350 Mark III advice sort

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ac69uk
Cucciolo - the Lil Pup
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Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:20 pm

350 Mark III advice sort

Post by ac69uk »

New to the site so hi to everybody

I've always wanted a Ducati single but never got round to putting any effort into seeking one out but then a couple of weeks back I was doing some work on a guys house who tells me he has an old Ducati 350 in his garage.

I've seen the bike and it is a 350 Mark III on a UK N registration plate which means it is 74 or 75, it belongs to the guys father who bought it new and it was last used in 77 and has done only about 4000 miles/7000km's. The bike is complete and would have been like new when garaged but after 30 years it is looking a bit faded. The bike is amongst a lot of other stuff so it was hard to get a decent look at it but I noticed most of the chrome has come off the headlight surround and guess the same would be true of the rest of the chrome and the engine is covered in a white coating.

I've told the guy I'll buy it if he'll sell it and he'll ask his father but I'd like to know what would be a fair price, I know this is not easy to do but I'd appreciate any advice that could be given.

Also what problems do you think I might encounter getting it back into a roadworthy condition, things like would I need to strip the engine and would the suspension need renovating. I'd guess the exhaust is rotted away and the bike looks like it needs a respray but then I'd change the colour anyway from the rather boring looking blue to maybe bright orange.

As I said any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Craig in France
Paso 750
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:58 pm
Location: Montpellier, France

Mark 3

Post by Craig in France »

I was feeling sympathetic until you said you'd change from the iconic Mark 3 blue to ... What! Orange! :shock: Please don't :)

The value is what you think it's worth. As to likely works, you should asume that all the running gear basics like suspension, brakes, wheel bearings, cables, swing arm bushes etc will need to be inspected and replaced or overhauled.

The wheels should be checked for true-ness and the spokes checked for bends and tightness - and you'll need new tyres, of course.

The carb should be cleaned and any worn parts replaced, and the tank checked for rust. The fuel taps may leak and the fuel hose will be brittle.

As you guess, many of the plated parts are likely to need re-plating. The condition of the wiring loom should be checked for breakages and loose connectors. I guess it may have the Ducati Eletronica ignition. This was not especially reliable when new, and it's hard to find working spares now; but after-market 12v systems are available.

As to the engine ... well, I would strip and rebuild it. That's what I did when I got my 450 SCR.

And if you decide you don't want it, please let me know! I promise I won't paint it orange!

Ciao

Craig in UK
Nick
Diana
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Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 3:40 pm
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Post by Nick »

Given the prices of parts/services these days, I wouldn't give more than a couple of hundred US dollars for the bike. Even if you do all the work yourself, you'll end up with about 1,500~2,000 when you done, about what it will sell for.
An alternative would be to just do the minimum. Don't worry too much about the aesthetics. An engine strip is probably not needed, although the rings may very well be rusted to the cylinder. If the kickstarter will not turn the engine over, pull the spark plug and pour a cupful of diesel fuel in there and let it sit for a few weeks. Then pull the head off (no need to remove engine from frame for this) and try to get the cylinder off without destroying anything, breaking fins, etc. Whack the piston crown few times with a block of wood. Heat helps. Another trick is to put a jack in between the top frame tube and the piston to break it loose.
If the kickstarter will turn the engine over, you're in luck! In that case, pour a small amount of oil down the plug hole, check that there is oil in the engine sump, then push the bike down the street in 2nd or 3rd gear to get the top end well lubricated before starting. The clutch will probably be frozen. After you clean the carb, points, etc. and get it running, ride it while holding the clutch lever in and while pressing down on the rear brake pedal simultaneously. This usually frees up the clutch (though you may have to ride for a few miles like that). If not, pull the primary cover and take the clutch apart and clean the plates in parafin, etc.
With so few miles on it, there is probably no need to pull the engine all apart. The Duck singles are fantastically well-made engines, and with proper care are very reliable, fun and economical.
If you have the money to blow on new plating and fancy paint, go for it. If not, get a polish/cleaner wax to remove oxidation from the stock paint, use some brush-on black enamel on the rusty rims and polish up the cases. Disconnect, clean and inspect all wiring connections.
Get back to us when you've got her running.
From probably the only person in the world who rides a Ducati 350 Sebring for daily transportation.
ac69uk
Cucciolo - the Lil Pup
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:20 pm

Post by ac69uk »

Thanks for your replies Craig and Nick.

I was thinking of paying up to about £500 for the bike which is a fair bit more than $200.

I had the idea to maybe take the spark plug out and squirt a quantity of WD40 or plus-gas into the cylinder and leave it for a while so as to avoid snapping a piston ring or worse.

And what is wrong with orange ?

I get a rush of energy when I look at this:

Image

Far more exciting than this ;)

Image
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Craig in France
Paso 750
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:58 pm
Location: Montpellier, France

Orange? THAT ain't orange ...

Post by Craig in France »

Ah, you mean Ducati YELLOW! Well, that's what Ducati called it - straw yellow, in fact.

Nowt wrong with that at all, nothing at all, altho' I could make an argument that it belongs best on genuine Desmos! :) At this point, I will have to concede that I'm not a great fan of look-alike versions of the real thing, especially when - like the one in your photo - they fall some way short :oops: . Just seems to say, 'I couldn't find/afford the real thing, so I settled for this instead.'

The result tends to be neither fish nor fowl - which is normally reflected in their value, of course ...

As you're probably aware, these bikes are not common in the UK - few were imported and they were expensive at the time. Maybe the situation is different in the States, but £500 would strike me as a good price.

Ciao and Good Luck!

Craig
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