Ducati green frame prices are set to rise further

Ducati green frame prices are set to rise further as the market for these machines grows. Let’s look at the upward price pressures of these incredible machines, as there are a lot of different forces at work and more over the coming year. These iconic machines were the only round case engined Ducati to come with Desmodromic valve operation, you can see how these valves work in this video on our YouTube channel.  The 1974 Ducati 750SS was built to homologate the round case motor for 750cc series racing with only 401 pieces made worldwide. They were all hand built in the factory, to varying degrees of quality control, and many came with factory flaws that needed to be addressed. These machines went through a low value period between about 1976 and 1998 when green frames weren’t in any way collectible, but very expensive to repair. The bike had so many unique parts which were never again available and parts that fitted from other models were still quite expensive. During this period of low value these machines were usually “upgraded” with parts from later motorcycles, not serviced properly, repainted in more “modern’ colours, “customised” and generally butchered. This happened to many more of the the green frames than those that were lovingly preserved because they were loved as they were. Only a very small minority of green frames retain their “full house” of unique parts and original paint. 

Ducati green frame prices are set to rise further
Amelia Island 1974 Ducati 750SS green frame.

Ducati green frame 50th anniversary

2024 is the Ducati green frame 50th anniversary which always has an upward force on prices of iconic classic motorcycles. This phenomena is not instantaneous, it happens over the coming years, it happened with the 916 SP recently in 2019 after its twenty fifth anniversary, prices started rising at quite a rate and are still increasing four years later. This doesn’t happen because buyers think, “ooh it’s a big anniversary I think I need to pay a lot more to celebrate”. It happens because the attention the anniversary draws puts that motorcycle into the consciousness of potential buyers who didn’t previously know of the existence of that particular motorcycle, or that it is a collectible motorcycle. Raising awareness about collectible classic motorcycles has raised values over the last ten years or so. Anniversaries of very special classic motorcycles will always raise awareness and will, therefore, raise prices. 

1974 Ducati 750SS green frames restored and unrestored.
1974 Ducati 750SS green frames restored and unrestored.

Green frame media coverage

Green frame media coverage where it counts is already achieved for summer 2024 and this will certainly increase demand.  We can’t divulge what is being published but the pieces have been written, photographed and these will not only increase demand for these machines, but they will also attract further articles to be written about them in similar publications. The green frame offers a great subject with beautiful photos to appeal to very wealthy readerships, so many more potential buyers will discover these beautiful motorcycles. Green frame media coverage is destined to gain a lot of momentum and will move into mainstream media because they offer a wonderful story along with stunning pictures. In these times of….relentless gloom…there is a desire for such stories and eye candy. 

All side panels

Amelia Island Ducati green frame

The Amelia Island Ducati green frame we acquired for our customer last February has been very well documented with much more to come. The machine was bought with 5,000 miles from new, original paint, mostly, and hadn’t been run for twenty five years. To preserve the original paint and fibreglass bodywork it was all retired and a perfect replica was made. Buying replica bodywork for these motorcycles is a nightmare and it either needs to be made again from scratch or heavy modified to be correct. We recreated the original paint colours, which was more than challenging, and sprayed the bodywork to standard brand new spec. We then created a way of yellowing the paint and exactly recreating the patina of the original bodywork and we even recreated the run in the paint which came from the factory. The bike will now be ridden and displayed with the replica bodywork. Leaving these machines standing for twenty five years does the motor no good whatsoever. The old oil residue had turned to varnish in the top end and corroded the bearings. We had to replace every bearing in the top end of both cylinders. The bottom end bearings were alright as they were fully submerged in the oil, as oil only turns to a corrosive varnish when it is left to oxidise. Once we removed the bevel tower on the rear cylinder to replace the bearings, it became clear that there was a fault with the drilling of the bevel tower from the factory. As the green frame was the only round case motor to come with Desmodromic valves, all of the cylinder heads were hand made and often came with faults. The factory had drilled one of the bevel tower threaded securing holes too close to the closing rocker pin bushes. We resolved this and you can see the problem and what we did on our YouTube channel here. This machine is enjoying so much publicity that it is certainly raising the profile of these stunning machines. The work we have done to the bodywork on the Amelia Island green frame has never been done on a motorcycle and possibly never on a classic car.

Our tank painted silver
First the replica tank is painted in the correct silver.

Other Ducati green frame price drivers

Other Ducati green frame price drivers are classic car owners turning their gaze towards the incredible value classic motorcycles offer. The car market is levelling and having a breather after more than a decade of unprecedented price increases. Car buyers are looking to motorcycles while they wait for the car market to start moving upwards again. As more car buyers move into classic motorcycles they’re realising the great value the bikes offer, there’s no left or right hand drive to contend with and that they take up so little space compared to cars. Many new motorcycle buyers are seasoned car buyers who understand that their journey with the vehicle starts when they buy the it. Once they own the machine they understand that they have to spend a lot to bring the vehicle up to standard and have it running correctly with old flaws chased out. Very few seasoned classic motorcycle owners have that attitude, in general. There are exceptions to this, but the amount of collections we’re seeing in the UK now where the bikes have all been bought at auction, laid up ever since and not investigated for authenticity and mechanically at all, is really quite surprising. They get sold on after several years languishing with no due diligence, but this trend is coming to an end. Most restored green frames, every single one I have ever seen so far, has the wrong colours for the bodywork and the frame. That’s before any further investigation, which nearly always indicates much more work is required. Although the current owner doesn’t care if the paint is completely wrong, the new owner will care and will want it put right. The current owner, if they have a really good example, will not care that the machine needs a lot spent on it to bring it up to scratch, they will name their price and either sell it for their price price or keep it. Buyers will need to pay the price and then deal with the issues these machines come with. Many also came from the factory with faults, such as the cylinder head fault we found in the 5,000 mile Amelia Island unrestored green frame. When repairing these machines, great care needs to be taken because there are no other cylinder heads available. Leaving these motorcycles standing, unused, doesn’t help them either and they can be costly to revive. Buyers are getting to grips with this and understand that the costs start when you buy such a machine until it’s brought up to spec. 

Both tanks RHS
The original fuel tank is in front and our replica is behind.

New markets are opening up

New markets are opening up for classic motorcycles and they will be much bigger than the US. India is opening to only new imported motorcycles and classics won’t be far behind. The Arab nations are a rapidly growing market for new large capacity motorcycles and they will become avid classic motorcycle collectors. They have a massive classic car market and classic motorcycles are an inevitability. China has a burgeoning new motorcycle market and will not allow used motorcycles, because they don’t want to become a dumping ground for the world’s worse used motorcycles which need to be disposed of. It really is a matter of time before classic motorcycles are in great demand, as there are a few people who have already imported classic motorcycles in very small numbers. There are a lot of Chinese collectors with classic vehicles in storage all over the world waiting for their homeland to allow them to import their collections. China will become a very big player in the coming years, along with India and the Arab nations. As they develop,  these markets will dwarf the present world market many times over, which will increase prices unimaginably. This is not a question of if, but when as it’s already happened with other collectibles in these markets. The barriers to entry for classic cars and motorcycles are slowly being removed by the respective governments.  

Amelia Island 1974 Ducati 750SS green frame with original bodywork.
Amelia Island 1974 Ducati 750SS green frame with original bodywork.

Buying an investment grade Ducati green frame

Buying an investment grade Ducati green frame is not achieved by reading lots of books, internet articles and research. Investment grade Ducati green frames are nearly always sold off market, except for the Amelia Island green frame. Generally, if they are sold at auction be extremely careful. There are many “authenticated” 1974 Ducati 750SS green frames which share identical numbers with another green frame, as Doppelgängers are a serious problem. Once the machine is purchased, then the work begins as they all require much more work than any enthusiastic buyer could ever imagine. If the frame is green then it needs spraying the correct Azure Blue and bodywork is nearly always the wrong colour. There’s a lot that needs to be done with all of these machines and f it’s not a “full house”green frame, then the bill for replica parts will take your breath away. Now is the time to buy, as Ducati green frame prices are set to rise further and for good reasons. This iconic Italian classic motorcycle will never be this cheap again, as prices are rising and will continue to do so. If you are serious about buying an investment grade Ducati green frame fill out the form below and we will contact you at your convenience for a no pressure discussion. We are here to be clear, not just to move metal.

    Paul Jayson


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