Phil Hitchock’s 1968 Ducati 250SS


Cafe Racer TV Team,

I’ve always been in to roadrace – cafe style bikes.  Race production bikes like the TZ250/350 YAMS from late 60s to early 80s are some of my favorites. Right now, I am racing a 350 Ducati single in the Australian classic racing circuit.  I currently own around 20 italian bikes – mainley singles and mostly Ducatis + a couple of Benellis and an MV175CSS Squalo.

I’ve wanted to build a mini SS for ages using a lot of parts I had laying around.  I had seen some done overseas but they used the SS tank and sidecovers and in my eyes, the lines of the parts did not match the frames as as they looked out of proportion. With some true Australia flair I reckon’d I did a better matching everything up!  I hope you agree!

All the fiberglass parts are from  The NCR tank, mini SS fairing & seat + rear guard and side covers were made by cutting and shutting SS type gills into 1972 silver shotgun covers. The front forks are 35mm Yamaha RZ350 in Marzocchi triple clamps, front guard RZ with the wing made to normally divert air into the nicely fited Yamaha radiator working to send it to the Ducati  head/exhaust port. The rims are Tagasako Suzuki 18″ dirt bike with spoke holes re-angled to suit the original Ducati rear hub and Honda front fitted with disc from CBR250RR.  I was originally going to use twin discs like the SS but they made the front wheel way to heavy.  Instead, I opted for a single Brembo caliper that does the job well.

The dash is hand beaten alloy which was then powdercoated in hammertone finish to mimic the SS plastic dash. Guages are from a belt SS recalibrated to suit a single.  The rearsets are from 1972/74 Ducati singles with clipons 35mm in size, pantah type as well as m/cylinder and clutch lever.  I fitted a nice set of Marzocchi rear shocks and to keep things in contact with the ground a set of Pirelli City Demons.  The name sounded right.  The engine is a basically a standard  1968  250 bored and stroked to 350cc with ported big valve head and Dellorto 32mm PHF carb.  It’s pumped up a bit more with a Road Andrace hot street grind cam and conti exhaust.

I hope you like it!  I sure enjoyed building it!

– Phil