- Motor # 01732
- A Wonderfully Restored Example
- Ducati's Premier 250cc Offering From The Mid 60's
- Offered Out Of Long Term Ownership
One of the most desirable single-cylinder motorcycles of the 1960s, the Ducati Diana 250 MK3 packed a performance punch in an elegant Italian package. Its history began in 1948 with a technical challenge––ex-motorcycle racer Alfonso Drusiani was frustrated with the lackluster performance of contemporary two-stroke racing motorcycles. He pitched the idea of an OHC four-stroke single motorcycle to Giuseppe Boselli, boss of Mondial Motorcycles at the time. Boselli agreed to finance R&D and launched a prototype in 1949, which put Mondials on the leaderboard at the 125cc GP by 1950.
Ducati soon wanted in on Mondial’s racing success, largely because American and British importers began to ask for a “weekend racer” option. Ducati complied and tapped Mondial’s Fabio Taglioni to lead engine development on a new line of high-performance bikes. By 1962, Taglioni had prototyped the first 250 “Diana”, inspired largely by Alfonso Drusiani’s original OHC breakthrough. Due to its proper four-stroke construction, the Diana was the fastest motorcycle of its 250cc displacement––after testing, contemporary bike magazines immediately recognized its potential as a high-performing road racer.
That was because the Diana made the best of an old recipe: healthy power and low curb weight. Its 30-horsepower single screamed to 8000 rpm inside of a frame that weighed just 297 pounds, helping it achieve a top speed of nearly 110 mph, clocked by a contemporary motorcycle magazine. Importantly, the Diana could trace much of its DNA to the racing-derived Ducati Mach 1 250cc, which sported 10:1 compression, larger valves, and a high-lift camshaft. The bike’s “light-on-its-feet” handling dynamics keep vintage collectors salivating even to this day.
This particular 1966 Ducati Diana, frame #01732, was owned throughout the 1970s and 1980s by motorcycle collector George Hamling of Woodinville, WA. He owned the bike until the late 1990s when it was sold to another collector, Ken McBride. The Diana changed hands again about 15 years ago when the current owner purchased it from Mr. McBride.
Today, Ducati Diana #1793 presents as a beautifully restored example of one of the great, simple sportbikes of the modern era. its condition remains excellent and there are only a few areas of issue on an otherwise stunning restoration. The boot on the brake light switch is torn and there is some chipping in the paint on the exhaust. Riding this Diana is the essence of man and machine––no electronic nannies, fuel injection, or even disc brakes dampen the experience of a wailing single catapulting riders to exhilarating speeds. For the vintage bike enthusiast who wants a slice of affordable Italian performance, this Diana Mark 3 is an ideal choice.