Ducati 350 Desmo

This “silver shogun” 350 Desmo production model produced just 27hp, but the megaphone exhaust was a popular upgrade to gain a few extra ponies. For the discerning Italian motorcycle enthusiast looking to zip smartly along country roads with full use of this plucky 350’s extra-wide power band, the Desmo 350 was just right. That it had the same silver-flake finish as the Imola-winning 750SS made it all the sweeter.


When Paul Smart threw a leg over the 750SS at Imola in 1972—incidentally, his first time on a Ducati—he said all he knew about the company was that it made “out-of-date singles.”

At the time, he was making rent by racing Kawasaki two-strokes, so the nuances of Taglioni’s vast catalog of elegant variations were probably lost on the fast English throttle jockey.

To be fair, a Ducati single from the early 60’s shares the same basic silhouette as one from the late 70’s , but the Desmo valve technology built into this one gave it some considerable extra oomph over earlier versions.

 Ducati 350 Desmo


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 Lemans 850 (1976-1978)

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

BonusThe Benelli 750 Sei

Illustrations: Martin Squires
Studio photography: David Genat