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DM 500 S Review 78 Ducati 500 S Desmo discussion forum:
DM 500 S Review

DM 500 S Review 
Brewster said 2003-02-04 08:07:23 
Owned an ex-race DM500S for about ten years.
Very very fast. Quite capable of 240kmph in race trim, matched with the Ducati frame, the faster she goes, the tighter she sits, the faster she goes...
Brembo twin front, single rear discs copied by Yamaha for their faster steeds for good reason. Never ever failed me.
Twin Staintune Conti copies make her go like the clappers & sound like sex on wheels.
Turns tighter than any other Duke of its era (mine´s a ´77)
Looonnnggg range gearbox will eat most 80´s Jappa sportsbikes for breakfast.
Electrics, electrics, electrics. Rip it all out and replace with solid state Bosch gear. Bosch 45 coils improve ignition to no end! Watch regulator, alternator and the reg/rect box, they´re all crap
Magnesium crankcases tend to get brittle when old and heated a few thousand times. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN ANYTHING!! esp oil filter cap.
Reputation: This bike has an evil rep due to a few things - 1.Taglioni didn´t like the parallel twin project and did it against his will on orders from management. He did however use this bike as a testbed for the semi-hemi desmodronic head concept, and my own fire-breathing race winner shows how good this logic was.
2.To rip the heads off a standard V-twin Duke, you need not drop the engine from the frame. On the paralleli bicylindri however, you must, leading to dislike and sloppy workmanship by mechanics and owners and therefore an undeserved reputation of unreliability.
3. Electrics are fragile and lead to a deserved reputation of unreliability.
4. Cheaper Japanese multis of the era decimated sales of all but V-twin Dukes sought by die-hards.

Tips for happy motoring:
1. Get a really good battery
2. Get a really good regulator/rectifier and have a competent sparkie install it.
3. Get him to rip out as much of the original wiring as possible and replace with quality Bosch equipment.

For a firebreather (or, how to embarass ´86 GSXR 750s):

1. Staintune pipes, I prefer the Conti copy for authentic lines
2. Bore out Del´Orto carbs by about 3-4mm
3. Ram-flo single element twin throat filter (modified car model)
4. Re-jet carbs
5. Bosch 45 Coils
6. Baffles in sump to stabilize oil-flow
7. Remote oil cooler
8. Stiffen Clutch springs
9. Yamaha Factory Works rear shocks (a´la SRX 600)
10. Progressive Fork Springs & steering damper

This setup will turn your sedate and obscure little commuter into the tightest, loudesd, baddest 500 on the block. Cafe racer trim looks good. Don´t forget the Old Italian Bloke Who Wants to Mount and Reminice Repellant if you park in Melbourne.
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