|Due to the fact that the Ducati singles were a mass produced machine in either road trim, or in Scrambler guise, there are a fair amount of them still floating about in varied conditions. Prices? I've let it be known for many years that I have never paid more than $200.00 for a basketcase 250, though these are usually nearly complete rollers, sometimes even with an extra engine included in the deal. The 250 that I have campaigned for so many years was purchased for the pricey sum of $50.00 from one of my team members in the early 1980s, Eric Tucker having only paid $25.00 for it a year earlier. As historic racing becomes ever more popular, the prices will increase while availability decreases. Here's one for ya... Two pick-ups arrive at our shop, the driver comes in and asks, and “you interested in some Ducati parts?” Bret Morshead and I walk out to look it all over and ask about prices, at which point we're told, "we'll dump it all here or at the dumps, doesn't matter to me". With that, we instruct them to off load the lot in front of our doors (and next to the dumpster). What a mess! Now we had to sort the pile and clean it up before going home. With the dumpster open we'd form two piles, a "keep it" and "dumpster" pile. Hours later we'd over filled the dumpster with many unusable parts, namely body work, while the "keep it" pile contained a number of engines, frames, forks and wheels. Over the next couple of years we'd build a number of machines from this scrap pile, including WCBR6 (our 350GP) and WCBR7 (our 200GP), plus three "customer" 350s and one 250 we'd send to Japan. Pretty good haul if I do say so myself.
There are many routes one can follow when seeking to purchase a machine suitable for historic racing. As already mentioned you can search around and buy yourself a $50.00 box-o-bits, maybe spend $200.00 and get a rusty-roller, possibly blow $1500.00 on some worn-out racing-rat, OR... go whole hog and purchase a race ready machine from someone like us for $4000.00 and up. It’s your choice. Purchasing a race-ready machine has its advantages, though the term "race-ready" may not be an exact description, as many machines will need a bit of sorting out prior to, or during the race meet weekend. In the past, WCBR, when selling a race-ready machine, has offered its buyers a track-testing program, this is where we take the bike to an available track for a day of testing and tuning, after which we'd deliver the machine "race-ready", only final gearing and numbers being needed to complete the package. Some racers and/or owners find that they'd rather build their own machine, either completely, or partially, meaning; they would build the chassis, while the engine was subbed out to someone like myself, Henry Hogben, or Syd's. I must admit that building the machine and the constant development and tuning is (at times) more fun than racing the thing, thus I understand completely when the customer says he wants to do it himself. In some cases, where we failed to sell a race-ready machine, the owner was soon banging down our door to either have us sort his machine out, or to purchase one, having felt that he failed in his attempt to build a racer. With that said, I hope "Ducati Singles by WCBR, A Competition Manual” will help each and every Ducati single pilot in some way or another, as it seems that lack of information is part of the problem why some of these machine fail to finish a race, or are un-competitive. Within these pages I've tried to go through each subject thoroughly, giving blow-by-blow details on the servicing or overhauling of the machine. Modifications to increase displacement and horsepower are always sought after, as many a rider has called trying to bend my ear, thus I've included a few pointers. Finally I've included a speed parts list, as well as a parts catalog to aid as a reference book and to speed ordering of spares. With the increasing popularity of historic racing throughout the world I thought it about time I completed the project I began so many years ago. As the title suggests, this was written with the competition rider in mind, and it is not a restoration book for those seeking information regarding stock machines, though some of the information supplied may be a great value to them. The majority of the service instructions come from the material we supplied with Ducati’s built and sold through my shop, thus it is proven material. As my road racing career draws to a close, if you can call it career, and historic racing booms worldwide, I thought it about time I seek out a publisher and then put my brain to work on the god-awful task of completing this book that will cover the machines I've come to love and be known for... the Ducati OHC Single. I must say that the little Ducati single has brought me more memories and pleasure than any other motorcycle I've owned or raced, its dependability, ride ability and ease of maintenance making life all that much more pleasurable. You must admit, that racing a 250cc machine against 350s or 500s, and then beating them into the ground on occasion is far more of a thrill than just beating the other 250s. Or how about racing a 350 against modern Sound-of -Single machines, then winning it all by over a lap? Oh what fun. My brace of Ducati’s; my 200, the 250, and the 350 are all machines, I believe, I should have been racing when they were new (as once suggested to me by someone I respect very much in the racing world), as I may have accomplished more with them then I ever did with the Triumph 750s I raced for all so many years against the Japanese invasion or the big Ducati Twins. Really, when I think about it, I've always raced "vintage" machines, as I never once had a new "modern" competitive bike, instead I soldiered on racing out dated machines, then switched to historic racing for one simple reason, I loved the machines of that era and got a charge out of riding my Ducati’s quick.
Michael R. Green #21
Tracy, California 1997
|Left: Sears Point, Aug 1997|