~ Assen 1983 Ducati-club Nederland ~

.... After a season in the Belgian Championship Hill climb, basically a sprint along a closed public road, I tackled the faster class at the races. Went down approx ten seconds after this picture was taken, at 100+.  And that was mph.  Gravel is very neat stuff, unless it gets INSIDE the engine, so we took heads and cylinders off and got it running two hours later.

By then about everything had been modified. But I was still running the old crankshaft with the small big end, at about 30k. Revved it to 9000.  Frame was early Darmah nr 900127, with the headstock cut off and rewelded at 23. Bit of a miscalculation while made the jig.

So I had to install a 16 inch at the front to keep the tire from touching the head.  Did that in 1983, but after a few test sessions at Zolder, Belgium finally traced the "curious" road holding to a weight bias too much to the front. So I chopped a few inches of the swing arm and presto, a Duc that power wheelied and made fast rolling stoppies that scared my fellow racers so bad they always let me through.

Off course (sic) couldn't take a hand from the bars or it would develop an unhealthy headshake. At least you didn't have to plan any changes of direction because it was so switchable I could go through chicanes a lot faster then other Ducs.

Other mods : Imola cams, standard valves, 36 mm Dell'orto and a lot of carefull putting together. Clutch-less upshifting on the right side, hydraulic clutch, standard prim. drive, although i misled the others because I could opt for the prim gears at two ratios.

Now there's a straight cut ready for installment. The fact that I speak four languages made it very easy for me to go as interpreter between the Dutch and/or French speaking organizers , and the Dutch and/or French speaking pilots. This way I got to know the right people at the tech control, who willingly turned the other way every time a sound-check was obliged. A bit loud and sharp was that self made two-into-one exiting right side high under the seat. This was 1983.

My computer time is up, so I have to shut down.  You can use anything You like. The very secret details about my Ducs you'll only manage to get when you're over here and have a few days to spare. 

Joseph Ballardini [ducadini@hotmail.com

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