Ducati 750S Dark. 2002. Dark and Delicious…Review

Recently I enjoyed a few miles riding a Ducati 2002 750S Dark and here are my impressions: Well this is a very petite, pure sporting bike. A bike where anything that doesn’t materially contribute to how it stops, goes and handles basically isn’t there!

The lithe and compact 750S

Pure Design

This Ducati has raw purity lacking on many modern sports-bikes. The riding position is best described as compact. This is especially so for somebody like me who is a little on the short and rotund side! You sit hunched over the controls in a classic ‘racing’ pose.

Once underway the 750 motor feels lively and responsive, light to the touch. The engine was not hugely powerful at 70 bhp, but does have enough grunt to raise a smile and provide brisk performance. The note from the official Ducati aftermarket pipes is fabulous too. This serves to really eggs you on to give the bike plenty of throttle.

The official aftermarket pipe sounds fantastic

The ride comfort isn’t great: The suspension is so stiff that if you were to ride over a coin it would be immediately obvious if it was sitting heads or tails up! However the rapier like precision through bends makes that a price worth paying. I suspect that on more bumpy roads the Duke could be a little more difficult to keep in shape.

Well matched to the Performance

Brakes are sharp and effective. They are well matched in stopping power to the level of performance that is available.
So overall the Ducati 750S offers a true sporting experience in a more traditional sense. You feel intimately involved with the bike rather than the mildly uncomfortable sensation of being hurled towards the horizon on the back of NASA rocket that some of the more extreme performance bikes offer now. Mind you that feeling is quite a laugh too!

For me I would appreciate a slightly roomier riding position and lower seat height, but the 750S is a cracking fun bike.

Words and Pictures: Tony Donnelly