In 1968 Ducati released their first Desmo engines for sale to the general public. Previously, the desmo valve actuation design had been restricted to factory race engines. This was the flagship model of the widecase range.
This 1968 350 Desmo twin filler is possibly the earliest known surviving example in the world.
A careful and thorough investigation has revealed there is no record of an earlier 350 desmo engine and frame number surviving.
Engine number DM350 06518
Frame number DM350 02957
It is a genuine original red frame model, evidence of this is shown in the steering head bearing area of the frame when the bearings were removed prior to bead blasting the frame for painting. Most of the '68 models had black frames apart from a few early examples in red of which this is one.
Back in 1968 this bike was privately imported for production racing by the owner in the ACT. After some years it was purchased and moved to Tasmania. The previous owner to me painted the frame and associated parts black - bright red frames weren't exactly in vogue 20 odd years ago.
When I purchased the bike, it was in a sorry state, having lain dormant and covered in sawdust for 15 years.
After a period of two years the restoration was complete.
Many new old stock parts were used in the reconstruction, finding original stainless steel front and rear guards as well as many other parts were both difficult to find and expensive. It could be, though I can't confirm, that the stainless guards were also a feature of the red frame models only.
The engine was fitted with a new big end, trued and balanced by Ron Young Engineering. The desmo cylinder head was rebuilt and set up by Ron Young Engineering. All bearings and seals were renewed, a heavy duty race clutch as well as a new German manufactured 2nd gear ( the weak point in the stock gearbox ) and new piston rings were fitted upon reassembly.
The restoration was completed late in 2001, since that time only some 200 odd miles has been travelled.
The bike features in the Standard Catalog of Ducati Motorcycles ( 1946-2005 ) by Ian Falloon on pages 76, 77 and 78. For the photos I replaced the original Dellorto SSI29 D carburettor and Tommaselli Super Pratic throttle as they were the original items fitted to the bike. For practical riding purposes a Dellorto VHB 29 carburettor and Tomaselli Daytona 1C throttle are fitted. A CRG Hindsight billet alloy mirror is fitted to the right side for safety, no mirrors were fitted originally.
All painted parts are in 2 pack. Engine has not been bead blasted, all cleaned carefully by hand.
Tank has been lined. Gold stripe on tank is hand painted.
Chain is Regina gold racing, sprockets are new.
In no particular order are views of various parts of the bike.
|The wheels are the
original Radaelli with original painted spokes. Of course they have
been fully rebuilt including new bearings. Tyres are Michelin. Valve
caps and valve retention nut are correct and period items. The spicks and specks in the pic below are dust not rust !
The speedo reads to 150mph - very ambitious to say the least. The
dominant tachometer on the other hand is accurate and looks fabulous.
The speedo is a replacement, it was fully rebuilt and recalibrated, but
not returned to zero. The original speedos were inaccurate, this
rebuilt one is accurate and reads with a steady needle. The tachometer,
a genuine Veglia ( not a replica ) has also been fully rebuilt and
The engine is also a thing of beauty. All the engine covers are original to the bike, all fasteners are new stainless 304. Excepting the engine mounting bolts, they are original.
|The headlamp is original Aprilia and correct with all the correct fittings, most of which are new old stock. The reflector has been resilvered.|
|The horn is the original CEV. A new wiring loom was made, the fuses ( modern blade type in a compact case ) are now under the seat.|
Original SSI 29D, Super Pratic throttle and cables