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OSSY

As someome who raced a 500 Triumph in the early '70's in the UK I'm thoroughly enjoying your posts.
Don't get sidetracked, stay on the racing line.
Flyn... personal attacks are prohibited by the rules of this forum.. live and let live.
If you don't like it, don't read it.

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OSSY

As someome who raced a 500 Triumph in the early '70's in the UK I'm thoroughly enjoying your posts.
Don't get sidetracked, stay on the racing line.
Flyn... personal attacks are prohibited by the rules of this forum.. live and let live.
If you don't like it, don't read it................................................................................. - Davy - Thanks for the inspiration, i just dont understand it with some Yanks, if its got wheels some of em seem to become a breed of their own. Peoples opinions vary, which can be both good & bad, all i am trying to do is tell a story about when things were never taken for granted , like they seem to be today. Otherwise known as the Good Old Days or the Golden Days in Racing, before the 2 strokes took over - Good... YES -
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but Bloody Hard Work.- .....................................2 Images one is the 1st 125 Desmo Proto in 1957 with its Cast Mag Crankcases from Ducatis 125 Grand Prix proddie Racer. - 5 speed.......... The other is after 2 yrs Development in 1959 with its own Barconi Crankcases with Cassette 6 speed Gearbox of which only 5 were made !. Its Not the Same Animal plus also in 1959 Taglioni was tagging 2 125s together for a 250cc Desmo Parallel Twin their Crankshafts joined by a HIRTH Coupling . But best all were two English prospective Customers - one had been there already on behalf of his son Mike Hailwood for a 125 Desmo for 1959 & to see how the 250cc Twin was shaping up for 1960.......... The other Customer did not need an invitation, as his name was GOD in Italy at that time known as Big John Surtees - MV Agustas current 350 /500cc World Champion, who was looking to run his own bike Team back in the UK & known as JSDs an abbreviation for John Surtees Ducati, providing the 250cc Twin was a success after Testing one at Imola ASAP .............. Continued !
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....................-Continued

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Come in Spinner :)
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I often wonder how I managed to find all the bits to build this in the days before internet, email and cell phones.

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Imagine actually talking to actual people.
........................HI Davy, Thats what i mean by takin things for granted in the world of today, in a time of instant communication, when if you needed to do it in the past, we used to have to write things called letters over any distance & just hope you got a reply, but as you say the internet is brilliant for that, if its used for the right reasons, but again as you say the best way is face to face just talking, which i miss most of all,. By the way, i like your pre 63 unit Triumph, without doubt i personally thought they were the best of the Brit Twins & all the 500 & 650s were mainly born off the backs of good speed / racin Heritages,..... To get a Cast iron Thunderbird Tuned Engine to do over 200 in the mid 50s was quite an achievement for the time................ If you don't mind me asking, where in Oz are you, plus where in the UK are you originally from ?
P.S By the way - Local bike Caffs still exist where we live & we meet up once a week, just to talk about all things bikes & the ongoing projects we are up to, for just help & advise, over a brew of old English tea !
 

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Oz

I was born in Donny and have lived in Qld for 47 years.
I'm up north in the hot tropics.
My Triumph was originally a unit 1960 T100A which I converted to Daytona spec.
I still have mates here (all younger than me) who build and pretend race to the pubs every Sunday.
One of the mates just found himself a Super Rocket cafe racer complete with a Goldie alloy tank.
Happy days still. :)
 

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Tell you a little story..
I worked in a large factory in late 60's and a workmate who owned a beautiful Goldie gave me a short stainless open megaphone one day.
Now a stainless mega back then was something a bit exotic and I fitted a pair of siamese pipes to the Trumpy so I could deafen the neighborhood with it (was only 19)
Anyway a few weeks later another bloke asked if I wanted the other one?.. the other one?
Of course I did, and he gave me an address, which I went to that night, knocked on the door and asked the bloke there did he have a stainless mega..
He turned white as a ghost, ran inside, came out with a spanner and dived under his car (a ford pop special with a glass fiber sports body) and came up with the matching mega which he thrust into my arms then disappeared back into his flat and closed the door leaving me a bit stunned at his behaviour.
Anyway I fitted them both and for a long time after enjoyed fabulous pipe music from that bike.
Only years later did I learn those mega's had been stolen from Percy Taits works 500 parts stock at the IOM TT. :)
 

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Tell you a little story..
I worked in a large factory in late 60's and a workmate who owned a beautiful Goldie gave me a short stainless open megaphone one day.
Now a stainless mega back then was something a bit exotic and I fitted a pair of siamese pipes to the Trumpy so I could deafen the neighborhood with it (was only 19)
Anyway a few weeks later another bloke asked if I wanted the other one?.. the other one?
Of course I did, and he gave me an address, which I went to that night, knocked on the door and asked the bloke there did he have a stainless mega..
He turned white as a ghost, ran inside, came out with a spanner and dived under his car (a ford pop special with a glass fiber sports body) and came up with the matching mega which he thrust into my arms then disappeared back into his flat and closed the door leaving me a bit stunned at his behaviour.
Anyway I fitted them both and for a long time after enjoyed fabulous pipe music from that bike.
Only years later did I learn those mega's had been stolen from Percy Taits works 500 parts stock at the IOM TT. :)
Davey, Thats a classic, i finished up with a Lucas BTH Magneto apparently gathered in the same way, but not much good to me at the time. which i sold for some much needed readies, This was taken a couple of years ago at our local Caf, the bike propped against the wall was my old T100 smoker
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that i was running at the time
 

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Here's a picture of me, me mate Albert and Dad putting my bike shed together so I didn't have to work on it in mum's kitchen any more.
Probably taken about 1970 in the winter as the poplars are bare of leaves.
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Me and Albert are still at it nearly 50 years later.
Still building and riding bikes and bullshiting one another on the other side of the world.
And as you can see we like brakes.
The old bugger can still ride too.. on the way home I was doing over 100 on that Daytona and he passed me on the SR like I was standing still... smart arse :)

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Nice Bikes Davy,
If i fast forward to the 1990s some of the old British tackle, started to attract big money, why i dont know other than Triumph, Norton & the bigger BSAs most everything else was crap when it was new, even down to GPO specials such as Bantam 2 strokes,
So i thought, i will get on the band waggon whilst it lasted & see if there is money to be made. I was on with a custom job at the time for a friend of a friend who was an ex Speedway rider who had always wanted a long track US Triumph Styled dirt bike since he had been over & watched it whilst working there years ago plus he wanted it
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for road use as well.
Not really my cup of tea, but hey it was a bike & it was what he was in to & it was horses for courses & was something different for me, the engine & box were T40 based 750,but not fully race tuned, in his brief ,which included its colour & daylight use only
 

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Sorry for not getting back to you - Unfortunately not. it was sold to move up to a 250cc Desmo Parallel twin from 1960 - The 1959 125 Desmo D1 is now in a collectors hands in SW England, the only other is in Ducati's Museum in Bologna no D4 ex Eric Offenstadt (see top photo ) But its Engine is in need of restoration. The one i had i learnt later it was ex Mike Hailwood & he won the Ulster GP with it in 1959............ I sold it in 1963 & is in exactly the same condition today ( see bottom photo ) If you look closer, there are 2 distinct differences with the cycle parts, Mike Hailwood always used Girling Rear Dampers as with D1 - D4 has the wrong Front Grimeca Drum Brake as per F3 / GP Ducati which is of the Old type unlike D1 Hailwoods prefered using the Front Brake which had to be much better & hardly ever used the rear - Hence the rear in D1 is an Oldani unlike D4 NOTE - Back then Ducati Original Works Racing Colours were always - SILVER & Metallic BLUE - NEVER RED !!!!! from 1957 - you will also Notice the Black Prancing Horse on the Fairings, very similar to Ferrari, without the yellow shield of Modena behind it - there lies another Story of just how it came about in 1958 & into the 1960s
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To get back on track with Ducati after being interupted by some ignorant Yank who seems to think like some others that they invented the world & everything in it & firstly had naff all to do with the USA at the time. All i know i found it myself in the UK or in Italy itself, cause thats were it all happened in the time that it did & just like England we had National Circuit racing inc Ireland & the IOM as well. Italy did to & to them at the time it was as important as GP. There were 2 Brits well known in Racing Circles one a past GP World Champ riding a Gilera called Geoff Duke & the current GP World Champ John Surtees on the MV Agusta, both ex Norton works riders who had been banging their heads against a wall riding bikes totally incapable of matching the Italians as far as winning anything Norton provided & both had been spotted in their respective years at the IOMsTT a prestigious round of the GP Championship, where the 37 Mile course knowledge counted for a lot & had both at different times been offered rides by Italian Manufacturers, due to their own respective performances, on outclassed Senior 500cc machines
There was also another younger English Rider who seemed to be doing quite well in the smaller Capacity Classes, by the name of Mike Hailwood, again on Italian machinery, with some Rich Guy footing the bill
At the time the only outlet for any Italian Road bikes was a National Chain of Motorcycled shops called Kings of Oxford, but they were very expensive compared to New Brit Bikes at the time & that's where i saw my 1st Ducati a 200cc Elite with its Chrome & maroon jelly mould type Tank, which to me looked like a Race Bike with Headlights etc for road use, but the price when new was close to a New 500cc Triumph Tiger 100 & not an affordable proposition
It would be much later that i discovered the Connection between Kings of Oxford & Ducati & most of all - Who Owned it & then things started to make sense, with a certain young English Man Racing them
After telling both Kevin & Pete who were both racing 2nd hand stripped down Ducatis who helped me obtain a 2nd hand 125cc Ducati Monza - supposed to be a tuned up model Sport i learnt that 1st Kings of Oxford were the official importer of all Ducatis into England & was owned by Millionaire Stan Hailwood & it was him who was promoting & managing his son Mike at the time on Works Ducatis & not for one minute did i ever think i would later be owning one
After what i would call a season with the Monza, all i can say it was reliable & i managed to finish, my best place was 6th but last. Compared to the opposition it just wasn't quick enough, even though i could hold my own on the twisty bits come the straights they were gone & it didn't matter what i tried it was no faster at the beginning than what it was at the end. But some of the Circuits i was taken to, when i think about it now were a joke - Kirkaldy in Scotland, Aberdare in Wales, Silloth in Northumberland, Olivers Mount in Scarborough, Rufforth nr York & of course Aintree & Oulton Park which consisted of large public gardens in urban area with flower beds to very large rural green areas where a purpose built race track had been laid which had stout Oak Trees for decoration at the side of the track, as well as flat featureless Airfields a plenty left over from WW2. I think there is possibly only one used regular today - but what i needed most of all was a Ducati that went a damb site quicker than the one i had
I was advised to pay a visit to Bill Smith in Chester a long standing TT Competitor over the years who specialised in Racing bikes both new & 2nd hand & had a very good reputation gained over the years, i was also told to take my 125 with me after bulling it up as provided it was presentable & mechanically sound there was every chance he would take it in part exchange............................... My old 125 Monza was similar to the one below but Race Kitted Continued
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Hello Harvey, To cut a long story short, when i visited Bill Smith with one of my friends he couln't have been more helpful, when i told him what i was looking for in place of what i had, He showed me the 125 Desmo which looked very impressive & told me its age, but because there was no Technical info with it, he was prepared to sell it cheaper than normal, but there were many engine spares, sprockets ect along with it But one thing he did say which was important was which grade of oil it most always use, as multigrades back then were scarce. Castol R 20s, i think everyone back then were using Monograde Caster type Vegetable Type oils indeed that where CASTROLS name originally came from so long ago & was familiar with R40s being of a thicker viscosity & odd guys using R30s which was not as thick, so i thought R20s must be thinner still ( What i didn't know R20s was the most expensive of all ,..... He gave my bike the once over & after a bit of haggleing we settled on a cash exchange. I asked him about Tech Data again about the bike & mentioned Kings of Oxford & he replied - If i was you & had the time - forget about Kings they woun't have a clue & contact Ducati themselves in Italy cause at the end of the day they built it & personally i have never seen one before & lastly if you get yourself in a fix - contact me again !

So thats what i did through the mother of a friendly neibour who was Italian i managed to contact them in Bologna in the district in the City their Factory was, which is called PANIGALE ( Which i would finish up visiting on numerous occasions ) but really without success, although they took all my contact details & said my enquiry ect would be passed on to the relevant people - 2 weeks later i received a large thick brown envelope. When opened it contained a Wonderful Workshop Manual which covered all of Ducatis Range of Road Bikes all written in Italian - No Nearer so at the end of the day it was down to me to get my Engineering Head on regarding stripping & rebuilding as well as an understanding Taglionis Method of Desmodromics built into it, all at 17 years old ! - SIMPLE
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I was later to discover why there was no Tech Info with hardly any of the ex works Bikes, it was because they were only maintained by Ducatis own Race Mechanics, All the people that rode them, simply did that & were never allowed to touch them & thats the way it had been since Fabio Taglioni came to Ducati in 1956/57 even though he has Designed the first 125 Desmo in 1957, they had been used mainly in Italy plus 1 GP in Sweden & raced by Ducati's Factory own Rider- Alberto Gandossi........... Mike Hailwood was the first Rider to really venture outside of Italy & his bike was fully maintained by Ducatis own people There was also the 125cc DOHC Grand Prix Production Racer to consider - sold to privateers since 1956 - 1959 & the larger F3 175cc SOHC Production Racer from 1958 with only basic info supplied when new - for their 1st year of competition & still under guarantee they had to be returned to the Factory for periodic Checks - nothing was left to chance on Taglonies orders !.................. Anyway as long as the Engine Was fully warmed up the bike was an absolute Flyer - 6 speed which it needed with the revs it was pulling at 12500 Max, but on the overun when braking as high as 15000 rpm & the Amadora front brake was superb, far faster than the Butacos & really anything in its class in Club Racing, both in Ireland & in the North of England & Scotland, all i was having to do was change the oil and the Twin spark plugs one 14 mm the other 10mm & normally on the grid at the start of a race it was always the 1st to fire up whilst most of the others were still trying to get a decent Bump Start . ........... My 1st International i was talked into doing was the Hutchinson 100 at Silverstone, which back then was a non GP Championship race. I was a bit hesitent about going, firstly i was a circuit that i had never done before, plus some of the Riders were GP Class & had heard it was one hell of a quick place to race, but George Fogarty had done it the year before on his 500cc Manx & after his gentle persuasion i thought yea why not i will give it ago - George seemed to know everybody & when he told me a Rider from Grange over Sands nr Lancaster called Alan Sheperd would be racing a 125 Factory MZ 2 Stroke i nearly fell over as at the time i had only read about his exploits in MCNews. It would also be the 1st time i had ever seen a Works 125cc Honda Twin ridden by Tom Phillis & the shape of things to come ! - Cont
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Unfortunately not. it was sold to move up to a 250cc Desmo Parallel twin from 1960
Shame, but most certainly how it goes. On to [what seems to be at the time] bigger and better things. That being said, it was a very interesting step up!
 

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Shame, but most certainly how it goes. On to [what seems to be at the time] bigger and better things. That being said, it was a very interesting step up!
All i know many years later, somehow i was contacted by the son, who had inherited his fathers Racing bike collection from the 1960s which was just one of many of Italian bikes he had. The family had for many years owned an Aston Martin dealership in the West Country of England & was kind enough to send me some photos of the bike as it presently now is.
I personally was lucky to be in the right place at the right time regarding Ducatis Racing efforts in their early days, including seeing odd Desmo racers which never saw the light of day, through financial restraints at that particular time. There was a lot of things happened in such a short space of time. Even John Surtees came into the picture, before he left MV Agusta to turn to cars & even when he did he ran 2 - 250 Desmo Twins under JSDs in the UK one for his younger brother Norman Surtees, which was 1 of the 2, Which i used in 1962............ seen below testing one at Imola in late 1959 .............. A young Mike Hailwood was another who tested a 250, similar to John Surtees for the 250 Class but the actual bike that he raced, used modiied Norton front Forks which he prefered to Ducatis at the time in 1960/61 which again he tested 1st
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at at IMOLA They were actually two 125 Desmo in line with each other, with their crankshafts joined by a HIRTH Coupling, the only difference being the Top end drive which used Gears up the centre of the 2 125s, but very awkward t work on.
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1st " Up to our eyeballs with that of late " By who & What ? - Cause i aint Clairvoyant !
Nor apparently are you aware of global current events, notably what's been going on over on this side of the pond for the last several years.

...just like the saying - There is nothing New, its all been done before. The only things missing were Materials, processes & electronics !
Nothing new? Really? As someone who has been directly involved in mechanical engineering/design since 1982 I can state, most definitely, that with the exception of basic engineering and manufacturing principles, it is ALL new.

When a person writes a Technical book the Author has to assume certain things, the most important thing of all is quite simple, just where to pitch it for the Reader (s ) Expert & novice alike - to High & only the expert will understand so the Author pitches it Low assuming the Novice knows nothing, by using that technique Learning takes place, so please do not be so be littleing !
On the off chance that "littleing" is a local colloquialism, I'll assume you meant "belittling", and if that is in fact the case, then physician heal thyself.

I think it is safe to say that everyone on this forum is here because of a single shared interest... a love Ducati's, and more specifically, a love of motorcycling in general. All of us enjoy reading stories like those that you have been sharing with us. However, many of us would enjoy these significantly more if they were not accompanied by the sense that you are lecturing as opposed to conversing.

It may just be me, but I get the distinct sense that you aren't really "listening" to anyone else here, all of whom I would add, have experiences to share, but are instead "waiting to talk". If it were me I would lighten up, lecture less and converse more.

Just my 2 Pence...
 
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