent pro motor bike mechanic.  I had the original header pipe re-chromed & a new header nut. 

My intent was to keep this bike as my special Sunday morning ride unit.  To that end, I did change a couple of things: I replaced the original steel San Remo wheels with perfect Borrani Records (WM1 front/WM2 rear), & had them laced with stainless spokes. The tires are racing compound Avon Roadrunners, never ridden.   The seat is a NOS suede insert Giuliari Mach 1 unit that has never been ridden.  It has the pseudo megaphone that I had Sid Tunstall (well known Ducati specialist) make (with Conti innards to hush it up a bit) & the original NOS front number plate covering the headlight (not shown in photos), it looks exactly like the old brochure pictures for the “race kit”.  One other thing that I did was replace the battery ignition with a magneto unit (“Green coil”) that they had for a brief period of time – my idea being the ability to ignore the issue of worrying about a battery when I got the urge to ride it.  I still have the battery ignition too though.

1967 Ducati Diana 250 Dash

Okay, I’m sold: I have a fetish for those old Veglia tachs, and will probably just buy one online at some point to keep around as decoration, or as an accessory for a future purchase. I love that it basically starts at 2,000rpm and has that little red hash-mark redline.

Bidding is up to $7,600 with the reserve not met and 3 days to go.


1967 Ducati Diana 250 L Front1967 Ducati Diana 250 Dash Side

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1 Response

  1. Lovely. I have a friend, who is not a psychopath, who dismantled his perfect MkIII to sell as parts, as he realized a considerably larger sum when he needed to cash out. This is a disturbing trend, but a ‘normal’ distortion of human activity by market forces. Owners dismantling perfect, correct bikes so buyers can attempt to make their basket cases into the whole machine, like that just dismantled. A motorcycling Wheel of Life fueled by cash and aspiration…