Par­al­lels from Bologna

Old Bike Australasia - - BLOW YOUR OWN -

For all its fraught ex­is­tence, and the all too ob­vi­ous flaws in the GT ver­sion, the lit­tle Sport Desmo Du­cati twin (OBA 59) was ac­tu­ally a de­light to ride. A girl­friend, later mother of our daugh­ters, owned one in the early eight­ies when I met her. It was a lit­tle sad, but some ser­vic­ing, a tune-up and a coat of high gloss black and fluro pink in place of the red and white, and it looked, went and han­dled like a charm.

It was al­ready out classed of course, but its 170km/h plus was real and it was sta­ble and ag­ile. It also pulled up OK, though the .05 Brembo cal­lipers, pretty stan­dard at the time and typ­i­cal of the first Pan­tahs, 450 sin­gles and even the Pan­tahCa­gi­vas, were a lit­tle ‘tested’. They should have been su­perceded in the mid 1970s by the vastly su­pe­rior .08s, which went on to be stan­dard fare for nigh-on a decade. You just had to bear that in­ad­e­quacy in mind, as one did with most drums, and the ma­jor­ity of stain­less discs to be found on con­tem­po­rary, sim­i­lar mass, mid range ma­chines. The Con­tis sounded like Con­tis should, even with the 180 de­gree crank, and the sus­pen­sion was good Ital­ian pro­duc­tion stuff, much bet­ter stan­dard than al­most any­thing else around at the time. The 180° desmo twin was never a match for the 500 Pan­tah of course, let alone the much im­proved 600 and 650. My own bike at the time was, and I still own it, a then-new Hail­wood schemed 600, among var­i­ous BSAs etc. (I get by now with a 748R).

Sadly some­one else thought they loved her more than we did, and stole her, never to be seen again. Bas­tards. I’d have an­other one, just for the plea­sure of it, even if, be­ing a typ­i­cal Bologna Hussey, it did de­mand a lit­tle at­ten­tion.

Peter Wat­son Ar­mi­dale, NSW

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.