Time: summer '73 or '74. Place: Marietta, GA (airlift capital of the world..home of the C-141 Starlifter, C-130 Hercules and the C-5 Galaxy) Shoney's Drive in on 41 near the Big Chicken.
My old bud Too Tall and I were sitting in his Karman Ghia drop top surveying the scene and in rolled a first gen SS 750. There was a BMW/Ducati/Guzzi dealer just a mile or so away....given my income at that time, they all may as well have been machined from a solid billet of pure Unobtainium.
The 450 street bike was indeed beautiful, but the RT(the dirtbike version) was a little bulky looking compared to some of the other european dirtbikes of the time(IMHO). having said that,id love to have one.
I go to Mid Ohio every year. Last year I raced the Ashland dirt track on Friday ,the Vintage MX on sat and the post Vintage MX on Sunday. What a blast!!! The swapmeet in itself is worth the trip. Ducati outdid itself....it put on the best "Featured Marque" display ive seen in the 8 years ive gone. This year the featured marque is MV Agusta and Hodaka is also featured. I strongly recommend it to anyone whos never been. Of course you might want to bring a tent, cause motels are sold out for miles around.
There is a 450 Desmo at a local bike shop that the owner is restoring for vintage racing... He took the fiberglass tank in for a new lining at a local radiator shop, and they promptly melted it into mush thinking it was metal. THE HORROR! All the more reason to do your own dang work, I say.
Excellent. The owner of "Freewheelin" in Douglasville, GA (incidentally also the home of Barry Higgins, ISDT rider, Maico Man, Ossa Fiend., current KTM Dealer & former development rider for the late, lamented Yankee "twingle") Jim Brannon has a couple of the Sport Tour versions. He was a Honda dealer even back then and knew a good thing when he saw it.
The April, 2006 issue of The Classic Motorcycle has a test of a 250 Desmo and a 350 valve spring. the 350 was better for daily riding. I had three Ducati singles; a Sebring 350 (my favorite) a 350 Scrambler and a Diana Mark 3. I wish Ducati would build another series of singles.