Feeding on the success of the Ducati reputation in racing competitions, the 450 is the largest and therefore the ultimate incarnation of the MK III models.
Characterised by its wide case OHC single-cylinder engine, it can be differentiated from its smaller-engined siblings due to its larger frame and the distinctive ‘coffin’ style fuel tank.
Imports into the UK were fairly low and while rare, the 450 become known for its scrambling applications, but in parallel, the Ducati name is firmly associated with circuit endeavours, thanks in part to Mike Hailwoods association with the brand.
This bike started life as a Ducati 450 roadster, it is believed to date from the early 1970s and has since been converted into a race-spec machine with proven historic racing history.
It has been carefully modified over the years, including a lightweight frame replacing the original item.
Fitted with Mercari forks, an uprated exhaust and a big-bore capacity of 472cc, this former podium placed bike needs a level of recommissioning to allow its legs to stretch again.
The History and Paperwork
• Used for historic racing competitions
• Stored indoors
• Retains its frame number
• CRMC & BHR registered
The owner has an extensive interest in Ducati bikes, having owned tens of dozens of examples over the years. He has opted to pare down his collection after purchasing and racing this example having used it on various historic events, earning several podium spots in the process.
The bike is still CRMC & BHR registered. When it was last active it had just won three races at the VMCC in Darley Moor but has since been kept in storage.
This bike is sold 'as-is' and will at least need a basic mechanical review to ensure it is good to go. It is not registered for road use.
• Uprated lightweight widecase frame
• Racing fuel tank
• Solid and well-presented fibreglass finishing
Menacingly finished in black, the bike is very presentable in terms of cosmetics, with minimal signs of wear. There are a handful of some small imperfections to the paintwork of the fibreglass panels but generally, the fairing and windshield are in good shape, with no cracks noted on the screen.
The racing fuel tank and side panels are solid with good paint application. The single racer seat is also in good condition with light wear noted on the padding.
The Morad aluminium rims are in good condition, with light signs of wear with tightly fitted spokes. The Avon Roadrider tyres show some sidewall cracks but display decent tread.
As expected the instrumentation is down to a bare minimum, the Scitsu Classic Racing Tachometer legible and said to be operational. The bike retains its frame number, confirming it was originally a road-going 450.
• Big-bore capacity of 472cc
• Mercari forks
• Amal carburettor
• Interspan ignition with Twin plug head
• Fontana 210 4-leading shoe front brake
While we were unable to witness the bike in action, we have been told that it performs admirably and is indecently quick. These encouraging words are backed up by the positive condition of the mechanics.
The hoses, ancillaries and wiring all look good suggesting a regime of maintenance. The engine case appears to be free of damage, with the exhaust in good shape - just an expected coat of surface corrosion.
The silencer is solid. The Fontana 210 4 leading shoe front brakes appear to be in good order, while not tested, are free of any significant signs of wear. No issues are noted on the Mercari forks, shocks, chains or sprockets. It is fitted with an Interspan ignition with a twin-plug head.
As to be expected for a bike that last saw active competition around 10 years ago, it would be sensible to assume it will need a little elbow grease to bring back to glory, but its indoor storage should make this task easier.
Deceptively potent in 450 form, the reputation of the wide case Ducati remains respected in the world of historic motorbike racing.
With a proven sequence of competition podiums, this converted roadster will not need too much effort for it to be reunited with the circuit to continue its winning streak.
Its timeless styling and purposeful details outline the 450 as a highly remarkable and stylish racing motorcycle.
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Early 1970s Ducati 450 Widecase Race Bike
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