250 narrow case racebike build - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 2013, 5:10 pm Thread Starter
Bon Vivant
 
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250 narrow case racebike build

About 2 years ago a friend of mine started building and racing vintage Ducatis. He built a hell of a bike and convinced me that I needed to come racing with him.

He found a burned-out long forgotten old barn full of scramblers and parts in Boulder and struck a deal with the owner for the whole lot.
The barn and the bikes were literally half burned to the ground and the other half was covered in horse-shit.

I don't know how he did it but he talked me into buying one of the 3 bikes along with a spare engine. It was a 65 250 scambler.
Of what was left I'm not sure how much of it was original but it didn't matter much because this was going to be my vintage racer.
It had a set of 35mm Marzocchi forks and since I couldn't find a set of GP Ceriani forks these were the next best thing.
The forks the frame and the engine were going to be all I would use from the bike I rolled home.
I didn't get a tank or seat.

You can see that the entire bike was involved in the barn fire. But even worse was the putrid smell of livestock shit that filled my garage for about a month after the bike got there.









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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 2013, 5:21 pm Thread Starter
Bon Vivant
 
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The tear-down and inventory is always interesting. We always think there's more here we can use than there really is.

I ended up with a couple of sets of heads and quite a bit of spare parts.







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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 2013, 5:36 pm
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Dag nabbit, every time I start thinking of selling my spare narrowcase stuff, somebody posts up a narrowcase racebike project and I start thinking "hey, maybe I should build a racebike..."

Looks like a fun project, I'll be following along and living vicariously through you on it!

-Craig
1991 851 Strada
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 2013, 5:42 pm Thread Starter
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I can't remember the exact sequence of the build but it seems that Candie and I attacked everything at once.
Candie always helps me with these bike builds and I think I'd go crazy if she wasn't here to keep me calm when things go to shit.

The engine took a while but we went for all of the hop-up parts to try and keep this bike competitive with the Hondas in AHRMA.

Arias 12.5:1 piston
DLC coated wristpin
Fully ported and flowed head by master head designer Jim Comstock
Big stainless valves with new custom made seats
Full roller treatment to the rocker pins
Ditched the hairpin springs for coils and titanium retainers
Full race cam
No flywheel, no stator, lightened clutch basket with a higher primary drive ratio
We will run points through a dyna coil with total loss electrics
36mm Delorto PHF carb with a hand made manifold (thanks Dan!) and Melossi venturi
I made the exhaust system from stainless with parts sourced from Cone Engineering









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Last edited by flynbulldog; Aug 8th, 2013 at 8:56 pm.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 2013, 6:34 pm Thread Starter
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Went a little crazy with the build, replaced every single bearing with very hard to source quality German bearings,
I even found a much more beefy gear selector fork from a 450 desmo.

The wheels were one of the big sticking points and I ended up buying several sets of wheels and rims to find just the right set for this bike.
I also had a few sets of front brake drums to choose from. The second drum you see on the bench is a twin leading shoe from a Suzuki Titan 500.

I used the stock rear wheel hub and brake but for the front I decided on a Suzuki water buffalo 4-leading shoe drum unit that was languishing on my Norton Atlas cafe project.
(The Norton is getting a massive 4 leading drum from a Yamaha factory TD race bike.)
You can see that the backing plates and even a set of shoes for the Suzuki have been lightened...

WM3 shouldered alloy rim for the Rear and WM2 for the Front. Do you know how hard it is to find a decent WM2 shouldered rim? It took me at least six months to find a good one!

Rebuilding the wheels and brakes was another project all in itself.

My good buddy Dan came over to help me with the lacing and truing.

I did most of the wheel building, Dan made sure it was all perfect. (and then it went to Woodys wheels and was rechecked when I got the tires mounted)









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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 2013, 6:53 pm Thread Starter
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As usual with a build like this parts were sourced from all over the world including England, Australia, Germany, Italy and not much from the USA.

I found a correct size smooth top triple after a couple of wrong parts showed up at my door all the way from England and I started the fork build.

The forks are completely stock with the exception of a set of springs for a 190 lb rider.

Then it was time to start mocking up the bike before paint...









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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 2013, 7:58 pm Thread Starter
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The frame got a little attention too. One of the tricks from the early days was to use a swingarm pin from a widecase duc and build a bracket to hold the pin from the outside making the swing arm mount much more stable.

I also welded reinforcements to the rear motor mount, the rear grab rail (I was surprised that this one wasn't already broken), and the rear axle mount.
All of these places have shown to be weak points for the narrow case ducatis.

I got a set of rear-sets from England and used a gear selector arm from a 900 Monster









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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 2013, 8:17 pm Thread Starter
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Instead of the standard vic camp race tank and fairings I decided to make this bike a little different from the other Ducati racers I usually see.

I love the race bikes of the mid to late fifties and the 200 Elite has always held a spot in my heart.
So this bike is going to be an Elite look-alike racebike.
The tank and some of the other fiberglass bodywork is from Airtech.
They coated the tank for ethanol and from reports from others that I know the coating is holding up fine after a few years of use.
I was very pleased at the high quality of the Airtech parts.

These are typical Ducati single racebikes:





Beautiful! Although I'd love to have a bike like these it's not what I wanted this time around.
Here are some pics I used for inspiration:






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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 2013, 8:40 pm Thread Starter
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With the majority of the mock-up done and the frame mods behind me it was time for paint.

There's an amazing powdercoating shop near me that can do paint-quality powder finishes and they are quite good at metallics and matching.
I had them mix up a special gold color in exactly the shade I wanted and dropped off the frame.
Meanwhile I took the Glass tank to a place up north that specializes in chrome-like finishes on non-metal parts.

Candie picked a color that comes close to the candy burgundy color of the stock Elite and I went to work on the parts I had on hand.

I painted all of the parts on this bike myself in my back yard.

When I got the tank back from Xtreme chrome I spent quite a bit of time (and money on materials) masking and painting the fairly complicated scheme on the tank only to find that the chrome all peeled off with the masking tape.
I took the tank back and had it refinished a second time and this time everything worked as it should and I had no problems with the chrome.
I have to say the finish is beautiful.









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Last edited by flynbulldog; Aug 9th, 2013 at 12:55 am.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 2013, 8:53 pm Thread Starter
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I've been slowly putting the finished frame together over the last 5 months or so and the tank took about 6 or 7 months to finalize because of the chrome fiasco.

I actually just finished the paintwork today and put the bike together.

As usual the bike is about 90% there but there are still a lot of last details to finish.
I still have to make the clutch and throttle cable.
I'm waiting on some brackets and switches
I have to set the points and do some very minor wiring
and I have to finish the fuel lines.

I haven't started the bike yet but here it is as it sits today, This is my Ducati Elite racer:









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Last edited by flynbulldog; Aug 9th, 2013 at 12:59 am.
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