Bit of a mongrel, this: One of a kind custom Ducati 450 Desmo. There’s an important distinction between classic bike and classic car cultures: originality. In the classic car world, you might tweak, and fiddle, and adjust, and improve, but your Fiat 124 Sport should remain recognizably a Fiat. You wouldn’t say, stretch the chassis and throw a Ford 289 V8 in there… Certainly some folks would applaud your audacity and smile to themselves, thinking of the fun that could be had, but there would be the sense that the final product was somehow lessened by the experiment. “It’s cool, but I hope he didn’t do that to a nice, all-original one…”
Not so much with bikes: unless your machine is extremely rare, all bets are kind of off and people do seem to mix and match a bit more, free to pursue their own vision of what the manufacturer might have intended, free of financial constraints. Norvils, Tritons, the odd Vincati… people mix and match bike parts like Lego bricks. At least this bike has most of its parts from “in the family.”
The little machine is apparently based around the frame from a Mototrans Vento, basically a 1960’s Ducati made under license by a Spanish company in the 80’s. I’ve written about one previously: 1984 Ducati Vento.
He gives a nice list of what went into this project from the original eBay listing:
Forks are Ducati, rear damping is handled by Fox gas shocks. The headlight and mounts are Norton, taillight assembly is from a 750 Sport; the seat is from a 900ss and the tank is a steel unit from the 250cc Diana. The front brake is an interesting piece, being a Ceriani four-leading shoe assembly with magnesium side plates used on the Aermacchi’s 250cc production road racers of the 1960’s. Stainless steel aftermarket fenders, Veglia tach, Tomaselli clip-ons, CRA rear sets, Dunstall Decibal silencer and of course finished in a beautiful red, with variegated gold leaf work on the side covers, seat and tank. Bike was featured in many publications and was the cover bike for “Old Bike Journal”. A beautiful build that I have enjoyed owning for many years. Bike has been part of a Private Collection and has been on “DRY” display for approximately 6 years.
Obviously, since it’s been sitting for a while, you won’t expect to show up and ride it home. But it’s a really cool ride that mixes and matches parts from some different, kissing-cousin machines beautifully.