1981 Ducati 900SS – $47,500

SELLER SAYS: Selling my 1981 Ducati 900SS. Have owned since 2012 and had engine rebuilt by Vee Two Australia being re bored, new piston kit, valves, Digital Ignition Kit etc so everything works as it should. Cylinder head, crankcase have been aqua blasted so looks great and starts and runs beautifully. Contact Peter on 0421 448 449 (Bunbury, WA)

EDITOR TERLICK SAYS: In modern motorcycle history, it’s hard to name many (and perhaps any) bikes that conjure up as much drool factor as Ducati’s glorious bevel-driven desmo-valve sports bikes. The bevel/desmo combination were the signature technologies to Ducati’s sports bikes through the 1970s and ’80s, driving respectable performance from an engine that was otherwise badly outdated compared with the multi-cylinder offerings coming out of Japan. But even when the Japanese bikes evolved to clearly occupy a different league in straight-line performance to the Ducati, there was nothing they could do to match the beautiful bodywork, elegant lines and glorious V-twin (sorry, L-twin) music from Dellorto carbs on the way in and Conti exhausts on the way out.  And while the bevel drive has long-since surrendered to cheaper-to-manufacture belt drive technology, the desmodromic valve management — in which the valves are opened and closed mechanically rather than using springs — remains with us even today, albeit helped with much modern engine-breathing witch-craft and even a spring or two in some cases. This bike of Peter’s looks like a wonderful survivor, surely destined for a future of occasional use and frequent admiration. (If you wonder why people get all misty-eyed over Ducati sports bikes, it’s all about the history — two moments in history, two races and two racers; Paul Smart and Mike Hailwood. Read about it here.)