1983 Ducati Darmah 900




When I got it, it had multiple oil leaks which were easy to fix with gaskets and some new plugs.

Swing arm axle was worn and had to be replaced.

Some of the minor electrics don't work, eg fuel warning, neutral indicator etc.

Fuel tank buffers have worn out and need to be replaced.

Fifth gear is difficult to select and is the next issue I need to fix.

Seat has been replaced with a custom made, close to original look, but more comfy offering.

Tends to burn spark plugs, but I believe that that is due to the higher octane fuel that is the norm these days.

General Comments:

I love this bike! I didn't buy it to get to work, but to have something I've admired since I was a teenager. The fact that it is old, Italian, quirky and probably unreliable compared to Japanese whitegoods on two wheels, is part of the attraction.

Firstly, it looks fantastic with SS fairing, retro but very cool.

Secondly, it sounds amazing with Conti replicas. Many people comment on the wonderful tone.

Thirdly, it pulls like a train. The L-twin bevel is a brilliant engine with heaps of Power.

It won't win a drag with a rice-burner, but once she's mobile... look out!

The handling is surprisingly good for such an old and heavy bike, it can cruise at speed and feels very stable, but also handles the twists very nicely. Feels very well balanced.

Stoppers are great.

Starts first time every time.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2009

1979 Ducati Darmah 900


Fun, but requires serious financial commitment


- Frequently dropped counter-shaft sprockets until I fitted an extra locking collar.

- Mains cages disintegrated.

- Ignition pickup wire insulation hardened and cracked.

- Centre stand pivot worn to the point where I can't use it.

- Capscrew from under the starter housing loosened and fell into the primary gears at 70mph... shattered 5th gear cog, the pieces of which destroyed most of the gearbox and both crankcase halves.

- Original fuse box (under tank) overheated and caught fire while the bike was turned off and unattended. Fire destroyed the S2 fairing, wiring loom, front brake hoses, instrument cluster, etc.

- Exhaust valve seat on front head dropped out when the engine was shutdown. When I went to kick start it, the closing rocker cracked from trying to close the jammed valve.

General Comments:

When it was going, the duke was good ride.. the sound and torque that you can only get from a V-Twin, and stable handling at high speed made it a great bike on either the highway or the twisties. I replaced the seat with one from a later model for extra comfort on long trips.

The reliability of this particular bike was the killer for me. Out of 18 years of ownership, it was on the road for maybe 5 years.

This bike has been recently sold (in bits!!)

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th February, 2006