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HOME/Restoring a Ducati 750 Super Sport (1974)

30 September 2016 by Harné Heuvelman

We are nearing completion of one of the nicest projects we have been involved with since we started restoring classic Ducati’s; an original 1974 750 Super Sport. And what a story this bike has to tell!

This specific bike was built in 1974 as part of the highly exclusive batch of 750 Super Sports, commemorating the victory of Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari at the 1972 Imola 500. As was the case with many Super Sports, this bike was raced by a racing team located in Rome, Italy for the next few years. A few years of history were lost but it ended up in a bike shop in Florence, Italy where it was sold to a young Englishman (and still current owner of this bike) in 1981. The receipt is still with the bike.

Our client drove the bike from Italy to the UK when it had some troubles around the Bologna area. He decided to drive to the Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale to have it fixed and of course he could continue his journey shortly. The receipt from the factory repair is also still with the bike!

The bike was then raced in many UK racing events over the course of the 1980’s as is still shown by the scrutineering stickers on the wind screen. It was then parked in a garage for at least 20 years before we received an e-mail from the current owner asking if we could restore it.

Shown here are pictures of how the bike was initially delivered to us. As you can see there were a lot of original parts missing and with its racing life behind, it had many racing upgrades that might have seemed logical at the time but are not doing the bike justice as probably the most sought after Ducati classic.

We started out with careful inspection and filing of all the individual parts and soon came up with a list of ‘hard-to-find’ parts that were missing. Since all of the bodywork parts were still original, we decided to restore as much as possible instead of simply replacing it. After we were 100% satisfied with the bodywork fitted we completely disassembled the bike and the engine.

Inside the engine we found a lot of worn out parts, not surprisingly give the bike’s racing history. As the original machined con-rods were still present but the bearings beyond tolerance, we machined these out to place a new bearing ring inside the con-rods. These were placed undersize and crimped in place after which we laser welded them in place. With a new big-end pin and bearings, the crankshaft was then reassembled and aligned.

The engine was newly build with a new 6-dog gearbox, new Pistal pistons. The original cylinder heads had a twin spark conversion so we decided to source an extra set of cylinder heads we made to desmo specifications. Both sets received new valve guides and seats and the single spark set was built up with all original parts and new valves.

One major issue in this restoration was the colour green to use on the frame and bodywork. Luckily we found a new old stock (!) 750 Super Sport frame to use on another project (#32, more about this project later on so keep posted) we used to replicate the correct colour. We were 100% confident to have the correct specifications for the 1974 750 Super Sport and the bike was fully repainted.

With the rest of the parts back from chroming, polishing and plating, we started with the final build of the project. We sourced a set of original Scarab brakes and completely rebuild these along with a set of original Marzocchi rear shocks, Smiths instruments etc.

The 750 Super Sport is now nearing completion and will be out for road testing soon after which it will be returned to its long-time owner.

Tags: 750 SS, Concours, Nut-and-Bolt Restoration

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