Restoration Revival

It’s been a long time since I last gave any attention to my oldest motorcycle. As of the last post, I had the money, motivation, but no time. I am happy to announce that I now also have the time!! Being back in California helps immensely as well for reasons that will become apparent. However, since there are currently 8 motorcycles in the garage I shared with my roommates, even though I have a garage to work in, trying to complete a restoration in it was another matter entirely.

Therefore, I started looking around for some shop space that I could rent or use to do my work. Back in 2012, a place called Moto Shop opened up in South San Francisco. Moto Shop was a company that would rent or own large shop space as a base for a community motorcycle garage where anyone can work on their motorcycle, or take a workshop and learn how for a hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly rate. I looked them up again and wouldn’t you know they changed their name to Moto Guild and opened a San Jose location (much closer to me)! Shop space solved. http://www.motoguild-sv.com/

Last Saturday, I went and hooked up my trailer, with the 250 still sleeping inside, and drove about 15 minutes North to Hayward to meet with Chris Quinn, master wheel builder and vintage Ducati legend.

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He remembered me and the bike and I spent 4 hours there with him, discussing the bike, tearing open the motor (for the first time!) and searching through is shop of endless old Ducati parts for some of the bits I still needed. We took off the clutch side cover, bevel side cover, and eventually slid the cylinder up to get a peak down below. What we found was incredible!

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The crank was shiny and new, the valves and guides were all new and modified topped off with a high compression piston. The engine was built, and very well done, but had never been fired! We were able to figure out why too. Before we took the cylinder off, we rotated the motor a bit an kept hearing a consistent clunk. As we figured, the top of the piston was hitting the valves since the piston isn’t stock. We took a walk into Chris’ shop, he pulled out one of many cylinder shims in a drawer handed it to me and said, “take the cylinder off, put this under it, and put it back on.” How awesome is that! Speaking of his shop, I snapped some photos of this vintage restorers wet dream…

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After pulling a table full of parts out of all his stock, he tallied up what he wanted for everything, I handed him a few bills and was out of there with a ton of much needed and very hard to find pieces for an incredibly reasonable price. I’ll post up the parts later on. With the bike, and my new box of parts, loaded up, I left for San Jose and Moto Guild. Moto Guild Silicon Valley opened in July of 2015 and is still very much getting started. The man running the show is Patrick and he is a very nice guy who was more than excited to have the little 250 in the shop. Turns out that he is also from Illinois and went to Eastern Illinois University, in the town I used to live in and owned my first house in for 4 years! Small world.

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And I almost forgot, before I left Illinois, I was able to title the bike as a 1966 Ducati 250 Mark III (MK3 or MKIII). Regardless how the various pieces may have began life, the bike that I will own at the end of this restoration will look like the image below of the bike it is titled as!

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