By the mid- to late-70’s a decisive trend was driving motorcycle styling towards more angular fairings and bodywork. In this way, the Darmah was a big departure for Ducati, and it was well received when it was introduced in 1977.
Although the tiger head painted on the bike’s side panels would seem to presage the mullet machismo of the upcoming 80’s—“Rambo: First Blood” would eclipse the Darmah’s production run—the bike was actually named after a tiger in an Italian children’s book. Some rightly suggested the long, powerful, upright-riding Darmah bike was a little confused, but it was still a Desmo-equipped Ducati with 70 horsepower. And thanks to the more comfortable riding position, it could be ridden all day without throwing your back out.
It was positioned as a slightly less aggressive 900SS, fitted with a smaller carb and valve setup to improve fuel mileage and increase mid-range power. Ultimately, it was a foray into the growing Sport Touring market, even if Ducati wouldn’t come out and market it as such.
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)