Surprises! You have to love them – as long as they are good ones.
Back in 2010 I was in the US and on my way from San Francisco to Washington DC where I had some shoots scheduled. I made a detour to Oklahoma City for a day to visit a friend who had mentioned that his local Triumph/Suzuki dealer had an interesting collection of bikes housed in an old service station on Route 66 and perhaps I’d like to check them out? Sounded good to me. So we rocked up at the dealership for a chat before heading off to the collection and the dealer mentions that he has an old Ducati sitting at the back of the workshop and would I like to see it? Cue the surprise…
“Nice single” I thought when I first saw it. Then as I got closer I saw that it was a very special single indeed – an SC (Sport Corsa). These were hand-built factory race bikes and only a few dozen were made in 1965 & 1966. Most were 250s, while a few 350s were also built. It turned out that this one (engine no. DM.250.SC.31.) was one of about 12 imported into the States in 1967, then had been restored (and mis-identified as a Mach1/S) in 1973.
The SCs were very different to the Mach 1 production bikes they were based on and featured a double-downtube frame, sand-cast engine cases with the distinctive centrally located oil filer at the front of the sump, sand-cast 250 F3 type heads that used shorter camshafts, a special close-ratio 5-speed gearbox, uprated brakes and different bodywork.
The ’65 bikes had Grimeca brakes while the ’66 models, like this one, used Oldani.
The long, narrow fibreglass tank was also a ’66 fitment, as was the humped seat (although not in red). Both the 250 & 350 used SS1 Dell’Orto carbs in ’65, while in ’66 the 250 was fitted with an Amal Monoblock.
The bikes were equiped with head and tail lights as standard. The 250 weighed 115kg and had a top speed of 190kph.
Needless to say I never did get to visit that old service station…
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