One of 67 produced for Sound of Singles roadracing,1995  Ducati Supermono Frame no. ZDM550R*000037 Engine no. ZDM550W4*000037

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Lot 277
One of 67 produced for Sound of Singles roadracing
1995 Ducati Supermono

Frame no. ZDM550R*000037
Engine no. ZDM550W4*000037

US$ 150,000 - 170,000
£ 110,000 - 130,000
One of 67 produced for Sound of Singles roadracing
1995 Ducati Supermono

Frame no. ZDM550R*000037
Engine no. ZDM550W4*000037

In the present it's usually hard to predict what motorcycles will become future classics, but there was never any doubt about the Ducati Supermono. Created for the then-popular Sound of Singles race class, the Supermono was a technological tour de force and one of the best-looking racebikes ever. Factor in rarity, as just 67 of the machines were built between 1993 and 95, and it's easy to see why today the Supermono has become so collectible.

Starting with the front cylinder design from the company's potent 888 V twin, complete with four valves and desmodromic valvetrain, Ducati's engineers attacked the problem of vibration, which would be considerable at the revs needed to make competitive power. A second "dummy" connecting rod attached to a pivoting-bar arrangement killed vibes and allowed the single to spin to its 10,750-rpm redline without shaking to pieces. Displacing 550cc, early Supermomos made about 65hp.

Light weight was a design priority in creating the Supermono, so carbon-fiber was used extensively – for the fairing, front fender, airbox, rear subframe, seat cowl and footpeg mounts. While the main frame was tubular steel, engine sidecovers were magnesium, as was the fork's top triple-clamp. Marchesini provided the magnesium three-spoke wheels. Claimed dry weight was a feathery 267 pounds. Unfettered by the need for any street equipment, Ducati design chief Pierre Terblanche had a free hand in styling the Supermono, which many consider his best work.

For their exclusive story on the new Supermono, Cycle World magazine editors took the bike to fast, flat-out Willow Springs Raceway in the California desert. Road Test Editor Don Canet, a former roadracer, was in the saddle and soon had the lightweight red machine up to speed. Back in the pits the stopwatches told an amazing story. With very few acclimatization laps, Canet was circulating the track some 4 seconds under the singles-class lap record! This on a borrowed, high-dollar machine, the first Supermono in the U.S., one that could not be crashed.

"On any other bike we can think of, lapping Willow that fast requires that the rider be well-grounded in the science of losing and reclaiming traction," noted CW's John Burns. "The Supermono, however, never broke loose at either end. It could rail precisely on the tightest line, and its Dunlops had considerable life left at the end of the day. That's what light weight will do for you. With 3.6 inches of trail, contact patches 53.6 inches apart, and the almost ideal mass centralization available with a laydown Single, the Supermono flicks from side to side like nothing we have ridden. And after one little suspension adjustment, the bike sucked up whatever Willow could throw at it without the slightest hint of instability."

The Silverman Museum's final-year example has the 572cc engine fitted in 1995, good for a claimed 76hp as delivered from the factory. This one has been further fettled by Supermono experts AMS in Dallas, Texas, and runs a titanium con-rod, lightened, balanced and polished crankshaft, ported cylinder head, factory #431 camshaft and 60mm fuel-injection throttle body.

Footnotes

  • Offered on a Bill of Sale.
Contacts
One of 67 produced for Sound of Singles roadracing,1995  Ducati Supermono Frame no. ZDM550R*000037 Engine no. ZDM550W4*000037
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