The moral of this story is simple: Do not let non-motorcycling bureaucrats run a motorcycle company.
Ducati had a pretty successful run from its inception in 1946, especially after it introduced the Diana 250 single to the American market in 1961. However, financial problems cropped up in the early ’70s and, in the typical Italian way, the government stepped in to save the company. The new board, a governing body made up of gentlemen in Brioni suits, knew little about the realities of motorized two wheelers.
1977 Ducati Sport Desmo 500.
Although Ducati had made its reputation on singles, the board decided to phase them out after 1974…and replace them with 350 and 500 parallel twins. The idea of a 350cc bike was sensible, as the government provided a huge tax break for motorcycles under that size. And building a 500 version would be inexpensive, as all the hard work would have gone into the 350.
That’s what the ad for Monza Junior 160 asked in 1966, years before the little factory in Bologna would turn out its first V-Twin. In those days, Ducati was already marketing itself against the Japanese onslaught with “quality craftsmanship,” the “skillful attention” it paid to every detail and bragging about its gear-driven overhead cam. In spite of all that, at just $229, the Monza Junior was less expensive than many of “the mass-produced jobs.” Forty-six years later, the base Panigale won’t set you back much more than your average non-Italian literbike, but the tariff on Editor-in-Chief Hoyer’s Panigale S would have bought you 100 Monza Juniors back in the day....More here:http://www.cycleworld.com/2012/05/15/is-the-ducati-for-everyone/
It’s Paul Smart Week here at Ducati.net and we thought if there ever was a photo that was worth re-sharing, it’s this one of the glass transporter that Ducati had built to bring the team bikes to Imola. We will let Paul tell it in his own words:
For this edition of Memorable Motorcycles Frank Melling presents the 450 Ducati Scrambler - a bike ahead of its time but full of quirks.
If ever a bike needed to be put into context it is the Ducati 450 scrambler – and the key to understanding this rather lovely motorcycle is to appreciate just how big motocross was in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Today, if you ask a MotoGP fan who the current World Motocross Champion is, you would be lucky to get any answer – let alone an accurate one.
Thanks to Louise Dutton for the pics. Nice Save! This is a 1968 Ducati Monza I restored with small modifications last year. Replaced the bars, seat, one wheel and pipe....more photos of "before and after" on the link
Editors note - this bike was restored by Louise in the Desmopro workshop
This event takes place March 10th during the first weekend of Daytona bike week just over an hour North of Daytona Beach. It's a beautiful event and a perfect start for Daytona Bike Week for anyone who appreciates Ducati Unobtanium...
How do you make a classic Ducati look any better than it already does? Convert it into a functional and highly desirable Cafe Racer.
What could possibly be better than owning a brand new Ducati? How about owning a classic one; or better still a custom '78 900GTS Cafe Racer like this beauty owned by Nick Huber. Nick purchased the bike 5 years ago with only 13,000kms on the clock, it was to be his daily rider so when it came time to add some custom touches, function would have to come before form...but you'd never know by looking at it
For the rest of the story and more photos click HERE
This picture was taken May 20th, 1964 at Santa Fe Park, professional 1/4 Mile Track, on the South side of Chicago, Illinois……I won 1st place in the Consolation race – I was always much better off if I missed the finals in the heat races because I could usually win the consolation race & take home $15 to $25. If I made the Grand Final I would be lucky if I made anything at all! Expert, Amateur & Novice classes all ran together at the Santa Fe Park quarter mile track and I was a novice at that time. I earned enough points to advance to Amateur on the 250cc Diana that summer. Most of the experts, the “Hot Shoes” , were riding Harley Davidson Sprints, (which were made in Italy) or Parilla’s. I could out run almost all of them on the straights, but could not then handle the corners as well as those with more experience. I remember one rider in particular, George Roeder, was actually able to just stick his front wheel into my left side even as our leathers were flapping on the inside guard posts and just push me out of the way....http://www.ducati.net/2012/05/my-25-00-ducati-summer/
A while back Vincent, the guy I built the Virago and the CX500 chopper with, bought a Ducati Cagiva Pantah 650. He sold his Yamaha R1 for it and that was a wise decission. The Ducatis isn’t even finished yet, but I’m pretty sure he’s already done more miles on it, than on the R1 in 3 seasons….
Although the bike is not finished yet, it is taking shape nicely. At this moment it has custom made exhaust pipes with modified mufflers, Emco air filters, air-supension at the back, a CX500 C gas tank, a seat made of a CX500 C gas tank, Tomasselli clipons, home made headlight and license plate brackets, after market headlight, Honda speedo and a seat made by the same guy (Raymond) that did the seat on my CB750....More photos and the rest of the story on the headline link above
Now THAT”S a save! Hard to believe it’s the same bike. For more shots of the bike in process take a few minutes and check out his gallery pages.
Craig Kenfield writes in:
I saw a link to your site on Ductalk which led to some before and after photos of a Ducati single. Here’s my version of a similar bike… it’s a 1966 Ducati 160 Monza Jr that was restyled using older Ducati bodywork.
After spending too many years working on it on and off I finally got it back on the road just in time for the vintage bike festival at Barber Motorsports last year. With about 15 miles on the bike we threw it on the trailer and drove 13 hours to get there. Took it off the trailer and it ran great all weekend.
Motorcycle Classics editors give tips for successful metal polishing on a Laverda RGS 1000 clutch cover with a clear-coat finish...
I've never been a particularly patient person, but I'm learning. And nothing helps teach patience like a project that demands patience. Take metal polishing. On the surface (pun intended) it seems like a simple proposition; clean the surface first, slap on some polish, work it in with a clean cloth and voilà, a perfectly polished and gleaming surface results. Unfortunately, when you're working on old iron, it's not always quite so simple.
The Italian manufacturer is set to organise a Ducati Vintage Contest and special display dedicated to the historic Imola 200 race and 40 years of success with Ducati L-twin engines at the World Ducati Week (WDW) event, at Misano 21-24 June 2012, with Paul Smart himself in attendance.
As Ducati starts production of its latest Superbike, the 1199 Panigale, it also prepares to mark the 40th anniversary of Paul Smart’s 1972 victory in the Imola 200. The famous race win, and second place by teammate Bruno Spaggiari, literally kick-started Ducati’s participation in production-derived racing by proving Engineer Fabio Taglioni’s innovative 90° L-twin engine configuration and Desmodromic valve control....more