It has been a long summer.

We have had many biking visitors and loads of miles have been completed on the Ducati 848 and the ST2. Neither have needed much doing to them apart from routine maintenance. The ST2 headlight has evolved yet again and now has two LED halo rings that are illuminated when the ignition is switched on, but extinguish when the dip beam HID bi-xenon is switched on. A friend, who has just bought an ST2, also wants a headlight the same but with a 55 watt halogen bulb in the bi-xenon projector, so I will use the spare headlight and make one up for him.

My wife’s BMW F800ST has been sold as she much prefers the ST2 with its perfect suspension and the more involved riding experience. The Chinese 125 monkey bike has gone as it was never being used.

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This Autumn I also decided that my 1991 BMW K100RS 16v was surplus to requirements as I no longer need a heavy intercontinental high speed tourer. The decision is to turn it into a naked cafe racer style bike. 40 kgs of fairings have been stripped and much modifying has been done. It will be a single seat 100 bhp naked and will be ideal for the roads around here. Quite a bit of work has already been done to the RS but no pictures will be published until it is nearly finished.

Then came an amazing gift. A friend of ours has some amazing old cars, 1970’s BMW 3.0 CS, 1948 Alvis soft top, Triumph TR4a and also quite a few old motorbikes. Now as an engineer I take great pleasure in spending the day in his garage working on mechanical things to help him out. Last week we spent all day trying to set up the huge twin choke carburetors on the mighty 6 cylinder BMW, the week before we rewired the electrics under the dashboard of the TR4, and before that we stripped the brakes down on his old Honda 750 F1.

He also has a number of old bikes going back as far as the 1930’s one of which caught my attention, a 1967 Ducati 250 Mk3. I have always wanted either one of these, a Moto Guzzi Falcone or a BMW 250 single. Unfortunately as life goes on and ones finances become more  stable the price of these bikes tends to go far beyond reasonable levels. So it was with great surprise that T and his wife told me that I could have the little Ducati to restore.

People tell me that these bikes are worth good money, but I am from a different school in that to me a bike is something to cherish and use and not an investment. This particular bike is a 1967 but was first registered in the UK in 1969 according to the log book. It was last ridden in 1993. The trailer was prepared and the little Ducati (now called Dinky Duc) was brought home. Because there are 3 big bikes in the garage and one of them is on bike lift, Dinky has been allocated space in the warmer carpeted office.

A thorough examination was made to see what bits were needed, she is quite complete, but the list included battery, clutch, fuel taps, tyres and other minor things. While waiting for parts to arrive from the internet I removed things like the silver painted mudguards and chain guard so that they could be stripped de-rusted, primed and painted. The carburetor was in bits in a box, so that was rebuilt and fitted. I put new oil (10/40 semi synthetic) into the little engine and checked the points and plug. Dinky was pushed outside to see if she would start as these bikes are known to be difficult. Jude came with her video camera and started filming. She started first swing of the kick starter for the first time in 23 years.

Dinky later had her seat refitted for a quick photo shoot before being returned to her carpeted resting place for minor mechanical things like the clutch to be done. Enjoy the pictures.

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