Ducati 350 Mark 3 D

After a decade of working for Ducati, patiently waiting, Taglioni was finally able to put his beloved Desmodromic system into a production bike with this: the 350 Mark 3 Desmo. The bike first debuted in 1968 and would see the company into the 70’s, where in 1972 a variation of this basic engine design would win famously at Imola under Paul Smart.

Ducati-350-mk3D-martin-squires-illustration

But first came the singles—so many singles. Ducati would produce no fewer than 71 distinct models of its overhead camshaft single-cyclinder bikes between 1960 and 1978, which all adds up to some 95,600 production units. That’s according to motorcycle historian Ian Falloon, who filled a 300-page book  cataloging their variations.

That matrix of models is dizzying, but also a testament to Taglioni’s tenacity for engine development—eking out a little more from the design with each iteration as Ducati designers continued to fuss with and update the styling as the years rolled on. After a decade of patiently waiting, Taglioni was finally able to put his beloved Desmodromic system into a production bike with this: the 350 Mark 3 Desmo.

The coffin-shaped tank wasn’t very popular when it debuted in 1968, but sales picked up steam toward the end of its run.

That little D painted on the side cover is easy to miss, but it’s a very important identifier—small and sporty, with a big, buttery-smooth power band, this fantastic  little super-single was one of the best Ducati ever made.

Ducati 350 mk3 d

 

Start Here: Intro 70s Italian Superbikes

The Ducati Story
Ducati 350 Mark 3-D (1968-1972)
Ducati 350 Desmo (1971-1972)
Ducati 750S (1972-1974)
Ducati 750SS (1973-1974)
Ducati 900SS (1975-1982)
Ducati Darmah (1977-1982)
Ducati MHR (1979-1984) 

The Laverda Story
Laverda 750S (1969-1970)
Laverda SF (1970-1976)
Laverda SFC (1971-1976)
Laverda Jota (1976-1983)
Laverda Montjuic (1979-1981)

The Moto Guzzi Story
Moto Guzzi V7 Telaio Rosso (1971)
Moto Guzzi V7 Sport (1971-1974)
Moto Guzzi 750S (1974-1975)
Moto Guzzi Leamans 850 (1976-1978)

The MV Agusta Story
MV Agusta 750S (1971-1974)
MV Agusta 750 America (1975-1977)
MV Agusta Magni 861

Illustrations: Martin Squires
Studio photography: David Genat
Bike owner: Robert Pettinicchi