Well folks, while there has been snow on the ground and most people around here have been doing winter things we have been moving forward on the Ducati Dragbike Project.
Last summer we came to the conclusion that the Ducati Land Speed bike was a real nuisance to get on and off the dyno for testing and an alternative was needed to allow a reasonable method of testing the new EFI platform we were planning to run at Bonneville. Every time the Land Speed bike needed testing the front of the dyno had to be disassembled and a pair of extensions installed to allow a 98 inch wheelbase chassis to be strapped down. This process took an hour each way and while the long bike was on the dyno nothing else could use it.
Owing to the disappointing behavior of the Land Speed bike at the dragstrip, we realized that a chassis purpose-built for the dragstrip would allow a more efficient use of time as we could make it short enough to run on the dyno and the opportunity to get closer to my roots at the dragstrip. Dragracing has always suited my temperament and attention span and I could see a future in this. The Land Speed bike had the unpleasant trait of spinning the tire and drifting sideways at the 600 foot point in the strip and then spinning the rear tire going through the lights at the finish line, never really loading up the system to get a meaningful feel for its performance.
As I looked around, I saw only one other dragracing oriented Ducati effort of note; Wayne Patterson from Ducati Bunbury in Australia. Leave it to the Aussies to take the road less travelled. They based their efforts on beautifully modified stock chassis and the latest project involved a 749 with the turbo in the tail. There is video on YouTube of the bike.
I wanted a purpose-built approach to the problem of booting a Ducati down the strip, so out came the frame jig, pencil, paper, strings, levels, and coffee.
We will start this episode with a series of the photos from the early going and as time allows, fill in the details up to the present. Stay tuned!