With just over 4 weeks to go I'd like to thank all of those wonderful people who have made donations towards my ride for this worthy cause.
You ROCK!...in a very refined and genteel manner of course :)
(Image: circa 1990 - on the way to a rally in Tumut, via the Brindabella Ranges)
She was born in Bologna, Italy in February 1983, whilst Ducati Meccanica Sp.A was still owned and controlled by the Italian Government.
The first owner was Mick Conner, who bought the bike from EuroTune in Fyshwick. It was the first of the red, white and green “Hailwood Repica” Pantahs in the region.
I bought the bike from The Stable in Lonsdale Street, Braddon in December 1985 for the princely sum of $2,600. Just $100 more that I sold my Yamaha RZ350 for the following weekend.
My so called mates immediately rounded on me and declared that they would not be waiting for me when “that bloody Ducati breaks down!”
I am pleased to report that in the time that I have owned the bike she has never failed me, except for one flat rear tyre in 1990 which I blame on a piece of metal falling off a Japanese bike.
Used as my only form of transport for many years, the only mechanical remedies required have been one wheel bearing, two ignition switches, one regulator (it is Italian) and two starter motors. When the odometer passed 100,000km I took the Pantah to Ian Gowanloch in Sydney for a check-up and he replaced the rings, the ignition pickups and the timing pulleys. Not bad for a well-used bike.
Oil (Penrite HPR30) and filter have been changed every 2000 – 2500km.
I believe that I have spent several times the purchase price on tyres and chains in the past 32 years.
I do all the maintenance work myself and, whilst a little daunting sometimes, it is very rewarding to wheel the bike out after a tune up and feel the improvement that you have made. Balancing two quite worn old Dellorto carburettors can be a right royal pain in the butt….but the results sublime.
Would I ever sell her?
Ha! No chance.
Not whilst I can still ride anyway. Being together for over thirty years now makes this by far my most successful relationship.
We have travelled all over eastern Australia. Canberra to the Gold Coast was ridden in one day (ouch). We’ve been to rallies at the end of almost impassable dirt roads in the mountains in pouring rain, snow and blistering heat. We have traversed flooded roads when other riders were too concerned about getting wet and cold, and we’ve gone places just for the hell of it because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
I don’t ride “the pretty bike” (as a good friend christened her) as often as I used to but every time I see her in the garage I smile. When we do go out for an “Italian tune up” my face aches for hours afterwards from grinning hard at the sound and the feel of this wonderful bike doing what she does best.
Truly what bike ownership and motorcycling is all about
(Image: 1989 - a cold wet ride. Very wet)
On Sunday the 24th of September, I will don my finest attire with my fellow men and women across the globe to join the fight with The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to raise awareness for prostate cancer and men’s mental health.
But before I press my tweed and polish my boots, I need you to donate what you can for this meaningful cause and help me reach my goal.
For your uncles, your brothers, your fathers and friends. Donate what you can, for their lives need not end.
Thank you for all the donations thus far!
Saw your message on DHS yammer - good on you for having a go! Best of luck, oh and nice bike :)
Hi Allan Thank you for raising awareness for prostate cancer which unfortunately takes over 3,000 men's lives every year. Regards Mark Clothier
Hi Allan, hopefully you raise more than it costs you to run the Ducati for the day.
Have a blast on your ride
Great cause Allan!
Enjoy, a few more horsepower than the pushbike!
I work in the Multicultural Services branch of the Department of Human Services. I read about your part in the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride in our Yammer website. I wish you the best of luck!
Ride safe and enjoy ever second. Nothing beats the sound of a Ducati!