1974 Ducati 750SS
Frame no. DM750SS-075380
Engine no. 075033 DM750.1
For the last twenty years when ever someone has published a list of the top ten collectible motorcycles, the Ducati 750 SS has consistently been included. The byproduct of the genius of Ing. Taglioni, it helped revitalize Ducatis presence in the then raging superbike wars of the 70s.
Initially a small batch of 10 was introduced at Imola with great fanfare. An enclosed truck brought in the bikes with large glass panels on each side to display their latest introduction. Paul Smart had reluctantly agreed to ride one after being volunteered by his wife. After a grueling intercontinental flight Smart took out the 750SS for several practice laps. Though unimpressed by the bike, he arrived back in the pits to much fanfare and cheering. He learned that he had just smashed Imolas lap record! The handling and torque were so smooth that the feed back through the bike belied its actual performance. As Smart and Bruno Spaggiari did a smashing 1-2 finish; Ducati began a new chapter in motorcycle history.
It didnt take long for other racers to utilize the lusty horsepower delivered by the unique desmodromic valve train and massive 40mm carburetors. In the United States, Berliner regularly publicized the exploits of Cook Neilson and Jon White as they had numerous successes at club level venues. This culminated in the smashing victory in 1977 when Cook Nelson smashed all comers in the hotly contested Daytona Superbike race on his highly modified 750SS,Ole Blue.
Ducati dealers were urged to put these units in the hands of people who would profile them on racetracks. Manufacturers always subscribe to the win on Sunday, sell on Monday mantra. Race kits and cams were available over the counter to heighten performance. Consequently, racing took its toll as all quests for speed and agility do.
Because these bikes leant themselves so readily to racing, it soon became difficult to find a stock example. Crankcases were destroyed or altered. Frames altered to gain a handling edge and fiberglass tanks of dubious value initially usually deteriorated under the stress of race gas and were replaced.
To find an as offered example is rare. This unit has its original tank with the sight strip on the side to ascertain fuel level in endurance racing. The correct duck egg blue frame is achieving an edge of patina. The Borrani 4777 rims are still in place. Only sensible upgrades in ignition and brakes have been made. The Contis wait to give what has been called one of the sexiest reports of an exhaust system known to man. The unique bikini fairing allows the rider to tuck in and scan the Smiths instruments and monitor the whirring of the desmodromic gear with the background music of the Contis singing behind you. This is truly a rare opportunity to acquire a significant sport bike.
- Please note, this lot is sold for off-highway use only in the United States. As such, it will be subject to sales tax, as detailed in the General Information section of the catalog.