Vee Two Alchemy SV-1
With Phil Aynsley
Australia was Ducati’s largest export market back in the ‘70s (with healthy numbers continuing in the early ‘80s) with some 6447 bevel V-twins of all types dispatched to these shores.
So it is unsurprising that after the bevels were discontinued in favour of the belt-driven OHC Pantah motor and its derivatives, that there then emerged a market for a more modern chassis that a bevel motor could be slotted in to.
Enter Brook Henry (and partner Stuart Barrowclough) with their Vee Two Alchemy.
The design was originally developed in 1988 as the RV-1 race model (with assistance from New Zealander Ken McIntosh), and was successfully tested by Owen Coles in that year’s Swann Series.
1989 brought successes in the NZ Sound of Thunder series as well as in local WA races. Brook even took the bike to Daytona a few months later and Owen ran as high as 5th (and was closing on the Dr John Guzzi) when a piston crown let go forcing the bike’s retirement.
The chassis design’s main features were a steeper steering head angle, shorter wheelbase and a rising rate monoshock rear suspension.
Encouraged by the soundness of their design a street-going version was introduced in 1991. The SV-1 was mainly supplied as a kit that would take the motor and much of the running gear from any bevel drive model Ducati.
The kit had a VIN and consisted of the frame & swingarm, alloy fuel tank, bodywork & fairing (rumoured to be derived from a mould taken off a Bimota DB1!). Rear shock absorber (White Power, Koni or other), exhaust system, headlight, instruments & dash. Wheels (choice of spoked or mags in different rim widths), front forks (Marzocchi or White Power), steering damper, Brembo floating discs (280 or 300mm) and calipers (two or four piston) plus axles, rear-sets etc.
All up 92 SV-1 kits plus seven complete bikes were sold by Vee Two. This bike I photographed in New Zealand was the last of those seven and has been restored back to its original condition.