NZ Hot Rod – August 2019

(Axel Boer) #1
> 11

³Long Distance
ADRAINGilbert probably drives his hot rods further in one
year than any other in NZ. His latest weekend foray saw
him on an 1100km winter weekend cruise from Pleasant
Point, near Timaru, all the way to Te Anau via the Catlins
to Invercargill before returning over the Lindis Pass. As
you can see, there was snow around but only on the hills,
and it was very cold wind at times, so the heater was on.

³Model Citizen
GRAHAME Berry’s new book is out now and is amazing,
as expected. It chronicles the man and the many
models he’s crafted since 2004. Production was led by
Grahame’s daughter Sharee and is a wonderful record and
memento of the man and his incredible talents. Copies
were snapped up, and the first print run sold out.

³Kiwi Ingenuity
INN the mid-’80s in NZ, Dallas Rankine, a distributor of older
English motorcycle parts in Wellington, got a group of
friends together to have a go at building a race motorbike,
to progress further on from the 2-valve Ducati raced around
NZ with reasonable success by multi NZ Grand Prix winner
Robert Holden. That bike used a steel tube frame, ran a
Ducati 750 Pantah motor running on a mix of 4 5% Nitro
and Methanol. Finally, the nitro was too much for it, and the
crank blew out the bottom of the engine. They thought the
only way to beat the competition, was to build their own
bike. Steve Roberts designed and built the new frame out
of aluminium, and gas welded it all together. It had two
wide tapered down spars which held fuel ( just methanol
this time!) and the “gas tank” became the air box. In an
effort to keep weight down low, the rear suspension was
converted to a single spring and
shock mounted under the engine.
This innovative approach was
years before the Britten bikes
showed up on the scene. Then
Taranaki motorcycle legend Don
O’Connor and machining guru
Graeme Sutton got in on the act.
They modified a pair of 4 -valve
Godden aluminium heads used on Speedway bikes to fit
the “Duke”, fitted some different cams, and mounted it all
up in the new frame. This combination made 85 HP and
pushed around the lightweight (122kg) motorcycle! They
adapted a Hilborn injector to the engine, with the pump
chain driven off the rear cam. Some new aluminium barrels
were cast up and machined with 88mm bores, and the
crank throws destroked to 4 9mm, to make displacement
6 00 cc for the F2 class. This bike was tested at Manfield by
different riders and performance was very encouraging.
About then Ducati finally produced its own 4-valve cylinder
head to ward off the Japanese multi-valvers, so that bike
was quickly shelved, and a third one built to accommodate
the new style Ducati engine. This was taken to Daytona
in 1992 where it ran in 4th, behind the three other Works
Ducati entries in the International Twin’s class. All
three bikes survived and are on display at various events
around NZ today by Dallas and his friend Luke Taylor.
From Golly
Free download pdf