1979 Ducati Darmah 900 from Australia
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.
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
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.