Ducati 750 Imola




Make Model.

Ducati 750 Imola




Four stroke, 90°“V”twin cylinder, SOHC, 2 valves per cylinder, bevel gear driven


748 cc / 45.6 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 80 x 74.4 mm
Compression Ratio 10:1
Cooling System Air cooled

Lubrication System

Wet sump


2 x Dell'Orto PHF40 carburetors with accelerator pump


Twin plug contact breaker ignition
Starting Kick

Max Power

65.5 kW / 89 hp @ 9000 rpm


Wet, multiplate


5 Speed 
Final Drive Chain


Duplex open cradle tubular steel

Front Suspension

Marzocchi telescopic hydraulic front fork with raked pins

Rear Suspension

Swinging-arm rear suspension with two Ceriani 310-mm shocks

Front Brakes

Twin 280-mm disks with Lockheed calipers

Rear Brakes

229 mm Disk with Lockheed caliper


Borrani light alloy rims

Front Tyre

Dunlop KR Tires, 3.25 x 18

Rear Tyre

Dunlop KR Tires, 3.50 x 18
Trail 60 mm / 2.36 in
Dimensions Length  2018 mm / 79.4 in
Wheelbase 1530 mm / 60.2 in

Dry Weight

163 kg / 359 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

24 Litres / 6.3 US gal / 5.3 Imp gal

Top Speed

Approx. 250 km/h / 155 mph

The 750 Imola Desmo is one of the most famous bikes in the world.  It is best known, and, of course named for, its victory with Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari in the 200 mile race at Imola in 1972 – one of the most spectacular in racing history.  Much has been written about the fantastic final lap, which saw Smart and Spaggiari side by side almost all the way to the finishing line, but how this race changed the destiny of the Italian manufacturer has been relatively unexplored.

The win at Imola defined Ducati’s future approach to racing, with the manufacturer focusing its attention almost exclusively on production-derived machines. However, before discussing Smart, Imola and the legendary “number 16”, we must take a step back in time.

In 1972 Checco Costa bought the 200 Mile formula to Italy and Ducati prepared eight bikes to be ridden by Paul Smart, Bruno Spaggiari, Ermanno Giuliano, and Alan Dunscombe.  The bikes had production frames and engines, but were prepared, as usual, in a very short time.  Most of this work, however, probably still goes unnoticed, as it was concerned with the smallest details: wherever possible, each part of the bike was painstakingly filed down and lightened.  In addition, new Dellorto carburetors with 40 mm choke tubes and accelerator pumps arrived just in time, providing a perfect supply of fuel for the big twin-cylinder, which delivered 80 hp at 8,500 rpm.  At Imola, Spaggiari reached the finish line with his gas tank almost empty and so could not snatch the victory from Smart.

Source Ducati.com

Ducati 750 Imola Story

The center of attraction of the American motorcycle market is the annual big race at Daytona Beach, Florida. By the early 1970s the Daytona 200 was the most popular motorcycle race in America. It also attracted people from the Old World, mainly because of the enterprising spirit of Francesco Costa, the dean of Italian race organizers. Costa transplanted a little piece of the United States onto the track at Imola, creating a "Daytona of Europe" with the Imola 200 Miles.

The first edition of this race was held in 1972, with the fastest motorcycles available and racing teams from many countries all over the world. Ducati made its official return to racing at Imola, entering a new 750 designed by Fabio Taglioni. Of course the engine of the new Ducati 750 was four-stroke and the distribution was "desmodromic"— these were basic elements of Taglioni's conception of motorcycle design. But this time the control system of the valves had a single overhead camshaft carrying the opening and closing cams. The single camshaft embodied years of experience with production models.

The tuning of the Ducati for the Imola 200 was meticulous, and several trial sessions were held to be extra sure that the motorcycle was in tip-top racing form. Bruno Spaggiari, who was still driving an official Ducati after thirteen years, unofficially lowered the Modena track record, which had been set by Giacomo Agostini's four-cylinder MV Agusta 500.

The Imola 200 Miles was a real triumph for Ducati. Spaggiari led the field from beginning to end, but he was forced to cede first place to his teammate on the last lap because he ran out of fuel.

A year went by and the Ducati 750 was almost the only competitive four-stroke engine in a mass of two-cylinder engines of various displacements. Again the Ducati went to Imola, but this time prospects were not as rosy. Several Japanese and American teams were there with the newest Suzukis and Kawasakis, Daytona models that generated more than 100 hp.

At the 1973 Imola, Ducati was unable to repeat the triumph of the year before, but Spaggiari came in second and Bruno Kneubhuler drove the fastest lap in the first heat of the race, showing that the Ducati could stand up to the finest Japanese motorcycles. Jarno Saarinen won with a Yamaha 350, putting in a fantastic performance.