1997 DU­CATI 748

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Restoration Revealed -

“Noth­ing puts a smile on my face more than this bike”

Rob Kling­berg, Cre­ston, Illi­nois, USA

“I bought the bike back in 2007 with 36,000 miles on it and boy did it look like it’d done ev­ery sin­gle last one of them – the fair­ing was in rough shape and it’d been down the road at least once. The dry-crack­ing and sun-fad­ing didn’t help but I knew the guy that owned it and knew the mo­tor was good, so I went for it.

“I’ve been comb­ing ebay and Du­cati.ms for the past decade get­ting parts, al­though I’ve added a few touches of my own like the March­esini five-spoke wheels and Chi­nese af­ter­mar­ket rearsets to re­place the rub­bish stan­dard ones. It’s a real plea­sure to work on and you can tell the en­gi­neers de­signed this as a race bike first and added street stuff to it. Ev­ery­thing’s put to­gether so it’s easy to get to. I highly rec­om­mend Dzus fas­ten­ers for the fair­ing – I can have mine off in three min­utes!

“These are high main­te­nance bikes so make sure you stay on top of them. Def­i­nitely don’t skip belt and valve ser­vice in­ter­vals and use good qual­ity oil. She’ll love you for it – 42,000 miles on mine proves it. The good thing is that there are a lot of parts out there, and many 916 and 996 bits fit straight on.

“Noth­ing puts a smile on my face more than this bike. When she chugs into life and you lis­ten to the dry clutch rat­tling, no twin sounds as sexy as a Du­cati. You sit in it, not on it. The tank is so nar­row it feels like your knees are touch­ing.

“And the han­dling is sub­lime on these once you get them di­aled in. The looks on my friends’ faces when I’m in their back pocket in the twisties and they’re on their litre-bikes is ab­so­lutely price­less.

“It’s no tourer – but it al­ways gets the looks wher­ever I go and even non-bikers love the time­less lines. And when non-bikers tell me they think my clutch is bro­ken – that’s fun too. It’s a great bike – I’ll be keep­ing her a while longer…”

Can’t quite see the smile on Rob’s face yet

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