Everything Old is New: 1975 Ducati 860GT Super Sport

1975 Ducati 860GT SS R Side Front

Prices of Ducati’s somewhat maligned 860GT have risen to a point where bikes like this vibrant-green resto-mod stuffed full of desmodromic L-twin make sense.

While it may be hard to accept, by the mid-1970’s the styling of the Ducati’s now-classic 750GT had become a bit dated. So how do you follow up such an impressive debut? Well, in an effort to modernize their style, Ducati brought in Giorgetto Giugiaro to pen some new lines for the old dog. But while Giugiaro has designed some of the most stunning cars of all time, his bikes have been somewhat more… Controversial. A bit like Pierre Terblanche, his restyled bike was not well liked when it was introduced, and until very recently, the 860GT was the only affordable way into bevel-drive Ducati ownership. Many have been fitted with 750GT tanks and side panels or fairings to create SS replicas. This bike actually goes the other way, and uses an uprated 900SS motor in a bike that features the original, classic lines and distinctive 70’s green.

1975 Ducati 860GT SS L Side

The 900SS actually had the same 864cc displacement as the 860GT, but the heads used Ducati’s signature desmodromic valve actuation, while the 860GT just used regular old valve springs…

1975 Ducati 860GT SS Engine Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Ducati 860GT with 900SS Engine for Sale

From BevelTech Engineering – a completely restored and rebuilt 1975 Ducati 860 GT fitted with a 1975 900 Desmo Supersport Engine – also fully rebuilt and refreshed.

The accompanying photos will give an indication as to the quality of this build – suffice to say that with 4 decades of bevel drive experience by a professional Engineer, this is no schoolboy lash-up.

Should the bike be sold locally, a 12 month unlimited kilometer warranty on the engine and running gear will be provided.

Approximately a hundred kilometers since completion.

There are modifications too numerous to list. Be assured that the bike runs, handles and stops as you would expect. It is, in every respect, as new and this is reflected in the reserve price.

Many more photos of the engine rebuild available – eBay only allows for 24 in the listing. Just ask.

Shipping worldwide at buyers expense – $1,000 AUD deposit upon successful purchase. Balance by bank transfer prior to collection – the usual.

No doubt questions aplenty – please ask.

*** Note: rear Ohlins shown have been found to leak and as no rebuild kit is available and the dealer would not honour warranty, shocks have been replaced with rebuilt Marzocchi remote reservoir air units.

1975 Ducati 860GT SS Side Panel

It’s a shame about the Öhlins shocks, but the replacement Marzocchis should do the job nicely. While the loss of more traditional skinny wheels and tires [or is that “tyres”] is a shame in terms of looks, the performance benefits of radial rubber can’t be overstated, and should also make it much easier to find a good selection locally. Grippier rubber should also allow the rider to make use of the modern front brake set up and improve safety significantly.

Otherwise, this is a very interesting combination, and it’s nice to see someone celebrating Giugiaro’s angular style instead of simply doing another SS-style job or boring café conversion.

1975 Ducati 860GT SS L Side Front

There’s plenty of time left on the auction, and at $10,300 I’m not surprised the reserve hasn’t been met. With values of all bevel-drive Ducatis steadily rising, importing this to the US from Australia would be worth the chore. Just swap that mirror across to the other bar!


1975 Ducati 860GT SS R Side



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4 Responses

  1. Shinytoys says:

    That is a spectacular motorcycle. Just like walking into the shop and seeing it on the showroom floor.

  2. Real riders in the day preferred the valve spring motor because it’s much easier to adjust the valves! I had a 900GTS which was pumped beyond SS spec, a real sleeper which didn’t break your back in town riding.

  3. Tony Hannagan says:

    900GTS which was pumped beyond SS spec eh …. well I’m sure that’s what the guy told you!

  4. tad says:

    Yeah, I’m a big Ducati fan, but I’ve always been skeptical of the practical benefits of the Desmo valvetrain in modern machines… In the 1950’s, I’m sure it provided a competitive benefit, but I’d expect that, by the 1970’s, the advantages were pretty much academic…