Classic Italian – 1967 Ducati 250cc Mach 1/S

This story originally ran in the January 2009 Ride Oklahoma.

The name Ducati evokes emotions in most motorcyclists. Like Harley Davidson, Ducati has a devoted group of fans that admire and adore the brand. It is more than just a brand of bikes – it is a lifestyle. For Ducati, that lifestyle is synonymous with speed.

Owned by Gerald Tims of Performance Cycle, you can often see this unique and very rare motorcycle at the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum in Warwick, Oklahoma.

Owned by Gerald Tims of Performance Cycle, you can often see this unique and very rare motorcycle at the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum in Warwick, Oklahoma.

Featured this month on the cover of Ride Oklahoma is Gerald Tims’ 1967 Ducati Mach 1/S at Hallett Raceway. This pristine example of the brand is quite unique and rare. “It is the most rare and valuable motorcycle I own” says Gerald Tims, owner of Performance Cycle in Bethany. “It was built specifically for racing and only a few exist today that I know of.” And Gerald should know. He owns over 100 old, rare motorcycles that are stored upstairs at his dealership and will soon be on display at his Seeba Station on Highway 66 east of Wellston.

Ducati handbill for the Mach 1/S

Ducati handbill for the Mach 1/S

This Formula III Ducati 250 was one of only a dozen made and imported by Berliner Motor Company (the U.S. importer for Ducati at the time) for racing purposes only. Not much is known about these bikes, since they were hand built and designed specifically for racing. Only 50 were made worldwide. The gears are all straight cut and narrowed for racing purposes. The external oil lines to and from the head are unique to the FIII’s. The engine produced 35 HP at 9,000 RPM – unheard of for the day – and powered this light motorcycle to approximately 135 mph.

This particular FIII was restored in 1973 using all of the original parts and tires were removed before racing. This was the last of the springhead racers. Estimated value is over $60,000. Not bad for a single cylinder, hand built racebike!

Ducati 250cc Mach 1/S

Ducati 250cc Mach 1/S

This motor was built prior to desmo valve actuation. It was a sand-cast motor built just for racing and featured external oil lines.

This motor was built prior to desmo valve actuation. It was a sand-cast motor built just for racing and featured external oil lines.

This particular Ducati was one of only 10 units imported to the USA specifically for racing.

This particular Ducati was one of only 10 units imported to the USA specifically for racing.

About James Pratt

I am an Oklahoma based writer, photographer, videographer and adventurer. I love telling stories about people. A motorcycle is my preferred means of travel, and I have over 5,000 hours piloting small airplanes.

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