VanTech Missing Link Honda S90 Project:
VanTech Triumph 500 Project
You asked and we answered, a big boy VanTech. We are pleased to announce the start of our next VanTech project, a VanTech Triumph Desert Racer. Thanks to Luke Gayford, we were able to acquire one of the large VanTech Frames, and the always wonderful Sonny Nutter hooked us up with a donor bike for the engine. Keep you posted as we progress!
Let's make this happen in 2019! If you have contacts with other AMA Hall of Famers and AMA lifers (they are the voters) please help us get Bill VanTichelt's name and accomplishments out and about.
THE VANTECH DUCATI CAFE RACER:
You read it here first! That beautiful Grant-VanTech cafe style racer pictured below is currently serving as inspiration for a new VanTech Ducati 160cc Cafe Racer that Bill and family are making even as you read this. Take a look below at the progress thus far and we will keep you updated!
Start: Getting everthing together - the VanTech frame (thanks Gabe Trench), vintage suzuki gas tank, Ceriani forks (thanks Lee Fabry), vintage Honda hubs (thanks Brenda at and a Ducati 160cc Engine (thanks Sergio Cecchione). Let the fun begin.
11/28/2014: Bill VanTichelt, and his son, Bill, Jr. discuss the frame. Did I mention that the Ducati 160cc engine is slightly wider than the frame. No problem - not the most scientific process but effective.
Those old motor mounts are going to have to go compliments of Rob Walker. The beginning of the mock up on the frame and stripping the tank an old Suzuki (I love me some body work).
12/12/2014: Ah, the engine. This engine is pretty amazing, but it takes someone with know how - enter Ted Henry (or as I call him Ducati Ted) So good he doesn't even need a last name. Thank you to Gary Grove, Gabe Trench ,Ed Milich and Paul Montgomery for leading me to Ted (these Ducati guys are mythic and hard to find). Ted and I went through the engine but have not separated the case yet. While it looks pretty good inside, the case is cracked in the lower corner so Ted is finding us another. It pays to have friends.
12/26/14: Down to the basics; frame fabrication - cutting and grinding. Bill sets up the jig to lengthen the swing arm 1 and a half inches. We need to fix that tank so it mounts on the VanTech frame and the seat will need to be re-positioned, too. Bill creates new motor mounts for the Ducati and the weight of the engine requires some additional frame reinforcement. Thanks to master welder Enzo Falconi!
This is Bill in 1961 and this is Bill in 2014 He's still got those mad skills!
1/3/2015: The frame is slowly starting to come together, newly fabricated motor mounts compliments of Bill VanTichelt, extended swing arm, Girling Shocks on the rear, vintage Suzuki cafe style gas tank and the Honda hub - lining up perfectly with the Ducati engine. Those hubs may have come from a salvage yard but they will clean up nicely!
2/27/2015: Well, I've been working on the hubs (1966 Honda CL 160) and they are finally starting to shape up after hours of wet standing. I know, I know, I shouldn't be working in the kitchen but it just makes perfect sense with the water and all, plus I can watch Chopped while sanding!
2/28/2015: I guess it's time to get my hands dirty, again. My very first case splitting (is that even a verb?) The learning curve on a Ducati engine is pretty steep, not to mention parts are rare. Luckily for me, I have Ted Henry, the master. Did I mention he gave me homework - yes there was reading involved. Who knew we would have to essentially get two engines just to make one good one. Thank you to Jonathan White for the second engine. I have to say the more I work on the engine, the more I appreciate it's design and ingenuity.