As a lover, rider, wrench
and collector of 70's Italian motorcycles, I had been looking for a new
project around a roundcase 750 for a while. I totally love the round
cases and I just happened to have an defunct, incomplete and dismantled
GT laying around in the garage - in boxes.
The obvious choice was to
rebuild the GT itself but there was not enough of the bike there to
actually make it a feasible project. The next most obvious choice was to
build a green frame replica, but i was afraid of the 'yet
another-syndrome'. Even if you have a real green frame, most will think
it's a rep anyway... so I thought a little bit more and also realized i
wanted a unique bike, too.
Something that had not been done before, something very special. Then in
2000, I think it was, I 'rediscovered' the Prototype Sport. A bike that
was built to test the market's enthusiasm to a more sporty version of
the GT, which needed at least a facelift at the time.
(Remember that the CB750 had just made a huge impact on the market and
many motorcycle manufacturers were trying to recover from the blow.)
There were three prototype Sports built in 1971/72. Two were running
machines and one was a mock up. In true Ducati style, these bikes were
all different in many small respects.
The market responded with
enthusiasm and hence, as we all know, the Sport was born! The three
prototypes were lost - probably shipped back to the factory and
dismantled. All that remained were a few pictures, a few memories and,
as far as I could find out, no other round cases like this in existence!
My better shaped half,
Marcelle, started calling this bike Dutch-S from a partially jealous
point of view because of the time, energy and money I was putting into
researching and building her - but the name stuck. In some ways this
bike has been a mistress to me, i suppose...
Dutch-S has two very obvious characteristics. The colour-scheme and the
We weren't sure of the black&white colours at the start. The pictures
and memories were black&white but it could equally have been
brown&caramel, light blue/navy or any other combination that would turn
up black&white on a 30 year old photocopy of an article in a Spanish
magazine. So there was much dispute about this but we finally decided
not to soften the effect and Black&White it was! (Much later on, we got
hold of a colour image and it actually was black&white! I think this was
the first white framed bike Ducati ever built. Later on there were a few
more specials like the 851/888 with white frames, too.) When the frame
came back from the painter (no power coating) it was VERY white and i
was really worried we had gotten it wrong, but we got used to it and
soon, when the bits and pieces were bolted on to the frame it started
looking better and better and finally... it looked Great!
The pipes were like the ones Magni still makes for MVs and to be
perfectly honest, it was this single feature that was probably the most
important reason for me, for building this bike. I just LOVE those
curved pipes! We got hold of a new set of Contis and I had a wonderfully
competent bloke hand build the curve around the Contis inside. I am
happy with the result but if there ever is a next time, i think ill give
it more swerve. Problem is that i also wanted it to sound like the Sport
so there was a limited amount of swerving possible.
Anyway, this is the result and aside from a few minor problems (bent
disc, false air in the rear carb manifold, tyre damage because of a bad
mounting of the front fender, difficulty in getting a proper kicker) we
did it and the bike rides today, like a dream and attracts admirers
everywhere its parked.
Before you all think I did this alone: it wasn't possible without The
Man With The Wrench and Ducatist pur sang: Robert Buijs and a whole lot
of people who advised, helped and supplied bits and pieces to make this
project finally succeed!