Just a couple of pics of the bike.
Bought this a couple of months ago - when I was kid in I saw one in France and drooled over it. But couldn’t afford it at the time!
It’s a genuine 1971 350 Desmo and came with a nice hadwritten letter by the late and great Mick Walker to say so, which is definitely worth keeping. It goes really well but when I first bought it, it was a sod to start, the kickstart almost broke me leg and buggered my knees…so I changed the old and worn Dellorto square-slide carb for a modern dellorto with the obligatory bellmouth, and it starts first kick, easily. I fitted a new exhaust too, and spent a heck of a time cleaning up the rusty spokes. Now it looks pretty as God and Bologna intended.
Next big job is to strip and rebuild the engine - not that there’s anything wrong but unfortunately it’s running with straight 40 castor oil, which is fine for tanking it around a track but no good for pootling along on the road - too thick, too gummy, but you can’t just drain it and fill up with modern 20/50 - the engine’s got to come apart.
I’m aiming, eventually, for a mint bike, but bikes need to be ridden. Glass-cased classic ‘exhibits’ are like birds with clipped wings. In the summer, this thing will be seen blatting around the Lincolnshire wolds and hopefully an outing or two (slowly, 'cos I’m not as brave as I used to be) around Cadwell.
By the way I’m new to this club - hope to meet some of you when the weather gets warmer.
Steve, Market Rasen
Welcome to the best Ducati club, quite a few members own singles. The Moto Giro held in Italy seems popular with the hardcore ones.
Very nice example you don’t see many of those, I’ve got a "74 Yellow 250 Desmo (disc) that I’m 1/2 way through completely rebuilding*.
Would have loved a 350 version, but they’re as rare as rocking horse pooh and price wise probably out of my league.
*Making slow progress due to lack of available cash, beer, too many other Ducati projects, beer, my habit of going to the TT and beer.
I’m sat here at the moment surrounded by parts for the front end of my "92 851, Maxton Ohlins FG9050 forks, RRR clipons, five spoke lightweight front wheel and spindle.
This little lot has set me back more than double what I paid for my tatty but running 250.
Nice looking bike, went through Market Rasen the other day, coffee and scones at the farm cafe on the Tealby road, recommended!!
Lovely bike, will be nice to see it, we will be at the BMF in May, Lincolnshire branch also have regular meets.
Thanks for your interest - I’m hoping to take it to the BMF in May, probably before starting work on the engine.
Yes I know that cafe well-there’s also the Willingham Woods layby caff. Hundreds of bikes come and go every weekend…
North Lincs is fab country for bikes, particularly sweet-handling little things like this.
Steve, I’m hoping to keep the number of bikes down to a sensible level (ie no more than 2!!!) because I also can’t afford any more. The other bike (a retirement pressie) is a yellow ‘74 250 desmo, like yours, with the disc brake. Much as I like working on them, this one will be a concours restoration by someone who really knows what he’s doing, and should be ready in a few months. Financially though it’s going to clean me out, but what the hell. What I don’t really want to do is start ‘collecting’ otherwise it’ll turn into a ‘wife or bike must go’ scenario’ and in all honesty, I sort of like the missus!
Around 35 years ago I rode one of these around for a while and also a 450 desmo for a bit. I found the 450 a bit of a beast and although quite new at the time, vibrated a bit too much for my liking. I reckon a late model 250 desmo is the best of the best.
I’d very much appreciate any hints and tips that anyone might have on either of these bikes - I’m no stranger to a spanner but you can’t learn too much. Particularly with these engines.