Sunday, July 31, 2011

Monthly Message for July 2011

Hi Folks,
This is a very long message, please read to the very end.
July weather has proved great for motorcycle riding, if one doesn’t mind triple digit heat indexes.
On the 2nd, the owners group started out with a ride to Bixby.  There was a brief pre-ride briefing describing our destination and the chosen route.  We left the starting point at 9AM with a total of 9 motorcycles.  Vito led the ride and kept a spirited pace.  The group split into 2 groups- fast and very fast.  At our turn to Potosi off of MO21, we lost 2 riders.  One headed back; the other met us in Bixby.  We returned from Bixby after eating.  All riders returned in one piece.
At out July Bike Night, we were joined by Jeff Pittinger and John Scala from the MSF and they presented the MSF video on group riding.  While the video was elementary in nature, and their suggestions of appropriate behavior on the ride itself will not work with us, there are some important take-aways:
1- The rider must make certain that he and his motorcycle are in condition for the ride;
2- The ride leader must have ridden the route recently, noted changes and issues, and appropriate fuel and rest stops;
3- The riders should show up for the ride 30 minutes early for the pre-ride briefing regarding route, groupings, etc;
4- During the pre-ride briefing, the ride leader should distribute the route, discuss the potential issues, gas stops, etc;
5- During the ride, all riders should ride at their comfort level.  Those riders who wish to speed ahead can, those that don’t, should hang back.  Just meet at the pre-arranged locations.
It is worth discussing the rider and bike preparation a bit more.  As to rider preparation, the focus is on getting enough sleep, having a map of the area, wearing the correct protective gear, and being mentally in the game prior to getting on the motorcycle.  As for bike preparation, check fluids, cables, tires, steering, frame, etc, before setting off.
Now, I thought all of the excitement and news for the owners group had ended after our Bike Night on the 5th, but I was wrong.  While I was traveling I received an email from Dustyn Arney who unfortunately had a bad accident while on a ride.  Unfortunately, Dustyn went through a barbed wire fence and broke his back in nine places.  He says he is recovering quickly.
The week before my writing, I received the following press release from regarding Ducstock at the Barber Motorsports Park: announces the inaugural
Barber’s NCR Ducstock National Ducati Party  
This year’s largest Ducati owner’s celebration takes place inside the 7th annual Barber Vintage Festival adding a new dimension to the popular event  
Fort Lauderdale, FL (July 26, 2011) – is excited to announce the inaugural Barber NCR Ducstock Party at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham AL, October 7-10. The special “event inside an event” is sponsored by Italian designer and manufacturer of exclusive motorcycles and high performance parts, NCR s.r.l..
Ducstock will offer something for all motorcycle enthusiasts as it brings together the old and the new through a host of activities. Ducstock will feature a unique display of historic Ducati motorcycles, an impressive line-up of past and present Ducati heroes, bike and sound contests, rider skill tests, a Ducati artist showcase, a track day event and the world wide introduction of the new NCR M4.  
“We have chosen Ducstock as the event where we will present our new street legal titanium framed motorcycle, the NCR M4”  said Joe Ippoliti, COO of NCR. “The M4 is a ultra lightweight motorcycle that incorporates many advanced technologies but packaged into a very simple design that has always been a NCR trademark… Performance, lightweight and beauty. All driven by passion.”  
NCR will have a full display of parts and motorcycles under the main tent at the center of the weekend’s Ducstock activities located in a special infield area set aside exclusively by Barber Motorsports Park.
Adjoining the NCR display, the Ducstock Motorcycle Show will highlight the 30th anniversary of the Ducati TT2/TT1, by featuring an impressive collection of Ducati TT’s and F1’s including never seen before restorations. Additionally, the exhibit will include newly restored Ducati GP singles, Rich Lambrechts/Desmopro project Café 31 Café Racer TV build, Monster challenge Monsters, an eye-popping 2011 custom Diavel as well as a special presentation of Jason DiSalvo’s Daytona 200 winning 848.
Cook Neilsen Old Blue/Deja Blue
Numerous special guests have been organized to attend the event. The VIP list includes Ducati icons Cook Neilson, Paul Smart, Reno Leoni and Phil Schilling as well as Team Latus Motors Racing pilot, Jason DiSalvo.  This group will be sharing their unique Ducati experiences with owners throughout weekend.
“There is no better motorcycle destination to host the year’s largest owner’s party,” said Vicki Smith, founder. “Barber is a great partner and we are fortunate to have the backdrop of the world’s premier motorcycle museum, which will be featuring a special Ducati display, to complement our event. “
To cap off Ducstock, arranged with the Penguin Roadracing School to extend the Ducstock weekend into Monday, October 10 with a special track day event, Ducati Revs Alabama. The limited space event will give Ducati owners an opportunity to experience the magnificent 2.38 mile course first hand.  
Special ticket packages for Ducstock are available through the Barber Motorsports Park Website, The “Ducstock package” includes all the festival’s usual activities including a first class motorcycle auction, full AHRMA race weekend, swap meet, air show, vintage fire truck display and paddock access as well as Ducstock exclusive seating area, goodie bag, 3- day museum pass and discounts on the Ducati camping area and parade lap.
If you are planning to attend one motorcycle event this season, this is the one you will not want to miss. Visit for details.
For information regarding this release please contact:
Jim Viola
Mainstreet1 Marketing and Public Relations
(201) 452-8924
About – is an official Ducati Owners Club that grew out of an email support group started in early 1990’s. Begun as a “labor of love” to help support Ducati owners when the Ducati USA dealer network was small and the internet a new tool, the site naturally grew with technology improvements and owner enthusiasm. In 2001 was recognized as an official Ducati’s Owners Club (DOC) and currently supports thousands of owners who benefit from fellow Ducatisti camaraderie and advice as well as official benefits of DOC membership.
As for the member kits- I have discovered that as of last week, no club in the USA has received their kits.  Apparently, since the United States is at the end of the alphabet, it will take some time for the kits to be mailed to us.  That is just how it goes.
In preparation for the August group ride, Joe Henderson, who will be leading the August group ride,  and I tested the proposed route on Saturday, July 30, 2011.  The route is great, but we discovered some places where adjustments to the plan are required.  Joe will be making the changes and the ride will go for Saturday, August 6.   All was going well on the ride for both of us for most of the ride.  
Joe and I parted ways in DeSoto as I had an appointment in the Central West End at 1:00PM.  I headed North on 21 and to the CWE.  Dark clouds were on the horizon, and once I crossed the Meramac River, the stop lights were not working and the roads appeared to have been hit with a serious amount of rain.   I continued onto I270 to I44.  All was well as I turned onto Kingshighway.  As I approached the CWE, I hit a lot of traffic and never shifted past 2nd gear.  As the road was wet, I kept it slow and smooth. Apparently, as I found out, the rain not hard enough to get rid of the oil and other stuff on the road, leading to a slick surface.   As I approached Forest Park Blvd from the South, the light turned to red, I shifted into first and began to slow down.  The road appeared to be somewhat wet, but ok.  That was until I applied the front brake to stop for the light at Forest Park Blvd.  I hit a slick spot and the front-end kept going.  I low-sided at a slow speed.  Both the bike and I slid and I heard my helmet hit the pavement.  The protective gear kept me from being damaged.  With the help of some people, we righted the bike and pushed it out of the line of traffic.    The frame sliders did their job.  The bike suffered some scrapes and the shift lever broke off.  
I telephoned my appointment, the team at MotoEuropa, and my wife.  Dan and Pete came and collected the bike.  My friend picked me up and took me to MotoEuropa, and my wife, with lightning bolts coming out of her eyes, met us at the Triumph Grille to collect me.  Dan is taking care of getting a list of repairs for insurance purposes as well as ordering the shift lever.  My friend made certain I was OK.  My wife, after 16 hours, no longer has lightening bolts emitting from her eyes.  
Fortunately, this happened at slow speeds, no traffic danger, and I was wearing proper protective gear.  I got off luck.  As we know, over the past couple of years, other people have had serious accidents with damage to person and property.  So, please remember, road conditions can change from ok to dangerous in an instant.
Please ride safe; we want you to ride a long time!
Gary Kwawer
Chief Contact Person and President
Gateway Ducati Owners Club.

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