Clymer Manuals got a close-up look at Harold Johnson’s 1972 Ducati 750GT on display at the 2013 HoAME Vintage Motorcycle Rally. This classic Italian twin was presented the Best Ducati Award from Reno’s PowerSports KC.
Much like Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Vincent many year previous, when they wanted to move into faster, larger displacement markets, Ducati took their single and added a second cylinder in front of it. Using many of the parts originally developed in their 350cc singles, Ducati cast new cases and crankshafts, with a second cylinder set 90 degrees from the first. The bevel drive L-twin was born in spring of 1970, and set the outline for every Ducati to follow for the next 40 years.
Ducati’s lead engineer, Fabio Taglioni, drew up a practical, and sporty machine, which put that new engine on center stage. Minimal frame and body work, spoked wheels, Lockheed disc brake, Amal carbs, and twin megaphones dressed the engine and completed the bike. The resulting 750GT was long, low and powerful, with a sound like nothing else on the road.
Clymer Girl and the crew didn’t have to go far to attend the HoAME show and rally, as it was just up the road at the Kansas City Airline History Museum in the Downtown Airport. The show was packed with classic vintage and antique motorcycles including British, German, Japanese, Italian, and American makes, all on display. Manufacturers represented include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley Davidson, Vincent, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Brough Superior, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Puch, Lambretta, MV Augusta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, AJS and more. There were 100% perfect restorations, well worn bikes daily riders, full-on customs, cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, dirt bikes, road racers – any type or style of motorcycle you could image. Also on display were vintage propeller driven passenger planes, including a Douglas DC-3, a Martin 404, and right outside the hangar was a 1958 Lockheed Super Constellation.
Unfortunately, we don’t offer a manual for the classic bevel drive Ducati L-twin, but you can get the Clymer manual for all Ducati 160-450cc singles, or a similar book covering 1969-76 Ducati 250-450cc singles from our sister company Haynes.