Home » Blog » Robert Terando and his 2009 Ducati 848
Martin Gusto
22 Feb 2018
Robert Terando and his 2009 Ducati 848

Robert Terando owned a 2009 Ducati 848 that even it is a great bike, it wouldn’t handle the way that he liked. So he decided to change everything on this bike. Instead of adjusting tire pressures or twiddling some knobs on the suspension like most of us would do, he set about building a whole new bike from scratch.

The Britten he is mentioning to would be the legendary V1000 that was built by the late Kiwi engineer John Britten. For its time, it was a revolutionary bike that breaks all the design rules followed by the big factories in Japan and Europe, and it changed the way of building the motorcycles. Some aspects of the V1000 like data logging, using the engine as a stressed member of the frame and extensive use of carbon fiber, exist and today only on the most advanced motorcycles.Particularly, the most fundamental park of the Britten V1000, the double-wishbone front suspension design, never was adopted by any major manufacturer. That is the design that Terando chose to emulate. A tall order for this man from southern Indiana, but one he has the background to begin. He raced for a few years at the pro level in the AMA, campaigning in the Supersport class on a Ducati 749 with backing from the fabulous Fast by Feracci. More lately, Terando has been modifying and building chassis for AMA Flat Track teams.
To say, his first try at a variant of the Britten front end design was less than successful. He went into the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, found one of the limited and most priceless motorcycles in the world and began taking notes.He said that he had one of the guys on the floor that was looking at him, but he never said yes or no, so he just tried not to touch.
Now three years into his project Terando is still tinkering with as many major revisions. The present iteration of the machine sports 16 degrees of rake and a longer swingram to help with rear traction. To help load the front tire he moved the engine forward 1.75 inches. The engine was treated to a 1040cc overbore kit, and that means that every single major part of this machine is personalized where it is not totally built from scratch.
Robert Terando was primarily in fabrication and welding, and he had a friend with a machine shop that made the machined parts that he needed based off of his sketches.Robert will be the first to tell you that this machine, that hasn’t yet a name and is not ready to take the grid for a race. The valving in the front shock has demonstrated to be tricky to sort out, since no one has built anything like what he was trying to build. But don’t be surprised at your next Midwestern track day, if he does get it sorted, when you get passed around the outside by a machine that is very different from anything else that you have ever seen.Photo Pete Hitzeman

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