Tagged: desmodromic

Road-Going Ducati Special: 1978 Ducati 900 NCR for Sale

1978 Ducati 900 NCR R Side

NCR has been building Ducati specials and tuning parts since their inception in 1967, although today their complete bikes are more high-end exotic lifestyle accessories for one-upping your Bimota Tesi-mounted buddies: their M16 is actually a massively-lightened Desmosedici that weighs in at 319lbs before you gas it up and is worth about as much as a nice suburban house. Because that’s just what the Desmo needed: a better power-to-weight ratio. Or, if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the M16, their air-cooled M4 weighs 286lbs with oil but without gas…

1978 Ducati 900 NCR L Side Front

But NCR also built the Isle of Man Ducati raced by Mike Hailwood, so their vintage credentials are bona fide: they’re far more than another titanium moto-jewelry manufacturer.

This massively-faired bike from 1978 includes an aftermarket but very cool “gear-gazer” clear cam cover that displays the gear-drive for the overhead camshaft on the rear cylinder in all its glory. And NCR’s signature one-piece tank-and-tail bodywork also features a distinctive unpainted strip on the side of the tank so the fuel level is clearly visible through the translucent fiberglass.

1978 Ducati 900 NCR R Side Tank

That enormous fairing looks like it will provide plenty of protection for high-speed runs, and the bike appears to be in excellent condition. The seller’s description of this road-biased bike is very spare, but luckily very clear photos are included. From the original eBay listing: 1978 Ducati 900 NCR for Sale

Incredible opportunity to own a real NCR. Stumbled on this bike, along with a 1974 Ducati 750 SS, while at a Mostra Scambio, in Rimini, Italy December 2001. Extensive top end work by one of the best bevel drive mechanics in North America

1978 Ducati 900 NCR L Side Engine

This would really be an excellent moment for the seller to do a bit of name-dropping: vintage performance circles are relatively small, and I’m sure buyers would love to know who had their hands on this one. And what does “extensive top end work” entail? Are we talking maintenance or performance work?

1978 Ducati 900 NCR Cockpit

While in many cases, a spare description of a motorcycle simply implies that the seller assumes prospective buyers will know what they’re getting into, that isn’t necessarily true of NCR bikes: to my knowledge, none of them are really “stock.” NCR was always a race bike and parts manufacturer, the very antithesis of standardization, making valuation of this machine difficult. Although assuming the parts are the real-deal, anything genuine NCR is valuable, on top of the already desirable bevel-drive, desmo-head Ducati drivetrain.

Bidding north of $15,000 with plenty of time left on the auction, so we’ll see where this ends up.

-tad

1978 Ducati 900 NCR Shop

Yellow One-Lunger: 1975 Ducati 350 Desmo for Sale!

1975 Ducati 350 Desmo R Side

Today, Ducati’s famed “Desmo” valvetrain features across their entire range, giving them something to crow about in their marketing material, something for bench-racing affectionados to brag about, something that adds just a bit to the symphony of noise these bikes make. But with today’s streetbikes that can rev to 16,000rpm and still go 16,000 miles between valve adjustments, there’s really little practical advantage to Ducati’s avoidance of valvesprings.

These days, the biggest limiting factor for Ducati motors is piston speed, not valve float.

1975 Ducati 350 Desmo L Side Detail

But in the 1950’s, when “hairpin” valve springs were still regularly used and metallurgy was less advanced, there was a definite performance advantage for a desmodromic system. Most cars and motorcycles use the lobes of cams or pushrods to open valves, and springs to close them. But at high speeds, springs just can’t close the valves fast enough before the cam pushes them back open, leading to “valve float” where the valves never actually close all the way. In addition to the obvious performance problems this can generate, pistons can actually strike the open valves, causing catastrophic failure.

1975 Ducati 350 Desmo Dash

Designed by Fabio Taglioni and first applied to the 1956 125cc race bike, Ducati’s desmodromic system uses cams to both open and close the valves, completely eliminating float and allowing for very precise tuning. In 1968, Desmo performance came to the street and was eventually available in 250, 350, and 450 flavors. The 350 was actually 340cc’s with 10:1 compression and a 5-speed box.

1975 Ducati 350 Desmo R Side Detail

Interesting, the 250 and 450 models were far more flexible on the street, with the 350 the hot-headed middle child. The bike could top 100mph easily in stock form and was just about ready to go racing right out of the box: just add a bigger carburetor and megaphone exhaust.

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Ducati 350 Desmo for Sale

An exceptional example of an original yellow 350 Desmo Single. Designed by Italian designed, Tartarini, these Desmos were the pinnacle of Ducati’s single-cylinder design and performance. Restored by current owner approximately 20 years ago with limited mileage since then.

Bike comes with 36-spoke Borrani alloy rims, four-leading-shoe Grimeca front drum brakes, and 32 mm Dellorto SSI remote-float racing carburetor. Engine was disassembled, inspected and rebuilt with new parts as required, including 76.4mm high-compression piston and electronic ignition. Starts and runs perfectly.

Includes original parts (not pictured) such as steel chain guard, engine brackets and front brake stays. Other minor engine spares also included.

1975 Ducati 350 Desmo L Rear Suspension

This particular example is finished in classic Ducati yellow, that’s almost orange. Yellow is a color that’s so easy to do badly, but this particular shade is a very rich, evocative color. Shouty and just a bit “look-at-me” but classic and subtle at the same time: it’s easily my favorite yellow and a great match for the bike. I also love the gauges that swing underhand in a more British style, but with classic Italian markings.

At $12,000 currently with the Reserve Not Met, I’m curious to see what this sells for. Most 60’s and 70’s Ducatis are not Desmos and feature regular valve springs, and the early Desmos have been highly valued for some time.

-tad

1975 Ducati 350 Desmo Cockpit

It’s Pantah-stic! 1980 Ducati 500SL Track Day Racer

 

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike R Side2

In the late 1970’s Ducati introduced their best-forgotten parallel twin motorcycles in an attempt to broaden their appeal and cut manufacturing costs. But while the bike handled well, reliability was an issue and the looks did not appeal to Ducati’s fanbase: the bike was a massive flop.

After the debacle that the 500GTL parallel-twin represented, Ducati needed to get back in the saddle quickly, and the 500SL Pantah was the right horse for the job. The four-valve, water-cooled superbikes get all the glory nowadays, but the Pantah-derived engine has been the air-cooled, Desmodromic heart of Ducati’s breadwinners for over 30 years now, providing the motive force for SuperSports, Monsters in a dozen shapes, sizes, and displacements, Hypermotards, Pasos, and every other darn bike that rolled out the door, basically keeping the company afloat.

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike R Side Engine

The updated motor dispensed with the expensive-to-produce bevel-drive and tower-shaft system and replaced it with simple rubber camshaft belts. These needed regular replacement, but saved the company significant costs during manufacturing and assembly.

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike Tank Detail

This one features very stylish NCR-replica bodywork and paint, although the effect is somewhat spoiled by that unpainted front fender. That’s pretty easily fixed though. And these smaller twins sound plenty strong and could easily be mistaken for a bike of much larger displacement. You may not get the top-end scream out of a bike like this that you would from a modern 600, but this will punch you out of corners, handle well, and put a big smile on your face

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Ducati 500SL Vintage Track Day Racer

HERE IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF A BUILT 1980 500SL VINTAGE TRACK DAY RACER.
HAS  NCR/AIRTEK BODYWORK
38MM MARZZOCI FRONT FORKS( TUNED BY ACCELERATED TECHNOLOGY IN CANADA)
BITUBO REAR SHOCKS(NEED REBUILD) LITTLE LEAK
WAS TOLD BY PREVIOUS OWNER IT HAS A BIG BORE KIT. (THE BIKE IS FAST AS HELL)
36MM DELLORTOS (REBUILT)
SPA DESIGN TACH/SPEEDO (JUST RETURNED FROM SPA FOR REPAIR)
AVON  AM23 130/65/18 REAR NEW (OLD REAR TIRE COMES WITH BIKE STILL GREAT SHAPE)
AVON AM22  100/80/18 FRONT NEW
THIS IS A RACE BIKE WITH NO LIGHTS AND TOTALLY REWIRED ELECTRONICS FOR RACING WITH 2 TOGGLE SWITCHES AND PUSH BUTTON START
IT IS CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN CT WHICH THERE IS NO NEED FOR A TITLE UNDER 1981 YEAR
FRESH OIL CHANGE AND PLUGS
I CURRENTLY STREET DRIVE THIS AWESOME BIKE AND ITS A BLAST ON THE STREET
THE END OF THE UPPER FAIRING ON THE LEFT BY THE GAS TANK IS BROKE OFF. CAN EASILY BE REPAIRED
THE PAINT IS NOT PERFECT AND THERE IS SCRATCHES

The simple, air-cooled two-valve Ducatis have been around for a long time, and have proven very reliable and responsive to tuning. Looked after, the belts are very reliable, but they need replacement every two years or 12k miles, something that every Ducatisti knows is cheap insurance. The job itself is relatively simple and requires less know-how than adjusting the Desmo valves, so potential buyers shouldn’t be put off by Ducati’s exotic reputation. This one is obviously no trailer-queen, excepting trips to the race track and the photography leaves a bit to be desired, but it looks like this bike has been well-maintained and is ready to go.

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike Front Brake

The one-piece NCR bodywork may not be the most elegant, but it embodies tons of racing history and certainly is distinctive. There’s been no activity on this auction and time is almost up, but at $4,500 it looks like it’d be a great tool for track day fun at a pretty budget price.

-tad

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike R Side

1978 Ducati 900SS “Cafe Corsa” for Sale

1978 Ducati 900SS Cafe Corsa R Tank

Ducati’s SuperSport bikes are truly some of the most iconic sports motorcycles ever conceived and probably rank up near the top of every Italian bike enthusiast’s wish list: racy bodywork, one of the best-looking engines ever designed, race-winning heritage, and a booming exhaust note combine for a truly involving experience.

Much is made of Ducati’s “Desmodromic” valve actuation, although it can be argued that, even by the 1970’s, it was pointless technology and offered no real advantage: plenty of machines during that period revved much higher and featured regular, ordinary valve springs instead of Ducati’s signature Desmo system that used cams to open and close the valves. But the mystique remains and this exotic technology helped, then and now, to differentiate Ducatis from other mere motorcycles and give them a clearer brand identity.

1978 Ducati 900SS Cafe Corsa R Engine Detail

Speaking of identity: when it comes to naming cars and motorcycles, manufacturers tend to round displacements up or down to come up with something that looks cool on a fender or tank, although it seems like Ducati was pushing things a bit when they introduced their new “square-case” engine in 1975 and decided to call the 864cc engine a “900”, although this particular example is packing a bit more than stock…

1978 Ducati 900SS Cafe Corsa Speedo

Aside from the new displacement and angular aesthetic for the engine, the 900SS featured updates to the bike to help it sell in the USA, including a gearshift moved to the left side of the bike and updates to the electronics to improve reliability.

The photos in the original listing aren’t the best, but the seller includes a ton of details that suggest a sympathetic and attentive ownership:

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Ducati 900SS “Cafe Corsa” for sale

This “Special” Ducati Cafe’ Racer was built by and for a known Ducatisti and collector as his personal road bike.
This is one of the quickest Bevel Drive, Desmo Ducatis ever built, titled and registered for the street. Only 78 Miles on a fresh 3 yr restoration of a Ducati with 22982 total miles at time of listing. Countless hours and an extensive list of period correct performance, handling and cosmetic upgrades were employed in the build of this special classic Ducati. No “modern” parts (with the exception of tires, battery and Mirrors) were used intentionally to preserve the integrity, ride, handlng and experience of riding this period Italian superbike / Cafe’ Racer. Including but not limited to the following:
 
905cc “endurance” displacement engine (88mm x 74.4mm Pistons)  increased from the standard displacement of 864cc. The 1978 models benefit from the next generation and improved (stronger) Darmah big end,  larger crank pins and upgrades/redesigns which support larger displacement and higher horsepower. 1978 models also benefit from the better Bosch ignition. “Imola” race “up-rating kit” cams” that get the top performance out of Fabio Taglioni’s desmodromics. A new 43 / 15 sprocket set  and 520 gold chain allows these otherwise “race only” cams to be used on the street and comfortable in traffic or on back road, Sunday rides. The combination is also suitable for Mulholland drive or Snaefell Mountain and makes the engine “pull like a freight Train”.  40mm Delorto carburetors, these are the desirable larger “Pumper” carbs and were rebuilt by Dave Brown.
1978 Ducati 900SS Cafe Corsa Rear Brake

There’s quite a bit more in the listing that concerns significant upgrades to the suspension and other details: it’s been thoughtfully upgraded with a laundry list of desirable period parts and modified with an eye to modern necessities like a tank treated to handle ethanol-ized gasoline. Bidding is up to $18,200 and the reserve has been met, which seems pretty reasonable considering what nice 900SS’s go for these days. 900’s certainly don’t have the value of the earlier round-case bikes, but they obviously benefit from the gradual upgrades and changes applied throughout the bike’s lifespan.

1978 Ducati 900SS Cafe Corsa Tail

It may be a bit dorky, but I happen to love Bevel Heaven’s “Gear Gazer” and would probably add one immediately after purchasing an SS. Otherwise, it doesn’t get much better than this, unless you’re looking for perfectly untouched originality.

Me, I’d rather go riding, and it’s pretty clear that’s what this bike was built for.

-tad

1978 Ducati 900SS Cafe Corsa L Side

1982 Ducati SD900 Darmah for Sale

1977 Ducati SD900 Darmah L Front

It’s a given that unfaired motorcycles are visually defined by their engines, as there’s very little bodywork to “style”. Fortunately, Ducati’s bevel-drive, Desmodromic “L-twin” looks so good, it always seems a shame to hide it behind a fairing. It’s one of those engines that begs to be dressed up, even polished, anything to show it off better.

Introduced in 1977 and made until 1982, the Darmah was Ducati’s replacement for the slow-selling and generally too-modern-looking 860GT. Largely a restyle, it also included the usual raft of evolutionary updates and received very good reviews at the time it was new. With an 864cc version of Ducati’s twin, it was fast and relatively comfortable, the quintessential Italian roadster.

1977 Ducati SD900 Darmah R Side

Prices for these have remained relatively low, perhaps because the look is less iconic: although it was less shocking to the buyers of the time, the look is also more anonymous now and blends into the general styling trends of the 1970’s. But prices for these are on the rise as collectors looking to snap up bevels on a budget have already exploited every other avenue, including the 860GT.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Ducati SD900 Darmah for Sale

Offered for sale is a nice and rare blue 1982 Ducati SD900 Darmah in original unmolested condition. This motorcycle was purchased new by a older friend of mine in Pittsburg, KS from the Johnson Norton Ducati dealer.  It was shipped to a brother dealer in Canada and picked up there and brought back to the US thus is has a kilometer speedometer and other Canadian nomenclature.  This is original paint and a very rare color indeed.   The paint is flawless on the tank and only has a couple of chips on the sidecovers.  It presently has Conti replica mufflers but the original Franchonies are included with the sale.  It has spent the last fifteen years in a private collection and driven sparingly.  It will need some service on the clutch and perhaps need a shift selector adjustment.  It is running and rdeable order.  Included in the sale are the original owner’s manual, parts repair manual and tools that came with the bike when new.  The tires are like new and the brakes and guages are working properly as well as the lighting system

1977 Ducati SD900 Darmah R Rear

The price is up to just under $5,700 at the moment, but is likely to go higher before bidding ends. The Darmah may not have been as glamorous as the various iterations of the SuperSport, but like the Monster of the modern era, it was a money-maker: they sold plenty of these and that helped keep the lights on for Ducati during a relatively difficult period.

While not as distinctive as the SS or older Sport models, the styling is simple and elegant, and these are known for being relatively practical, with an electric starter, reliable Nippon Denso instruments, and a useful dual seat. All-in-all, maybe not the sexiest bevel-drive Ducati, but quite possibly one of their best.

-tad

1977 Ducati SD900 Darmah R Front

1981 Ducati Supersport 900 for Sale

1981 Ducati 900SS L Front

Speaking of square-case Ducatis…  There’s not much time left on this 1981 Ducati Supersport 900. The SS models are among the most collectable Ducatis and were the first bikes to feature their signature “Desmodromic” valve actuation that used cams instead of springs to close the valves. Other models featured traditional valve springs, although they still used tower shafts and a bevel gear system to drive the cams.

1981 Ducati 900SS Dash

The 864cc 900SS introduced in 1975 to replace the earlier round-case 750 used the revised “square-case” motor introduced in the 860GT. It was an evolution, as opposed to a revolution and featured elements designed to make the bike more appealing on the world market: the gearshift was now on the left side, mufflers were quieter, and mechanical/electrical improvements were made to improve reliability.

1981 Ducati 900SS Tank

There’s not very much information in the original eBay listing: 1981 Ducati Supersport 900 for Sale

1981 Mint condition Ducati 900 SuperSport Bevel drive.

Original paint
Original miles
All correct parts
Starts on first or second kick
Runs beautifully
Always stored indoors

Buyer is responsible for pickup

Down payment due within 48 hours

While the later bevel-drive models may not have the class and cache of the round-case bikes, you can’t complain about the style of this machine.  You could also argue that, while any bike at the end of its production run may have been “long in the tooth” or even obsolete at the time they were built, from a collector’s point of view the machine is likely to be as refined as it ever was, with most of the bugs worked out.

With the SS models still increasing in value, this is still a good bet for investors, although the rest of us will just have to drool.

-tad

1981 Ducati 900SS R Rear

1970 Ducati 450 MK3 For Sale in Oregon

Offered from one of favorite eBay’ers, “shelbob“, who has been liquidating his collection all year, we have this absolutely beautiful Ducati 450.

1970 Ducati 450 MK3 For Sale on eBay

from the seller:

ULTRA RARE 1970 DUCATI 450 MK3 DESMO ,PAINT AND CHROME ARE EXCELLENT ,PROFESIONALY RESTORED A FEW YEARS BACK ,ALL ORIGINAL ,RUNS EXCELLENT FRESH TUNE UP WITH NEW PIRELLI TIRES ,STARTS VERY EASY ,PULLS LIKE A FRIEGHT TRAIN ,MUCH MORE FUN TO RIDE THAN A 750 BEVEL TWIN ! EVERYTHING WORKS ,NO ISSUES ,OTHER THAN A SILVER SHOTGUN THERE IS NOT A RARER PRODUCTION DUCATI SINGLE ,THIS MODEL NEVER COMES UP IN THE US FOR SALE ,MOST WENT TO AUSTRALIA WERE THEY ARE CHERISHED ,SOME WERE MADE INTO SILVER SHOTGUN FAKES .THIS IS A 2 OWNER BIKE WITH CURRENT CALIFORNIA TITLE AND CURRENT REGISTRATION , WE AT OWNERS EXPENSE CAN SHIP WORLDWIDE. THESE BIKES ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND IN ANY CONDITION AND ARE BECOMING MORE VALUABLE THAN BEVEL TWINS DUE TO THE FACT THEY MADE SO FEW ,THERE NIMBLE AND FAST WITH TONS OF TORQUE THEY FEEL “RIGHT” THIS WOULD BE THE ULTIMATE XMAS GIFT FOR THE DUCATI LOVER IN YOURE LIFE !! I HATE SELLING IT ,I KNOW I WONT BE ABLE TO AFFORD ANOTHER 1 ,ITS A PIECE OF ART THAT YOU CAN BLAST AROUND TOWN ON THAT WILL ONLY GO UP IN VALUE ,RESERVE IS HIGH ON THIS JEWEL ,IF IT SELLS I WILL MISS IT DEARLY ,I PERSONALLY THINK THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SINGLE DUCATI EVER MADE. BID TO WIN LIKE THEY USED TO SAY WITH VINTAGE FERRARIS YOU CANT PAY TO MUCH ONLY TO SOON !

From a previously posted Ducati 450 on these pages Brian wrote, “Dr Fabilio Taglioni’s first work with Ducati was in 1954 and their small cc GP bikes. The basic design increased in displacement from 125cc to the 200cc Elite in 1959. The 250cc Monza/Diane/Daytona arrived in 1961, the 350 Sebring in 1965 and finally the 450cc in 1969. Even though the GP bikes offered from the Italian manufacture had been using Desmodromic valve gear, it wasn’t until 1967 that the first road going Single received the positive valve actuating system. The 450 offers those unique pair of opening cams and closing cams.”

dc

Classic Sport Bikes For Sale Exclusive: For Sale 1976 Ducati 750 SS

We’d previously posted another bike for sale by this Belgian gentleman and he wanted our readers to have first crack at his current offering before he posts it on eBay.

The original 750 SS was based around the round-case, bevel-drive engine and designed to compete in the Formula 750 production-based race series.  The bikes finished 1-2 in their inaugural race at the 1972 Imola 200.

Powered by Fabio Taglinoni’s 748cc V-twin engine, the bike sent its 73 hp through a five speed gearbox.  Overhead cams were driven, not by chains or belts, but by a system of tower shafts and bevel gears that gave the “bevel-drive” Ducatis their name.

It also featured the famous desmodromic valvetrain used on many of Ducati’s twins and singles.  For those unfamiliar, this is a system of cams and rocker arms that both open and close the valves, forgoing traditional valve springs.  It was intended to eliminate valve-float that can occur at high revs.  Modern valve spring technology has made this system somewhat superfluous, but it was effective at the time and remains Ducati’s trademark.

This was the genesis of the classic Ducati V-twin: cylinders splayed at 90 degrees, with the front cylinder nearly parallel with the ground.  Twins with this configuration are often referred to as “L-twins”.

The engine cases were redesigned in 1973 to have a more angular look and are referred to as “square-case”.

From the seller:

For Sale: 1976 Ducati 750 SS Desmo

Rare model, only about 460 “square case” 750’s were built, so it’s as rare as the Imola Replica.

Two owners from new.

Original bike: correct Borranis, Contis, carbs, etc.

Complete Rebuild 10 years ago, about 6,000 summer miles since complete restoration.

Superb condition: starts, handles, rides, and sounds like only a real SS’s does.

Open to serious offers

The seller lives in Belgium but can assist with worldwide delivery.

Contact at: info@ducati.be

The 750 SS is one of the holiest of holies among Ducati collectors and these bikes are much sought after.

-td