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Old 03-04-2012, 07:07 PM   #1
Airhead Wrangler OP
Adios Mexico
 
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A Mexican Ducati rescue and rebuild

While trolling the local version of craigslist here in mexico I stumbled across a listing 4 hours away up in Guadalajara for a '71 ducati 750 rolling frame with engine - basically a complete bike minus tank, seat, body panels. Oh cool. Then I thought about it for a second. They didn't make a 750 in '71. I began comparing photos to the photos in the ad and with the corroboration of others here in old's cool, determined that it was most likely a '79 or early 80s Pantah 500SL. I called the guy up and he didn't know much about it. He said he really wasn't sure of the year, but thought it was a 750. He had inherited it from his father who had kept it in the back of a motorcycle shop for about 20 years. The seller had always meant to restore it, but had just never gotten around to it. It sounded promising and I was ready for a weekend roadtrip so I packed up the truck yesterday and drove the four hours up to Guadalajara with my girlfriend. This morning we headed up to the seller's neighborhood and met up with him. The bike was about what I expected. The frame and many fasteners are pretty rusty, but definitely fixable, the cases are pretty corroded, the transmission shifts, the engine turns over with the back wheel, I haven't checked the electrical stuff, but all the basics seem to be here for a rebuild. Anyway, I bought it, loaded it in the truck and brought it home. My dog likes it too.






Notice the PO was thoughtful enough to seal off the mouths of the carbs before storing it.












Confirmed, it's a pantah 500SL:








One thing I've found kind of strange is the combo of the chrome frame which appears original and the white wheels. I haven't found a single photo of any pantah with anything other than a black frame and gold wheels. Any ideas there? I probably won't rechrome it as there isn't anywhere to chrome stuff near where I live. It might just get some satin black rustoleum chassis paint. Any recommendations for cleaning up the engine and more importantly keeping it from corroding again (I live across the street from the ocean). I'll be disassembling everything in the next couple days to get a clearer picture of what I'm working with.
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Airhead Wrangler screwed with this post 03-04-2012 at 07:54 PM
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:43 PM   #2
jbcaddy
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possible place for info

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/14-vintage/

might find something that will help with a search in here
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
yellowbirdrs
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looks like a fun project. hope you find her for cheap because all the Ducati stuff is expensive here in Mexico and if you get the parts in the US you ended paying crazy money to UPS
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:07 PM   #4
Abdelhub
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ducati fun!!!

yours turns over! score....my heap is stuck.....I don't think there are any bevel 750 pistons left on the planet.....i just stare at here in the shop waiting for the money gods to unleash so i can put her back to rights....


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Old 03-04-2012, 10:12 PM   #5
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the ducati sickness knows no bounds....
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DUCATI-BEVEL...#ht_697wt_1158

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Old 03-04-2012, 10:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abdelhub View Post
the ducati sickness knows no bounds....
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DUCATI-BEVEL...#ht_697wt_1158

mike
Ah yes, but Bevels and Pantahs are two different stories. Bevel prices have gone stupid. Pantahs are at lease somewhere this side of insane.

Nice project there. The crustiness of everything looks like the bikes that sit aruond unused here in teh tropical salt air for years. Drives me nuts that nobody ever bothered to spend a dollar for a tin of WD40 to spray them down with before leaving them sit! Still, nothing that weeks and months of polishing and painting wont fix.
have fun!!
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:14 PM   #7
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Nice find. I love this pic - skinny bike.

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Old 03-04-2012, 11:46 PM   #8
Houseoffubar
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Love the Pantahs! I came real close to getting a silver 600 once.
I'm pretty sure you can punch these out to 850cc or so.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:40 AM   #9
Precis
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Engine number (and front calipers) say plainly it's a 500cc. You can get about 720cc out of it with a degree of reliability - beyond that, it becomes a grenade with a VERY (measure it in seconds) fuse - but why would you?
With some opened pipes and venturis, these things can rev very, very hard.
The chromed (or perhaps nickled?) frame was a fashion in the early 80s - trouble is, in the unlikely event it cracks - how will you know? Paint - of whatever colour - is good.
There's lots of options for bodywork - everywhere from stock to twin-headlamp fairings. The trick racer stuff is made by NCR in Italy - expensive, but beautiful.
Wheels were gold - but they're YOUR wheels now!
Well done & good luck!
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:26 AM   #10
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I raced the very first Pantah that we got into my Dad's bike shop, so I know a bit about them. As to wondering if the chrome frame was stock, uh, NO. As I remember , now it's a loooooong time ago that I had this bike, I think the 500 came through with 32's not 36's.
Have fun with you're new baby!

Chris
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:29 AM   #11
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:05 AM   #12
bk brkr baker
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Is the frame chrome or nickel ? It would be better if it was nickle , less chance of hydrogen enbrittelment. Plus nickle looks cool, think Trackmaster and Champion flattrackers.
Looks like a lot of opportunities ahead.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:29 AM   #13
Airhead Wrangler OP
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After looking at this a bit I'm wondering if this is the US market speedo with small MPH on the inside and larger km/h on the outside or is this the "rest of world" model? Anybody know? It would be a strong clue as to where this bike came from.
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Current rides: HPN #834, '93 R100GSPD "red rocket", '73 R75/5 Toaster mongrel, '80 Ducati Pantah 500SL, '92 DR350, '67 Honda SS50, '80 Honda Chaly.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:04 AM   #14
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I'm sure the speedo I threw in the garbage was in MPH.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:05 AM   #15
Fitero
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I love the look on your dog's face! Not too bright, but game for a ride in the truck, a thrown stick, anything!
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