The design and construction of the Drysdale 750-V8 took many thousands of hours - principally by the designer (and chief fabricator) Ian Drysdale . A job of this complexity also requires the services of other specialists - and Ian went looking for people who weren't just good at what they did for a living - but people with the commitment and flair to create something special - something that bit better than you will get from a person who is merely doing a good job for a wage. Ian went looking for fellow motorcyclists - or more to the point - motorcycle 'enthusiasts'.
That he found them is obvious when a close inspection is made of the 750-V8.
The making of any shape to be cast in metal starts as a pattern -still made out of wood - as they have been for centuries. Advances in computer drafting and solidification techniques have not yet made any major inroads into the realm of the skilled pattern maker as it is a skill that encompasses woodworking skills ,engineering skills and a large degree of artistic flair.
The pattern for the 750-V8 was made by Neil Kilner of Accurate Patterns in his workshop just outside Melbourne. Neil already had a reputation for his pattern making skills before starting on the 750 V8 - in high demand for making patterns for parts for Group A touring cars, vintage cars, motorcycles and aircraft . Making the engine with cast in cylinder block & gearbox is difficult enough - made much more so by Ian insisting that the top and bottom halves of the engine be cast as one . This means the internals of the engine - the gearbox and the crankshaft webs must all be in place and complete and be attached to the walls solidly as well. This resulted in a mould that has 22 separate pieces that must all fit together so tightly that molten metal will not seep between them !
The patterns are all made from wood to a tolerance of less than 0.5 mm from the drawings supplied by Ian. On top of this a shrinkage factor must be added to every dimension- varying depending on the thickness of the final metal in that spot and whether or not it is near an opening. A testimony to Neil's skill is that the first casting out of the pattern was good enough to use for the prototype engine- a feat unheard of in a casting of the complexity of the 750-V8.
Neil can contacted on phone/fax + 613 5964 7405 BH.
To many riders their motorcycle represents a rolling piece of art that you sit on and ride. Whilst the motor is part of the 'look' - it is the bodywork -the fairing/tank/seat that sets one motorcycle from another. The Italians are famous for their sensual designs and Ian saw the makings of such a design in the final year project of an Adelaide industrial design student which appeared in many motorcycle magazines in Australia and abroad.
Duncan Harrington might sound like a Scottish/English name but one look at his sweeping body designs and you can be sure that there must be some Italian blood somewhere in his ancestry. Whilst the frame and exhaust design of the Drysdale 750-V8 bear a striking resemblance to Duncan's final year project ( named Instinct - built around a 650 Honda motor ) they were actually designed and built by Ian before photos of Duncan's 'Instinct' appeared in the magazines. Soul mates or just two motorcycle enthusiasts with a similar background ?
It turns out that Ian and Duncan also both served apprenticeships as fitter/ turners before attending university - albeit at different times and places. This background of both mechanical and styling designers contributes to the look that this design 'means business' - both Ian and Duncan will be very disappointed if the 750-V8 is not right first time. A reputation for designs that were 'right first time' was also a trademark of the late Phil Irving - the Australian designer of the Vincent Black Shadow and the Repco-Brabham double F 1 Championship winning car - who is a hero of both Ian and Duncan.
Duncan can be contacted by email on: firstname.lastname@example.org