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Where are all the Ducati Bevel Twins?

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TooJuicy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 17:55
I confess in the 1970s I was a Ducati 860/900 fan - but never owned one. Concerns on the Ducati's reliability drove me instead into a 25-year long affair with a Kawasaki Z1.

My question is, where are all those gorgeous Bevel Twin bikes? I've pounded the highways of Europe for 15 years covering tens of thousands of miles and seen not one. Do they still go?

I was lucky enough to meet my hero, I got to ride my brother's Ducati Darmah SS once. Open pipes. Fab U Lus.

Tony
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kateguy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kateguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 18:14
Use mine loads hon...done rallies...1000 Bikes...the Manx....
Mine is a black n gold 900ss....these were built in the raceshop at Bologna....early bevels used to do the big ends fairly early on in their lives....later ones benefit from a bigger crankpin...
Mine is also desmo...early 860 had hairpin valve springs.....
My bike has done nearly 40,000 miles on its original crank n rods....it is fast and incredibly smooth at speed...the only failures I've had in 15,000 miles are 2 gearchange return springs....an easier job on a duke than a guzzi....
Poeple often ask which I prefer...my Mk1 Le Mans or me duke....if I needed to ride across the world it would be my Lemon...cos its tough as old boots.....but for sheer riding pleasure...tis the duke anyday...and twice on sundays.....
Moto Guzzi Club GB.....
850 LE MANS...1 & 2....V7 Loop Frame..V7 Sport replica...Guzzi Daytona...Ducati 900ss Bevel not belt.....Laverda 3C ....and an MZ...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tarquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 18:24
The lad in the shed on here has exactly the same bike in his garage Kate.

Lovely bikes.
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Dave P. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave P. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 19:04
I remember back in the mid-seventies "Kitsons'Motorcycles"on Westgate Road in Newcastle used to stock new Ducatis.I used to look at them longingly.The mk3 and desmo singles and of course the 750 twins.I thought I'd never have one.............and I was right,I've still never owned one.

Edited by Dave P. - 13 Mar 2018 at 05:41

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ranton_rambler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 19:36
My colleague has one. It looks like a 900SS but it's not. Has electric start but I can't remember the model.
I have a 175 bevel OHC single all in bits, but progressing.....
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kateguy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kateguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 20:07
900 S2 Ian....totally different frame to my SS...I had one...bit of a lame duck compared to my SS....
Moto Guzzi Club GB.....
850 LE MANS...1 & 2....V7 Loop Frame..V7 Sport replica...Guzzi Daytona...Ducati 900ss Bevel not belt.....Laverda 3C ....and an MZ...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oldrat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 20:10
I’m a tad jealous, I’d love to have something like that in the garage Kate.

I’ve just got hold of Ian Falloons book ‘Ducati bevels - Authenticity and restoration guide’ to familiarise myself more with the models. You never know eh


Roundcases are fetching silly money and the later square case models are steadily going the same way,. Made in Italy Motorcycles Stowmarket, will build you a new 900ss from new old stock for £38k



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ranton_rambler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 20:14
Originally posted by kateguy kateguy wrote:

900 S2 Ian....totally different frame to my SS...I had one...bit of a lame duck compared to my SS....

He's done a "look-a-like" job on it. Heck of a lot cheaper than the real thing!
I think it may be a Darmah, but I'll have to ask next time I'm over in Wrexham.
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TooJuicy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TooJuicy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 20:36
Originally posted by kateguy kateguy wrote:

Use mine loads hon...done rallies...1000 Bikes...the Manx....
Mine is a black n gold 900ss.....


Darn it. The devil inside is waking up.

I'd be satisfied with a (900) Darmah SS like my brother's.

Back then he sold after about a year (bought new), a cylinder barrel gasket was beginning to fail. It seemed an almost universal issue back in the early 80s.

Still fancy one. If the right one came along I could do something silly.

Tony
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TooJuicy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 20:48
When I say my brother sold the Darmah perhaps I can mention he replaced it with a new Harris Magnum. With a Honda engine if my memory serves me.

I had moved out of family home by then so saw the Harris only a couple of time, I remember it looked fantastic with a big humpy alloy tank. Brothers!!

Tony
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kateguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 21:56
Originally posted by TooJuicy TooJuicy wrote:

Originally posted by kateguy kateguy wrote:

Use mine loads hon...done rallies...1000 Bikes...the Manx....
Mine is a black n gold 900ss.....


Darn it. The devil inside is waking up.

I'd be satisfied with a (900) Darmah SS like my brother's.

Back then he sold after about a year (bought new), a cylinder barrel gasket was beginning to fail. It seemed an almost universal issue back in the early 80s.

Still fancy one. If the right one came along I could do something silly.

Tony


Thats the thing...aint no gaskets....O rings maybe....I just mop a bit of oil up...why would you mess with a perfectly good motor...
Moto Guzzi Club GB.....
850 LE MANS...1 & 2....V7 Loop Frame..V7 Sport replica...Guzzi Daytona...Ducati 900ss Bevel not belt.....Laverda 3C ....and an MZ...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Glawster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2018 at 10:15
I had a brand new 900GTS in 1978, cost £1,299 as it was the last Ducati JK Hirst in Bradford sold.  I absolutely loved it, so when I found a non running project 900GTS in 2013 I had to have it.
6 months intensive work resulted in really nice bike.  Better than the original as it has Sachse ignition and UK paint and chrome.  I covered 3,500 miles on it, but then got the itch to own a V7 Sport.  This meant I reluctantly had to sell it.  Fantastic bike with an incredibly smooth engine, probably better suited to a 60 year old than an SS!
On the downside the parts are eye wateringly expensive and reliability is suspect.  I find that Guzzis are more compatible with my level of technical competence!  But I do miss that Bevel twin.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2018 at 11:39
The bevel twins were a wonderful piece of engineering, but heavily dependent on shimming, like all the Ducatis of the period.
I was once tasked with building a 750 Sport engine from two damaged ones and it was a steep learning curve. Everything, gearbox, crankshaft, meshing of the bevels, centering of the rockers on cams and valve stems relies on shims and is very time consuming to set up properly.
A lot of Ducati dealers quickly lost the workshop talent to do this in a reasonable amount of time and gave up on them. If properly assembled they're bullet-proof, if not, no end of trouble.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TooJuicy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2018 at 13:56
Originally posted by Glawster Glawster wrote:

This meant I reluctantly had to sell it. ... Fantastic bike with an incredibly smooth engine, probably better suited to a 60 year old than an SS!

Darn it, looks like I missed that opportunity.

My thinking too, about usability of a Darmah or GTS for a 60 year old. Plus most of my riding is with a pillion.


Originally posted by jpc jpc wrote:

...if not, no end of trouble.

La La La, La La La, can't hear you....?!


Tony
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2018 at 14:43
La La La, La La La, can't hear you....?!  

That's the spirit !!  Thumbs Up
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