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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, continuing to assess my basket case. Reading in Ian Falloon’s Standard catalog, he says “while the 450 Mark 3 received a speedometer and tachometer mounted on the top triple clamp from 1969, ...”. He also notes the change form Veglia to CEV instruments for 1969. Mine has the expected CEV speedometer, but mounted in the headlight nacelle, not on the top triple clamp. The headlight housing is also painted silver, not chromed as one would expect in a Desmo.

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Is this sort of variation to be inspected or should I consider this a symptom of 20-some years as a basket case?

But also check out the neat Tomaselli clip-one and levers!

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And yet, on the top fork yoke, there is the bottom half of a mount for 7/8” handlebars! One of the road tests makes note of uncomfortable low “handlebars“ on the US 450 Mark 3 they tested. Personally I’d prefer upright bars if it was historically correct.

Any thoughts from the collective wisdom and experience of the list?
 

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Bon Vivant
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Headlight is off an earlier bike and probably not correct for your bike. Yours would not have the little key location on the right or the indicator light configuration of that light. CEV or Veglia speedo could be correct and it would be in the headlight for 1969. The twin instrument cups didnt come til mid 1970 so I doubt your would have had the cups. Mine has a veglia speedo and most Mark3's that I've seen in the headlight have veglia. CEV would have been in the later bikes with twin cups, but either speedo fitted is not impossible

The top triple could be correct, most of the US bikes did have handlebars while most Euro bikes had clip-ons. You could build the bike either way and be correct. The Tommaselli clip-ons and levers are aftermarket and not correct for this bike. Since you want higher bars I'd keep the triple clamp that you have (do you have the upper bar clamp?) and mount a set of bars. You will have to find a set of headlight ears that have not been chopped to fit clip-ons once you remove them. I might have both things for you, I'd have to check my stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
here ya go, this is what it should look like:

Beautiful! Much better on my wrists, too. I seem to remember an extra headlight ear or maybe two in the box of loose parts I got with the bike. I’ll check tomorrow. Pretty sure I’ll need the gauge cups though. How does one locate stuff like that?
 

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Bon Vivant
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As just sort of a guide to go by when searching for parts, most widecase singles share frame, suspension, and wheel component compatibility although different bikes had specific parts installed .So you may be able to find the parts you need off a different bike. And even though frames all look the same shape they all had slight differences. A good fabricator can make any frame work for any model if he has the correct specifications.

As far as the engines go 250 and 350 shared many parts but 450s are unique for most of the engine even though parts may look the same. Engine covers are generally all the same across the widecase range. RT 450 desmo engines and heads are more plentiful in the US since dirtbikes were hugely popular in the early 70's but the heads are unique with its compression release which was not present on the streetbikes. Make sure you dont fit an RT head on your Mark 3.
 

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Beautiful! Much better on my wrists, too. I seem to remember an extra headlight ear or maybe two in the box of loose parts I got with the bike. I’ll check tomorrow. Pretty sure I’ll need the gauge cups though. How does one locate stuff like that?
Flynbulldog is properly set up for these restorations and has the accumulated knowledge that comes from numerous restos. Just get him to do the job! I haven't met anyone yet who got their first one done perfectly as it is all part of the learning curve. Perhaps get a cheaper bike to do first and learn from that if restoring is your goal. Good luck. Ian
 

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Bon Vivant
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Flynbulldog is properly set up for these restorations and has the accumulated knowledge that comes from numerous restos. Just get him to do the job! I haven't met anyone yet who got their first one done perfectly as it is all part of the learning curve. Perhaps get a cheaper bike to do first and learn from that if restoring is your goal. Good luck. Ian
Thanks Mac I really appreciate the confidence. Unfortunately it's just me and I'm booked out for a couple of years right now. I have a 750 GT going on the lift in just a couple of weeks and 2 more singles after that. But I can help with smaller jobs like vapor blasting.
 

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Wide case MkIII DESMO ANY size - should have the Chrome Headlight bucket, gauge cans, tank scallop, F & R fenders, and occasionally the chain guard (although thats very iffy, black is fine) Those bars arent standard, but they'll work for now as they are period correct aftermarket upgrades, and much nicer that the heavy stock clip ons!! You'll find MANY discrepancies and incorrect "facts" in any of Falloons publications - so dont go by those as Gospel - Ducati (like many other European motorcycle manufacturers of the 60's and 70's,) would use parts from whatever place had them, and theres not a "For sure" exact word on which gauges your bike came with, or dimmer switch, tail light, brake light switch, etc - if CEV had a batch to supply them with, the line used those for a few weeks or months, when they ran low you may have gotten Veglia or Aprilia electrics, etc .... Dont sweat those type details - ( I have an all original non molested 1970 MkIII Desmo 350 here with your same Headlight (only that speedo is for sure like from a 71-74, you have there, but not a big problem)
 

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Bon Vivant
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There's no doubt that Italian bikes in the early days could have variations, and we all know that Ian's books can't cover every contingency for those variations, but the fact is the bikes were fairly conforming and the Fallon books cover the most typical and most likely assembly of these bikes. I'm sure that there are going to be original examples here and there that dont follow every detail of the average bike detailed in his books but If you have to start from a box of parts your best bet is to follow a resource like the Fallon books. They are accepted examples and following the book does give one a set of documentation to back up his assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the perspective, Mad_duk_man. Can you tell me more about the speedometer? It is clearly a CEV, which I expected on a 69. Are the speedometer’s that go in the handlebar cups a different size or otherwise different than the ones that go in the headlight nacelle? I sort of assumed it was the same part, and just a matter of where it was mounted.
 
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