Following Ducati’s final ‘narrow case’ single – the 350 Sebring – the first of Ducati’s ‘wide case’ singles was the 350 Mk. 3 that debuted at the Cologne Show in September 1967, with production commencing the following summer. Fabio Taglioni and his team took the opportunity afforded by the redesign to incorporate a stronger con-rod and big-end bearing, and increase the capacity of the lubrication system along with improvements to the gearbox.
Later in ‘68 Ducati launched the first of the legendary Desmo roadsters in 250 and 350 capacities, and these top-of-the-range supersports variants being distinguishable from the valve-spring models by virtue of their extra chrome and restrained ‘D’ decals on the side panels.
Ducatis have always had a strong following among the enthusiast motorcycle press, but it was the light weight and nimble handling of the singles that first won journalists over. “The result is a feeling of instant confidence,” noted Cycle magazine after a ride on an early 350. “Ducatis feel as though they had been built just for you, that they weren’t something that came out of a crate.”
A standard 350 Desmo had a 5-speed gearbox and weighed just 125kg. Its desmodromic 340cc SOHC motor made 24hp at 8,500rpm and it was the fastest Ducati one could buy. In a road test of the 350 Desmo, Cycle’s 350 Desmo recorded a standing 1/4m time of 17.6 seconds, or 15.15 seconds when the standard restrictive Silentium silencer was replaced with a loud megaphone exhaust. With the same simple modification the top speed increased from 103mph to 112mph.
This disc-braked 350 Desmo is in wonderful original and unrestored condition. For the past 20 years it’s formed part of a large collection in Spain. It has recently been serviced and the engine runs sweetly. We are informed that he only non-original part is the speedometer which came from another Ducati 350 Desmo and the c.39,000 recorded kilometres do not relate to this machine.
The 350 Desmo is arguably the most desired and collectible of all Ducati single road bikes, and so this really is an opportunity not to be missed.