1974 Ducati 750SS,
Lot 551
1974 Ducati 750SS
Sold for £41,100 (US$ 63,852) inc. premium

Lot Details
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1974 Ducati 750SS
Registration no. DBY 858M
Frame no. DM750SS 075148
Engine no. 075155
‘To say that the Super Sport 750 was one of the most beautiful sport bikes ever to be made is no exaggeration; it may be considered among the most significant motorcycles of all times.’ – Motociclismo. It was, without question, Paul Smart’s famous victory at Imola in April 1972 that really put Ducati’s new v-twin on the map. It was a particularly sweet occasion for hitherto un-fancied Ducati, as the Bologna factory defeated not only the race-proven Triumph Tridents of Percy Tait, John Cooper and Ray Pickrell, but also the works 750 MV Agusta of Giacomo Agostini. With such an outstanding pedigree, the 750SS was a natural choice for racing’s Superbike category, and later on proved highly competitive in ‘Battle of the Twins’ (BOTT) and club racing events.

Smart’s bike was based on the 750 Sport roadster introduced that same year. The racer’s cycle parts remained close to stock - even the centre stand lugs were retained! - merely being up-rated with triple Lockheed disc brakes while the engine gained desmodromic cylinder heads, high-compression pistons and stronger con-rods. When the definitive production version - the 750SS - appeared in 1974 it differed little in overall conception from the Imola ’72 bikes, among the most obvious external differences being the adoption of a centre-axle fork and Brembo front brakes. The big ‘Imola’ fuel tank and humped racing seat both featured on the road bike, which wore a cockpit faring rather than the racer’s fuller streamlining. The 750SS received rave reviews in the motorcycling press, being hailed by Cycle magazine as ‘a bike that stands at the farthest reaches of the sporting world - the definitive factory-built café racer.’ Today the 750SS is regarded as a true landmark model and is one of the most sought-after of all Ducatis.

One of the initial batch of 200 machines constructed for homologation purposes, this early Ducati 750SS was delivered new in Italy in 1974 and had been registered in Switzerland and restored there by the time it was purchased by the immediately preceding owner (its first in the UK) in 2000. The current owner purchased the machine in August 2003 (bill of sale available). We strongly urge prospective purchasers to examine the accompanying - and most comprehensive - history file, which contains an article in the (German-language) Moto Sport Schweiz magazine (July 1998 edition) featuring this machine, which was owned at that time by Ulrich Röthlisberger of the Rollform Engineering Company. Since coming to the UK it has featured in, and on the cover of, Classic Bike magazine (August 2003 edition, copy included). Also included in the file are DVLA importation/registration documentation; (copy) original Italian and Swiss registration papers; old Swiss number plate; workshop manuals; expired MoTs; and a most substantial quantity of bills, notes and photographs relating to the bike’s restoration while in Ulrich Röthlisberger’s ownership.

A ‘first kick’ starter presented in excellent condition throughout, ‘DBY 858M’ represents a rare opportunity to acquire a well restored example of Ducati’s most iconic bevel-drive model, which can only become increasingly collectible.
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