Tagged: Vento

1960 Ducati 450 Desmo Custom for Sale

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.


1984 Ducati Vento 350

Here’s one I didn’t know about: the Ducati Vento.  Ever hear of it?  Neither had I, so I checked out the buyer’s ad:

 “Ducati Vento 350 1984, last of the singles, very rare, this bike came from a museum in Japan and is featured in the Vento web site.  Totally original with new tyres and some rechroming.

 Offered at no reserve, bike Located in Australia but please check my feedback.  Freight at buyer’s cost.”

(All caps of the original post helpfully deleted by me.  You’re welcome.)

Not much info there about this apparently rare piece, so I poked around the internet to confirm what a look at the pictures suggested: a fresh set of clothes for a machine well past its prime.  This was actually the very last motorcycle to be powered by the classic Ducati bevel-drive single that used a tower shaft and gears to operate the valvetrain, instead of the more common belts, chains, or pushrods.  Ducati actually stopped making bikes motivated by this powerplant in 1974…

In bare alloy, it’s a gorgeous motor.  Here, it’s been painted black in 80’s fashion to mask the motor’s 1960’s origins.  The curves of the cases and head would clash badly with the creased lines of the much later bodywork.

The 350cc single produced 28hp, enough to move the 360lb bike to 94mph and the modern suspension should give it handling to make for a fun ride.

MotoTrans was a Spanish company that produced badge-engineered bikes powered by Ducati and Zundapp engines before they were bought by Yamaha in 1983.

A very neat little bike with tons of character, sort of like a Spanish Cagiva Alazzurra…  Until you see the Starting Bid price.  Yeowch!  $8,000?  What’s the exchange rate between Australian and US dollars?  A rare and fascinating machine, but I’d think this is on the high end for pricing on these.

1984 Ducati Vento 350