Collectible: Ducati 860 GT-News & Reviews-Motorcycle Trader

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27 Jul 2012 | Ian Falloon delves the joys of a brave Ducati

The release of the Ducati 860 GT in 1974 was the of a change in direction for Ducati. to the 860, Ducati’s design had a result of gradual evolution, but for the 860 engaged the services of an outside Giorgetto Giugiaro.

Of course, was more to the 860 than a cosmetic of the earlier 750 GT. More stringent regulations would mean the of barking Conti exhausts numbered, and the US Department of Transport all motorcycles built after 1974 to have the gearshift on the

Besides being quieter and environmentally friendly, Ducati wanted the 860 GT to be cheaper to manufacture the complex round-case 750.

To the casual observer the 860 GT looked to be a styling exercise based on the but there was much more to the 860 merely an overbore. The entire was redesigned and restyled with the of making it more appealing to the US The engine also underwent modification, firstly to simplify and secondly to improve reliability and maintenance.

There were a number of engine updates for the 860 compared to the round-case 750 – notably to the camshaft drive and lubrication – and to maintain the already modest of the 750 GT the engine was enlarged to 864cc.

The noticeable feature of the 860 engine the redesigned outer engine name the alternator, clutch, and gearshift covers. Underneath the alternator cover was a new bevel-gear to the two vertical shafts and, of the 750’s ignition points between the cylinders, the 860 had an oil filter. of the other engine internals unchanged, but the 860 now featured electronic

With a pair of Dell’Orto PHF carburettors and angular Lafranconi the 860 GT’s power was modest (no were made but it was around but mid-range torque was improved the 750.

Most 860s had an electric start, making the easier to live with as the was a real chin bruiser.

The 860 GT had a new with eccentric chain at the swingarm pivot and 18in front and rear. The front was a robust 38mm Ceriani, either a single or twin front disc brake, Marzocchi rear shock Ducati went to some to improve many components had come under criticism on the 750 and to new US standards.

Only the US-style high and handlebar was fitted to the 860 GT, with the through the ’bars, and the switches a new blocky CEV design. These CEV may have promised much but were still ergonomically

The 860 GT was released in a blaze of publicity, rave reviews from the But the press claims of The Best Yet failed to translate into

Although the 860 did most things enough, it wasn’t any better the earlier 750 GT and was much heavier and reliable. It soon became the popular bevel-twin Ducati, and so.

Although history has been to the 860 GT, some of its misfortune was due to unfortunate The 860 GT’s release coincided a worldwide motorcycle sales and the more European-inspired 860 GTS soon it.

However, finally the 860 GT’s has possibly come. As modern adopt a more hard-edged the Ducati 860 GT has begun to look contemporary, something few 35-year-old can emulate.


Ducati 860 GT

The for the 860 came from the victory by a 860 Super Sport in the 1973 24-hour race at the tight circuit. Salvador Canellas and Grau won in record time, 2694.97km at 114.26km/h.

The 860 GT was penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Studio at Moncalieri in Turin. initiated the folded paper of straight lines and hard the first example being the Esprit of 1972, followed by the Golf, Hyundai Pony and the Delta.

Controversy erupted in 1975 when the Indian Corporation displayed the Indian 860 at the Trade Show. The Indian 860 was out of spare parts by Leopoldo who had purchased 50 engines with the they couldn’t be sold in the US. The was eventually resolved and the Indian 860 eventuate.

Of the 5977 motorcycles manufactured in 1975, only were 860 GTs. Total 860 production was 2987, all manufactured September 1974 and July


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