Featured in Cycle World magazine
1974 Ducati 750 GT
Frame no. 752231
Engine no. 752341DM750
It's been called the motorcycle that made Ducati. Before the 750 GT, the Italian company was best known for its small-bore Singles; but after fabled Ingegnere Fabio Taglioni arranged two cylinders in a 90-degree vee in 1971, the modern Ducati sporting V-Twin was born. It was a blueprint for success the company follows to this day.
The GT's impact in the U.S. was immediate. Editor Phil Schilling remembers that the Ducati "simply astonished Cycle magazine staffers." The bike was ballyhooed as "The Most Startling 750 Yet!" on the October 1972 cover. Later that year, the GT finished fifth in performance-oriented shootout but, says Schilling, it was the bike "everyone wanted ride home, point totals or no."
This particular 750 GT is a very low-mileage, two-owner bike. Noted car and motorcycle collector Paul Watts owned it from new until 2002 when he sold the bike to longtime Cycle World magazine Editor-in-Chief David Edwards. Under Watts' ownership the bike was treated to several tasteful, understated period modifications. Unhappy will the quality of the Italian paint--a common malady back then--he immediately had the stock scheme replicated in lacquer. Likewise when the alloy bits wouldn't take a good shine, he had some chrome-plated. The center- and sidestands were also chromed. The stock taillight/license-plate holder was too big for Watts' aesthetics so he replaced it with one from a Ducati 500 GTL, similar in style but much more in-scale. Later, a second Brembo brake caliper was added up front.
Now showing just 3073 miles (694 miles on the current speedo, 2379 on the original, replaced under warranty and included in the sale), and with the all-important lead seal still in place under the engine, this may be one the most mechanically unmolested 750 GTs in existence. It wears its stock Amal carburetors and the ignition system is as-delivered, right down to the cloth-covered sparkplug leads. The original Conti exhausts are in place and deliver delightful road music.
The bike was featured in a 2003 Cycle World story, "Birth of the GT," where it was described thusly: "The Ducati in its time was a revelation--powerful, smooth, reasonably light, with good suspension and brakes. It is still a glorious revelation. The GT's power delivery feels ample and immediate, cornering easy and secure. It's easy to see why this Ducati made such an impression in the 1970s." The original color proofs of that article, signed by David Edwards, as well as a sidebar by Phil Schilling, are included in the sale. Offered on a Certificate of Title.
- The title for this lot is in transit.