One of the very first Ducati L-twins ever made. In 1971, Ducati engineer Fabio Taglioni had combined two bevel drive single cylinders on a common crank-shaft which led to the first Ducati twin cylinder engine. The first prototype was tested in July ’71 and with success, because only sixty days later the first Ducati 750 GT was introduced.
The 750 GT’s introduction was a great success for the company and it was clear all along that a sporting version of the touring bike was on its way. Development began in 1971 and the new bike was ready for introduction in 1972: the Ducati 750 Sport.
The first examples of 1972 took the 750 GT as a basis and had the same wide rear sub frame. The leading axle Marzocchi front fork was similar but with black painted fork legs and the bike was fitted with a high quality Lockheed brake system. The 750 S was fitted with clip-on handlebars and rear-set foot pegs. Other items that would later make the 1972 model year so distinctive in the 750 Sport range are the two-piece front hub, the steel (rather than aluminium) inlet manifolds, the wider fuel tank, seat and rear mudguard to accommodate for the wider GT frame and obviously the specific 1972 striping on the fuel tank, seat and side covers.
For the engine, the 750 GT was also taken as a starting point, only it had black painted covers, a lighter crankshaft, high compression pistons and larger Dell’Orto 32mm carburetors (Amal carburetors were never fitted on the 750 S unlike on the 750 GT).
This particular bike was brought to us in a very bad condition and with a lot of missing parts. The damage to the frame suggested it had been in a crash and was ‘restored’ at some point with a lot of incorrect parts and not with the needed skills or knowledge. It took a lot of time and effort to source the correct parts and where we were unable to do so, we had to make parts ourselves.
The frame was straightened and correct lugs were made and welded. New bodywork parts were created and fitted along with the correct suspension parts like the leading axle Marzocchi front fork and the early rear shocks. Correct Lockheed parts were sourced and we were even able to find a complete double braking system as was optional in 1972. An Aprilia JOD Duplo headlight and a correct 19” Borrani 4403 with early inscription was found as well.
The engine was completely rebuild from the crankshaft up. A new con-rod kit along with new Pistal pistons were fitted. The engine covers were painted in the correct wrinkle finish black. With the engine done and the parts back from chroming, polishing and painting the final assembly could take place.
Photo by professional photographer Ernst Klip