A 1979 Ducati GTS 900….
When I found her she was left for dead. The previous owner had cut pieces off the frame with a grinder in hopes of turning this vintage Italian machine into a drag bike and also parted out the original components. She was a cut frame, partial engine, damaged gas tank, two wheels and a shoebox of bolts.
For two years I tracked down parts from all corners of the globe and reassembled what I could and fabricated the rest. Classic Smiths gauges from someone’s closet in England, OEM handlebars from Georgia, vintage kickstart lever from Canada, gears from Australia, etc. I was able to find an appropriate seat from a Ducati 500 GTL, which cleaned up well and preserved Giorgetto Giugiaro’s great lettering on the back.
The cut frame caused problems mounting a set of Conti pipes. To create mounting points for them I milled a set of aluminum arms and used handlebar risers to attach them to the frame. I cut a section out of a bicycle handlebar to attach a K&N filter to the oil breather and fabricated mounting brackets on a Hossfeld bender. A leather, WWII Swiss Army ammo holder acts as a smuggler’s pouch/tool box, and is attached by a belt and U.S. silver dollar rig crafted by my dad.
The front forks were shaved, bead blasted, reversed, and retrofitted with a set of Brembos. The electrical system uses a lithium battery and LED’s. A flexible LED array was fitted to an armature I designed and built for the rear end made from formed and brazed, chrome dipped brass. Did I mention I like chrome? Love chrome.
The engine has been bored out to 1,000cc, sucks air from a pair of rebuilt 40mm Dellorto carbs, and burns 100 octane race gas fed from a cut and welded gas tank. A smoked chrome flake paint job felt very “late1970’s” and was a collaboration with So-Cal Speed Shop/painter Mick Jenkins. The Ducati badges were cast in bronze by a local foundry, finished with black patina, and surface polished to reveal the Ducati marque. I convinced the foundry to take on such a small project with the help of a bottle of Brunello and much begging.
This project really has been a celebration of our worldwide motorcycle community and would not have been possible without the help of many talented international enthusiasts, who provided expert knowledge and resources.