There’s no decade wrought with cooler motorcycle images than the 70s. We’re talking about images of Clint Eastwood’s 1978 Every Which Way But Loose or Mel Gibson’s 1979 Mad Max. Pair that up with one of the best names in motorcycles—Ducati—and you’ve got bikes that are undeniably awesome. Some Ducati bikes from the 70s are elegantly vintage, while others are just completely rock and roll. If you’re a fan of the classics, the 70s is definitely a great decade to buy a Ducati bike from. Here are the five best Ducati Motorcycles of the 70s.
1970 Ducati 350 Street Scrambler
The Scrambler is known for its clean lines and absolute charm. This motorcycle was one of the models that set off the decade for Ducati. Everything about this model screams Italian beaut. The details are what set it apart from the motorcycles of today. Even something as small as the fuel cap or the headlight are thought through to perfection on this ’70 Ducati. This model may not have been the most powerful Ducati out there, but it was one of the most efficient. It was considered fast for its size. Some unique features of this model included a single-valve engine and a speedometer needle that moved in a reversed manner.
1970 Ducati Mark 3 350 Desmo
The Desmo is a departure from the street-style Ducati to a more race-type motorcycle. Everything about this Desmo model was designed for speed. The first ones were produced in 1968, and it was at the time the fastest production Ducati you could get your hands on. By 1970, this Ducati could do better than the original top speed of 103 mph, especially with specific modifications. There’s plenty of unmistakable Ducati chrome details on the 350 Desmo, and it’s stunning against the wide-case design of this model. It’s a stunning piece of engineering that many people have fun riding on racetracks or cruising on the empty pavement. These bikes are some of the best bikes to restore, especially since the bones are so great.
1973 Ducati Mark 3 450 Desmo
When 1973 hit, Ducati dropped the single valves in favor of V-twins, and the game changed for the motorcycle company. Having said that, the ’73 Ducati 450 Desmo can trace its design lineage all the way back to the 1956 235cc GP racer. Fablio Taglioni’s designs are written everywhere on this motorcycle, and it’s something that makes this model impossibly unique. The 450 Desmo handles beautifully and is the perfect bike for the more experienced rider. While it may not have been known for its look, the 450 Desmo is a fun project to take on as a restoration—particularly because there are so many exterior elements that can be improved upon.
1974 Ducati 750 Super Sport
There are different iterations of the Super Sport models, and for this particular entry we’re talking about the 1974 round case. Not many 750 models were produced, making this Ducati model extremely sought after globally. It was made particularly for racing, so you can expect high handling standards and incredible performance. This particular bike was one of Ducati’s most significant productions in all of its history because of its special 90-degree v-twin desmodromic valve gear. Nothing else out there is like it at all.
1975 Ducati 860 GT
When you’re talking about Ducati’s handling being the best in the world, none is more representative of the notion apart from 70s models. Particularly, the 1975 Ducati 860 GT is one that might have drifted away from this notion. This 60hp bike looked very different compared to all other Ducatis of the time because of the high handlebars. Those handlebars gave this bike a slightly different feel compared to other models as well. But everyone thought the designer of this bike knew what he was doing. Car stylist Giorgio Giugiaro was the same guy that designed the DeLorean after all. It’s part of why this Ducati Gran Turismo model got such a great welcome. While some may argue that the handlebars were a complete disruption to Ducati’s typical handling perfection. However, this 860 GT was more about performance at an affordable price, which Ducati delivered gloriously. The handling was eventually addressed by switching up the riding position, and all was well again.
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Written by Benjamin Smith
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