Authenticity

Authenticity

What makes the Vee Two Hailwood truly authentic?

It’s all about the Engine.

Mike used a factory prototype bevel drive engine that was never put into production. Brook Henry has acquired the original casting patterns and factory drawings so has built, for the first time in 40 years, an engine identical to Mike’s.

‘It has always been my dream to build this bike, but it has not been possible without Ritorno. I have worked hard to make itidentical externally to the 1978 engine, but it is thoroughly-modern inside, with the latest technology and materials giving 89hp performance.’

Brook has devoted his career to keeping bevel drive Ducatis on the road reliably and faster on the track. At his workshop in Western Australia he designs, develops and manufactures upgraded gearboxes, big ends, camshafts, pistons etc. In fact, he makes virtually every part old bevels need to keep their hearts beating.

By an incredible stroke of good fortune, long Italian lunches and suitcases of lire Brook acquired the original casting patterns and the original drawings for the engine.

Brook has christened his engine Ritorno, the return. “I’ve always known that the engine in Hailwood’s bike was special. I’d seen pictures but never knew the details – especially how they had addressed the known weaknesses of the production bevel engine. Acquiring the drawings was a dream come true for me, looking at them in detail I could see exactly what they had done and why – it all made perfect sense! So much so, I thought I can do this”….. and the Ritorno was born.

The crankcases are quite robust and characterized by a narrow sump and spin on oil filter. Externally, the appearance is identical to the original, however, internally, changes in material spec. and some components such as the pistons and plain bearing crank have been made to improve reliability.

Each engine starts as raw castings, billets of hardened steel and aerospace aluminium. Brook and his team drills, mills and grinds the raw materials into the precision components he is famous for and assembles them into brand new Ritorno engines. When the engines are completed and tested Brook brings them to Los Angeles where he supervises the assembly of each bike.

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