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Gil's 1974 Sport

Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:13 pm
by gg883
Previous Owner's (noducs) description of the bike sent in an e-mail to me before I bought it in March 2003:

Vehicle Condition

Mechanically perfect. Always garaged and covered. This bike has always been
in controlled storage, covered and clean. Has never seen moisture since
restoration. By anybody's standards, a beautiful motorcycle with only the
very slight patina of age accumulated in the hands of a loving owner. This
would not be a collectors bike in the true sense of the word -- but VERY
close. I say this because it is not an exact replica of what would have been
obtained on a dealer showroom floor in 1974. The overall philosophy
governing the restoration was to create a mechanically new 1974 Ducati Sport
while improving some items that were known problems as far as rideability
and dependability. Technically this is a 1974 model, first sold in 1975. To
meet regulations in 1975 the US model came with turn signals and a large CEV
tail light, Ceriani forks instead of Marzocchi, a single Brembo disc up
front, Smiths rev counter and speedometer. It also came with lousy CEV
switchgear, a fuse box that would drive a rider mad, horrible rear
suspension, and poor finish especially as regards to the fiberglass

For the benefit of collectors who might be interested in the feasibility of
returning the bike to completely stock, following is a list of changes (some
not necessarily noticeable as differing from stock) and a current
description noting minor flaws. For more detailed information on the
restoration I can email a JPEG scan of the 1988 Classic Bike article.

Changes from stock

1. Added second Brembo front disc and caliper, drilled discs (noticeable)
2. Stainless braided front brake hoses replace original rubber hoses
3. Dyna electronic ignition to replace troublesome points (not noticeable)
4. Chrysler marine coils (not noticeable)
5. Upgraded handmade electrical loom faithful to original (not noticeable)
6. Upgraded fuse box (not noticeable)
7. Simple Yamaha switchgear on left clipon replaces troublesome CEV
(noticeable but looks authentic)
8. Displacement increased to 883cc (not noticeable -- except for TORQUE!)
9. S&W rear suspension with dual rate springs (noticeable, looks
convincingly Italian but work MUCH better)
10. K&N air filters replace stock paper filters and airboxes (noticeable)
11. Stainless chain guard from Super Sport replaced painted Sport item
12. Large CEV taillight replaced with earlier Sport version (noticeable)
13. Gum rubber grips replaced w/aftermarket grips (noticeable)
14. Tommaselli clutch and brake levers changed from polished aluminum to
black anodized version (noticeable)
15. Single cable Tommaselli throttle changed from chrome to black chrome
dual cable version (noticeable)
16. Engine assembled with stainless steel bolt set (noticeable - because
they don't rust!)
17. Paint, of course
18. Decals may not entirely match original (but were tastefully selected!)
19. All bodywork painstakingly prepared to result in the best possible fit
and foundation for subsequent finish. This included strengthening fiberglass
and gusseting mounting points.


Engine cases and barrels and heads are excellent with no mottling or
corrosion since they were bead blasted during engine rebuild. Engine side
covers are in perfect condition. Frame bearings (swing arm pivot and shims,
headstock), wheel bearings, engine bearings etc. all seals, cams, rocker
arms, valves, transmission, clutch all mechanically perfect. All chrome
plating is in excellent condition. Frame, fuel tank, side covers, fenders,
solo seat all perfect: no dents or scratches. Paint is glossy, perfect shade
of what Italians would regard as RED. In my estimation, the only flaws
relate to the Conti exhaust which suffered slight damage in the hands of
previous owners, were re-chromed but not straightened in 1988, then the left
header pipe and a small portion of the left Conti were scratched in a low
speed (3mph) crash due to slick tires and abundant torque in 2001. In
addition, the ball end of the clutch lever and the bar-end mirror received
small scratches. These are really minor faults which I am disclosing in an
effort to present an accurate assessment for potential buyers. In no way
should this disclosure detract from what otherwise is a beautiful example of
an increasingly rare classic.


I have a trunk full of odds and ends of parts, some special tools, winkler
caps, literature, a collection of many years of newsletters dating from the
first issue (about 1976) from the now defunct DIOC (Ducati International
Owners Club) which was based in Florida. The 750cc pistons were worn and
thus not saved. The barrels were bored to accept pistons for a swept volume
of 883cc. The change is not visible externally, and is entirely within the
design limits. Unfortunately the original shocks disappeared along the way.
I still have the original wiring loom, but you wouldn't want to reinstall
it: wimpy wires, terrible fuse box. The new loom was built with larger
wires, dielectric grease at all connections, large battery conductors, a
weatherproof fuse box using blade fuses, and even wiring available for turn
signals should one want to reinstall them. I don't think I have the original
turn signals. The Dyna electronic ignition fit neatly in the breaker point
housing so it is not evident that the ignition was changed. I may have the
old points assembly. The rear tire is sized up from the skinnier original.
If one really wanted to bring this bike back to showroom specs it would not
be a difficult job.






Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:37 pm
by Guest
Although I believe I've seen the bike once before (maybe in the mag article) I rate it as one of the sweetest 750S's going around. And painted in the colour (red) that the factory should have always had in its colour range. Don't know why they dropped it when they went to twins.... Nice list of sensible mods also. Can you tell me more about the suspension and perhaps provide a suppliers website? Thanks.

Good luck with the bike Gil and look after her. She's special.


Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 12:47 am
by gg883
Hi Chris,
The rear suspension are the old S&W shocks and utilize dual rate springs. They are 13" and I have no complaints, they work perfect.
As I understand it S&W Shocks are now called Progressive Suspension shocks and feature new technology. Progreesive Suspension does list a shock available for the 750 GT & Sports.

I see that Steve has a 1978 Darmah he is parting out with 13" S&W shocks available for $25. That is a great deal and you can rebuild them.

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 5:12 pm
by Guest
Thanks for the tip. Will investigate further...