BIG-TIME BEVEL-DRIVE DE­VEL­OP­MENTS

Classic Bike (UK) - - Ducati Endurance Racers -

Months of de­velo p ment wa sp oured into this bike by NCR. Franco Farne, Mario Rec­chia and Piero Cavazzi were also key tech­ni­cians on th­ese en­durance rac­ers, al­though they were of­fi­cially Du­cati em­ploy­ees. So this re­ally is the Du­cati R&D de­part­ment at peak revs, with NCR stretch­ing the throt­tle ca­bles.

Painstak­ing at­ten­tion to de­tail in­creased power out­put but, cru­cially, re­tained re­li­a­bil­ity. The NCRS weighed 34kg less than Du­cati’s pro­duc­tion V-twins and of­ten beat fac­tory Honda and Kawasakis in en­durance events.

With a full fair­ing fit­ted, Grau and young­ster Vir­ginio Fer­rari won the 1000km race at Mugello that year – an im­por­tant vic­tory for Du­cati on home soil.

By now the com­pany had en­tered a golden pe­riod of rac­ing, cul­mi­nat­ing in Mike Hail­wood’s fa­mous Isle of Man vic­tory on June 2, 1978 on a 900cc Du­cati. Mike’s bike, built to the new road­ster-based TT For­mula One specs, em­ployed much of the tech­nol­ogy de­vel­oped in en­durance rac­ing.

The ex­tent of Du­cati’s de­vel­op­ment of the bevel en­gine was proven when the FIM in­tro­duced a Sil­hou­ette en­durance class in 1978. NCR built the mod­i­fied 900SS pic­tured here, which won the 1980 Mon­tjuic clas­sic out­right. En­tered by Du­cati’s Span­ish part­ner Mo­to­trans, it was rid­den by Jose Maria Mal­lol and Ale­jan­dro Te­jedo. It was a tight vic­tory, won by two laps against fac­tory Honda and Kawasaki teams, but proved the un­de­ni­able per­for­mance of Du­cati’s big V-twin.

Major parts on this bike, in­clud­ing the twointo-one ex­haust, found their way onto road­go­ing bevel V-twins via Du­cati’s per­for­mance parts cat­a­logue.

‘THIS MOD­I­FIED 900SS WON THE ’80 MON­TJUIC CLASS OUT­RIGHT’

2-1 ex­haust was of­fered for road bikes ABOVE: Su­per-slen­der across the beams in true Du­cati style

BE­LOW: It beat fac­tory Kawasaki and Honda teams

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