The TT2, TT1 and F1´s 

    600 ccm Pantah with Verlicchi TT2 frame from -81

    Some pictures of current TT2 racers

    From Ian Falloon´s masterly "The Ducati Story",
    link to Amazon Books for ordering at
    the bottom of this page.

    As the racing success of the 900NCR waned, the Pantah took over, and during 1980 two 600 cc race-kitted Pantahs were prepared by Franco Fame, These were campaigned successfully in the Italian national junior championship by Wanes Francini, Paolo Menchini, and Guido Del Piano, and were based on the standard SL frame but with Marzocchi racing suspension. The red and yellow bodywork was similar in style to that of the 900NCR, and power from the 583 cc engines was up to 70 bhp at 9,800 rpm. Then, for the 1981 season, Fabio Taglioni released his tour de force, the TT2.

    The prototype TT2 was tested in Spain over the winter by Angel Nieto (14 times World 50 cc and 125 cc Champion) and successful Ducati endurance racer Salvador Canellas. So good was its design that, at id debut race meeting on 29 March: 1981, the TT2, in the hands of Sauro Paz."aglia, won the opening round of. the Italian TTF2 series at Misano. However, even as the TT2 was making its presence felt on Italian circuits, Sports Motorcycles' Steve Wynne and Pat Slinn had prepared a modified 500SL Pantah for Tony Rutter to race in the Isle of Man Formula 2 event in June 1981. Originally promised two factory bikes that didn't materialise, they had found an insurance write-off, installed a factory race kit, sent the frame off to Ron Williams of Maxton for some extra bracing, and signed up Isle of Man veteran Tony Rutter, Rutter won at an average of 101.91 mph (164 km'), with a fastest lap of 103.51 mph (166.58 km/h). Ducati were pleased enough with this victory to offer Rutter a TT2 factory bike for the next round at Ulster on August 22. In atrocious conditions, Rutter finished second to secure the 1981 World Formula Two Championship.

    The TT2 marked the return of the factory to official competition after an absence since 1975. By using an 81 mm bore capacity was increased to 597 cc, almost the class limit, and a completely new frame was designed by Taglioni and made by Verlicchi. Weighing only 7 kg (16 lb), rear suspension was by a cantilever and single Paoli shock absorber. This frame was exceedingly compact and strong, being heavily triangulated around the steering head, and comprising essentially straight tubes. It bolted to the engine in four places, still using the latter as a stressed member, with butt-fitted bosses rather than flat tabs as on the SL. The 18-litre fibreglass petrol tank was encased by this frame. Fitted with 3.5 mm Marzocchi racing forks with magnesium sliders and 280 mm Brembo front discs, the racer weighed in at a mere 270 lb (1ZZ kg). It was also extremely compact, ivith only a 55-inch (1,395 mm) wheelbase. The 18-inch Campagnolo wheels were 2.15 inches wide on the front, and 3.00 inches on the rear.

    In the engine department, the TT2 was pure factory racer. The 81 mm Borgo pistons only had moderate compression of 10:1, but valves were larger at 41 mm inlet and 35 mm exhaust. These valves were operated by desmodromic camshafts giving 12 mm of intake lift and 10 mm of exhaust. Italian regulations permitted the use of 40 mm Dell'Orto carburet-tors, but for the TT World Championship, standard 36 mm carburettors needed to be retained. Claimed power was 76 bhp at 10,750 rpm. There was much evidence of weight saving - exposed camshaft drive belts, a magnesium primary drive cover, and hydraulically operated dry clutch. A lightweight two-into-one exhaust system was also used. Internally most gears were drilled for lightness and ignition was still by electronic Bosch BTZ, with the small battery mounted in the rear tailpiece. Because Italian regulations required an electric starter, both this and the 200 watt alternator were retained.

    The TT2 was a very effective racing machine, in the best Taglioni tradition of achieving maximum results through a balance of power and weight. It was light, athletic, slim, had a wide power-band, and Taglioni was especially proud of the specific fuel consumption figures of 187 gr/HP/hr - less than a diesel! Just how effective it. was as a racer was displayed by Massimo Broccoli in October 1981 at the final round of the Italian 500 series at Mugello. On a TT2 sleeved down to 500 cc, he finished seventh in a field of 500GP Suzukis and Yamahas. Broccoli had already secured the Italian TT2 championship ahead of the Kawasaki-powered Bimota KB2s. In its first full year the TT2 had won the two championship series that it had contested.

    The TT2 was even more successful in 1982. In the Italian TT2 championship Walter Cussigh won every round on his factory TT2, and the now 40-year-old Tony Rutter again won the World TT2 Championship. For the Italian events power was up to 78 bhp at 10,500 rpm using 41 mm Malossi Dell'Orto carburettors, and Cussigh favoured a 16-inch Campagnolo front wheel with a 3.25 - $.50 Michelin front tyre. Rutter still used the 18-inch wheels, preferring them to the 16-inch type on the bumpier street circuits. At the Isle of Man he was considerably faster than the previous year, winning the Formula 2 race on the factory bike at an average speed of 108.50 mph (174.61 km/h), with a fastest lap of 109.27 mph (175.85 km/h). He was timed at 144 mph (232 km/h) at a speed trap at the Highlander. With the World Championship now extended to three rounds, Rutter scored perfect points on his factory bike. He won at Vila Real in Portugal at an average speed of 86.69 mph (139.51 km/h), following it at Ulster with a win at 100.73 mph (162.1 kph).

    During 1982 a limited number of production 1TZ replicas were built for privateers, These were very close to the factory hikes but lacked items such as the magnesium primary drive cover and hydraulically-operated dry clutch. They still had the racing magnesium Marzocchi forks and 18inch Campagnolo wheels. The engine had the same valve sizes as the factory racer, and valve timing figures of inlet opening 74º before top dead

    centre and closing 92º after bottom dead centre, and exhaust opening 100º before bottom dead centre and closing 64º after top dead centre, Still only using 36 mm Dell'Ortos, power was a claimed 76 bhp at 10,730 rpm. The TT2 also had straight cut primary gears, with a higher ratio than the street bikes. 36/70 teeth gave a ratio of 1.94:1. The five-speed gearbox had the same ratios as the street bike, except for fifth gear being moved closer to fourth. The final drive was considerably lower, at 3.15:1, with 13 and 41 teeth sprock-ets. Like the factory racer, an oil-cooler was mounted in the fairing, cooling oil to the cylinder heads in a similar system to that of the Imola racers a decade earlier. Because it still had the electric starting mechanism, weight was 130 kg (286 lb). Rear suspension was not Paoli as in 1981, but a Marzocchi PVS 1 remote reservoir gas shock absorber. Only about 20 of these bikes were made in 1982.

    Racing results for the TT2 in 1983 weren't quite as spectacular as the previous year. Tony Rutter again won the World TT2 Championship, but not quite as convincingly. At the Isle of iVan he headed a Ducati one-two with Graeme McGregar, at an average speed of 108.20 mph (174.13 km/h), with a fastest lap of 109,44 mph (176.12 km/h). At the other two rounds at Ulster and Assen he could only manage second, but it was enough to win the championship again. Another batch of TT2 replica was built for 1983, virtually identical to the previous year, but now with a Campagnolo 3.50 x 16 inch front wheel to complement a rear 3. 50 x 18 inch. Malossi modified 41 mm smooth bore Dell'Orto carburettors were fitted, and power was up to a claimed 78 bhp at 10,500 rpm.


    With the possibility of the World Championship TT2 class disappearing completely, Ducati hastened development of a 750 cc TTl version of the Pantah for 1984. As previously mentioned, both TT1 and World Endurance were hecoming limited to 750 cc, so a longer 61.5 mm stroked crankshaft was homologated with the 650SL Pantah, Even as far back as March 1982 a 750 cc version of the TT2 had been raced by Jimmy Adamo for Reno Leoni at the Daytona 200, finishing 13th overall. This bike had produced nearly 95 bhp at 10,2.50 rpm, with a tap speed of almost 155 mph (2.50 km/h). The following year at Daytona, this time in the Battle of the Twins race, Tony Rutter took the 750 TT1 to third place. Then, in July 1983, at Ducati's happy hunting ground, Montjuich Park, a TTl won the now non-cham-pionship 24 Hour race with Benjamin Grau, Enrique de Juan, and Luis Ries. Prepared by Franco Fame, the 135 kg (298 lb) racer produced 86 bhp at 9,000 rpm, but the riders limited this to 8,000 rpm during the race, and 83 - 4 bhp. In front of ZSO,C00 spectators they completed 708 laps, compared to the second-place French Kawasaki's 690.

    While Tony Rutter still raced the 600TT2 in 1984, and won the Formula 2 World Championship for the fourth successive year, he also campaigned a 750 cc version of the same bike in Formula 1. He failed to win the Isle of Man FZ race, coming second, but won at Vila Real (at 90.81 mph, or 146.14 km/h). Trevor Nation, also on a 600TT2, came second in the championship. In Formula 1, Rutter managed third overall on the new Ducati during the 1984 season, and the 750 had limited success in endurance racing. At the non-championship Le Mans 24 Hour race in April, a 750 TT1 ridden by Mare Granie, Philippe Guichon, and Didier Vuillemin finished fourth; there were only 18 finishers from a field of 54, They followed this up with a fourth at the Osterreichring 1,000 km race, third in the Liege 24 Hours at Spa, and fourth at the Mugello Six Hours. They finished fifth in the final placings.

    The works bike of Walter Villa and Walter Cussigh came fourth at the ADAC Eight Hour race at the Niirburgring, but was plagued with problems throughout the season. The TT1 differed slightly from the TT2. It still had the cantilever swing-arm, but this was wider to accommodate wider wheels, and was painted red and blue, rather than red and yellow. The countershaft sprocket was offset for the larger section rear tyre and the wheel now included a quick-change assembly in which the disc and caliper stayed in the swing-arm as the wheel and sprocket were removed. A 16-inch front wheel was specified, but most were raced with an 18-inch front, The 35 mm magnesium Marzocchi forks were retained. B8 mm pistons and the longer 61.5 mm stroke gave 748 cc. It no longer had the wet clutch, but a mechani-cally-operated dry clutch housed in an NCR primary drive cover. With the same valve sizes as the TT2, claimed power was only up to 80 bhp at the rear wheel.

    The factory racer used by Walter Villa dik'ered considerably from the customer TT1. The steering-head angle was reduced to 24º, and a rising rate suspension system was used, similar to the Suzuki full-floater, along with a box-section swing-arm. The bikes immediately suffered suspension problems, with retirement at Le Mans. During 1984, 41.7 mm Kayaba front forks with hydraulic anti-dive were tried, from a Suzuki RG500, before settling on new 42 mm

    aluminium slider Marzocchis. Brakes were the new type of quickly-detach-ahle four piston Brembos with larger, 300 mm discs, and a small, 230 mm disc at the rear. Marvic three-spoke 16-inch front wheels were used, along with 16-, 17- or 18-inch tears. Rim widths ranged from 3.5 inches on the front to .5,5 inches on the rear. By the end of the season a 16-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel were fitted, along with the new series of Michelin radial. The claimed dry weight was 287 lb (130 kg).

    The engine was considerably developed from the TT2. Larger valves (44 mm and:38 mm) were operated by camshafts with intake lift of 11.45 mm and exhaust lift of 10.35 mm. Timing figures were inlet opening 75* before top dead centre, and closing 90º after bottom dead centre, and exhaust opening 102* before bottom dead centre, and closing 61º after top dead centre. Stranger, American-made Carillo con-rods were used on a standard, polished crankshaft. The 10.3:1 pistons inhere the cause of one failure during the season, as were problems with valve seats, but the engine still produced 94 bhp at 10,000 rpm with the 41 mm Dell'Orto-Malossi carburettors, reduced slightly to 90 bhp for 24-hour events. The Bosch ignition rotor and alternator were now fitted in the magnesium left-side case, away from engine oil, and a mechanically-operated dry clutch replaced the previous hydraulic one. The factory TT1 was by now significantly removed from the TT2, and ready for another assault on the World Endurance Championship, and Italian Fl, in 1985.

    Before detailing the Fl events, it must be mentioned that 1985 was also the final year for the TT2. Tony Rutter, riding a factory TT1 with the rising rate rear suspension, but fitted with a 600 cc engine, again won the Formula 2 race at the Isle of Man, but at the slower speed of 107,79 mph (173.47 km/h), He followed this with » second at Vila Real, and a third at Montjuich Park. Unfortunately a serious accident in the Fl race at Montjuich, on a Suzuki GSXR 750, tragically ended Rutter's career, and he was lucky to survive, having been initially pronounced dead. Despite not completing the season, Rutter still managed to finish second in the World TT F2 Championship that year. His record of four World Championships had been amongst the most significant racing results ever achieved by Ducati.

    Despite all the development on the lTl by Taglioni, Franco Fame, and Walter Villa, the 1985 Endurance season was even less successful than the previous year. The only placings were a fifth and sixth at the opening round at Monza with Walter Cussigh/Oscar la Feria, and Virginio Ferrari/Marco Lucchinelli. In the Formula 1 World Championship, Dieter Rechtenbach managed sixth overall, by virtue of finishing second at Montjuich, ahvays Ducati's most successful venue. Another significant result for the TT1 was Marco Lucchinelli's sixth place in the Daytona Formula 1 race in March. It was a different story in the Italian Formula 1 Championship. Here TT1 Ducatis filled the first seven places, with Virginio Ferrari taking the title from Marco Lucchinelli.

    1986 started well, with Marco Lucchinelli winning the Battle of the Twins race at Daytona in March on an experimental 851 cc (92 x 64 mm) 750F1-based racer at just over 104 mph (167 km/h). Lucchinelli raced in both the Formula 1 and Battle of the Twins, and later went on to win the Battle of the Twins race at Laguna Scca. He also won the opening round of the World TT Formula 1 Championship at the Autodromo Santa Monica, at Misano, on 6 April, at an average speed of 90.14 mph (145.06 km/h). Unfortunately he couldn't repeat this performance in other rounds. C3raeme lulcGregor eventually came sixth overall in the championship on a non-factory TTl.

    There was no factory involvement in the Endurance World Championship until the debut of the new water-cooled eight-valve 748 at the Bol rf Or in September, but that is the beginning of a new generation, and belongs in Chapter 13. However, at the Jerez Eight Hour race on 28 September, Juan Garriga and Marco Lucchinelli were teamed together on . a four-valve 7.50TTl. They had pole position and initially led the race, eventually finishing second. Later, at:: the Barcelona 24 Hour race on 26 . October 1986 (a non-champianshi . event) Juan Garriga, Carlos Cardus, and the steadfast Benjamin Grau won' using the 8i1 cc version of the lT1, proving the reliability of the larger engine. An 818 cc (92 x 51.5 mm): version of the engine was also tried during 1986, notably by Jimmp Adamo at the Battle of the Twins race at Daytona.

    The final outing for the factory air-:. cooled racer was at the Pro Twins race: at Laguna Scca in 1987, Marcai Lucchinelli again rode, and his B51 bike featured revised inlet ports an ducting and metal shrouding aroun the rear cylinder to keep it coal. The stan J arel TTI chassis was fitted with a new type of upside-down White Power fork irish a singl<:, centrally-located spring damper unit. At the rear, a lightweight GSG Roma shock ahsorher was used. Wheels were Marvic 17-inch front and rear.

    Besides the factory bikes, which were undoubtedly the most spectacular, TT1 replicas were ividely raced with some success throughout the world, In Spain, Antonio Cobas built a frame for the Fl, and Kenny Roberts tested chic bike at. Misano in August 1985 along with the Cagiva ClOV 500 cc Grand Prix bike. Juan Cmrriga had raced it at the Kfontjuich round of the World Formula 1 championship (the same race where Tony Ruttcr was injured), and had actually led at one stage before craching. In Australia, future OP rider Kevin Magee rrii3c local tuner Boh Brr>wn's home-built 750 TT1 to sr>me orna-in' results throughout. 1984 and 1985 against 1,0CO cc HonBas and Su-ukis. Later the bike was enbrgcd to 850 cc and raced by Robert Holclen and Aaron Slight with consiclerable success in the emerging Superhike clasa In Battle of the Twins classes around the world, replicas of the TT1 took over where t.he higger twins left off, but as a competitor t.o the Japanese heal-on the TT1 was now outdated. The two-valve Pantah heads had reached the limit of their development, and a new cylinder-head design was needed.

    Ducati 750F1

    As expected, there were plans to prorhice a street version of the TT1 racing bike, and, typically, it took a while in coming. While replica frame kits made by Harris were available in England for the Pantah engine, at Ducati the original Pantah soldiered on. The TT2 and TTl had brought them track success, but there was still a question over the reliahility of the Pantah crankcases when the engine was enlarged to 750 cc. 1983 was also the time of negotiations regarding the Cagiva takeover, so both production and development were limited. Also, because a new oil-cooled V-four 1,000 cc engine was being developed at the same time, resources were stretched, and this delayed the introduction of the 750Fl. However, the commencement of Cagiva control saw the V-four project cancelled, and by mid-1984 a prototype 750F1 was displayed. This hike used a replica of the Verlicchi racing TT2 frame with a steel cantilever swing-arm, and provision for a centre-stand. A square headlight was fitted in the full Fairing, and it had 16-inch gold-painted Oscam wheels. Claimed power was 70 bhp at 9,000 rpm, with dry weight at 165 kg (364 lb). Other features were a hydraulic clutch and a two-into-one exhaust system. 36 or 4C mm Dell'Orto carburettors were specified, and the compression ratio was a high 10.4.1.

    In mid-November 1984, photographs of mock production bikes appeared, now with an 18-inch rear wheel, and in February 1985 the 750Fl was premiered at the Sydney Motorcycle Exhibition. It still didn't have the fully-floating Brembo 280 mm front discs and 260 mm rear, but the engine was painted black and had a Conti two-into-one exhaust system, claimed to meet all noise regulations. The red frame, sourced from the TT2/TTl, had been widened to accommodate the camshaft belt covers and an adjustable steering damper fitted to complement the 16-inch front wheel. Even before the bike had gone into production there was controversy surrounding the fitting of a 16-inch front wheel.

    When the first production models appeared during 1985 they were a confusing mixture of good and bad. The engine was only an over-bored 650 Pantah, still with the 37.5 and 33.3 mm valves of the 500. The oil-cooler lines were cheap rubber hoses crimped into place, yet the brake discs were full-floating iron Brembos, Basic air-assisted Marzocchi 38 mm suspension was used at the front and a Marzocchi adjustable shock absorber at the rear (which was still a cantilever rather than rising rate), yet an aluminium petrol tank was fitted, It was also the very last Ducati to feature the old Giugiaro graphics that had first appeared on the 860 in 1975. The rear seat and tail section was much larger and uglier than on the TT1 and TT2, designed to locate the 14Ah battery, and a dual seat at a later stage.

    While still using the 36 mm PHF Dell'Orto carburettors of the Pantah, the 750FI received new camshafts along with 9.3:1 88 mm pistons. Valve timing was now inlet opening Z9º before top dead centre, closing 90* after bottom dead centre, and exhaust opening 70º hefore bottom dead centre, closing 48º after top dead centre, and power was only a claimed 62.5 bhp at 7,.500 rpm. The primary drive ratio was altered, more in line to that of the TT2, to 36/71, or 1.97:1, and the 750F1 also received the fifth gear ratio of the TT2 at 0.97:1. A 300 watt alternator provided electrical power. Weight was up to 175 kg (386 lb), but it was still a much more compact motorcycle than the preceding Pantah. The wheelbase was only 1,400 mm (55 inches), and a far cry from the older bevel-gear hikes with their 60-inch wheelbase.

    Compared to the racer, steering rake was increased to 28*, with corresponding trail of 5.2 inches, making the Fl a relatively slow steerer in the traditional Ducati fashion. Performance wasn't particularly outstanding far its day, and didn't even match the 750SS of over ten years earlier. Motorrad tested the two bikes back to back in November 1985 and found the older bike accelerated faster and had a higher top speed. The 750Fl managed 206 km/h (128 mph) but was considerably punchier in the mid-range. I rode one of the first examples and, after the heavy feel of the last Mike Hailwood Replicas, was pleasantly surprised by the light weight and responsiveness of the Fl. The Fl was a generation ahead when it came to steering and handling. Despite only a cantilever rear suspension system, the light weight and short wheelbase made the Fl a surprisingly quick road bike for its power output, Just like the magnificent TTl and TT2 racers, it manager3 to match much more powerful bikes with its better balance and power characteristics. The only problem with the Fl was that, because it was derived from the TT2, it was a very small motorcycle and the riding position was consequently cramped far larger riders.

    By late-1985 Fls were being displayed with the net Cagiva graphics and logo. Some of these were silver and red, but they v'ere all interim models before the arrival of the significantly improved 750Fl for 1986. Following racing experience with the TTI, the original 500 type crankcase, which had always cracked around the drive side main bearing under the stress of racing, was finally strengthened, with extra webbing between it and the gearbox mainshaft bearing. Straight cut primary gears now took power to a hydraulically-operated dry clutch and a new, stronger gearbox was fitted with 30º wider gears. The crankshaft was strengt.hened around the big-end journal with new connecting rods. The oil-cooling was noiv full-flow, rather than just a cylinder head bypass, and, in keeping with the larger capacity, valve si-es were increased to the 41 and 35 mm of the TT2, necessitating a move to smaller 12 mm spark-plugs, Along with slightly revised camshafts (about 8º retarded), and an increase in compression to 10:1 using higher-domed pistons, power went up to a claimed 75 bhp at 9,000 rpm. The new camshaft timing was, inlet opening 39º before top Bead centre, and closing 80º after bottom dead centre, and exhaust opening 80º before bottom dead centre, and closing 38º after top dead centre. The same Dell'Orto PHF36 carburettors were used, with small foam air-filters.

    The engine was certainly an improvement, and so was the front suspension. 40 mm Forcella-Italia forks, with provision for a wide range of adjustment in damping and preload, were vastly superior to the non-adjustable 38 mm Marzocchis. Also, the rear 260 mm disc was no longer the fully-tloating type, and the 22-litre aluminium petrol tank became an 18-litre steel one. As has often been the case at Ducati, some things improve, but other details exhibit cost-cutting when models are revised, However, the instrument layout with the white-faced Veglias was a welcome relief from the Nippon Densos that had by now become dated, and still carries through to today on the Super Sport: line. The styling of the rear seat was improved, but it still looked awkward from some angles, and the red Oscam wheels mirrored the racing TT1.

    Cycle magazine summed up the 750F1 succinctly in February 1987 when it said 'the Fl allows a very competent street rider to understand how a race bike feels because the engine will help him rather than intimidate him'. For the Fl still didn't possess exceptional horsepower. When Cycle tested an Fl in June 1988, it only achieved a standing quarter-mile time of 12.70 seconds at 103.1 mph (166 km/h). Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the new 750 engine was the vibrat.ion, which after a long ride would leave you with numbed wrists. Somehow, the short-stroke 750 engine never managed to feel as smooth and relaxed as the earlier bevel-gear examples.

    For 1987 and 1988 the 750F1 continued to be marketed in small numbers beside the new range of Cagiva-inspired Ducatis. From bike number 1505 the Japanese Kokusan ignition, that had first appeared on the limited edition 750 Montjuich, replaced the Bosch system. Also, the bst versions had a locking fuel cap and a dual seat. However, by now the Fl was an anachronism within a Ducati range that was becoming increasingly Cagiva-influenced. To quote Cycle magazine again, the 750F1 was 'the last true fundamentalist Ducati'.750 Montjuich, Laguna Seca and Santa Monica.

    To celebrate the win by Grau, de Juan, and Reyes in the 24 Hour race at Montjuich Park in 1983, a limited edition race replica Fl in the finest Ducati tradition was announced at the end of 198.5, and displayed at the Milan Show. As usual it had taken long enough to appear, but like the first 750SS of 1974 many thought it worth the wait. Though essentially a 750F1, the Montjuich was tuned considerably with hotter camshafts, Dell'Orto PHM40ND carburettors, and a less restrictive Verlicchi two-into-one Riserwato Competizione exhaust system. Even though it still only had the cantilever rear end, the swing-arm was Verlicchi aluminium, and in a carry-over from the 750TT1 both front and rear wheels were 16inch.

    The wheels were lightweight composite Marvic smith magnesium hubs and spokes," and Akront aluminium rims. Rim sizes were much wider than the standard Fl at 3.50 x 16 and 4.25 x 16, and shod with Michelin 120/60V16 and 180/60V16 tyres. Other detail differences included a 22-litre aluminium fuel tank like the first 7.50Fl, four-piston Brembo 'Gold Line' racing calipers with fully-floating discs all round (280 mm at the front and 260 mm rear), a vented dry clutch, and different front guard. While the prototype featured a centre-stand, the pro<hic-tion models saved a few kilos by only specifying a side-stand. The relationship between the Montjuich and Fl was similar to that which existed between the original 750SS and 7iC Sport: a limited production bike that overed higher performance through engine modifications, better brakes, and less weight.

    However, this is where the concept of the two bikes differs. The Montjuich was created and sold as a limited edition item, each of the 200 hikes having a numbered plaque on the petrol tank. It was only several years later that anyone realized how rare the original 75CSS was, and by that stage many had been raced and ruined. Still, there were many detail differences to the Montjuich, and it was both lighter and significantly more powerful than the standard Fl. Starting with the engine, the iulontjuich received new camshafts ivith timing figures of inlet opening 67º before top dead centre, and closing 99º after bottom dead centre, and exhaust opening 93* before bottom dead centre and closing 70º after top dead centre. With 137º of valve overlap, these camshafts had more than the racing TT1, and inlet duration of 346º was also slightly more than the TTI.

    These were the fiercest camshafts ever fitted to a street Ducati, and as such the Montjuich divas peakier than expected. Along with the larger carburettors and racing exhaust system, the camshafts lifted claimed power for the Montjuich to 95 bhp at 10,000 rpm. Unlike the earlier 750SS, the lower half of the engine was standard 750F1. There were no polished crankshafts or con-rods, and the 10:1 pistons and barrels were identical to the Fl. The Montjuich had an aluminium clutch drum and slightly different gearbox internals, to accommodate the outboard countershaft sprocket. Rather than the Bosch ignition that had been used since 1977, a Kokusan system was used for the first time.

    To compensate for the 16-inch rear wheel, the final-drive gearing was altered to 15/43, or 2.87:1, and a narrower, 5/8 x 1/4 inch chain was used. The Montjuich abo used a better-quality Mar;occhi rear shock absorber, but tests still criticized it for being underdamped. Claimed dry weight was a mere 155 kg (3%2 lb), but iVIotorrad weighed their test bike in at 178 kg (392 lb) fully.“wet, still much lees than any other two-cylin-der street Ducati. Moto Sprint, in April 1986, managed 221 km/h (137.3 mph), with 7i bhp at lC,000 rpm. Cycle World also put theirs through a standing quarter-mile in 11.87 seconds, at 113.52 mph (182.7 km/h).

    By now the Cagiva take-over was well in effect, and the new management was anxious to promote both Cagiva and Ducati in the US. It was this that led to Lucchinelli racing in and winning the Battle of the Twins at the Californian track of Laguna Scca. Though hardly as prestigious a win as that at Montjuich, it was considered momentous enough to name the 1987 series of Fl race replicas after it. Each of these 200 bikes had a replica Marco Lucchinelli signature on its petrol tank.

    There were numerous differences between the Montjuich and Laguna Scca. Historically, Ducati have often lowered the specification of successive models. This was true of the 750/900SSs that in 1976 acquired indicators, smaller carburettors, and Lafranconi silencers, and a similar situation occurred in 1987 with the Laguna Scca. Most noticeable was the replacement of the lightweight Marvic wheels and fully-floating discs, with 16-inch Oscam wheels and 280 and 270 mm discs straight off the 750 Paso. Some Laguna Secas came with a dual seat option, detracting from its race replica status, and the alloy petrol tank became a standard steel Fl item. However, the engine specification was unchanged, and the Laguna Seca still offered significant performance gains over a standard 750F1, despite a noticeable weight increase. The exhaust system was either the Conti two-into-one of the 750F1, which hurt the power, or one with a less restrictive aluminium silencer. Claimed power was down slightly to 91 bhp at 10,000 rpm, and weight up to 165 kg (364 lb). The Laguna Scca came with a plastic mudguard over the rear wheel, attached to the aluminium swing-arm, and like the Montjuich it was painted red and silver.

    Performance of the Laguna Seca was similar to that of the Montjuich. In October 1987, with the less restrictive exhaust, La Moto achieved a top speed of 221 km/h (137 mph), the same as the Montjuich. Motorcyclist in the US, testing a Laguna Scca with the Conti exhaust system, could only get a best standing quarter-mile time of 12.53 seconds at 105.7 mph (170 km/h). Their bike also weighed in at 418 lb (190 kg) wet, up considerably on the Montjuich.

    Despite the factory's commitment to the Paso and the new 851, the limited edition 750F1 continued into 1988 with the Santa Monica. Named after the circuit at Misano where Marco Lucchinelli won the Formula 1 World Championship race in 1986, this bike was a hybrid of the Montjuich and Laguna Scca. The composite Marvic wheels and fully-floating disc rotors returned, but with street-legal four-piston Brembo brake calipers, rather than the Gold Line racing versions (although the prototype was fitted with Gold Line brakes and a Verlicchi exhaust). The dual seat was standard, as was the Laguna Scca silencer with the aluminium can, along with the steel fuel tank. Colour was red and white. When Moto Sprint tested the Santa Monica in August 1988 it went 219.715 km/h (136.5 mph) and weighed 173 kg (381 lb) wet. It also made 73.63 bhp at 9,250 rpm.

    As such, the entire 750F1 line, and in particular the three models of limited edition replicas, represented the end of an era for Ducati. It started with one of the most successful Ducati racing bikes ever, the 600 TT2, and ended with a series of race replicas totally in keeping with the spirit and essence of Ducati. They were the last bikes with unfiltered 40: mm Dell'Orto carburettors breathing, directly into the atmosphere, and, along with the smaller 350/400F3, the last Ducatis with symmetrical cylinder heads, those with both exhaust ports facing forwards.

    ( From "The Ducati Story" by Ian Falloon, published on Haynes Publishing 1996, 1998. Order it Right Here ) -