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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK some of you may have already seen most of this thread, it is on my website and has been an ongoing project for a year and a half. I am finally putting the finishing touches on it so I thought I'd post a condensed version of the restoration for my friends here on Ducati.ms. If you want to see the full story you can go to my website at 1970 Ducati Mark 3 Desmo There are also other older projects there to peruse if you've never seen them before.

This bike was one that I acquired when a friend of a friend had to start liquidating his assets. He had a barn full of motorcycles and I purchased all of the the Ducati bikes and parts. There are only 2 bikes that were rolling but I also got several engines, lots of body parts, and another frame. They've been stored in a couple of old barns deep in the woods in North Carolina for more than 30 years. Here we are taking the bikes out of the barn





 

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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This is the bike as I got it.




It was actually a real mess and although the engine turned over we would later find out that it was very worn out. The bike was probably under repair when it was parked and somebody just gave up on it, the bike had a very hard life.

Something had crawled up under the seat and died several years ago and turned into a mess of black goo. Some parts are original but as one might expect much has been changed over the years.

We had the bike stripped down and all of the parts sorted out in a couple of days. The engine came out and went to a machinist to be disassembled. it then came back to me to be vapor blasted and cleaned before the machine work and reassembly.

 

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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
A couple more days and we had the frame completely stripped and started work on the wheels. The bike had one early Ducati hub with a Borrani wheel and one later hub with an Akront wheel - none of which was correct for this bike. All of it had to come apart and we had to find a matching set of hubs and the correct steel wheels for this bike.



Candie enjoyed cutting the old spokes out and separating the wheels. ( remember, none of this is original so we weren't cutting anything that was important)



Everything was a grungy mess and the bike at this point is a puzzle of parts. I'd have to learn all about this particular model as I go.

 

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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
With some time at the vapor blaster and more time on the polishing wheel some of the parts started to come together.



About this time all of the engine parts arrived in the shop and I went to town making them look like new



I'll post just a couple of pics of the vapor blasting. There's more on my website if you want to see it.



 

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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
In the mean time we sent the frame out to be powder coated (yes I realize this is not concourse but it is beautiful and durable) We ran into a butcher powder coat shop - be careful who you do business with guys. We had to remove the parts from that shop and do some repair from their damage but in the end I found a great shop that did a fantastic job and the frame turned out looking as good as paint.



Chroming was another heroic effort and took more than 4 months, 4 different shipments and multiple lost parts before it was all sorted out. I ended up having to eat about $500 worth of lost parts, luckily I had most of it in my parts hoard. However the company did a show quality job so in the end I'm very happy with the outcome for the chrome. One of the things I love about this bike is the huge amount of polish and chrome.

Which brings me to the hardware. Most of the original hardware was long gone but some original parts remained. For those that have to be replaced I will use stainless fasteners of the correct style but for the originals that I want to save I had to figure out how to protect them after all of the plating was removed. We did some experimenting and found the best method I could perform in my shop is nickel plating. Zinc plating did not look correct and cad plating was wrong too. Nicklel looked the closest to original, it does not look like chrome but it looks like a fresh new part. We nicklel plated every nut, bolt, and washer that we could save.



 

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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Our next task was to lace and true the wheels, I used an early rear axle because I didn't have the correct spacer but once I find that part I'll change it out. For now we set about matching up all the correct parts for this bike. Of course I did replace the spokes with stainless parts. The original spokes were steel painted silver and they quickly flaked and began to rust. There are few exceptions that I will make to improve the bike but over-all I do want to keep this bike as it came from the factory.

You can see the bearing in the hubs, Every bearing in this bike was replaced with new German or Japanese high- quality parts.



 

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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Once the engine was done we strapped it to a cart, climbed up on a bench, and kicked it over. It started and ran on the very first kick! As the engine ran my machinist checked it over making sure everything worked as it should. We ran it a couple of times until we were satisfied that all was perfect. I then loaded it up and brought it home.


I didn't want to start assembling the frame until the engine was in, I find it easier to place the frame over the engine.



 

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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Once the engine was bolted in place then we could start the assembly and from here on out it was a matter of getting or finishing the restoration of all of the parts needed.





We finished restoring the wheels, slipped on a set of vintage style tires, and got the bike on its feet

 

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Thank you for taking the time and effort to post this, it is just what I need while holed up here waiting for parts for my own project that have disappeared into the coronavirus ether.
 

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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
With some research we realized that the fenders that were on the bike were not the originals and not correct for this bike - in fact I have to wonder if it was ever run with that rear fender because it didnt even bolt up correctly and the tail light bracket didn't bolt on. The fender wasn't drilled for it. Luckily I was able to order a reproduction rear fender from Italy, it was made to order and took several months but I did all of that before the country was shut down.

The front fender was not available but I did have a butchered example of the correct front fender. It was pretty straight but the front mounting bracket was gone and a makeshift steel strap was bolted to it. The Mark 3 has a unique front fender with a different bracket and a flared front edge. I found some reference photos and blew them up to 100% scale and then did some measurements and drew out a new template for the bracket. A friend put my drawing into a CAD program and laser cut a test piece from raw 14 gauge steel. I used my press and a bunch of odd steel pieces to form the bracket to precisely bend and fit the fender. I found some dome head aircraft rivets and cut them to the proper length. I was able to recreate the exact pattern for the inside riveting press




Here the bracket is bolted in place and a rivet set tool is used to back the domed head and the strike pulls it all together. After the riveting process the bracket fit is clean and solid. The fender was then shipped out to be chromed. The result was a beautiful and correct restored original fender



 

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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Skipping ahead a bit, you can see that I moved the bike to another room in the shop and put it on an assembly bench to free up my lift in the other room. Most of the controls and the fenders are mounted on the bike and its starting to come together.



I had gathered up reproductions of all of the switches and electrical components as all of the originals parts were toast. I'm not an electrical guy and really dont have much experience building wiring for motorcycles. luckily this bike is really rudimentary and has few components. But what it does have must be soldered together into the harness and that had me dreading this part of the build.



And here are the fuse board, distribution block, and headlight switch all soldered into the harness

 

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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
And here it is all stuffed into the headlight shell.



The cool thing is I have the original Aprilia sealed beam light and it all works. After one small adjustment to the wiring everything works and for a 6 volt system I'm quite pleased with how well it all works.
 

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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There were some delays and unforeseen needed fabrication over the next several weeks but the wiring and all of the cables finally came together and its starting to look like we may actually get this done soon. if you want to read more detail and see more pictures of the build go here: https://vintagedesmo.com/f/1970-ducati-mark-3-desmo




 

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Absolutely cracking work, and thanks for posting the write-up. Your vapour blasting is a real treat - and it's not something that I'm not normally a great fan of, but on this occasion (y). The shock bodies are especially .. revelatory!

Your nickel plating has turned out really well too. (Just for interest's sake, btw: when I did my 450 Scrambler, the plating company I used diagnosed the original finish as cadmium, and were able to reproduce it faithfully).

Love the photo of (I guess ?) Jake. He looks just like a happy father!

The paint job needs no comment from me ;) And much applause for your dedication on getting the front fender right ..

And so on, and so on ...:)
 

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Bon Vivant
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11,720 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I'm glad you popped over to the website and followed the full build. I've just finished updating the blog with pics of the bike fully dressed out and off the table. Yes originally the hardware would have had a cad plating but I've not been able to recreate it as it was back then. The modern kits seem to have a very different sheen that I don't like. The nickel doesn't sound like it would have the correct finish as most think it looks like a yellow tinted chrome but our results in my shop proved it to be the best match that we could manage for the original finish.
 
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