First seen at the Barber Vintage Festival, the Vee Two Imola Evo is the realization of a dream.
Vee Two Ducati Imola Evo
Engine: 992cc air-cooled SOHC 90-degree V-twin, 94mm x 71.5mm bore and stroke, 13.5:1 compression ratio, 122hp @ 8,500rpm (at rear wheel)
Top speed: NA
Carburetion: Two 41mm Keihin FCR
Transmission: Vee Two 5-speed, chain final drive
Electrics: 12v, Elektronik-Sachse digital ignition
Frame/wheelbase: Tubular steel open cradle space frame/57.5in (1,460mm)
Suspension: Fully adjustable Öhlins FG511 inverted telescopic fork front, dual fully adjustable Öhlins 36PL shocks rear
Brakes: Dual 12.6in (320mm) Brembo floating discs front, single 9in (230mm) Brembo disc rear
Tires: 120/70 x 17in front, 180/55 x 17in rear
Weight (wet): 370lb (168kg)
Fuel capacity/MPG: 4.5gal (17ltr)/NA
The 73,000 visitors to last October’s 12th annual Barber Vintage Festival might have been pardoned for thinking they were seeing double when visiting the Motorcycle Classics stand to view the bikes on display for the magazine’s annual Barber Vintage Bike Show.
There, gleaming in the Alabama sunshine, were not just one, but two examples of the bike that’s widely recognized as the most iconic and simply most desirable Ducati production street bike made since the Italian manufacturer began selling V-twin motorcycles in 1971. Only 401 green-framed 750SS were built in the Bologna factory’s race shop in 1973-1974 — Ducati’s first customer desmo V-twin and a close replica of the factory racer Paul Smart famously took to victory in the 1972 Imola 200. 750SS values have skyrocketed; witness the 750SS that sold for $176,000 at the August Gooding & Company auction in Monterey, California. And here were two of them on display — with a third in the Barber Museum right next door.
But wait, all is not what it seemed: One of the bikes on the stand wore a modern Öhlins suspension and Brembo radial brakes, and it was subtly different in its shorter-wheelbase stance from the older, original 1974 750SS alongside it. And where it should have had a Ducati decal it wore instead “Vee Two.” It was, in fact, a brand-new bike, freshly completed the week before in Nannup, Western Australia, and flown to Alabama to make its debut on the Motorcycle Classics stand at Barber. This is the Vee Two Ducati Imola Evo, the creation of Vee Two Australia and the realization of founder Brook Henry’s dreams of building his own engine from the ground up.
Some disclosure is called for here, as I have a long history with Vee Two. Two decades ago the company sponsored my road racing activities for four years all over the world, both on desmo V-twins that Brook himself built and tuned, and my own Ducati Supermono. Together we won heaps of races, headed by the Australian TT at Bathurst and the Daytona Formula 750 and Sound of Singles events. We took the 1996 BEARS World Series title on the Vee Two Bimota DB2R, and twice finished runner-up in the European Supermono championship. During our racing partnership my eldest son, Andrew, got to know Brook well and today is his partner and Vee Two Australia’s CEO.
Order the January/February 2017 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read more about the Vee Two Imola Evo. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email