An Ital­ian Stal­lion

Classic Trial - - CONVERSION -

At Bill Han­nah’s ware­house, Gaunt was able to view the vast amount of new ma­chines and spare parts avail­able for his new tri­als pro­ject. Work­ing with his friend, mo­tor­cy­cle dealer Ray Dell, they de­cided what was needed and loaded an as­sort­ment of parts into their ve­hi­cles and re­turned to York­shire. Gaunt had noted on the Se­bring that one of the ear­li­est prob­lems would be the width of the 350cc model’s crank­case.

Hav­ing rid­den the 20HP five-gear road mod­els, he knew the power was far too fast and ag­gres­sive for the slow-speed world of tri­als. Af­ter some se­ri­ous mea­sur­ing, he found that the crank­shaft ta­pers on both the ig­ni­tion and clutch side on the 160cc were the same as the 350cc over­head camshaft sin­gle cylin­der en­gine. This al­lowed him to utilise the gear and tim­ing ra­tios from the 160cc Monza, which were lower than the 350cc, and af­ter some care­ful thought, they would be mar­ried to­gether. He could also fit the ig­ni­tion and fly­wheels from the smaller en­gine. The five gears avail­able in the 160cc were also lower in ra­tio than the 350cc, which in turn re­duced the size of the rear wheel sprocket to make the pas­sage through rocks and ob­sta­cles eas­ier. The mount­ing points on the frame were the same for the 350cc, so the 160cc frame was the base for the tri­als pro­ject.

Work soon got un­der­way with the two-man team us­ing a wide as­sort­ment of parts that they had avail­able from over the years of build­ing their own special tri­als ma­chines. Other Ducati parts and com­po­nents were mod­i­fied and used. Af­ter many hours in the work­shop, their very own ‘Ital­ian Stal­lion’ was ready to test. It soon be­came ob­vi­ous that the power de­liv­ery was still very strong and far too harsh for tri­als use. By grind­ing the camshaft into a more ‘pear’ shape, it al­lowed the valves to be open longer, tak­ing the edge off its per­for­mance and de­liv­er­ing a smoother power. En­ter­ing a few lo­cal and na­tional tri­als Gaunt was pleased enough with the ma­chine to en­ter the Scot­tish Six Days Trial on it.

Stick­ing out like a sore thumb is the en­gine’s sump.

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