1978 Ducati 500 Sport Desmo

Who knew that Ducati made a parallel twin? I did. Who knew that they made it a Desmo? I didn’t. If you are in the know, then you might already have seen this for sale now .

The Desmo Sport is based on the Ducati 500GTL OHV parallel twin offered from 1977 through 1983.  Fabio Taglioni was not involved in the original engine design, and when sales and performance were flat,  Ducati hoped that the addition of the Desmotomic would be the cure. It apparently wasn’t.

The seller’s story

            I hate to sell this classic Ducati. I just don’t have time to ride…. Please who ever ends up with it… Keep it original…. was the original owner and spared no expense to keep the bike in perfect running condition. Everything works! Lights, gauges, etc…The bike runs like day one from the factory.

Numbers I found for the Desmo and the GTL are very close, so close I am not sure the difference. For the Desmo I could not find hp numbers, but the GTL offered 35hp at 6500 rpm. I would assume that the Desmo valves raised the maximum rpm and this is were the Sport gained any horsepower. Maximum speed for the Desmo Sport is listed at 106mph compared to the GTL 100mph. Both had bore stroke of 78×52 with a 9.6:1 compression ratio with a 5 speed transmission. The Desmo had a pair of 30mm PHM Dellorto’s and  this may have also be a way to get more out of the base engine.

Seller points out a few flaws

            The seat is original. It has one little blemish on the lower right side. Also the tank has a couple of blemish marks on the right side. These two items keep the bike from being in a museum

When looking for a review for the parallel twin I found this review, which was not glowing. The reviewer gave it low points for ease of maintenance, and pointed to possible problems with a weak crank. They also pointed out the curse of vertical twins, vibration.

The seller stats that the bike is offered for sale locally and this means that they can cancel the auction, so if you are interested, don’t wait to until the last second.

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