2020 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1975 Ducati 860 GT 'Café Racer' Motorcycle
This lot is no longer available
Responding to increasingly stringent emissions constrols, Ducati's 860 GT family of bikes was developed in the early 1970s in an attempt to retain the power of the beloved 750 by increasing displacement. The 90-degree twin grew to 864cc and developed 57 horsepower in the first 860, the GT unveiled in 1974, but apart from the gearbox little else was shared with its predecessor. The 860 GT had an entirely new frame, with revised geometry and a Ceriani front fork employing a single Brembo front disc and an 18-inch wheel rim, while a three-way adjustable Marzocchi twin shock arm did the job at the rear. Perhaps the most radical aspect of the new 860 GTs design was the controversial styling courtesy of the talented Giorgetto Giugiaro and his studio Ital Design based in Turin, responsible for some of the most beautiful cars of the era. Although deemed less than successful today, the new Ducati was certainly distinctive and, viewed in context of the period, was typical of the Italian motorcycle industry responding to the threat from Japan with avant garde design. Ignition was electronic although the early 860 GTs were still fitted with kickstarters. Ducati restyled the 860 for 1975 with new petrol tank, seat and lower handlebar to become the GTS, which lasted until 1979. Relatively few 860s were made in period, with the original GT model only on sale for two years, 1974 and 1975, with a total production figure of just 1,045 (plus a further 776 made specifically for the American market). Although not regarded as one of Ducati's all-time classic models, the 860 GT is a powerful, large capacity '70s motorcycle with a distinctive appeal of its own.