At Italian Iron Classics LLC, we are very excited to be the US & Canadian dealer for Two Wheel Classics-UK. It is our goal to share our unique builds as well as to illustrate through videos how the Ducati TT enthusiasts can buy a complete kit to make their own Pantah Racer, TT 1/TT 2, or a TT 900 with modern 2 valve engines. Our first inspiration is below.
This Ducati Pantah Racer was found at the local Ducati dealer in Florence, Italy on our last trip. I could not keep this image out of my mind. Now we are building a 650 Pantah racer with the half fairing (which I have in stock) and in the Yellow on Red livery using Two Wheel Classics-UK bodywork. However, Two Wheel Classics-UK makes it easy to build a fully faired Pantah Racer like the one pictured below.
I can attest to the quality of the TWC bodywork as the fiberglass is the top quality matting versus the chopped strand style. Kits can arrive painted or prepared and ready for paint. Period decal kits are also available. See a photo of what you can expect from our quality inventory. At Italianiron.com we have original Pantah frames. However, Two Wheel Classics-UK also manufactures high quality Pantah frames and swingarms that are lighter and stronger by using modern metals.
Our project consists of a Pantah 650 engine that was raced in Holland and came in my first purchase of inventory from the 3rd generation Ducati dealer and specialty performance engine builders, Biggelaar Performance in beautiful Oisterwijk, The Netherlands. I do have some Pantah engines in inventory for those that wish to keep their vintage racer pure and period. However, the market, in my opinion, is what we call the TT 900 where the frame will accommodate a modern Ducati engine and the TT 2 style fuel tank is manufactured to accommodate modern carbs between the cylinders. A future blog post will address that build.
Now that the crank was rebuilt and balanced, it was time to start the process of shimming the engine. However, it is my curse to not leave things alone. It has been my thought that up to the 650 cc Pantah engine, that the 5 speed gearbox did get the best performance out of this engine. As that was obviously fixed with the 750 F1 engine with larger capacity, I started thinking about another solution. In talking to Glyn at Sports Motorcycles, he shared that they have been using 6 speed modern gearboxes from 620 Monsters or Multi's in their engines and has a kit to make everything fit.
The modification took a little more than adding a bush and adding a shift detent but is not insurmountable. However we did get the cases shimmed and operating. Now the issue is the clutch as the standard clutch basket will not work on the splines of the 620 gearbox. The solution it appears is to use a clutch basket from a 750 F1 or Paso. Sea container from Holland is scheduled to arrive on 12 Mar 18 with the additional Pantah and Paso engines as well as other bits so that we will need to test out our theory then.
In the interim, I picked up the Ducati 650 SL frame and corresponding bits from my local powder coater. We did modify the SL frame to take a mono-shock set-up as we are using a Verlicchi swingarm on this project. Additionally we welded some additional bracing around that section of the frame where the new shock mount fits for added stability.
For those interested, TWC makes a brilliant quality Verlicchi replica swingarm that is available for purchase. We are also exploring the possibility of making these swingarms in titanium which could be very interesting. Please follow the Two Wheel Classics-UK and my Italianiron.com sites for more information.
It is my hope that you can share in my excitement and enthusiasm as motorcycle restoration and bike builds, much less racing has been an artistic calling and an opportunity to embrace new challenges. I love to take a pile of bits and to transform them into a beautiful final result with the great team that I have here at Italian Iron Classics, LLC.
I thank Ducati, its history of engineering expertise, artistry and racing passion that has inspired so many throughout the world and allows this wonderful community of Ducatisti to blossom. It is such a great pleasure to be affiliated with Jim Blomley of Two Wheel Classics-UK and his decades of racing and expertise in manufacturing these beautiful TT machines. I am having the time of my life in this "second" career!! If we can help you to fulfill your Ducati dreams and racing passion, please reach out to us and we will be happy to help!!