Project Imola Ducati, Baines

The second in the series of approximately 40
ER Classics Desktop 2022

They were once introduced here by Back to Classics, the company of Harm and Harné Heuvelmans. Back to Classics is a globally operating classic Ducat specialist. The company sells many royal aisle parts and has them made new where necessary. Part of the business model lies in the painstakingly accurate restoration of classic Ducatis. And years ago we saw our first Project Imola Ducati in the wild there. A machine based on a 1992'er 900 Supersport with 11,5: 1 Arias pistons. On the test bench, the block delivered 80 hp to the rear wheel. But because the Imola weighed about XNUMX kilos less than the donor, it was an extremely fast bike.

The folder must still be in our archive

The Project Imolas could be delivered to order and were construction sets, or 'kits' to assemble a 'modern' Ducati block in a modern, but old-school style bicycle part. Oh yes: If you wanted such a Project Imola Ducati you had to provide a donor Duc yourself. Because it provided the engine, the wheels plus brakes, the front fork, rear suspension and the electrics. That bicycle part had to resemble as much as possible that of the legendary king-size Ducatis. But technically it was a whole lot better. The frame was more compact, the head angle a bit sharper and as far as the front fork and brakes are concerned, you could make it as crazy as you wanted. According to our information, 38 of these machines were made. Plus some kits. In England, the builder was then allowed to take his Project Imola Ducati to Baines to authenticate it. We do not know whether such a thing happened in the Netherlands. There is of course the possibility that an SS900 has simply been reincarnated administratively in the new frame.

Baines Racing and Ducati

Baines is a Ducatis specialist from Silverstone. The company was started about a quarter of a century ago by Joh Baines and his equally talented brother Geoff. Baines Racing does race tuning. And that know-how is reflected in the Project Imola Ducati bikes: their own retro tribute to the legendary SS king-axles. They weren't purebred Ducatis those Imolas. And at Baines they certainly did not walk in with it when we look at the total production of about 40 pieces.

Our photo model, number 11, is located in Loenen, at Startwin

A spectator muttered: "He's not as beautiful as a real Duc." But tastes differ. The 183 kilo noble bastard machine has run less than 20D km. And has actually been abused by using it too little.

So such a machine is quite unique

And there is a lot of Ducatis stuff. Is that why it is a classic Ducati? Or is it a special? A bitza off a bastard? The purists are allowed to fight about that. But Ducati made no mistake about the fact that at Baines they provided the Project Imola Ducati with Ducati stickers. And we have experienced that differently. The Italians may have recognized the passion of the British. Or they just don't pay attention.

All in all, the men from Silverstone at the time would have been just plain worried whether their Project Imola Ducati was a Real Ducati or if it would ever become classic status. They just wanted to make a very fast, light, well-steering Ducati that looked like the original SS. Because they liked it so much. And now say for yourself: Did she succeed?

More stories about classic engines through this link…

Also interesting to read:
- Ducati Pantah. A real Ducati
- The Ducati 900SS. For people who could not pay 851
- Ducati GT 750
- Ducati GTS 900
- The Ducati Darmah: a touring motor with Karma

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