In 1971, while developing the 500 GP racing version, Ducati decided to launch a road version of its racing twin cylinder bike.
The move became clear when the managers of Ducati realized that the two-wheel market was shifting fast towards the sport bike category. European and Japanese multi-cylinder bikes (the latter specifically triggering a true “invasion” on the European market) became the most demanded ones: the market kept changing and motorcycles moved from being an everyday-use object to a “status symbol” in its own right. The oil market crisis had a part in this, and the austerity measures introduced in the 70s caused a steep change in the use of motorcycles as cheaper means of transportation.
Ducati had only manufactured single-cylinder bikes with a maximum power of 450 cc, which could not compete against multi-cylinder sport bikes. It was by combining the experience in 500 GP that the Borgo Panigale brand decided to develop and produce its first sport bike.
The first sketches for the 750 GT were made by Taglioni in 1970; in the winter of the same year the first prototype was ready. Initially conceived with large front drum brakes, Taglioni later opted for a single-disc front braking system, which ensured a safer performance. Actually the first batches were not a success, possibly because the bike was equipped with a pedal ignition, which was not ideal for a bike with such a powerful engine. Nevertheless, the fate of Ducati’s first twin-cylinder changed drastically for the better in 1972, when Smart and Spaggiari won the 200 Miglia di Imola riding two racing bikes made from the 750 GT; these bikes were fitted with a desmodromic system, which was actually not included in the road version of the 750. This was why, one year after Imola, Ducati launched its first road twin-cylinder equipped with a desmodromic system, the 750 Supersport Desmo .