Michael “Woolie” Woolaway, Deus ex Machina’s in-house bike builder, was launching his new “Dreamliner” Ducati hypo-custom, so what better reason than that to throw an Italian Day at Deus, the party complete with opera virtuoso singing Pagliacci. In any case, the bevy of well-tuned classic, vintage and race bred Italian bikes literally filled the parking lot and the adjacent sidewalks to overflow capacity. The event? Deus called it Raduno Ducati.
Good luck on finding any parking spaces, bikes were filling up all four sides of the building, snaking around corners and blatantly kissing pedestrian-land which, at one point, brought out Johnny Law who seemed worried that someone would trip over a bike on the sidewalk. Gentle threats saw most bikes moved, thus avoiding any SWAT enforcement. Meantime, the entire back area of DEM was showtime for a wide spectrum of age, displacement and purpose of Italo-machines. While the main color was Ducati red, both vintage and modern, there were reps from Moto Guzzi, Aprilia, and Cagiva.
“The only problem is that there may be too many bikes,” said Deus crewmember and event organizer, Nevin Pontiouf. “We’ve got a really eclectic group including race bikes like the Rossi GP bike displayed inside. There’s also been a lot of buzz about Woolie’s new Dreamliners plus the new Ducati Scrambler, so it made sense to launch the bike and have a gathering of Italian bikes. We’ve got hard-ridden bikes in original shape as well as restored bikes. Deus celebrates the L.A. lifestyle, including bikes. Every third Sunday we do an afternoon barbecue and music, basically a free-for-all for anybody out riding to stop by and have a get together. Today’s event for sure has been one of the biggest.”
The rest of the story is best told with photos and captions, so please scroll down to see what else Garson spotted at the event.
The Man with a Ducati Plan (previously using Honda, Harley, Buell, and Yamaha units), this was Woolie’s first ground-up build employing a Ducati powerplant, but no doubt would not be his last. He’s a pretty serious guy and prefers hunkering down in his workshop over partying. Plus he does lay it all out at the race track.
Debuted for the party was DEM’s new Dreamliner, an homage to the Imola racers of the 1970s. In this case, Woolie’s re-vamping of a 750 two-valve Monster engine fitted into his custom chrome-moly frame and fed by a pair of Keihin FCR racing carbs, with fully adjustable swingarm.
The Dreamliner features geometry similar to a Ducati 916RS. The front end’s Ohlins were upgraded by Ed Sorbo at Lindemann Engineering, the rear shock by Jim Wood at Racetech. Anchors are full-floating rotors by Kosman Specialties matched to Brembo actuators.
More belts and pumps than a Eureka vacuum cleaner and still cleaning up on the competition.
Who is that masked rider on the new Ducati Scrambler?
Los Angeles based OMOTO Works refers to themselves as “two guys in a garage.” Thirty-four-year police veteran, John Morena, and engineer, Bill Oberman got their heads together in 2007 to build outstanding street and race modified Ducatis.
John races this bike, 191, that they originally found as a totally wrecked NCR Ducati. He also spearheads a law officer supported youth motorcycle program.
OMOTO’s Bill handles all the mechanics and John handles the design, fab and paint. The bike started out as a pre-owned 2006 Sport Classic (only year with a monoshock), which Bill began personalizing, making his own parts at his sign shop, and via his network of craftsman.
Why is comedian and Last Comic Standing competition winner Alonzo Bodden so happy?
Maybe Bodden is happy staring at his worth-its-weight-in-gold-anodizing, 2011 Ducati 1098 custom, another stellar attraction of the day. Seems Alonzo wadded his new 1098 at Buttonwillow raceway. He figured, take the spill and turn it into thrills via Nick Anglada down in Florida.
The kid may be ordering another pizza, remapping the ECU of his Dad’s Ducati or playing Nuke the Nerds video game, or all three simultaneously.
A Ducati with a better lean angle than that tower in Pisa.
Yes, Vespas were the first hybrids powered by pizza.
Beautiful symmetry: 1998 Ducati 748 Gulf Replica.
Guess who brought the Gulf/Heuer Ducati? Jacket patches do tell the story. Yes, that’s the owner of the Ducati 748 seen above, Rick Carmody. His lady friend seems hinting at something for herself.
Okay, so some people, even Deus staff, don’t like to pose for that special photo op when they suddenly hear some guy shouting, “Hey!” and then pointing a camera in their face. I really understand that I need to develop more people skills, but over the years I’ve found “Hey!” gets peoples’ attention, and usually an expression more interesting than when you bow and scrape and ask permission. But I am thinking of gluing a fuzzy bunny atop my camera lens. Nah, probably my tarantula when it croaks.
There are some shapes in life that just make you want to reach out and touch, and this gas tank is one of them.
Of all the vintage Ducs that got in a row, this one has some interesting history going for it, if a bit off the beaten Ducati track. Call it a tribute bike, this 1965 350 single was brought by AHRMA racer Wendy Newton. A two-year labor of love, it’s an exact Works replica of the bike campaigned by famous trials rider Peter Gaunt in the ’60-’70s. Wendy’s bike was refabbed by B&J Racing in 1993-94 with a ’65 Ducati Sebring Motor, Rickman wheels, Sammy Miller muffler, NJB shocks.
A trio of 1960s single-cylinder Ducs included, in foreground, a very red 1965 Mach I, also brought by Wendy Newton, while the blue machine is Michelle van Vilet’s 1969 350 Desmo Scrambler. In the background, Maurizio Sanges’ 1967 250 Desmo.
While Ducati purists might gnash their rigatonis over this bobberizing of a 1998 Ducati Monster 900, fans of owner Kurt Yaeger’s design call it belissimo. Kurt, by the way, was a pro-BMX racer nicknamed Crowbar for his fearlessness. While a car inspired a major crash of a Ducati back in 2006 that took his left leg, he didn’t take in laying down in the least. Looking for new goals, he focused on acting. He scored big time with a role on Sons of Anarchy as the character Greg the Peg. He also got back into BMX, and at the 2010 X Games became the first amputee to backflip a BMX bike.
Organizer of the event and mover and shaker behind all the buzz and posters and event perks is Deus crewmember Nevin Pontiouf seen here with his wife Scarlett and baby girl Clementine. Asked about the tartan headwear, which seems a bit Scottish, Nevin laughs and says, “It’s the only thing with some red in it that I could find.”
Mad Max meets semi-mad Roland Sands, bike designer extraordinaire, ripped his badass take on a Ducati and gave it the stressed and distressed cosmetic treatment. A Paul Smart edition Ducati lurks behind it. Built by Ducati in 2006, the PS1000LE commemorates Smart’s victory at the Imola 200 in 1972, a major upset when he beat the legendary Agostini on his MV Agusta purpose-built racer.
Serious pedigree in the shape of a Ducati Desmosedici MotoGP racebike. This “VR2” was built in December 2010 at the Ducati factory and first competed in the Qatar Grand Prix in January 2011. It placed in the top three at Le Mans, France in May 2011 and last raced at the Dutch TT in Assen, having logged a total of 2,342km.
Yes, I am a fan of Pavarotti and Verdi, but I do not wear the funny costumes. So I really enjoyed listening to the incredible vocals by Giovanni Ferretti, aka Johnny Ferretti, seen here with his wife, just as I interrupted his performance which he took graciously.
Very nice pipes, as they say. Oh, and the guy at the bottom is looking the wrong way, probably at some bike’s exhaust system.
And yes, the dog is Italian. His name is Rocki. As far as I know he did not bite one motorcycle.
Where do you buy those sunglasses? Yes, I want two of them, please.
The T-shirt might say Norton and the bike might say Cagiva, but professional musician John Zainer has a unique hybrid here. It began life as a 2007 125cc water-cooled 2-stroke Cagiva Mito, which apes the styling of a Ducati 916, but Zainer upgraded the powertrain with a Honda CRF450X motor making about 50 horses in a bike that weighs 280 lbs. In Italian or Japanese, it translates to serious giggle fun.
Speaking of Nortons, Daniel Schoenewald, CEO of Advanced Motion Controls, and a major bike fan, has every model of Norton Commando in his collection, and rides every one of them. He recently added the new incarnation, a snortin’ 961, here seen taking off for the ride back home to Camarillo, CA.
Shadows were getting long, show winding down, time to head home.