How to Restore a 1966 250 Ducati

6 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on How to Restore a 1966 250 Ducati
Ducati 250 Scrambler

How to Restore a 1966 250 Ducati

A long, long time ago I got my first ride on a motorcycle. I only remember that it was a big British twin, it vibrated like crazy at speed and although being terrified, I was hooked. I really didn’t know anything about motorcycles and just went to all the dealers and looked around. I liked the look of the 1974 Kawasaki 750 triple. so I bought one!

I spent time reading everything I could get my hands on about motorcycles and when I wasn’t reading, I was riding. After about a year of learning all the arcane things about driving motorcycles, I decided to try and make it handle and get some more power out of it. After a whole chunk of cash, it was faster and sort of handled.

Great bike by the way, would love to have another. One day I was riding around and saw this weird looking and noisy bike that had an odd red metalflake and black paint job. I hooked up behind this guy and was surprised at how much grunt this loud bike had and what a wild bunch of sounds it made.

At the next light I took off my helmet and strapped it to the seat and followed the guy around just listening to his bike. I later had a conversation with the guy, who at first ask me why the heck was I following him around and he told me that his bike was a 750 Ducati and where the dealer was. This was my introduction to bevel gears and Conti’s!

I bought a 860 Ducati (at the time I didn’t know or care about older Ducati’s) and changed to Conti pipes, KN filters, rejetted and BMW R90S handlebars. I rode with a bunch of other Italian bike people and got to try some interesting bikes 750GT, 900SS, Laverda 750SFC and a Jota. The Jota had a 3 into 1 race pipe, pure Götterdämmerung.

I was at the Ducati dealer getting a clutch cable (remember to lube the pivot in the lever grrr. ) and he was having trouble moving a silver and blue 900SS, the deal was my bike and $1000.00 cash! I still lose sleep over this but at the time it just wasn’t a big deal. I later sold the 860 and got into Alfa’s which is another interesting and expensive story.

A few years later I got back into riding and bought a Honda 400F, I loved the sound of the bike through a Yosh pipe at 10,500 rpm. I also bought a 350 Sebring which I tried to restore but didn’t stick with it. Back then a Veglia white face tach was CDN$80.00!!

Now many years later and obviously none the wiser I decided to start again and get another Ducati. I thought I would look for a 750GT. I was surfing the web and found a picture of a restored Mach 1 and my plans changed. I had forgotten all about Ducati singles. Doing some research showed the bike to get would be a Mach 1 or a Diana.

Much searching on the web and elsewhere showed that a Mach 1 or a Diana would be hard to find and $$$. I found some basket case 250’s in the US but they were all way too expensive (US to CDN exchange was around 1.50) I purchased Mick Walkers great book on Ducati Singles and learned about what I should be looking for.

Ducati 250 Scrambler

I found a local 1966 narrowcase 250 scrambler for CDN$600.00. According to Mick Walker, the engine, frame and suspension of the scrambler and the Diana of the same year are virtually the same so I bought the bike. Converting a scrambler to street should be easy if everything is the same.

I found out that everything important is the same except for a minor detail on the frame. The scrambler frame has an additional brace between the upper shock mounts which I guess is actually a bonus in that it should stiffen the rear end but will make fitting a seat a little challenging.

The piston was seized and the head bolts were missing and the bike looked like h**l but most everything was there and the crankcase was full of oil. The speedo also said only 1900 miles. I knew that this one had the right engine with the shim type valve adjusters and managed to talk the guy down to CDN$400.00 and brought it home.

I sprayed the bike with WD-40 to stop any corrosion and pulled the head and filled the cylinder with penetrating oil. I tore the bike down, bagged and labeled everything and got it all in the basement. Everything that was scrambler related I sold on ebay.

I finally got the cylinder off by drilling the head out of the piston and then grinding through the piston walls. I collapsed the piston and the cylinder came free. The cylinder will probably have to bored out as it has some deep rust pits and looks like it got really hot.

More about the scrambler engine and frame later.

Ducati 250 Scrambler
Ducati 250 Scrambler
Ducati 250 Scrambler


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