Ducati Darmah 900 Review from United Kingdom

1979 Ducati Darmah 900

Model year1979
Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership1983
Most recent year of ownership1991
Acceleration marks 5 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 7 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired5000 miles
Most recent distance36000 miles
Previous motorcycleHonda CB750F2


Starter sprag clutch exploded periodically, a well known problem.

General Comments:

Wonderfully long motorcycle for tall guys (I'm 6'-6").

Not great performance, but pulled like a truck. I fitted a Peter Furlong chain case, which was a huge advantage over the standard open chain.

Here's my tip; WHEN your sprag clutch explodes, don't go to Ducati - it's common with a Borg-Warner auto gearbox part and costs sod all from an autobox supplier.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2004

8th Dec 2004, 19:48

The sprag clutch should be thrown away and a "vee two" sprag clutch purchased from Brooke Henry at Vee Two in Perth, Western Australia. He has his own version which will last forever. As with any other engine matters, talk to these guys first.

2nd Sep 2009, 09:36

Hi Guys,

I like Ducatis, I know about the so called desmo valvetrain and the shims, and keeping them adjusted every 4000 miles or so. I've been familiar with them for years, but never had one yet.

I like the ones that have the bars up high, and not the sport ones with clip ons, so I like the Darmah, the Paso, the 750 GT, Pantah, but all the rest are sport bikes.

I was thinking about a Darmah as it means tiger in Italian.

I like certain Guzzis too.

1st May 2011, 10:54

If you are talking Brook Henry, Perth W.A., you are in the right place. He did a rebuild on my Darmah in what would have been around 1988?? New big end bearings, sleeves into the conrods re-bore, oversize pistons etc., rode the bike for another 9 years thereafter, without anymore Darmah's, run like a swiss clock.

What this guy does not know about Ducati's isn't worth knowing.

Hope you are still going great guns up there in Bayswater. Keep up the good work.

Leo Boner.

Average review marks: 6.6 / 10, based on 1 review