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Inspiration – 1978 Ducati 900 GTS

Though the Super Sports were to be lusted after, the 900 GTS had their own part in Ducati’s history and on the Sport Classic’s family tree.  Here’s a Canadian example which is said to be unrestored and shows beautifully.

1978 Ducati 900 GTS for sale on eBay

If there had been a momentary Universal European Motorcycle, the 900 GTS has a lot of its qualities.  Downtube frame, metal fenders, kick and electric start, long seat, and each manufacturer had their own favored engine design.  Taglioni’s signature bevel-drive desmodue is in the cradle, with Guigiaro’s stylized case design, and 65 hp on the dyno.  Typical for the decade are the 5-speed, three-way adjustable forks and shocks, and drum rear brake – with better twin disks up front.  Rubber is 18-inch, with wider availability these days than there was back then.  The long skinny seat isn’t seen much anymore, but the knee indentations in the tank are now classic.

No belts on these bevel heads so if the oil is fresh and battery charged it should be able to give those Heidenau’s a workout.  Paint work is said to be original but looks better.  The chrome is getting thin on the fenders but the engine cases look great.  Standard key ring damage on the warning light panel but maybe that could be refreshed.  Comments from the eBay auction:

This is an ALL ORIGINAL unmolested classic Ducati GTS 900 with original paint. It just came out of a private collection. No accidents, clean title, survivor. The bike is in overall good condition and has been tuned up with a new battery installed. Starts up every time and sounds absolutely ballsy, I get looks, questions, thumbs up every time I take it out for a ride. So be prepared to get approached A LOT at gas stations (I only use Chevron 94 octane fuel, nothing less, EVER).

I’ve ridden it a few times this summer to keep the wheels round and the oil circulating but that’s it. I am it’s second custodian. If you know these bikes then you know how rare and appreciated they are, and how they are climbing in value.

Thirty years later, Ducati “invented” the – GT1000 –, a retro classic owing a lot to the 900 GTS.  Modern fuel injection and brake are a bit of a difference, but the similarities are undeniable.  The comfortable riding position made the GT the most popular among riders if not investors.  It would be a neat garage with a 900 GTS next to a similarly painted GT1000 – different generations of a great ride.

-donn

2 Comments

  • Beauty!

  • These things were never popular among lovers of the bevel Dukes-the Italian car guy brought in to freshen up the styling for Ducati produced a string of truely pugly things that no self respecting roadburner wanted to be seen on – sales were poor and the reputation of Ducati took a beating.
    Taglioni reputedly refused to have anything to do with the stylist guys who had so butchered the looks of the 900 SS sports bikes.
    Time has proven Dr Taglioni right, and most of the Darmah/GTS/UGH things were chopped up to resemble the sports bikes everybody lusted after.
    This makes a real original survivor a rarity, so the chaps with the glass cases should lust after this specimen, bearing in mind that the original paint and electrics were fairly poor back in the day and wont have aged well.
    Still a bevel, and engine to die for, and a soundtrack to gladden the heart

Comment rules: Add something useful and constructive, and don't be a jerk. Comments that don't add value will be deleted. Comments will automatically close after 30 days. Thank you. -dc

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