Ducati 750S Racer By Mecum

This terrific Ducati racer is from the factory’s early years racing its famous L-twins.

The Ducati win at Imola in 1972 inspired factory replicas, and racers built their own versions. Dr. Fabio Taglioni sketched out his first 90-degree L-engine as an engineering student in 1948, a 250cc 4-cylinder that was never built. Taglioni was hired away from FB Mondial in 1954 to work for Ducati and laid down the simple shaft-and-bevel OHC system for which Ducatis became best known, right through the company’s last bevel-drive Mike Hailwood Mille twin of 1986. Taglioni’s philosophy was “simplicity, carried to the ultimate extreme,” and his single-cylinder racers and roadsters were immediately successful, being both fast and, most importantly, very durable.

In 1969, Taglioni designed and built four prototype engines, all 90-degree L-twins with various valve operation from pushrod to single-cam and even a three-cam Desmo. It was decided to double-up Ducati’s single-cylinder engine with two shaft-and-bevel single-OHC cylinder heads atop a shapely unit-construction crankcase. The resulting engine was a case of first-time right, and within six months, the prototype was blasting through the Bolognese hills of 1970, vexing all other motorcyclists who tried to catch it, including the new Honda 4, which was simply left in the dust on the twisty local roads.

This prototype, with very little mechanical development, was slightly restyled, given disc brakes up front and sold as the 750GT starting in 1971. It truly was a grand tourer; its engine was dead smooth and torquey, and it provided immaculate (if slightly slow) handling and a perfect riding position. The factory had been racing different versions of the L-twin since 1970 in capacities from 500cc to 750cc, and its victory in the Imola 200—the Daytona of Italy—led the 750SS Imola Replica models, as well as quite a few semi-works machines that were given parts and advice from the factory, to fly the Ducati flag.

This hot 1972 Ducati 750S racer was manufactured in late 1971 or early 1972 and was raced in Yugoslavia from 1976 on, for several years, until Oves Motor AB imported it to Sweden in August 1990. Ove Johansson of the MC Collection, together with Swedish Ducati specialist Torbjörn Lindgren, researched and renovated this racer over the course of the next 15 years. Lindgren´s conclusions, after close contact with Dr. Fabio Taglioni, are included with the machine (the notes are in Swedish).

 

Report by mecum.com


Tags from the story
, ,