Bike of the Month
1981 Ducati Super Darmah
By Jeff Park
A few years back my wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I thought about it and answered “A Bevel Head Ducati”. After the shock wore off, she told me the price point, and then said “find one”. After about a six month search, I found a 1981 900 SD Darmah on eBay in my price range. I watched it for a couple of days, then one evening after a couple of beers I put in what I thought would be a low bid. Three days later much to my surprise my bid was accepted.
The original owner had decided it need a restoration so he took it apart, put it in boxes where it sat until a Ducati mechanic from Portland Oregon acquired it. He kept it around for about 3 years and finally decided it was time to rebuild it and make it a reliable riding machine, one that he would want to have for his own.
I got original paper work, and photos and receipts for all the work that was done. So far other then some minor issues it has been a fairly reliable ride.
According to the original paperwork I have, the bike was sold new in December of 1983 for $5500, there was a 1981 Yamaha XS1100 Special that was traded in for $2100, so the total paid after dealer prep etc. was $3967.
I have researched production numbers for the 1981 SD Darmah. From what was stated in the book, The Ducati Bible by Ian Falloon, the total production for Ducati 900 SD Darmah for 1981 was 683 bikes. Of those, 376 went to Australia, so that left 307 for the rest of the world.