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750SS at Imola in 1972—incidentally, his first time on a Ducati—he said all he knew about the company was that it made “out-of-date singles.”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.
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)
Bonus: The Benelli 750 Sei