The Iconic Ducati 750 Sport
Jim Fitzgerald's 1973 Ducati 750 Sport.
Photo by Jeff Barger
1973 Ducati 750 Sport
Claimed power: 62hp @ 8,200rpm
Top speed: 124mph
Engine: 748cc air-cooled OHC 90-degree V-twin
Weight (dry): 402lb (183kg)
Price then: $2,500
Price now: $15,000 - $35,000
Wisconsinite Jim Fitzgerald’s relationship with his Ducati 1973 Ducati 750 Sport was sparked by his youth. Back in the late Seventies, Jim wasn’t content to just follow his motorcycling compatriots. Even as a youngster messing around on a dirt bike, while the rest of his friends were aboard Honda Super 90s, Jim’s ride was a modified 1948 Harley-Davidson Hummer.
In high school, he rode a run-of-the-mill spray-bombed purple 1971 Honda CB350 — simply because it was what he could afford. After graduating and serving his tool and die apprenticeship, though, he started making better money. And while his friends were buying the Suzuki GS1000 and Honda CB900F, Jim wanted something different, like an Italian-made Moto Guzzi LeMans. Until he saw a 1978 Ducati Darmah, that is. The Duc caught Jim’s fancy, so he bought the Darmah. That was in 1979.
Soon after, Jim realized his riding skills were above average, so he bought and prepped a 350cc Ducati single, racing it in Western-Eastern Racing Association (WERA) lightweight superbike events. In 1981, Jim’s younger brother, Rick, who rode a BSA 650 on the street, became interested in going racing.
At one of their breakfast rides, an acquaintance pulled up on a Ducati 750 Sport, the very machine featured here. Everyone admired the Italian motorcycle, but Rick showed particular interest in the Ducati, and the owner said he could have right of first refusal if the bike were ever sold. A year later, Rick bought the Ducati for $1,500.
“Rick bought it from Paul Egner, and the story is that Paul bought the bike from a neighbor of his just down the road,” Jim says. “The original owner didn’t like the riding position, and he didn’t ride it much. It was very original when my brother got it.”
Almost immediately after buying the Ducati, Rick decided to take it racing. He made a few modifications, including swapping the stock Scarab front brake caliper and rotor for a dual-disc Lockheed setup. Ditto the original Conti exhaust system, replaced by a two-into-one header. A set of 36mm Dell’Orto carburetors replaced the stock 32mm units, and an electronic ignition system replaced the stock breaker points. “Everything he took off he stored properly,” Jim says, “Rick was meticulous about that.”
Page: 1 | 2
| Next >>