There are few motorcycles in the world that actually stir more than passion in you, they stir your soul.
There is something about a bevel drive Ducati Single that once you see one, hear one, and ride one, it never leaves you. The motor is beautiful in its somewhat over engineered look, the sound (the bark actually) is intoxicating, and the feel of the motor as you run it up to its peak just makes you want more. There is the light quick handling that puts the biggest smile on your face when riding a tight twisty road, the confidence in the machine that lets you run deeper into corners, lean over farther and accelerate effortlessly to the next apex. A Ducati single is magic on two wheels.
The 450 Desmo can trace it’s lineage back to the 125cc Grand Prix racer. A high revving, light, quick handling pure bred racer. Fablio Taglioni joined Ducati in 1954 and in 1956 debuted the Desodromic valve actuation head, a design that is still used by Ducati today. The valves were actuated using a bevel drive from the crankshaft to the overhead cams. As important as the motor was, handling was the key to the Ducati racers success.
Through racing history single cylinder motorcycles were the dominant force. Norton Manx, Matchless G50, BSA Victor, Velocette Venom and the Ducati all powered riders to championships until…Edward Norton and his Triumph Speed Twin. And again, another story for another time.
The Ducati 450 Desmo arrived on the market in 1969. A wonderful handling machine even if the styling was rather stodgy and the fit and finish was, well to be honest, crappy. How cared about fit and finish when you’re having so much fun riding??!!
So, today I found a 1970 450 Desmo Ducati on ebay that is a runner but needs a good amount of love. We all know I am a firm believer in good winter projects (not the one’s the wife or significant other gives you…), and this is one that would be entertaining and not too $$$ intensive… well, maybe, depends on how far you want to restore it or modify it.
I’d like a bike like this to work on this winter but I have three of my own projects going not including the one’s the wife has planned for me.
Click on the pics below for more pictures and a bit more info. You guys have no idea how hard this was for me to write and not tell you what a great cafe racer this would make. Ducati actually did that at the factory for the 1971 model.