Tagged: Diana

1967 Ducati Mark 3 Vintage Racer

1967 Ducati 250 Mark 3 Race Bike L Side

With all the laurels they’ve earned for wins on track and ink expended, or keys keyed, to express the love for the raucous bark of their v-twin motorcycles, it’s easy to forget that Ducati, like most manufacturers, got their start making single-cylinder motorcycles.

1967 Ducati 250 Mark 3 Race Bike R Side Front

For much of the motorcycle’s history, they were practical, inexpensive transportation first, racing machines a distant second, and you can’t get much more simple and reliable than the good ol’ single-cylinder. “Thumpers” are simple to design and manufacture, have fewer moving parts to break or need adjustment, and can be made in a huge range of displacements. In addition, their torquey power delivery and strong, friendly character make them excellent tools for the street.

1967 Ducati 250 Mark 3 Race Bike Dash

A small manufacturer couldn’t hope to compete in terms of sophistication with industrial giants like Honda, so Ducati stayed with forms of racing that played to their considerable strengths. While the Ducati Mark 3 may have been only a 250cc machine, the Diana Super Sport was the fastest 250 on the market at the time and could top “the ton” with relative ease. It did not feature Ducati’s now ubiquitous Desmo positive valve operation and used traditional springs, but it was a thoroughbred in every other way.

1967 Ducati 250 Mark 3 Race Bike L Engine

This example has been fully prepped for the track and includes a metal belly pan, unusual dry clutch, and a four leading-shoe front drum brake from a period Suzuki for some improved stop to go with the engine’s uprated poke.

From the original eBay listing: 1967 Ducati Mark 3 250cc Vintage Racing Motorcycle

1967 Ducati A.H.R.M.A. legal in 250 GP and eligible to bump up to 350 GP class.
This bike has been developed over the past twenty years and last raced in 2013.
The frame is Ducati with custom fork crowns and Ceriani forks.
Rear shock mounts by the owner with Progressive Suspension Shocks.
The front brake is Suzuki 4LS and the rear brake is stock Ducati.
The engine uses a Euro Red crank, Arais piston, Megacycle cam, and Ducati rockers with light weight valves.
The dry clutch is from Italy. The crank has been balanced to minimize vibration.
The bike uses a total loss ignition with points and coil. It has a Scitsu tachometer.
Spares include sprockets, cables, pegs, shifter, levers, battery, and jets.

With just a single bid for $5,999 and the reserve not yet met, it’s unfortunate this bike hasn’t found a buyer yet, with three days to go. It seems like a great turnkey way to get into the vintage racing scene, something I’d really love to do myself.

1967 Ducati 250 Mark 3 Race Bike L Grip

There’ve been a number of really neat vintage racing machines up for sale recently on eBay, track bikes and race-eligible machinery that looks well-prepared and ready to go. These seem like they’d be a good bet for a buyer: obviously used harder than many pampered street machines, the upside is that they’re owned by gearheads and racing requires certain minimum safety and therefore maintenance standards be met. If you’re trusting your life to something you’re going to be pushing to the limit, your standards for just what constitutes “safe” do tend to go up a bit…

1967 Ducati 250 Mark 3 Race Bike R Rear

In addition, my personal experience with bikes and cars is that, the more you use them, the better they work. Sitting collecting dust in a garage or showroom is bad for bikes: tires and hoses dry out and crack, gaskets weep, parts seize and rust…

-tad

1967 Ducati 250 Mark 3 Race Bike R Side

 

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.

-tad

1967 Ducati Diana 250 L Front1967 Ducati Diana 250 Dash Side

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