The Ducati 750GT -- Road Racer and Street

The series of articles in CYCLE magazine by Cook Nielson and Phil Schilling on building and racing Ducati bevel twins was one that I read and reread many times. In the early 1980s I bought a stolen/stripped/recovered 750GT (a later one with the center axle forks) from my friend Bill McLain in Albuquerque, NM. I had the frame nickle-plated but before I got too much farther a friend of mine in Texas, Michael Pinkney, decided he wanted some different wheels and brakes on his 750GT. I ordered a set of Mitchell spun-aluminum wheels (later to become PM Wheels) and some rotors and centers from Kosman Racing and used my bike to make the parts. I made caliper carriers and various spacers and bits and then shipped them all to Michael. I'd not had my lathe and mill for long so this was one of my early machining projects.

After that I got busy building up the Ducati. I fitted alloy rims, a 13" Kosman non-floating front rotor, rear sets and a mechanical anti-dive linkage for the front caliper. The engine was largely stock, with 750 Sport camshafts, valve springs and pistons, a Lucas Rita ignition, a Grizzly Engineering 2-1 exhaust and 40mm Dell'Orto carburetors and manifolds. The cylinder heads were not ported. I raced the bike with the AFM and in several AMA BOTT races, and I got a fifth place in the 750 Modified Production BOTT class at Sears Point. At an AFM race at Sears Point the big end of one connecting rod let loose just as I'd come out of Turn 10. As might be expected, the engine was moderately damaged and I decided to sell the bike instead of fixing it.

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