An Italian Stallion
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.