1984 750 Ducati F1
On of the nicest bikes I have worked on was this first edition F1. It came from Canada and won a BOTT championship. It was built by Reno Leoni, probably the most famous living Ducati race tech.
Reno came to the states from Italy on behest of Berliner Motos, the US distributor of Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Norton and Zundapp. He was the technical expert for Guzzi and Ducati in the late 60's to the mid 80's. He later was the force behind Jimmy Adamo's AMA BOTT Ducati racers and Mike Baldwin's Guzzi racers.
After this bike's championship, I was asked to go through it and make it street legal.
Reno is currently living back in Italy. I visited him there two years ago and bought some parts from him.
When Reno builds a racer, it is not a good street bike as it had nothing under 4k rpm but after that, hold on!
The rear swing arm has been updated with a Montjuic square tube and pin. The heads have been seriously ported and mated to the 40 mm Dellorto pumpers with Malossi velocity stacks that barely fit between the frame rails. The carbs have no chokes; just ticklers. The spark plug holes have been filled up and new holes brought farther from center to get a higher compression piston in there. The plug size is reduced from 14 to 12mm. Valve sizes are 42/44 mm. The flywheel weight has been greatly reduced in weight. There were no timing marks on the flywheel to check timing with a stroboscope. The timing pickup floor was reduced by a third. External oil lines from the cooler to the cams are all steel braided as well as the hydraulic brake fluid lines. The cylinders have been opened up to accept the largest liners with the largest Aries pistons you can get in there with a displacement of 850cc's. The rods are specially made by Carrillo. The 16 and 17 wheels are Marvic magnesium. The valve covers and rear fender were missing. The custom Italian made rear shock was flat dead. Reno's familiar hand painted red cam timing marks and ingraved initials are where they normally are. The competition two into one exhaust is made to fit very precisely.
I did a lot to this bike to get it streetable. I was able to fit a remote cylinder Sachs shock off an Apprilla. I replaced the tires.
During the course of adjusting the valves, I found the exhaust valve in the front cylinder was too short for the longest closing shim available so I had to use another valve; one that I bought from Reno on my trip!
Total Seal Piston Rings made new rings for both pistons.
After reassembly, I spent much time on jetting and timing. I just could not get a smooth transition of power below 4k.
I had no choice but to change cams. I found a set of Pantah cams and took out the lumpy originals with offset keys.
After that the bike throttled better down low but still had gobs of power. With the aid of an emission tester, I was even able to get it to pass local standards for motorcycles.
Despite the firm ride, this bike is a joy to ride in the tight stuff as well as in the big sweepers. I took it out for an afternoon ride to one of my favorite roads. I was haiving a blast until I saw flashing lights in my rear view mirror.
After pulling over, the cop told me he was following me for five miles before I pulled over and asked what took me so long to stop. I respectfully said that I was not concerned with what was behind me but what was in front. I told him he should have used his siren.
I also told him that I had just finished doing a restoration on the bike and this was it's first outing. He complimented me on my effort and proceeded to write me a ticket. He could have gotten me for criminal speeding for I was over 30 mph above the posted speed but since he rode a bike for fun, he gave me a break. The ticket still cost me three points and a bit over $300!
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