For fans of Ducati’s sports singles, this Mark 3 450 Desmo is the top of the heap, and shares that gorgeous orange-yellow paint with the bigger 750 Sport. But, unlike that model, the 450 Desmo features Ducati’s desmodromic system.
While “Ducati” and “desmodromic” have become synonymous today, the system didn’t feature on all of their models until the Pantah motor of the 1980’s, when that motor was used in both large and small displacement applications. The system was mostly used on range-topping sports models like the Super Sport twins and Desmo singles. Other manufacturers, including Mercedes, have used similar systems, but Ducati’s design was created by the revered Fabio Taglioni and first applied to their 1956 125cc race bike.
Ironically, the system probably had more practical benefits when it was introduced on Ducati racebikes in the late 1950’s, although the precision tuning does still have some benefits. If you’re not familiar, a desmodromic system uses cams that both open and close the valves to eliminate valve float and allow for very precise tuning. The fact that the valves are being closed in a controlled manner, instead of just being slammed closed as fast as a spring can manage, permits steep cam profiles that wouldn’t normally be practical.
In 1968, Desmo performance was introduced to Ducati’s roadbikes on the Mark 3 250 and 350 bikes, with the 450 available in 1969. Interestingly, the 250 and 450 models were far more flexible on the street: the 350 had a much more highly-strung demeanor and was ready to go racing, nearly right out of the box.
From the original eBay listing: 1971 Ducati 450 MK3 Desmo for Sale
VIN 700287 Engine DM450 S/D 456907
The most desirable of the single Ducati’s in very good straight conditions, restored about 20years ago and rarely used since. Italian historic register and still with its first original Italian registration documents.
Ride and collect!
Bike is currently located in Italy, 33080 Roveredo in Piano (Pordenone) but i can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem.
We can supply US contact as reference.
This same seller has had a number of really nice bikes up for sale on eBay of late that we’ve featured, including that very, very cool Guzzi racer from last week. I’m not sure if he’s liquidating a collection, but his bikes are amazing, and he’s popped into the comments to answer questions from time to time, so don’t hesitate to ask questions at the original listing or in the comments section.