The road-going Ducati 750F1 that was based on their 750cc-class racing machine was the very last bike developed before Ducati’s purchase by Cagiva, making it desirable for that reason alone. Earlier 600cc Pantahs were dominant in TT2 classes, winning championships from ‘81-’84, and although the larger 750 that followed in 1984 wasn’t nearly as successful in the larger F1 and TT classes, it was still a versatile competition machine and saw many victories in the hands of privateers.
Displacing 748cc’s that throbbed out a claimed 76hp, the Pantah-based F1 used a 16” up front and an 18” out back, making fitment of modern sticky rubber a bit problematic if you plan to use one in anger.
Expensive to produce, the F1 was inevitably followed by the 750 Sport in 1988 that featured lower-spec suspension and changes to the frame to allow a change to the Paso’s troubled automotive-style Weber carburetor. The rear cylinder was also reversed to allow the intakes of both heads to be situated in the center of the vee, an arrangement that has been used on all subsequent Ducatis.
Ducati’s belt-driven Pantah engine has proven to be one of the most enduring and durable designs of all time. Although one could blame its longevity on Ducati’s perpetual financial trouble, the fact that this motor has ended up on so many “Best Of” lists, even in recent years, attests to its intrinsic goodness: it’s mechanically reliable, flexible, can be tuned to make good power, and is relatively easy to work on. It’s also one of the best-sounding engines of all time, with charisma to spare: even 600cc versions make that classic Ducati thunder and sound like much larger bikes.
While it’s cool to be a bike’s very nearly first owner, you’re going to pay a very high price for that privilege: collectors may prize extremely low-mileage examples, they often look much better than they run, as the seller points out.
From the original eBay listing: 1985 Ducati 750F1 for Sale
The 1985 750F1A was also the last motorcycle Taglioni designed and what is considered the last 'hand built' Ducati produced prior to Cagiva purchasing the company in 1985. Built prior to the Cagiva take over the ‘A’ is the important note, (593) were built and this is #499. (In 1986/87 approximately 1,200 750F1B's were built by Cagiva).
I believe #499 to be the most original Ducati 750F1A in the country (maybe the world) and only that has not been titled. I've owned many F1's and #499 will be the jewel of any collection and truly an appreciating asset.
#499 was originally delivered in Santa Monica California, the gentleman had ties to the motorcycle industry and was able to take delivery without first titling or registering it. After riding it 570 Kilometers, 361 miles he rode to his mother's house who made him promise he would never again ride the bike. Convincing, the bike was pushed into the rear of her garage on that day and where I learned of it parked in 2006 twenty years later.
With the motorcycle comes the original Ducati document - the Manufactures Statement of Origin - Photo included - This bike is most likely the only 1985 750F1A in the United States with this document and has never been titled.
It was my dream to put this bike into the rear of my garage and forget about it for the next twenty years. When received the motor turned, the signage lights were dried and cracking as all do and removed. There was still fuel in the aluminum tank that had clogged the petcock and some of the black coated items such as the exhaust and clip-ons had oxidation. A good service, minor refinishing and a good detailing would accomplish what I have in mind to make this the wonderful original example this is.
Selling a motorcycle that has not been run in 30 years did not sound good, so in the past weeks I lubricated the cylinders, removed the rotting K&N Filters, fueled the carburetors and got the motor to sputter to a start. The motor runs but the bike will require full serving, cleaning of the fuel system, tires, fluids, etc.
The reason for selling the bike, in the past three years I’ve had two children and the volume of bikes I have far exceed the time I have.
Although the hard parts are obviously all in good shape, this bike will require a complete teardown to get it into the condition the buyer is likely to want from something with a Buy It Now of $32,900: all those gaskets, seals, hoses will have deteriorated, brake calipers and master cylinders will be stuck, fork-sliders will be pitted…
The seller does quote a number of very glowing reviews of the 750F1 in his listing, but Ducati’s of the period were a bit unrefined when compared to the competition: potent in race trim, they were a bit “unfinished” as-delivered. For a long time, these were fairly cheap and unloved on the used market, although their rarity and racing history has seen a pretty large spike in their values in recent years. Later bikes were much improved, although obviously collectors often value early examples like this highly. All-in-all, this looks like one to restore and park up for display by someone who really, really loves 1980’s Ducatis or someone for whom money is no object.