Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Please say HELLO and tell us about yourself, your bike[s] and where you are located etc...
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kettle738
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Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Post by kettle738 »

Hi all, my name is Mick, I live in the south east corner of the UK. I recently became the owner of a very original 860GTE; the bike was originally owned by a chap who apparently had a small fleet of 'exotic' bikes which were left to rot in a damp garage while he pottered about on a Jawa 350. The upshot is this bike has less than 6,000m on the clock, even the Pirelli MT-18 tyres appear to be original.

It recently belonged to a very good friend of mine who recommissioned it for the road and it runs beautifully.

Thus far, all I have really done is replace a few hardened rubber parts and dismantle the Jod Duplo headlamp so the reflector can be re silvered.

I am no stranger to classic bikes having had countless 1970s Japanese (still have several) and the occasional British bike, but I will doubtless have countless questions, some of them probably daft so please put up with me if I ask the blindingly obvious.......I'm right at the foot of the Bevel learning curve.

Mick............Kettle738
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BevHevSteve
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Re: Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Post by BevHevSteve »

Welcome aboard Mick
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Craig in France
Paso 750
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Re: Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Post by Craig in France »

Hi Mick.

I'll admit to a sneaking liking for these bikes, maybe 'cos my first Ducrappi was one! And that looks a nice example :vroom:

A few things:

1. Check the fuse box. If it's the original Aprilia one, you might want to change it. The fuse holders never were to be trusted (another fix is to put some rubber bands around the contacts so they stay tight :shock: ).

2. Be aware that the handlebar switches can leak in the rain - or just from damp. The copper contacts inside then corrode and the switch stops working.

3. Run it on either straight 50, as Ducati recommended at the time. Or use a SYNTHETIC 10/50, if you want to move with the times (actually what the factory itself started to recommend in 1976). However, DON'T use a mineral multi-grade - not good at all!

4. Be gentle with the instrument mount/holder. They're prone to cracking and breaking close to where they mount. Re-manufactured replacements of very high quality are available from Damien Birch and Steve Allen (for example). But best avoided.

Enjoy!

Craig
kettle738
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Re: Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Post by kettle738 »

Thank you for that, I'm very lucky in that nothing has been abused or worn out, just suffered from neglect.

I was very interested in your comments on oil.......as it happens I have a few old bikes so I inhabit a few forums and the one thing that gets all and sundry really going is a good oil thread.

I searched this forum for oil threads, found a few and got more and more confused......but I think it's down to straight 50 or a motorcycle specific fully synthetic 10W50. I've never used mono grades as I was brought up on a diet of Japanese multis which all used 10W40 or thereabouts so I would tend to go for a multi grade for no better or more scientific reason than that.

I do wish oil was simpler or there was one blindingly obvious contender ......... I don't remember agonising over oil in 1975.

Mick ......... kettle738.
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BevHevSteve
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Re: Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Post by BevHevSteve »

i use 20w50 Motul brand '3000' min oil, SG rated, an all my bevels. There isn't any (real) reason I can find to only use fully synthetic oil, especially since it is so wasteful as you must change it out so often. Oil has changed a lot since the 70's ya know.....
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Craig in France
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Re: Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Post by Craig in France »

Hi Mike,

Well, as Steve says, "Oil has changed a lot since the 70's ya know ..."

One of the reasons I go for a multi-grade synthetic is 'cos that's what the factory recommended :-D . The first time was in 1976* in the GTS supplement to the GT owner's manual, the exact reference being "AGIP Sint 2000 10W50".

Now the problem in the UK at the time was that no-one took on board the importance of the 'Sint' in the name (that's 'sint' as in 'sintetico'). Instead, people used multi-grade mineral oils such as Castrol GTX. These suffer badly from polymer degradation when used in bevel engines, and this degradation quickly reduces the oil to a 10 weight. Eek :shock: ! Are you surprised Ducatis quickly acquired a reputation for blowing their big ends?

However, in contrast to a mineral oil, a synthetic 10W50 doesn't change viscosity with heat; so it has no (or very little) added polymers. It behaves as a 10 weight when cold, making starting easier. And a 50 weight when hot. Sorted!

* Prior to that it was always straight 50 in the twins, specifically "AGIP F1 RACING S50". Which is ok for a kickstart engine like the 750s; but unworkeable in an electric start engine on a cold morning. DAMHIK.
DaytonaRS
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Re: Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Post by DaytonaRS »

Hello Mick,
New on here myself and local to you. I'm in Rochester. Currently putting a 77 Darmah engine in a Pierobon 900ss frame. Well over budget already but enjoying myself. Paddy Ducati is quite local and a very helpful chap if you need used parts.
Hope to see you and Ducati about, perhaps Brands or Lydden for the classic meets.
Kind Regards,
Paul.
eternally_troubled
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Re: Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Post by eternally_troubled »

Hello Mick,

I have an 860GT almost exactly like yours, apart from the twin discs (mine only has a single) and the handlebars (a previous owner put smaller, more 'normal' handle bars on my bike). Is yours an 'N' reg like mine?

I'm in a kinda-continual use/non-use/restoration process since I got the bike off a neighbour; mine rides well enough but there are a few niggles that I need to sort out, plus I haven't really wanted to use it in the winter 'cos of all the salt (I have a Honda for that!).

Anyway, glad it's nice to see a few more UK bevels on here (I'm in Cambridgeshire btw).
kettle738
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Re: Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Post by kettle738 »

Hi all, thanks for the replies, it's good to know there are other bevel owners fairly local.....particularly as I know pretty much nothing thus far; with my other old ruins I'm used to giving advice rather than asking for it so it's great that there is so much knowledge about and people offer it freely.

My bike was registered in 1977, (R Reg) sold new by Hexagon Motorcylces in north London and had one owner until about three or four years ago .....that said, it belonged until recently to a very close friend and when he had it we discussed the fact that it is clearly an earlier model than it's 1977 registration suggests.

The chassis number is 850681, which if I understand the running order correctly makes it number 681 of the series. Given that production started in 1974 (please correct me if I'm wrong) my guess is this is probably an early 1975 bike and I will be doing my best to convince the DVLA of that in due course...... <....> .wish me luck.

I don't think I'm going to restore it, with such low mileage and unmolested condition I will probably leave it as original as I can, but perhaps fit better used parts with slightly less patina (rust) than it has at the moment if they become available. (used Jod Duplo headlamp rim / shell anyone?)

The next job is to remove the tank......but those green fuel lines set like concrete so I'll be happy if I can get that balance tube off without damaging anything. I plan to replace dried out and perished rubber parts and see if I can re sleeve the wiring harness from the headlamp to the fuse box as it's gone pretty hard and crusty.

1st April she gets road tax so hopefully it will be dry and sunny ~^~ .............Mick........kettle738
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Craig in France
Paso 750
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Re: Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Post by Craig in France »

kettle738 wrote: The next job is to remove the tank......but those green fuel lines set like concrete so I'll be happy if I can get that balance tube off without damaging anything.
Cut the old hoses off, Mike. Replace them with Cavis Benz hose, available from all good suppliers :-D
NeilD
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Re: Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Post by NeilD »

hi and welcome... my Darmah is my first bevel (first Ducati in fact!) and i love it.. been out on it today enjoying the spring day.. :)

ref the date of registration, hopefully you can find a marque specialist recognised by the DVLA.. I had a Guzzi that had been registered 1974 but with a dating letter via the Guzzi club and had it re-registered as a '72 which meant black n silver plates and free tax :)

edit: I believe that North Leicester Motorcycles (NLM) provide dating letters for about £20..
kettle738
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Re: Hi from a UK first time Bevel owner

Post by kettle738 »

Hi, thank you for the interest,
I had a Guzzi that had been registered 1974 but with a dating letter via the Guzzi club and had it re-registered as a '72
As I understand it things have changed a little, apparently the DVLA will still accept authorised club dating certificates for imports, but not for vehicles already registered in the UK. They will accept extracts from the manufacturers records or evidence from the manufacturer and they will accept evidence from the Glass's Guide Check Book. This is not the same as the Glass's Guide vehicle values books that all traders used to use, this one was used by the motor trade to identify vehicles and model changes.

I bought a copy of this guide, the 'Trade Bible' (not cheap) and frankly it's hopeless, most of the manufacturers didn't supply chassis numbers and in one case that I have personal knowledge of the numbers shown are wrong.

I'm still going to have a crack at getting the year changed though.....but the DVLA don't inspire confidence......it depends entirely on who deals with your case and that's the luck of the draw. I will report back if I 'win'

Mick................kettle738
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