Next generation classic- VEE TWO IMOLA EVO | Bike Tests | Latest Tests
The Ducati 750SS is one of Alan Cathcart’s favourite classic racebikes. Now it has spawned a 21st-century version thanks to Australian engine specialist Brook Henry – and Sir Al’s own son Andrew
The 70,000 visitors to last October’s 12th annual Barber Vintage Festival in Birmingham Alabama might have been pardoned for thinking they were seeing double when viewing the bikes on display for the annual Motorcycle Classics Concours. Because there gleaming in the southern sunshine were not just one but two examples of the bike that’s widely recognised as being the most iconic, most valuable, and most desirable Ducati production streetbike ever made: the green-framed 750SS.
Only 401 examples were built in the Bologna factory’s race shop in 1973-74. It was Ducati’s first customer desmo V-twin, and a close replica with lights and a horn of the factory racer which Paul Smart had taken to victory in the 1972 Imola 200, even down to the lugs in the chassis for the centrestand. Values of the 750SS have skyrocketed in recent years, with prices regularly exceeding $A160,000 at auction, and here were two of them on display at America’s premier historic bike occasion – with a third in the Barber Museum right next door!
But all was not as it seemed. One of the bikes on display was equipped with modern Öhlins suspension and Brembo radial brakes, plus it had a slightly shorter wheelbase. In fact, this was a brand new motorcycle on which the paint was still drying. It had been completed just the previous week in Western Australia and flown to Alabama to make its global debut at Barber Vintage. The Vee Two Ducati Imola Evo is the creation of the world’s leading Ducati bevel-drive engine specialist, Vee Two Australia.
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