Based on Paul Smart’s Imola-winning bike of 1972 (and Bruno Spaggiari’s identical second-place bike), only 401 of these street-legal “Green Frame” unicorns were ever produced. In its day this bike was a revelation—sporting Desmodromic valves, an incredibly stiff chassis that used the engine as a stressed member, dual 18-inch wheels, and triple disc brakes. And of course, the famous green frame scheme.
Just like the Imola bikes, it has a clear stripe on the fiberglass tank so the racers could keep an easy eye on their fuel level.
Fun trivia: the famous race bike this “Green Frame” is based off of didn’t actually have a green frame. It was painted azzurra metallizzato, or metallic blue, using leftover paint from outboard boat motors that were also made at the Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale at the time.
Because it’s been highly collectible since it was released in 1974, this is one of the most coveted motorcycles in existence. If you find one in a barn under a tarp in good condition, expect it to fetch well into the six-figure range at auction.
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