Carl’s Restored 1966 Ducati Mach1

19 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Carl’s Restored 1966 Ducati Mach1
Ducati Mach 1

September 10, 2002: Starting final assembly!

Put on the swing arm and new shocks.

September 11, 2002

Put in the special steering head roller bearings from Sid’s. See the cool press I built with threaded rod.

September 13, 2002

Time to start risking scratching those nice painted parts. This was the real emotional point; I was now committing myself to really assemble the bike. Those perfect parts stay perfect forever wrapped up in the boxes, but you can’t ride them! So not much really happened that day, but my mindset really changed to be: GET IT DONE!

The center stand went on and the fender went in.

September 15, 2002

Triple clamp, front forks, clip-ones!

Here is some interesting info on the clip-ons from Godfrey:

[Speaking about meeting Franco Farne and Ing. Taglioni at the Ducati factory] He (Farne!) was the one who personally fished my Ducati 250 Mark 3 clip-ons out of a dusty bin in 1979, at Taglioni’s behest, polished them up, and air-freighted them to the US for me. For the princely sum of $14 delivered! – Godfrey

September 16-20, 2002

The wheels! Sent them out to have new tires mounted, the brand new (1995) but now old Avons had become greasy in storage, so I purchased a new set of Brazilian made Pirellis from Road and Race in Australia. I also had to polish the hub cover and plate the axels and stuff. Here, as like the engine, I just polished till everything was clean and crisp. No mirror finish stuff here: my Mach 1 is a rider!

You can see a shot of the plated parts and a shot that shows some parts before and after polishing. Installed the rear wheel and front fender.

September 20, 2002

One thing you can’t see here is the dozens of trips I made to the hardware store for bolts and widgets. I was often there 3 times a day! And hours bead blasting and plating parts with my plating kit. Many of these were full 8 hour days just to strip and plate parts and buy bolts just to assemble a small bit. Here is a series of shots of me at 11PM working in the garage.

You can see the bead blasting cabinet on the left. And in the front on the right there’s a handy grinding and polishing wheel. And you can just make out a big white bucket behind the front forks of the Mach1. that’s the plating bucket!

September 21, 2002

Front wheel goes on and now the engine! You can see the jack stand holding the engine up, and all the frame padding!

September 22, 2002

WooHoo! It’s starting to look like a bike! I test fit the stainless exhaust (nice! – another Road and Race goodie). Fit the chain. Finished rebuilding and modifying the brake switch.

Note the freshly plated cover!

September 24, 2002

Cables and ignition wiring. Big day. I had spent many, many, many hours figuring out the wiring and getting the right ignition parts. You can see a Dyna coil and a modern regulator placed in a spot that will be hidden under the seat. I fabricated and crackle painted a mounting plate in the days before this.

And put on that air filter! (I’ve since replaced this ugly filter with a velocity stack).

September 25, 2002 The moment of truth.

I’ve put oil in the engine. Hooked up gas lines. Fabricated a temporary gas tank that I have place on a cardboard box, above the level of the carb. Talk about a fire hazard!

I did place a fire extinguisher a few steps away. You can see the bike has a true magneto system, there is no battery in the picture yet as the engine doesn’t need it to run. I have also installed a regular kick starter as opposed to the proper one you see later (the proper one doesn’t really have enough rotation to start the engine when cold Looks good, but doesn’t work! I push start the bike when cold now.) Also note the color of the exhaust in these pictures.

Brand new silver color with no blueing. yet. I carefully cleaned the exhaust with alcohol to insure that no greasy fingerprints would be burned into the finish. (This is an issue with polished stainless steal exhausts).

Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, bumble. kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick rumble, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, pop. kick, kick, kick, backfire. kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, Almost. kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick. really I fiddled and kicked for about 40 minutes and then: VROOOM! It runs!

See below, the freshly, blue’d exhaust header! And the whole exhaust is starting to turn that fabulous golden color! Excellent! Forza Italia!

September 28, 2002

Back to work on the electrics. Note the battery. it a real 3 cell wet battery. This proves to be a problem later as it does spit up a little acid probably due to the crude ‘charging’ system that only has a diode as a rectifier and regulator. Since then, I have replaced the battery with a shell obtained from Domiracer that looks absolutely correct but is hollow and has a small modern permanently sealed glass matt lead acid battery hidden inside.

I charge the modern battery with a Battery Tender after rides. Remember, the battery is only used for the lights on this bike.

September 30, 2002

Test fit the gas tank and design some padding for it. Headlamp shell goes in. More electrical work. Rear tail lamp goes on.

And the tach drive goes on! (The tach drive was cracked inside when I received it. I had this fabulous aluminum piece welded at a local shop.)

October 1, 2002

Petcocks go on. Finding the right gaskets for these seems impossible until I give up and use o-rings instead. Not exactly proper, but it looks fine and works.

Headlamp lens goes on, and the front looks great!

Another 10 hour day in the garage. Really starting to push to get the bike completed. I know I need to get done well in advance of the Oct 13 show, as I will need a lot of time to debug and tune the bike before riding it 40 miles to Alameda. Started with the corroded parts you see below and by the end of the day had newly plated parts installed. The shift pedal and linkage, brake pedal and foot pegs were all zinc plated in my bucket!

Also mounted the tachometer and brake light switch, with a little bootie made from a bicycle tire tube.

October 3-4, 2002

Two more long days working on the electrics and final assembly. The electrics end up requiring significant thought and work to assemble solidly and fit into the headlamp shell. You can see it’s packed in there.

And everything needs to be solid, as I intend to really ride this bike; it’s NOT a trailer queen. Lots of work checking circuits with the multimeter! I check everything twice.

And then a little past midnight on October 4, 2002 I finish the bike! See the picture of me, proudly drinking a celebratory scotch in the garage with my new 1966 Ducati Mach 1! Hurray!

But then moments after this picture, I turn the ignition on. I had tested everything twice, but had never done it completely assembled. and this time a fuse blows! At 1AM the ignition switch is all apart, and I see it is a ‘make before break’ design and this shorts out the system for a moment. An hour of filing and modifying and it’s fixed and reassembled! DONE.


October 4, 2002

Ducati Mach 1

The first ride. Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick. Forget it; kick starting is impossible with the proper lever.

But I learned to push start when I raced a two stroke.

Push, run, bounce on the seat, dump clutch, coast to stop. Walk back.

Push, run, bounce on the seat, dump clutch, coast to stop. Walk back.

Push, run, bounce on the seat, dump clutch, coast to stop. Walk back.

Push, run, bounce on the seat, dump clutch, coast to stop. Walk back.

Push, run, bounce on the seat, dump clutch, coast to stop. Walk back.

Push, run, bounce on the seat, dump clutch, coast to stop. Walk back.

Push, run, bounce on the seat, dump clutch, coast to stop. Walk back.

Push, run, bounce on the seat, dump clutch. VROOM!

And I’m off around the block! I can’t even begin to describe this. Concern for the bike, how is it running, excitement! Here are pictures from that happy day!

October 5-12, 2002

Tuning and timing. I frantically work on the carb jetting and the timing. The bike looks great but runs horribly. This is a period of endless carb changes.

Little do I realize, but the real problem is that the timing is way off. But in the last days, I check it and figure out the problem and get the bike running. Poorly, but rideable. And it sounds great!

I enlist the help of a very good friend, Ralph, who will follow me to the show with his pickup, just in case of disaster. But to myself, I swear that I will get there without his help.

October 13, 2002 All Italian Day, Alameda, California

Push, run, bounce on the seat, dump clutch, coast to stop. Walk back.

Push, run, bounce on the seat, dump clutch, coast to stop. Walk back. Push, run, bounce on the seat, dump clutch, VROOM!

I’m off on the 40 mile trip to Alameda. Grinning like an idiot! Ralph following behind in his pickup blocking traffic as I learn how to ride the bike. Reach about 70 MPH!

Runs poorly, but runs (it should make it above 100). I pull into the show in Alameda, feeling like a hero to myself, and really just so self satisfied I could burst. I spend a couple hours there, bantering with old friends.

But I leave early, as getting there was only half the mission. I replace the spark plug as it is almost fouled. I put my gear back on. And then I walk the bike to end of the parking lot. I’m concentrating.

I really don’t want to mess this up in front of the crowd! Petcocks ON. Ignition ON. Twist the throttle pumping fuel into the carburetor 3 times. Put the bike in neutral. Push. RUN. RUN. Jump on, bounce on the seat while dumping the clutch, VROOOOOOOM! It starts! Blip throttle. VROOOOOOM! Woohoo! I’m off! Afterwards, Ralph tells me it looked great. Running through the crowd and push starting the bike was apparently a highlight of the show! I feel great! SUCCESS!

Picture below of the bike and I at the show and another showing my tiny bike hidden in the lineup between a Ducati 748 and a Moto Guzzi.


It’s now April 2003. Shortly after the show, my clutch failed. This made push starts impossible. I garaged the bike through the holidays and relaxed. A couple weeks ago I received a new clutch, installed it and am now tweaking the timing and jetting.

The bike runs much better, and will soon be a zoomer, I’m confident. As I mentioned earlier, I changed the battery to a sealed unit and replaced the air filter with a velocity stack.

Ducati Mach 1

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