1979 Ducati Darmah 900


Reliable and enjoyable if well-maintained


Counter shaft oil seal leaked and continues to weep, but nothing too bad. I replaced the seal with two, and apparently it is possible to fit three, which I intend to do some time.

The gear selector mechanism fell apart, which apparently is a known fault. This left me in one gear and required the removal of the clutch to get at, but was a simple fix. It just required picking everything up from the bottom of the crankcases and reassembling with some loctite.

The clutch centre-nut came unscrewed, so that the whole clutch fell off the shaft.

Again a simple fix with a torque wrench and some loctite.

General Comments:

Apart from that and the regular oil and filter changes, chain, sprockets, fork seals and other bits and pieces, I have had no issues with this bike.

I love it and it would be the last one that I get rid of.

It travels long distances two-up with no dramas, although the seat does get a bit uncomfortable after an hour or so; it is about the same width as the pubic bone, so it feels like sitting on a piece of four by two.

I took it on an 8,000km trip around Europe and the Isle of Man this year, and apart from the clutch issue above on a motorway in France, it performed without issues.

It handles brilliantly, stops well, has plenty of torque, and sounds beautiful with the Contis fitted.

I change the oil every 1,000kms or so, and the filter every second change, and make sure it is well warmed before tapping it.

It runs well in pouring rain, and is happy to sit outside overnight if necessary.

In short, if looked after, I consider it a very reliable bike and great fun.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th December, 2007