The 860 series is one of the most maligned of all Ducatis. Styled by auto designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, it was ahead of its time and sales were poor. But it’s also one of those bikes that has aged gracefully, and 35 years later, this lightly tweaked custom is an absolute traffic-stopper.
‘Paola’ is owned by Munich-based photographer Hermann Köpf, and she’s a hard-working bike, taking her owner on regular travels around Europe. And despite appearances, this Ducati has only been slightly modified. The bars have been raised, and fitted with vintage-style grips and discreet blinkers on the ends. The taillight was swapped for the ‘cheapest available’ mini light. From eBay, Köpf procured a pair of fenders—which he shortened—and Conti mufflers, which he sandblasted and repainted. The rims are 2.15×18, shod with Pirelli Scorpion enduro tires, which make a huge difference to the look of the bike.
Everything else is stock. ‘It’s a French model from 1976 that I bought years ago,’ says Köpf. The green color is something of a mystery, though. ‘It seems to be original, but even Livio Lodi, the Ducati Museum curator, couldn’t find any information about it.’ Lodi told Köpf: ‘I’ve tried to speak with some Ducati workers from that time, but nobody remembers such a strange version of the 860.’ The color gives the bike a military aesthetic that suits the angular, utilitarian styling: can any readers shed some light on this machine?
Head over to Hermann Köpf’s website for more excellent photography, including some wonderful vintage motorcycle images from the Course de Côte de Barr races in France.