Building Speed: 1969 Ducati 450 Mark III Desmo “MX” | Ductalk: What's Up In The World Of Ducati |

It has been said Ducati is to motorcycles as Ferrari is to cars – soulful, sexy, and the definitive Italian approach to Building Speed. For the most part Ducati has focused on road-going machines. So much so that the bike featured here comes as a surprise. As it should. This Desmo 450 is the motocross machine Ducati never built.

But Bob Budschat did. The Budschat family owned a Ducati dealership in Seattle from 1959 to 1976. They were active in Ducati racing. Bob’s son, Mike Budschat, still considers the trophy given to him in 1965 by the Ducati factory to be “my most prized treasure from that period.” In Mike’s estimation, among the finest of the Ducati engines of the era was the 450 Mark III Desmo. His father and Boeing engineer Dick Ahrens set about creating a limited run of four motocross bikes built around this street-going engine.

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