Rufurbishing the Duke (again) This is just a simple run down on the original wreck repair and current refresh of my old mate, the Duke. Il do this in two parts, it'll be a bit like War and Peace otherwise... The Duke and I have been a team for a very long time, I bought her as a wreck way back 1997 and first registered her in 2002 (I think). Im into the rebuild part of our culture and do way less miles than a lot of you. We each have our own thing. The last rebuild was a 48' 5T Triumph which then sat in my lounge room for a couple of years. This is the first model with a swing arm rear end. I bought this as the original basket case... about 6 boxes of bits and a chassis.... Both these machines cost $1500 to initially buy. I didnt keep tabs on the Trump, but the Duke cost me just over $3,000 ready to rego. And let me say, that you CANT do that with an old Trumpet if there is ANY oil in the machine... NONE.... After her display period, I rode the Trump for a few years, and while it was incredibly reliable, it struggled to do highway speeds..in fact at 65 mph my vision blurred, the vibrations were that bad.. and folks, that is normal, we dont realise just how good we have it today. Riders of the day talk about their fingers losing feeling from the vibes after a ride... So the Trump had to go into storage (just recently sold her), she deserved better than this.. In the mean time I had taken possesion of this in 97' This had hit a flock of sheep at full tilt, you can imagine the chassis damage etc. It should have looked like this... First thing was to deliver the frame with engine in and back wheel on, to Laurie Alderton in Smithfield of Sydneys west (legend! recommend him to anybody), Laurie straightened her all out, re welded the entire chassis and re rolled both rims. In the second chassis pic, just up, you can see the curve of the two bars as they joint at the head stem? Uh huh, they are now straight......... I dont have too many pics of the early part of the build, didnt seem necessary then. I wish I had more now though... (your camera is your friend). I sourced a set of new old stock (NOS) fork tubes from the Netherlands of all places and had the sliders checked and then rebult them, they have never leaked and it all works pretty well, if a bit soft, so I messed around with various grades of oils until I settled on straight .......Auto Trans Fluid.... I was geting pissed because, Im a pretty big guy and all the normal grades are quite a low viscosity and in desperation I grabbed a bottle of this I had laying around.... its worked great for years.... So I got the chassis back, stripped it completely and had it powder coated black and the rims gold. Suddenly I had a rolling chassis so I stuffed an engine back into it. Actually thats not true..the swing arm pivots IN the transmission on these, I had to stuff the engine back in to get it to rolling chassis stage. Panels where an issue, I didnt like the Mike Hailwood scheme, and as this was a wreck recovery I didnt see that it was sacriligious to wander off and do my own thing... But where do you get panels? It took years and I ended up repairing the old tank. In fact the panel repair on the tank cost as much as the chassis repair, weird. The original fairing was in several pieces and is made of a kind of plastic, I bought a chemical plastic weld kit and reassembled it then trimmed of the bottom so it resembled an SS fairing.. I never used it and swapped it recently to our mate Shane as part of a multi panel swap (more on that later). So I eventually after trawling through ebay and other sites I had a set of panels and used an SS style fairing and painted it all black. It was either red or black and black won. Then one day I found a few more panel parts..but I didnt need them.... then...why not have two sets and be both red and black? It only takes 20 mins to change a set over. Then sort out that amazing Ducati wiring mess. Mine was an 83 model which is very late in the range, they would have it sorted by then right? Up to a point, mine has a lot of Denso bits which means its been reliable, but this also gave the mob back in Italy time to MESS with it.. I have many different coloured wires than the manual says I should have... See Steve trying to help me work it out...?? Turns out my brown wire was white and should of plugged into the green wire which was black... easy! BUT, we got it all worked out and registered and went for that 'first ride', it went like stink, much quicker than I thought it would and better than Steves (head scratcher) 82' 900SS. Thats not right, its only 600cc. After a 20k's of sedate riding and then a few mad thrashes I found out why.... the front piston burnt a hole though.. it was running slightly lean and 2 stroking.. great for short term power, bad for burning pistons....It has a piece a shrubery in the main jet, not blocked, just slightly restricted... crap! Anything could have gotten into the fuel lines at some point during the build. Anyway, it has Borgo pistons and they cant be had for love of money (I have seen them from time to time over the years since though). I was just about to get a pair made when I found an old V2 big bore kit.. its a 6mm bore increase over std and is out to 680cc. Whoa.. now its got pretty good acceleration but a heap more torque... nice... and less cost than having 2 pistons made.... in fact I sold the original barrels off and covered its cost. Had to muck around making shims to bring it back to street petrol comp levels but its been reliable now for years, well worth it. This is her before decals and clear coat and in case you are wondering I was 'testing' the big bore kit for smooth torque delivery... And this is her 9 years later, getting a tad tired.... Ill dig up some more pics for round two, which is the current refresh. I swapped this tank, duck tail and the original firing with Shane and got another SS fairing, his old tank (now refurbished) and the shorter seat. Cheers.