Mark's Motorcycling History

Ducati 860GT 1974

When I turned 17 in 1974 I decided I was old enough for a Big Duke. There was a six month wait for the new 900SS so I bought the newly arrived 860 GT. It was a Ducati and did all the right Ducati things but having to replace the electronic ignition, valve guides and big ends after only 2 years of ownership I decided it was not the best Duke ever made and parted company with it. The paint job is not original, I resprayed it after putting it down the road once. It ended up in a ditch and I wrapped my thighs around a white road post which broke both it and both my femurs. To add insult to injury the police billed me with a replacement post!

Background bike- Suzuki T250 roadracer. This bike was built in the late 60's by Ray Curtis. Ray was a top road racer and speedway rider. He based this bike on a 250 Hustler but modelled it on the works bike. It won the 250 at Bathurst in 1970 I believe. It was sold to a friend of mine after Ray's tragic death riding speedway at the Royale in Sydney. I purchased the bike and fully restored it. In 1976 it was still a competitive club racer. Although I am not a two stroke fan, there is something magical about riding a bike like this, my first experience at knee scraping was had on the Suzy. It was sold in 1978, road racing is an expensive hobby.

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