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Discussion Starter #1
I have several Elites for restoration and i am slowly collecting bits and info. One small problem i cant pin down is the paint on the tank. Some are Garnet and gold, some garnet and silver and some garnet and chrome.
As far as i can tell the Garnet and Gold is a 175 scheme, the 200 garnet and silver is mototrans and the chrome is Ducati 200 ?
I am told the large flared mudguards are 200 Elite and the skinny mudguards are 200SS. Twin exhaust are Elite , single SS. All the reference books show restored models so you cant count on them being right. #Original brochures show mostly pencil drawings so you cant tell silver from chrome.



This one iwill probably break for spares as its a mototrans and not worth restoring although it does have new wheels. The engine and frame a both MD numbers and the tank has the filler at the front.



This one is Italian and frame and engine numbers are both DM200E so correct and yet the paint looks original and with a gold tank flash, that would make it a 175 so something odd there.



This one is also DM200E and has borrani rims etc...and a silver tank flash although as it has a black frame its obviously been repainted.
I have investigated under the paint on the tanks and all three show no signs of ever being chromed.

Now the problem is....to be worth restoring in the UK you can forget mototrans so the white one is out. The Red and Silver one has the wrong log book and its imposable to get that put right in the UK so it will always be registered as 1975 ( its import date) so that makes it not worth restoring either unless i can find a frame for it and get it period registered. ( 1960) ish. the Red and Gold one is correct all round and worth some effort.............so anyone got a definitive tank colour/combo please :) fork leg and spring cover colour or polished and headlamp colour ?
I also have most of a 175 but that has Spanish numbers as well :-(
Its never easy this game is it :)
 

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What sort of frame number are you after for a 1960ish Elite.
I would guess in the 150--- series.
I may be able to help you out/ do an exchange of parts.
The Mototrans Elite may well be worth restoring as it looks like the late V5 Elite, with the 5-speed box. They were only made from 1967-1970.
Does it have an engine number in the 83--- or 84--- range?
I'm based in West London, so not far from you, I think.
Give me a call on 02085675903

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Jon
I don't have all the details as the bikes are in store in Norfolk at my brothers. I'm in Surrey near Boxhill.
The white mototrans has an engine number 62387 and frame 55218

The Red and gold has a frame no. DM200 157712

The Red silver has frame 155584 and engine157110.

My problem is the log book for the Red silver bike is stamped "assembled from parts" and imported 1975 so it has a 75 plate/N reg. I cant see anyway to get a period log book for this now as the "assembled from parts" has ..this cannot be removed from the log book written next to it, despite the fact that it was assembled from parts according to the guy that imported it but the engine and frame were the original bits. Obviously the value of a Elite registered in 1975 is going to be suspect.
I am hoping that a frame will turn up, maybe at Nettly Marsh next month. but i am in no hurry as i will do the Red Gold first.
I do have a spare set of DM200E crankcases but i dont know whether the mototrans parts will fit them...i might do a swop ?
I will keep your number and when i get nearer to doing something , give you a shout..
Thanks
Paddy

Any thoughts on the jelly mould tank with the filler at the front ?
 

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With numbers in the 155--- and 157--- series, your Italian Elites would appear to be from the mid 1960's.
They are probably B series motors, but it is hard to see in the photos.
The Mototrans machine has an engine number from a 200TS and a frame number from a 175TS both from about 1967.
The tank with the filler at the front looks very like a Mototrans tank, although they did not have the four wire clips for a tank pad.
The Elite frame that I have is from about 1959 or 1960 and has a 150--- number.
Finding good frames for these machines is getting quite hard now.
I would guess that some of the Mototrans internals will not fit the Italian cases.
The gearbox parts are slightly different if 4-speed and very different if 5-speed.
I have got quite a few 4-speed Italian gearbox parts if needed.

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The tank with the front filler has the wire clips. I do have another spare frame but i don't know if its a 175 or 200 as its up North but it is Spanish :) it might be the proper frame for the white one as both the rebuilds are just balanced together. The Red gold bike engine is just empty cases, i have the internals in a box but the crank is shot and a replacement might rule out an economical rebuild. Laceys want £550 for a replacement rod, pin and bearing.
 

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Nigel Lacey's Arrow rod kits are very high quality rods, primarily for racing use.
Depending what use you are going to put the bike to, a pattern rod may suffice.
Although not ideal, pattern rod kits are available for about £100.
It might get you out of trouble and save a bit on your restoration costs.

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I found this pic on the mototrans web site, 200- Elite -Julia



This would tie in with my white model re: tank and mudguards but as you say no wire loops.
All my rebuilds in the past have been desmo twins and Nigel started producing his own crank kits simply because the tolerances on the available replacements were so bad. Whether this applies to the singles i don't know.
Unfortunately i'm one of those people who only sees one way to do rebuilds and thats spot on :) which is always expensive. The heart of the whole bike is the crank so i don't think a £100 job would do me !
I need to work out a plan of attack
thanks for your help, my original question re: tank colours still stands if anyone van help ?
 

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Ducatipaddy - I'm trying to figure out how to post a pic, but my elite is unrestored and has maroon lacquer paint with chrome on the tank, skinny mudguards, double-silencer exhaust, black spring covers on the forks, fully shrouded rear shocks, gold frame, 4-speed "B" type engine. It was originally sold by Ghost Motorcycles in Port Washington, NY.

I'll see what I can do on the pics. I also have a lot of literature, manuals and parts books on the elites, which I can provide copies of if you would like. A lot of it is in black and white, but some is in color.

I have also seen elites in blue (I think the same kingfisher blue as some of the Dianas) with chrome on the tank and the large mudguards.

If I can't get the pics to post, send me an e-mail at [email protected] and I'll send the pics by e-mail.

Thanks,

Sean

P.S. Just my opinion, but I would say any elite, whether Spanish or Italian, and even if assembled from parts or registered as a '75, is worth restoring.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Sean
That looks exactly how i would expect an Elite to look. Certainly the black fork shrouds are interesting.
I hate to think how much it would cost to get any of my tanks built up with Nickel plate and polished to take chrome !!
strange you should mention Blue as i found this today, whether its an original colour i dont know but its not listed in any of my books as an option..





we need an Elite thread :)
 

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Thanks Sean
That looks exactly how i would expect an Elite to look. Certainly the black fork shrouds are interesting.
I hate to think how much it would cost to get any of my tanks built up with Nickel plate and polished to take chrome !!
strange you should mention Blue as i found this today, whether its an original colour i dont know but its not listed in any of my books as an option..





we need an Elite thread :)
My guess is that blue bike just represents a poor choice by the owner...

I wouldn't discount nor break any of the mototrans bikes, they will follow the Italian bikes in value and desirability.
To a collector who cant find an Italian version a mototrans is better than no bike at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bottom line is......... it would take a lot more money to restore for example the white bike at the beginning of this thread than it would be worth.
The white one cost me £2k with a load of spares, there is a fully restored mototrans on Ebay that has been re listed several times for £3k and it dosnt sell. that is the real problem. If you could pick the restoration jobs up for £750 which is what they are really worth you might stand a chance of making a few bob.

DUCATI CAFE RACER 1965 200cc, E.Sussex | eBay
 

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Bottom line is......... it would take a lot more money to restore for example the white bike at the beginning of this thread than it would be worth.
You've just described 99% of the vehicles being restored right now. It's rare that a restoration makes financial sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You've just described 99% of the vehicles being restored right now. It's rare that a restoration makes financial sense.
You are right but i come from the world of twins where you can still buy a 900SS for £10k and restored its worth £20k. It takes a bit of getting used to when things like a wheel builds and paintwork , shocks, upholstery, plating etc cost the same for a twin as a single but the end result is worth a fraction of the price :) As you say, its not about the money but i have three Elites and while i want to build one for myself where cost is not so important i need to be sensible with the others :)
 

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If it were me, I would sell one (probably the Mototrans) to help finance the restoration of one of the others (you might even make more parting it out than selling the whole), and then hang on to the third. One thing that surprises me is the value of the elites there in europe. A restored Italian elite went for over $13K, and a restored Mototrans elite went for around $8,900, on ebay here in the U.S. in the last year. My guess is that there are just more around there than here in the U.S., where they were likely viewed as beginner bikes and (mis)treated as such. In any event, let me know if you are looking for any period magazines, manuals, etc., for your restoration. I took a look at a magazine article from the Jan. 1965 edition of Motorcycle Mechanic last night, and the elite on the cover was the same scheme as mine, but with polished fork shrouds. With respect to the blue elites, apparently there were a few produced in blue as european models. I know Henry Hogben restored one in blue, which as far as I'm concerned says that it was a factory color. Henry knew his stuff. In any event, best of luck - you're very lucky to have 3 elites.
 

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Bottom line is......... it would take a lot more money to restore for example the white bike at the beginning of this thread than it would be worth.
The white one cost me £2k with a load of spares, there is a fully restored mototrans on Ebay that has been re listed several times for £3k and it dosnt sell. that is the real problem. If you could pick the restoration jobs up for £750 which is what they are really worth you might stand a chance of making a few bob.

DUCATI CAFE RACER 1965 200cc, E.Sussex | eBay
Come - on! The eBay example you site is a POS. even at US prices I wouldn't give much for that bike and I don't think anybody who knows these bikes on your side of the pond would either.

A nice restored elite would fetch 15 to 20 k here and you say you can restore one for around 7500? ( us dollars if I did my math right) that is a 100% return on investment - not too bad IMO...

Even if you break even at current prices the bike is worth keeping or restoring, the value of thes little guys is only going to go up.
 

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I have to agree with flynbulldog, the value of the bike on ebay is completely irrelevant to the value of a nice, restored elite, whether mototrans or ducati. That bike is a bitsa with all kinds of parts put together, some original/period and some not. It might be great to ride, but it's certainly not a collector bike. I think with an elite - or any other single, for that matter - a big part of the value is that it still has all the same parts it had when it came from the factory. Numbers matching, if you will. Throwing an engine, frame, headlight, fenders, wheels, clip-ons, gauges, carb and seat from different bikes together into one just isn't the same as restoring an original bike, and the value (or lack thereof) is reflected accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK that was a pretty poor example but i still doubt the prices !!

This one was sold to the US last year by the company who's website i run in the UK and it fetched £6.5k/$10k thats half your estimate of 15-$20k




Anyway, as has been said its not all about money :) I think i will restore the Red/Gold one and then i will have a clear idea of the cost involved for the other two. I do agree that as the Twin prices get out of reach of most people the Singles will only go up, As it happens i have some old docs for the Red/silver one and it sold in 2002 for exactly 1/10th of what i paid in 2012 so they are going up already :)
 
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