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Bon Vivant
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10,918 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I found this basket case 74 750 GT in 2006.

The original owner had purchased it new and put about 40,000 miles on it and then decided to rebuild it.
His brother disassembled the bike and they lost interest. So the parts went into boxes and the bike sat in pieces for close to 25 years.
The parts went through a couple of moves and parts were lost along the way as well as the title and memories of just how the bike was equipped from new.

After 6 months of work to acquire a new title I started the project...

I got three boxes of parts, the partially disassembled engine, and the body parts.









 

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Bon Vivant
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10,918 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I already have a nice original GT and I wanted a Sport but by 06 the prices for 750 sports were already through the roof.
This bike was a late 74 and although I had enough parts to put it back to original it had some of the undesirable traits of the 860's that were to be introduced in 75.
So an absolute original restoration was not what I wanted.

I decided to make it a custom (sorry all you purists but it's my bike :eek:)

I think I have more hours of polishing than in the entire rest of the restoration process.







 

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Bon Vivant
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10,918 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
After we had the appropriate parts powder-coated and plated we started the assembly and rebuild of many components.
My wife Candie helped me along the way and she deserves a great big THANK YOU for her involvement, effort, and patience.

The engine was a joint project with an old-time Ducati tech because I didn't feel confident to shim the cams and gears but I still did much of the work.
It got new Sport pistons and valves/spring and new bearings/bushes/valve guides etc.

The suspension is Works performance both front and rear and Candie and I rebuilt the forks.

I wanted something special for the brakes...







 

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Bon Vivant
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10,918 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Parts for the bike were sourced from all over the world but Road and Race in Australia,
Bevel Heaven in California, and Old Racing Spares in Italy sold me the majority of things I had to buy new.

Steve at Bevel Heaven was able to get me the adapters to use his 996 superbike brake parts on my four bolt hubs. The custom outer hubs were machined in Germany.

Most of the engine parts came from Road and Race, Phil had access to more of the things you need to rebuild an engine like gaskets, pistons, rings, bearings, valve train parts etc.

I found a set of correct Borrani Wheel rims locally - it was kinda like trippin over a gold nugget!
A lot of polishing and a new set of stainless spokes and we were rollin!







 

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Bon Vivant
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10,918 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I decided that because my favorite roundcase was a 750SS (who's isn't?)
the body work for this bike would be replica SS with an Imola tank and single seat.

Rick Covello in Canada custom made all of the bodywork and the tank to fit my bike.
He used a clear gel-coat on the tank so I could incorporate the fuel sight gauge into the paint scheme like the original Imola Race bikes.

Ricks parts are outstanding and the best value of anything I bought for the bike!
Rick custom made the seat cowl to fit the wider GT frame and he made the brackets for the tank, seat, and side covers so the entire
set of parts were a Bolt-on! fabulous! The seat even came with fantastic upholstery.
Some minor fitting and paint prep were all that was needed before painting.



My favorite colors are the black and gold of the 900 SS bikes from the eighties (although I think this bike is an earlier SS)



My favorite paint scheme of all the roundcase bikes is the "Z-stripe" from the 74 sports.



All I had to do now was paint it...
 

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Bon Vivant
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
There's still a ton of work to do and some final touches had to be made:

In 1974 Cycle magazine editors Phil Schilling and Cook Nielson got two of the original, yet to be released, SS 750s and decided to go racing.
Their escapades with racing the Ducatis became legend – they went on to win the 1977 Daytona 200 on a modified ‘74 750.

One of the stories passed down from the exploits of Cycle’s race efforts had to do with the question of quality from the Italian Manufacturer.

I got an email directly from Cook Neilson during my restoration and search for historical tidbits:

As I recall, the first 750SS that showed up at Cycle Magazine was the one with the fly in the fiberglass. Back then, the fuel tanks had sight gauges on both sides of the tank; the fly was cast into the sight gauge on the right side of the tank, clearly (and embarrassingly) visible to Phil and I and all our friends. As the years rolled by, all of our fuel tanks were repainted in one scheme or another. So somewhere out there the fly still exists. I don't know if Dale Newton's estate still has it, or if Fred Fitzgerald (the current owner of Old Blue) has it, or if somebody else has it and doesn't know. In any case, diligent searchers will have to sand the tank down to reveal the original sight gauges. Happy hunting! --cook neilson,

I decided a tribute to Cook, Phil and that historic racing effort was a must!

 

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Bon Vivant
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10,918 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
The end seems to always be the hardest. Finding that last nut and bolt, tying up loose ends - three more parts need to be ordered...
Every little detail needs a final once-over!!!

But on August 29 2009 - three years after the project began, the bike rolled off the lift a completed bike for the first time. :eek::eek::D












A lost Ducati is found once again! :D
 

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IHMC Est. 2010
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2,017 Posts
Where's the beef! You drag me over from the SF forum to nothing but a great big tease. Could Candie give my wife some tips on how to be a help?
 

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2,323 Posts
Absolutely brilliant job. Well Done! Thats one of the best restorations I've ever seen.
 

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That just might be the most beautiful motorcycle in the world, a spot I once thought held by a 52 Vincent Black Shadow seen at a show. Thank you for sharing.
 

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94 Posts
Absolutely brilliant job. Well Done! Thats one of the best restorations I've ever seen.
Agreed! Definitely one of the best I've seen, especially since it started out a humble 750GT. We first got the black/gold SS in '79 here. I also put 4-spot calipers on my '78 900SS with the M1R front-end (went straight on) a real improvement. A bit concerned such a lovely bike still has the standard fusebox though - had trouble with those over the years! Used to just fit a single fuse when re-wiring.
We never got the "Z-stripe" 750S here, though I remember seeing it in my 750 Sport parts book (the one in Italian). Allowed me to impress Italians with my guarnizione (gasket) rondella (washer) valvola scarico (exhaust valve) pistone originale etc. And I still remember these after all this time!
Congratulations on the resto. Flyn - glad the Aussies were able to help out. You definitely got lucky with those Borranis - they have been rare for a long time.
 

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Bon Vivant
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10,918 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I looked and looked for a fuse box that I liked and found nothing, so in the end I completely disassembled the original and cleaned it up.
It was in fine condition and so simple I didn't see how it could give me any trouble. So I used it.
For the amount of miles I will put on this bike I think it'll be fine.
I do have a modern regulator for it though, I just need to fit it.


Thanks for the positive words everybody, I expected a little heat because the bike is customized but you guys have been very kind.
 
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