Friday, 30 October 2015
not a ducati tt replica.
so, i had a look at the 'off the shelf' ducati tt replica kits available, a verlichi replica frame, fairing, tank and seat, six grand, you have to supply your own swingarm, [also available as an 'optional' extra], electrics, forks, wheels, engine, carbs, blah, blah, blah, a lot of money for a 'replica' for a daft derbyshire lad like me. is there really a sexier motorcycle than one of the ducati pantah tt formula tt f1 / f2 race bikes? not in my eyes, mrs b bought me alan cathcarts book back in 1987, i've absorbed every detail of those bikes from that day. never able to afford the genuine article, [and, let's face it, you are talking a rare, highly strung machine that would probably break your heart and leave you queueing at the soup kitchen] after off-loading the 'false' triumph, the 'yellow-hammer' and the 900ss i would still have to put up a big slice of 'disposable' to afford the basic 'replica' kit. bollocks to that. i have the 'peaky blinder' sitting in the shed. a fully sorted, fast, good handling machine. i strip off the tank, fairing and seat and sit looking at the bare-bones of the machine. i can make a tt 'look-a-likey' bike out of this bike. the air-box is the first thing to bite the dust. a couple of ram-air filters give me loads of room. the bike is off up to sunny hull for ducati forum member chad to work his magic on a one-off aluminium tank. [this is a 750sie fuel injection bike, i need to get a fuel regulator and fuel pump installed somewhere [the reg and fuel pump are located in the tank on the ie series supersports] and the ecu unit and battery mounted, what looks like a relatively easy cosmetic make-over turns into a proper challenge] i need a two-into-one exhaust too, running up the left hand side of the bike, got to remember that i need a sidestand, another problem.....just look at the picture of the bike from the r/h side, can you imagine obstructing that view with a silencer? nah. the finished bike is in my minds eye, a ducati tt f1 fairing, [just the top half mind you, why block that view of the engine?] a tt f2 seat, [probably cut down a tad] matt black paint, rattle can of course, get my mate roy to make me up some white number boards and some cheeky-as-fuck retro stickers, the pantah '81,82, 83 world champion', verlichi, 'battle of the twins' crossed piston red and whites. yeah baby, not a replica, just the loveless take on a classic race bike, lets face it, the formula one, classic tt, suzuki 'xr69' race bikes are all sixteen valve bandit engines or gixxer motors not the original old eight-valvers based on the gs thousand, andy molnar runs eight-valve 'manx' engines in his bikes not some crusty old fifties, manx two-valve, chain primary clunker. so fuck it, i'm building a bike as a nod to the legendary ducati tt race bikes, my bike is originally descended from the pantah, [yes, yes, yes, i know the rear head on the pantah was originally the other way around, give me a break!] it's a two-valve desmo, the frame isn't a direct copy, the wheels are seventeen-inch etc, etc, but, like i said, it's not a tt replica........ [so, do i go the whole hog and put lights on it like an endurance racer or stick a barely legal / daytime mot on it and enjoy the thrill of racing home from the local bike nights on those far away, long, summer nights.............]