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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

New to this forum, but not old bikes. I have a 77 Triumph Bonneville that I tinker around with and ride on the weekends.

I have an opportunity to purchase a 69 mark 3 desmo - $6500. This is one of the most beautiful bikes I have seen. I don't have a ton of info on it, other than where it came from and a little paperwork. It is in running condition - 9200 miles on the odometer. Gauges look original. I'm hoping someone with experience on these bikes could give me some advice. Please see the attached photos.

Some questions
1) Originality: the tank doesn't appear original (unless there was an optional rounded tank I'm not aware of). Anything else look out of place?
2) Gotchas: what are common problems with these bikes that should be addressed? From the pics, this bike looks pretty original.
3) Value: this isn't a deal by any stretch. The seller is actually an old british bike mechanic (how I got to know him) selling for a friend. It has been sitting in the back of the shop for a while now and they finally are ready to turn it loose. I think I could ask them to throw in some work for free if they aren't negotiable on the price...e.g. tires, brakes, battery, that kinda thing.
4) Comfort: Will this be a comfortable bike for a taller (6') rider? This would just be a weekend toy, maybe vintage racing it but not sure.

Thanks so much.
Neal.

980098



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Bon Vivant
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These bikes seem to be coming out of the woodwork lately. Your about the 4th newby to jump on here with one of these same bikes in the last few months.

From the Pics the bike looks pretty complete with a lot of correct and hard to find parts. Restored, or in good original condition these bikes are desirable and sought after. Yours has original paint which is super rare but its a little too faded for my own taste. The tank was a swap that was done by the importer when sales of the coffin style tank bikes was slow, the bars were also an add-on that was done mostly at the dealer level back in the day. Yours has a Conti style pipe which may have been added later or done at the dealership, originally it would have had a silentium. All of those things are probably original to the bike when new. The Mikuni probably came much later when the SS1 was too much of a pain to tune.

Over-all that bike is very original and IMO very valuable. I would not modify it or bash it into a race bike - there are tons of unwanted Monzas and Sebrings out there for that duty. I dont think the price is too high for what they have. I would get the seat upholstered and do a bunch of cleaning and have a really nice survivor. That is a really good find IMO.
 

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Hi Neal

bike is almost original except for the Mikuni carb .
some Mark3's had a scrambler tank like this bike .

the price is very fair . if it was in my backyard i would jump on it .

Eldert
 

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Worth it in my opinion, I regret selling my last Mk3 450d that was in original condition, great bike besides kicking that 450 motor over.. I still have a real beat up Mk3 350d that I will probably never get rid of.. if you end up buying it and wanting a coffin tank, I have a spare
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great, thanks for the replies so far.

What about riding position on these bikes? Okay for taller riders?

In terms of maintenance, is this just like any classic bike: patience and a good manual, or do vintage ducatis have special needs? I find something like working on my Triumph to be very straightforward, parts are plentiful and pretty inexpensive.
 

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Bon Vivant
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Great, thanks for the replies so far.

What about riding position on these bikes? Okay for taller riders?

In terms of maintenance, is this just like any classic bike: patience and a good manual, or do vintage ducatis have special needs? I find something like working on my Triumph to be very straightforward, parts are plentiful and pretty inexpensive.
These are small bikes and that one has low bars, It's probably not going to be the most comfortable thing to ride any distance. But thats really a more personal thing, I'm 6'2" and I wouldn't bat an eye to jump on it. Its a thumping single to boot, how much fun do you suppose that's gonna be?

I've worked on my fair share of Brit bikes and I'd much rather work on any Ducati, they are much easier to work on in my opinion. This is a Desmo, do you know what that is? valve adjustments are not straight forward. General maintenance is easy but once you get into the engine its a whole new world with shimming for bevel gears everywhere, it takes patience and some knowledge/experience. Parts are available once you know where to look but finding those resources can be frustrating and the quality of the replacement parts can vary widely. Some stuff that you buy is just junk. Parts are expensive - way more expensive than Brit bike parts.
 

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The only problem with your height is that these bikes were more suitable for smaller riders. However, apart from appearance it will still be a very good ride. Also , if I were you I would by the coffin tank offered above. Clean the bike up as is, redo the seat and get the correct carb. Cheers
Ian
 

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Hi Neal and welcome to the Forum

As others have said: Don't delay! Bite the guy's hand off!

(IMO, that bike is way more valuable than your 1977 Bonnie ! Ooops, sorry, couldn't stop myself!)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
All,

Thanks for your replies and insight. I ended up making a deal with the seller for the bike, so am excited to own a piece of history.

I would like to get the seat re-upholstered as flynbulldog mentioned. Does anyone have any recommendations for someone that can do this kind of work in the U.S.?

Also, is the parts manual, workshop manual, and owners book available as a PDF? I searched around a little and couldn't find anything on the forums.

Thanks,
Neal.
 

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Hi,

Well done! for the parts manual and handbook try ducatimecchanica.com, an enthusiasts site. I know that this is probably not much help, but the best seat restorers in the world are Eldorado Seats in Australia, the owner, Tony O'connor is the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've found most everything I needed (manuals and info) on Motoscrubs.com - Index page
Thanks, that looks like a great resource.

I'm somewhat confused by the various terminology out there for Ducati singles. When trying to find the right manuals, parts, etc, is it essential that it explicitly says for a 1969 350 mark 3 desmo, or is there a general compatibility with other years and engine sizes (as long as they have the desmo valve train)? E.g., the clymer service and repair handbook that covers Ducatis through 1974 does not specifically say 350 mark 3 d... it does include a 450 mark 3 d. Is that the same bike but with a bigger engine?
 

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Ah, welcome to the mysterious world of Ducati nomenclature .. ;)

Short answer: No, it isn't "essential that it explicitly says for a 1969 350 Mark 3 Desmo".

Remember that at the time there was a deal of inconsistency to the names given to the various models. This inconsistency could be due to the market in which the bikes were being sold - USA, UK or Italy for example ("Diana" or "Daytona"?; "Mark 3" or "Mark III? "Desmo" or just "D"? Ducati themselves weren't consistent on that one!). And it could also depend on who was selling the bike - in the USA, there are examples of where Berliner and Ghost used slightly different names for the same model, for example.

So as regards the Clymer manual, don't be too concerned that it only lists the 450 and not the 350. And anyways, you know the degree of precision and accuracy to be expected from any after-market manual, including Clymers :cool:.

When it comes to parts lists, you can be a little more demanding. However, many parts were of course shared by different models. So don't be surprised to find that the factory parts lists frequently group different models together. For example, the 250 and the 350 Mark 3 D 1968-1970 used the same carburetor, so the carburetor parts list for the two bikes are listed on the same page. You won't find one exclusively for the 350.

Finally, don't treat any of these sources as Bibles. Manuals and parts lists took time to put together and then be published. Consequently, they could quickly get out of date if, for example, a model was changed after initial release to make it more attractive to the buying public (the double filler 'coffin' fuel tank, for example). Or because a particular externally sourced component became no longer available (as happened sometimes with headlights, for example).

(Btw, this is even more true with publicity material. There are numerous examples of Ducati publicity that illustrates verisons of bikes that never in fact saw the light of day :eek:)
 
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