1982 Ducati TT2
Cycle -
January 1984 -
Messenger in Red
Ducati TT2 600
By Patrick Behar
 
Cycle -
April 1982 -
The Factory Silver
Lining - The 600TT2
By Alan Cathcart
From Ian Falloon´s masterly "The Ducati Story", published on Haynes
Publishing 1996, 1998.


As the racing success of the 900NCR waned, the Pantah took over,
and during 1980 two 600 cc race-kitted Pantahs were prepared by
Franco Fame, These were campaigned successfully in the Italian
national junior championship by Wanes Francini, Paolo Menchini,
and Guido Del Piano, and were based on the standard SL frame but
with Marzocchi racing suspension. The red and yellow bodywork was
similar in style to that of the 900NCR, and power from the 583 cc
engines was up to 70 bhp at 9,800 rpm. Then, for the 1981 season,
Fabio Taglioni released his tour de force, the TT2.


The prototype TT2 was tested in Spain over the winter by Angel Nieto
(14 times World 50 cc and 125 cc Champion) and successful Ducati
endurance racer Salvador Canellas. So good was its design that, at
id debut race meeting on 29 March: 1981, the TT2, in the hands of
Sauro Paz."aglia, won the opening round of. the Italian TTF2 series at
Misano. However, even as the TT2 was making its presence felt on
Italian circuits, Sports Motorcycles' Steve Wynne and Pat Slinn had
prepared a modified 500SL Pantah for Tony Rutter to race in the Isle
of Man Formula 2 event in June 1981. Originally promised two factory
bikes that didn't materialise, they had found an insurance write-off,
installed a factory race kit, sent the frame off to Ron Williams of
Maxton for some extra bracing, and signed up Isle of Man veteran
Tony Rutter, Rutter won at an average of 101.91 mph (164 km'), with a
fastest lap of 103.51 mph (166.58 km/h). Ducati were pleased
enough with this victory to offer Rutter a TT2 factory bike for the next
round at Ulster on August 22. In atrocious conditions, Rutter finished
second to secure the 1981 World Formula Two Championship.


The TT2 marked the return of the factory to official competition after an
absence since 1975. By using an 81 mm bore capacity was
increased to 597 cc, almost the class limit, and a completely new
frame was designed by Taglioni and made by Verlicchi. Weighing
only 7 kg (16 lb), rear suspension was by a cantilever and single
Paoli shock absorber. This frame was exceedingly compact and
strong, being heavily triangulated around the steering head, and
comprising essentially straight tubes. It bolted to the engine in four
places, still using the latter as a stressed member, with butt-fitted
bosses rather than flat tabs as on the SL. The 18-litre fibreglass
petrol tank was encased by this frame. Fitted with 3.5 mm Marzocchi
racing forks with magnesium sliders and 280 mm Brembo front
discs, the racer weighed in at a mere 270 lb (1ZZ kg). It was also
extremely compact, ivith only a 55-inch (1,395 mm) wheelbase. The
18-inch Campagnolo wheels were 2.15 inches wide on the front, and
3.00 inches on the rear.


In the engine department, the TT2 was pure factory racer. The 81 mm
Borgo pistons only had moderate compression of 10:1, but valves
were larger at 41 mm inlet and 35 mm exhaust. These valves were
operated by desmodromic camshafts giving 12 mm of intake lift and
10 mm of exhaust. Italian regulations permitted the use of 40 mm
Dell'Orto carburet-tors, but for the TT World Championship, standard
36 mm carburettors needed to be retained. Claimed power was 76
bhp at 10,750 rpm. There was much evidence of weight saving -
exposed camshaft drive belts, a magnesium primary drive cover, and
hydraulically operated dry clutch. A lightweight two-into-one exhaust
system was also used. Internally most gears were drilled for
lightness and ignition was still by electronic Bosch BTZ, with the
small battery mounted in the rear tailpiece. Because Italian
regulations required an electric starter, both this and the 200 watt
alternator were retained.


The TT2 was a very effective racing machine, in the best Taglioni
tradition of achieving maximum results through a balance of power
and weight. It was light, athletic, slim, had a wide power-band, and
Taglioni was especially proud of the specific fuel consumption
figures of 187 gr/HP/hr - less than a diesel! Just how effective it. was
as a racer was displayed by Massimo Broccoli in October 1981 at the
final round of the Italian 500 series at Mugello. On a TT2 sleeved
down to 500 cc, he finished seventh in a field of 500GP Suzukis and
Yamahas. Broccoli had already secured the Italian TT2
championship ahead of the Kawasaki-powered Bimota KB2s. In its
first full year the TT2 had won the two championship series that it had
contested.


The TT2 was even more successful in 1982. In the Italian TT2
championship Walter Cussigh won every round on his factory TT2,
and the now 40-year-old Tony Rutter again won the World TT2
Championship. For the Italian events power was up to 78 bhp at
10,500 rpm using 41 mm Malossi Dell'Orto carburettors, and
Cussigh favoured a 16-inch Campagnolo front wheel with a 3.25 -
$.50 Michelin front tyre. Rutter still used the 18-inch wheels,
preferring them to the 16-inch type on the bumpier street circuits. At
the Isle of Man he was considerably faster than the previous year,
winning the Formula 2 race on the factory bike at an average speed of
108.50 mph (174.61 km/h), with a fastest lap of 109.27 mph (175.85
km/h). He was timed at 144 mph (232 km/h) at a speed trap at the
Highlander. With the World Championship now extended to three
rounds, Rutter scored perfect points on his factory bike. He won at
Vila Real in Portugal at an average speed of 86.69 mph (139.51
km/h), following it at Ulster with a win at 100.73 mph (162.1 kph).


During 1982 a limited number of production 1TZ replicas
were built for privateers, These were very close to the factory hikes
but lacked items such as the magnesium primary drive cover and
hydraulically-operated dry clutch. They still had the racing
magnesium Marzocchi forks and 18inch Campagnolo wheels. The
engine had the same valve sizes as the factory racer, and valve
timing figures of inlet opening 74º before top dead centre and closing
92º after bottom dead centre, and exhaust opening 100º before
bottom dead centre and closing 64º after top dead centre, Still only
using 36 mm Dell'Ortos, power was a claimed 76 bhp at 10,730 rpm.
The TT2 also had straight cut primary gears, with a higher ratio than
the street bikes. 36/70 teeth gave a ratio of 1.94:1. The five-speed
gearbox had the same ratios as the street bike, except for fifth gear
being moved closer to fourth. The final drive was considerably lower,
at 3.15:1, with 13 and 41 teeth sprock-ets. Like the factory racer, an
oil-cooler was mounted in the fairing, cooling oil to the cylinder heads
in a similar system to that of the Imola racers a decade earlier.
Because it still had the electric starting mechanism, weight was 130
kg (286 lb). Rear suspension was not Paoli as in 1981, but a
Marzocchi PVS 1 remote reservoir gas shock absorber. Only about 20
of these bikes were made in 1982.


Racing results for the TT2 in 1983 weren't quite as spectacular as the
previous year. Tony Rutter again won the World TT2 Championship,
but not quite as convincingly. At the Isle of iVan he headed a Ducati
one-two with Graeme McGregar, at an average speed of 108.20 mph
(174.13 km/h), with a fastest lap of 109,44 mph (176.12 km/h). At the
other two rounds at Ulster and Assen he could only manage second,
but it was enough to win the championship again. Another batch of
TT2 replica was built for 1983, virtually identical to the previous year,
but now with a Campagnolo 3.50 x 16 inch front wheel to
complement a rear 3. 50 x 18 inch. Malossi modified 41 mm smooth
bore Dell'Orto carburettors were fitted, and power was up to a
claimed 78 bhp at 10,500 rpm.



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