Tale Of Two Little Sisters
After six months of hard saving the two little sisters materialised. One a Ducati Mach One and the other a 500 Goldie. The Mach One was on the road a week or two before the Goldie and then everything was ready for the first ride - a trip to Wales. However the Ducati's wheels collapsed (This is of no consequence) so could not make it. The Gold Star started but not before a knee was put through a tank (fibreglass) Ouch! The painful knee. After two hours of repair to the tank and knee the trip was made. Although it snowed in Wales no breakdowns occurred - unusual.
Then came the summer holidays and a trip around Ireland. A week before we set off disappointment set in. The Ducati collided with a lorry and a much battered Ducati was the result, the rider himself being not much better with a broken big toe and many grazes. The Ducati was rebuilt while on the sick and made worthwhile for the holidays whilst the rider hobbled around thinking "Was it worth it?"
However, not too set back, we set off accompanied by a Velo (yuk). When we were 20 miles from home the Ducati's carburettor fell off. A quick roadside repair by screwing in a 5/16th diameter Whitworth (of course) into the metric thread. One hundred miles from home the battery went flat on the Ducati. The spark plug came flying out as well. This was soon fixed by swapping the battery from the Velo. We set off again but it wasn't long before the HT lead came off and the battery strap had broken on the Ducati. With all these setbacks we still arrived at the ferry exactly on time.
The following day while searching for a camp-site in Ireland the Gold Star stopped with oil coming out of all engine joints as well as the carburettor and we had to stop. The trouble was soon diagnosed. It was a broken dural timing gear which had also stopped the oil pump. The situation seemed hopeless but as luck would have it a racing Gold Star on a trailer passed through Antrim whilst we had stopped and the Ducati gave chase, managing to get the required part. After fixing the Goldie the rest of the holiday passed without further breakdowns. Only the Goldie stopped again through the oil pump but was soon cleared and an accident occurred when the rain caused the Ducati to slip causing the rider further bruising to his already battered body.
The rest of the holiday passed without further incidents and the objective was reached. On the way home the Ducati's main bearings went but with only 100 miles to go made it. The bike was consequently taken off the road. The Gold Star however stayed together and many trips were made on it until the Ducati was back on the road. Then an accident occurred when a Triumph hit the Ducati after hitting a telegraph pole at 60mph. The Gold Star came through unscathed, the Triumph wrecked and the Ducati bent. Then the Gold Star seized its big end and was off the road for a while. The Ducati, bent but running, was still going. Then an argument with a car cleared the Ducati off the road.
Both riders, realising their mistake, sold out. The Gold Star was sold. The Ducati put in the garage until brighter days. Six hundred pounds down the drain and two penniless riders with two white elephants to think about.
John Ashworth and Clive Hodgkin