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1st Gen Hypermotard Hooligan
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My next door neighbor who passed away a long time ago was into all sorts of motorcycles, vehicles and all of the above like I am. The family is just now getting around to having a big estate sale and I have the opportunity at first dibs on many of the items. One of the motorcycles is what I believe to be a 1971 RT450 but do correct me if I'm wrong. It is in a sad state off affair and is missing the front fender, side panels and the rear fender appears to have been broken or modified. The kick starter is gone too. Wondered what your thoughts were on this. I know that finding original plastics are unobtainable and finding used would be difficult! The family, of course, has no idea when it ran last or any info on it whatsoever including if they have a title. This may just be a parts bike but before I get too far down the road, I wanted to get some opinions out there and even potential pricing if it's worth it. Thank you.

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Interesting bike, but WOW, what a project! I'm only guessing, but I would think it would take me 10 years to restore that bike finding one odd part at a time. Since they only came into the country a single year it will be very difficult to find parts. But it's too complete to part it out. Keep us posted on what you decide to do.
 
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Bon Vivant
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These are definitely a bike with niche interest and not universally desired. I believe the RT was a one year only bike and the 450 desmo is a ripsnorter for a dirtbike. This was without a doubt the most capable dirtbike/motocross racer that Ducati ever built. That's the cool part. Restoring this bike would be VERY expensive and there are very few places in the US that have the expertise to tackle a rebuild of that engine (and a few to avoid as well that I will not mention publicly).

Is it worth restoring? No, not in my opinion, especially if you can't do most of the work yourself. It's a $10k bike that will cost $20k to get in decent shape. You might be able to make some money parting it but that would be a shame and the desmo RT engines have dropped like a rock in value over the last several years. (probably because they are so expensive to repair)

These bikes are being restored by people who have a sentimental connection to the bike and aren't concerned with the ultimate value. If that's you then do it - if that's not you then maybe buy and resell ,or part, or maybe pass...
My opinion

I have 2 RT 450 engines for sale...
 

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A friend has had one in a similar state for a long time and intends to restore it. Getting parts is the problem. Between your bike and his he could probably nearly do it. What Flynbulldog has said is spot on.Cheers
Ian
 

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Keep it as is including patina and rust.
Anchor to concrete and attach your mailbox.
You might have the coolest mailbox in your hood. ;)
 

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1st Gen Hypermotard Hooligan
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995 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thank you guys and special thanks to 'Flyn for your extra insight and link as well to those parts.(y) I do think it is a neat bike and I was reading some history on the model last night. I'll see what they end up wanting for it. There is also mid 70's Bultaco in much better condition that I'm really after and I will see if they will do some kind of package deal. I'll keep you apprised if it works out. If I got it, I would definitely not part it out. This one seems to have led a tough life earlier on though but you can see some hopeful life in it by the spots of yellow below the repaint. Thank you again.
 

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I'm going to be a little less negative that some ...

Yes, I think it is worth taking on and running pretty much as it is. I wouldn't bother restoring it, just buy the missing plastic and whatever is needed to make it street legal - if that's what you need to do.

Turn the engine over by hand - plug out, oil down the bore, into gear and rotate the rear wheel. And offer them $2,500.
 

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Bon Vivant
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The RT that I'm seeing was not sold as a street legal bike and probably would not have lights or a title.
As for running it as is, to each his own but I'd get no joy from a bike in that condition - it's just not in my nature to own junk that I'm not restoring but I guess some people like it.

Several years back I bought a survivor Mach1. it was in good original condition - too good to restore. I felt it needed to be preserved as is, but I couldn't deal with the condition and I sold it within about a month to a guy who will happily keep it preserved.

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I'm wondering, what is the Bultaco they have? (I used to ride a SherpaT 350 and before that, a Montesa Cota 247 back in my Trials days. I made Expert on the Sherpa before I quit competing to go to college.)
 

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1st Gen Hypermotard Hooligan
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again, guys. Below is a picture of the Bultaco.

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For $1000-1500 I would buy that, esp since the body work is available.
As stated, the engine will be challenging, but if it turns over you are halfway there.
If you don't buy it, someone here will (please don't tell me you live close to the DFW area...that way I can resist the temptation...)
 

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ANY desmo head complete is worth $2500-3k, (for JUST the head) - 450RT was 71-72 only, some had Silver frame, with yellow and black fibreglass, others had black frame with Yellow/black Glass - the first proto type was dark Metallic Green, which someday I'm going to restore mine that way to be different-
I'd give upwards of $3k for that bike- I have one already but that head would make any 450MkIII into a MkIII-D which would be amazing!

As to the "Plastics" that didnt exist in 1972- that whole bike is fiber glass, which all parts are available and affordable from many sources, as is pretty much every part on the bike- MUCH easier/cheaper to restore a 450RT than a 4-speed narrowcase - I would buy that bike without a second thought!!!
 

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This is the one I bought last year for over $3k - was very glad to get it, all my fiber glass parts are broken as well, but it seems to be mostly there?
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Bon Vivant
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ANY desmo head complete is worth $2500-3k, (for JUST the head) - 450RT was 71-72 only, some had Silver frame, with yellow and black fibreglass, others had black frame with Yellow/black Glass - the first proto type was dark Metallic Green, which someday I'm going to restore mine that way to be different-
I'd give upwards of $3k for that bike- I have one already but that head would make any 450MkIII into a MkIII-D which would be amazing!
The RT 450 D engine is fundamentally different from the road bikes with specific gearing and other engine parts that are not really desirable for a Mk3 road bike. The head is easily distinguished by the compression release which Mark 3 Desmos did not have. And frankly faking a desmo by adding the head to a bike that wasn't originally a desmo is a bit slimy. If I'm buying a desmo mark3 I want one that came from the factory that way.

A few years ago that engine was worth 3 K - not so much right now. The big problem is the cost will be higher to rebuild that engine than the whole value of the bike when it's done.

But I get where you are coming from and if you have the bug for these bikes its a very cool find. I may end up building one of my 450D engines into a custom sport some day (despite the fact that it will be an obvious RT transplant).

By the way I was contacted by my transport guy yesterday and he has a line on a 450 RT in decent running condition if anybody is interested (he did not give me a price but I can connect you)
 
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