1997 DUCATI 748
“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