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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, new to the forum. I just bought a package deal of 3 70’s era Ducati’s. I’ve read up on some info regarding engine/frame numbers, but having trouble figuring out what’s what. I think the engine/frame don’t match, but I have no idea. Any help y’all could provide would be great

I can post some photos also. Super excited to get started. You can expect to see me on here a lot because this will be my first attempt at restoration.

Thanks!
 

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Bon Vivant
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Hi Carter and welcome. where are you? please fill out your info that way if any of us are near by we might be able to give you hand sometime.


The first pic looks like an 860 GT that has been modified with earlier tank and seat. The conti pipes would not be original to this bike but are a common mod.

that bike would originally look something like this;




 

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Bon Vivant
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On second thought it looks as though maybe an earlier 750 GT has been fitted with an 860 GT engine...
I can see that the tank badge area has been filled and alloy wheels are fitted. I think what you have is a parts bike special - all good parts though!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the help. That’s what my suspension was. 750 gt frame with 860 engine. I was tripped up because the shifter is on the right and was t sure if the square case 860 was in production in 75? I’ve got a tank that’s the orange and black—almost immaculate from the earlier 750. Since this is kind of a “parts bike”, is it worth trying for an all original restoration, or should I take what I’ve got and combo it up to have a good looking driver?

I’ve attached pics of the other bike— think it’s the 78 860 gt( although the tank and side panels claim 900) the motor is electric start and in a crate currently.

The other bike is a 450 scrambler (mocked up with a silver tank)
 

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Bon Vivant
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Thanks for the help. That’s what my suspension was. 750 gt frame with 860 engine. I was tripped up because the shifter is on the right and was t sure if the square case 860 was in production in 75? I’ve got a tank that’s the orange and black—almost immaculate from the earlier 750. Since this is kind of a “parts bike”, is it worth trying for an all original restoration, or should I take what I’ve got and combo it up to have a good looking driver?

I’ve attached pics of the other bike— think it’s the 78 860 gt( although the tank and side panels claim 900) the motor is electric start and in a crate currently.

The other bike is a 450 scrambler (mocked up with a silver tank)

Squarcase bikes are all lefthand shift and the early bikes had a shaft through the frame to achieve this. But the 750's were all right hand shift so in order to make it left shift the frame and rear brake would have to be modified. I'm sure it was easier to just make the bike right shift when the engine was "dropped" into the 750 frame

In my opinion the 72 - 74 roundcase bikes are what most collectors and enthusiasts want and the later squarecase GT's have not become as heavily sought. Without a roundcase engine you're gonna have a hard time restoring the 750/860 GT hybrid. If it were mine I'd build that bike into a 900SS special. Unless you have pockets full of money the 900GT that you have would be best cleaned up without a full resto and used a rider. They are wonderful to ride.

That's what I would do with them. You can go as far as your ability and budget allows on any of these bikes - the sky is the limit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the help guys! I have a couple fairings hat I could use to make up a decent 900ss lookalike. I’m thinking of parting out one bike to help fund the other.
 

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Quite a project to resusitate a bike that old. I'd imagine just getting info would be hard, let alone parts.
Good luck with it.
 

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Hi Carter: Here's an old (83) picture of my heavily modded 75 860GT. I say make it whatever you want it to be. I loved the ride but hated the look of the standard 860GT and could not afford an SS or MHR. Made a lot of parts myself. It takes very little to make a great "racer" out of these machines. Looks like you are starting with a bunch of bits so just keep going that route and have fun. Post pics! Good luck.

Rick

 

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As others have said, Bevels are horrendously expensive, and whatever you end up with, unless you research it and make it original, will not be worth much as a whole bike, regardless of how nice you make it if it's not original. You could easily spend 2 or even 3 times your original budget and never have a chance of getting your money back. A 750GT would be nice, and they're sought after but without the right engine it's a non starter, the 900/860 GTS things aren't very collectible and i wouldn't even bother looking at that except to part it.

What i would do is part out the two twins, there is some value in the parts, especially if you have two complete engines, and restore the scrambler properly, correctly, accurately. If there's a profit to be had from the parts after you recoup your outlay and you spend the profit on the scrambler and get it done you will have a sought after collectible for no personal outlay of cash, that's a smart and good deal.

Whether the numbers work depends on what you paid initially (which is where you make your money most times) and what you can get for the parts, I know what i would pay for that lot, and i have a fair idea of what it's worth parted out, it just depends on whether you can pace yourself with the scrambler and use your sales to fund the build as you go. Bike restorations are usually done for the love, you have to be lucky to realise a profit unless you have the right bike to start with, of those three the scrambler is it.

Be prepared for heartache though, disappointment is in your future if you take it on, vendors who promise quality work and stick to timelines rarely do, their quotes will blow out and you will be frustrated that no one sees the standard you're expecting, or if they do they will promise it but rarely deliver. This is where costs can skyrocket, paying for the same job over and burning fuel, phone calls, time, stress etc dealing with people who just don't care or finding ones who do.

I restored a Husqvarna 400 cross, it was 95% complete, but had been seriously messed with, total cost of parts and shop work was about 12k, i sold it and made a small profit but didn't factor in my time or all the incidentals. I sold it because it was too good to ride and i got an offer i couldn't refuse but i was paranoid about marking it LOL. I was satisfied with my result and i did enjoy building it but a "restoration" is only as good as the accuracy that goes into the build, the devil (and the money) is in the details!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, awesome resto looney888. Never done a resto before. Thank you all for the info, it’s great to get some advice from the pros here. I realize the scrambler is probably the most valuable. I’m not as much concerned with profit as I am just building an awesome vintage rider. I mean, that’s what our predecessors did right? They rode little singles they could afford in their youth, but coveted a big Desmo twin and when they got their chance to build one, they used what they had right?

I bought these from the son of a a very good friend who passed away, so I want to continue at least one bike. I’m more practical, so I’d like a bigger bore bike (live I AK, long rides at highway speeds)
 

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the late 900gts had a darmah based engine with bosch ignition and the lh shift was internal like all the later ones. that's a better engine basis for a rider if you have it.

on the early square case i think you just needed a different shaft inside the gear selector box (what the "front sprocket cover" is) to move the external shifter from coming out the inside next to the sprocket and operating the linkage to the lh side, to be a splined shaft coming out the outside to hang a shifter on, as the 750/860 has.

easiest way to work out what you want to do is put them on ebay and see where they go. if it's nowhere, start fixing. as loony and bulldog say, restos can be nuts and old bevel can be hard to find if you're going correct. if you decide to go correct you have to suck it up to the end, because as soon as you waver it's all wasted. i say to people to pick a budget they're happy with, then triple it and add 10%. if that number floats, hook in.

just making them riders, esp if they need engine work, will be expensive enough. i did a 900gts "back to rideable" early this year from a bike that had sat for 20 years and with no actual engine work it was still $6k. bits to make it a rider are available - new calipers, masters that are wrong, but work, etc.
 

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I sold it because it was too good to ride and i got an offer i couldn't refuse but i was paranoid about marking it LOL. I was satisfied with my result and i did enjoy building it but a "restoration" is only as good as the accuracy that goes into the build, the devil (and the money) is in the details!
if you do ride it, and it gets dirty, then you have to clean it and you see where it gets little chips and it's not beautiful anymore and it's all downhill from there. the paranoia is completely horrific. and real. better sold i say.
 

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if you do ride it, and it gets dirty, then you have to clean it and you see where it gets little chips and it's not beautiful anymore and it's all downhill from there. the paranoia is completely horrific. and real. better sold i say.
exactly!
don't want to derail the op's thread but i think this is relevant...

Bought it to race VMX but when i got it home and saw how everything was on it that mattered, the carb was original and correct, the seat pan was there, the shocks were original, as was the exhaust, all the stuff that gets binned for "performance gear on a race 2 stroke. I pulled the engine and it was on the original piston and bore! the guards were the original alloy ones , a mess but they were there.... I couldn't not restore it, it was just too good to race and when i was done i knew if i rode it the restored value of such an original and complete bike would disappear....
Hence it was an ornament until i parted with it.


 

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Bon Vivant
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exactly!
don't want to derail the op's thread but i think this is relevant...

Bought it to race VMX but when i got it home and saw how everything was on it that mattered, the carb was original and correct, the seat pan was there, the shocks were original, as was the exhaust, all the stuff that gets binned for "performance gear on a race 2 stroke. I pulled the engine and it was on the original piston and bore! the guards were the original alloy ones , a mess but they were there.... I couldn't not restore it, it was just too good to race and when i was done i knew if i rode it the restored value of such an original and complete bike would disappear....
Hence it was an ornament until i parted with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJis-3XuC9o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6T38iEMnPQ

Boy I know that story!



 

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Bon Vivant
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I have to disagree about the scrambler being the most valuable of the lot. Scramblers are a dime a dozen here in the states but the early twins, even the square cases, are much harder to come by and the interest in these bikes is growing as the availability of the round case bikes dries up.


I still know that I'd clean up the GTS and get it running and make a bitsa out of the hybrid bike. There's no doubt that the GTS would cost the least and have the most value of the lot. That is the got-to build IMO because you can keep it fairly original and it will be the best riding machine if that's the goal.

Carter, do you have any idea what this is gonna cost you?
 

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There are two perspectives at odds here; restoring to make money and restoring to have a great bike to ride. Restoring doesn't have to equate to factory-spec, "collectible" or even "valuable". While there is no argument that Ducati parts are expensive and in some cases can be hard to get hold of, Carter will not really have any idea what it will cost to get the GT on the road until he defines his restoration plan and exactly what is wrong with the bike. It may be that the bike was simply put away wet a long time ago but the internals are all OK; it's the motor that really costs a lot if parts need replacing.

Carter: if you simply want to make a fun bike to ride, you didn't already break the bank getting the bikes and resale is not your priority then I say have as much fun as you can taking the thing apart and putting it back together again. There will be plenty of help from this forum and others regarding how-to and parts; just ask. Post lots of pictures.
 

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Look around for a GT engine sell your square case engine and then go for complete originality. Yes it is harder , more expensive but there is no hurry, just get it right and it will be much more satisfying.
Round case engines come up for sale from time to time. There have been two over here in recent times. The last one I knocked back at $11K AUD. It didn't have engine numbers so a blank half-case must have been supplied by the factory at some stage. It had desmo heads as well so I presumed it was from a race bike. Cheers
Ian
 
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