Shane Schaap’s 1974 Ducati 750 GT
Thank you for taking an interest in my Ducati and for providing such a great venue for cafe racer enthusiasts to showcase their bikes and share their passion. I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to share my story.
Aaahhh, Ducati! A two wheeled example of Italian styling and engineering. I have always loved “cafe racer” style bikes and the creativity and ingenuity of the people that built them. My imagination was stired by Ducatis 750 GT, nicknamed “Pompone” (The Big Pump) for its large displacement motor. It was the first of Ducati’s famous bevel twins and the grandfather of their modern world super bikes.
I like the naked, minimalist look of a cafe racer, and the 750 round case (as they are known by the design of their motors) always topped my list of bikes that I would like to restore and customize. In no small way was I influenced by my good friend, Dave Van Stelle, who, along with his father and two brothers, had been restoring and racing Ducatis for more than twenty years. Through Dave’s father, I was able to find a suitable rolling basket-case, a 1974 750 GT. The GT had a great combination of power and styling that I was looking to find for my next cafe racer project. It was a beat-up, uncared for bike, but seeing that beautiful L-twin motor intact made my creative juices start flowing.
After stripping down the bike, cleaning up what I could use and trashing what I couldn’t, it was time to transform the bike into what I envisioned it to be. The paint combination I chose is a racier version of the colors Ducati used on their 1971 750 pre-production models. Underneath the flashy paint, some other modifications I made to the bike include installing high compression pistons, a Dyna electronic ignition, a single “Duc tail” seat, a set of magnificent sounding Conti silencers, which was a major upgrade from the less capable La Franconi exhaust first used on the GT, incorporating a more capable alternator taken from a 1998 Ducati ST2, and replacing the old handle bars for sport clip-ons.
As many know, it is greatly satisfying to take an idea, put your mind and your hands to work, and see that idea come to life. It can almost be addicting. And seeing and riding my 750 keeps me inspired for what possibilities there are for my next cafe racer project.