There’s nothing like a barn find to get the motorcycling juices flowing, and this Ducati 750 Super Sport is one of the best. The bike was discovered in Belgium in 2009, after sitting in a shed for 15 years. It’s now been resurrected by Harné Heuvelman of the Dutch specialist Back To Classics, and it’s as close to vintage perfection as you can get.
Even better, it’s one of the first 750 Super Sports built in 1976. Production started with frame number 912, and this is 918. Fixed to the frame was a small copper plate with the emblem of Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers. “This suggests the bike was delivered to a southern European catholic nation,” says Heuvelman. “Maybe Italy, where it was probably blessed by the local priest.”
On getting the Ducati into the workshop, Heuvelman discovered that the engine timing was awry. “A good reason why it’d failed to start for all those years.” The bike was in original but bad condition. So the Dutch workshop dismantled it down to the last nut and bolt, and set to work on the engine and transmission. The gearbox was in a bad way, and was replaced. The motor was treated to new first-oversize pistons, new valves, and a fresh set of seals, gaskets and bearings.
Heuvelman’s goal was to return this 750 Super Sport to original showroom condition—to make it look like a New Old Stock bike. “We took a lot of care, down to the finest details. All the nuts and bolts have been restored and re-used. The crankcase has been sandblasted at low pressure, so it resembles an original unused crankcase. And we found and used original decals over the clear coat for the bodywork.”
This particular machine was sold with a “sport-pack” offered for the 1976/77 model year: a Conti exhaust, 40mm Dell’Ortos, and minus any indicators. It’s full of top-shelf original componentry: Borrani 4777 rims, ‘shaved’ early Brembo callipers, and Smiths instruments. The dashboard, switches and Marzocchi forks are all original. Even minor items like the KLG spark plug caps and Alpina spokes are true to type.
There are some discreet upgrades, however. The Ducati is now fitted with Australian-made Ikon shocks, although the original Marzocchi shocks have been refurbished and retained. The bike had a non-standard Lucas ignition system fitted when it was found, and Heuvelman has replaced it with a modern electronic system for improved performance.