Sunday, December 29, 2013

Year End 2013 Message

Hi Folks,

By all accounts, 2013 was a successful year for the Gateway Ducati Owners Group.  DOC in Italy began the process of recertification in November of this year, and we are passed stage 1, and onto stage 2.  Our holiday party was successful with 22 attendees at Triumph Grill.  A good time was had by all.  The staff at Triumph Grill did an excellent job in the preparation of the meal and all of us had a great time eating, talking, and visiting.

As for the riding- Craig McElroy completed his first year of riding his Monster with over 10,000 miles ridden.  The only member of the group to so do.  My riding season was truncated due to a variety of issues, so I ended up with over 8500 miles ridden- short of my 10,000 mile goal, but the most miles I have ridden in one year.  Don Christy had an epic ride earlier this year to Utah and back, winning the award for the most miles ridden on one trip.  Our group rides continue to evolve thanks to the efforts of our Ride Captain Joe Henderson.  We shall continue to do the Scavenger Hunt, but separate it from miles ridden.  It will be a checklist, with many different items than prior years.  Most items will be able to be found within one's local area.  We also will have a total miles ridden in one year contest.  So, take a photo of the odometer on your motorcycle at the beginning of the year and send it to Joe Henderson (ride and he will enter you in the contest.  My guess is that Craig will win this one again.  Joe and I are also looking to have other riding events including a time, speed, distance rally this year as well.  Any assistance in planning or judging these events are appreciated.

On the club marketing side, Mark Shomaker has has created a new flyer for our use, and it looks good. I am waiting to receive the printed copy.  On the membership side, we have over 50 official members and several non-official members.  We are doing well compared to where we started over 5 years ago.

As I said, 2013 was a good year.  2014 promises to be filled with many more activities, and weather permitting, even greater rides than before.

Have a wonderful end of 2013 and beginning of 2014.

Gary Kwawer
Chief Contact Person and President
Gateway Ducati Owners Group

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gateway Ducati Owners Group November 2013 Newsletter

Hi Folks,

The month of October started off with a bike night held at East Coast Pizza.  It was our annual election night.  Gary Kwawer, Vito Sicola, Bob Oesch, and Joe Henderson were re-elected as President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Ride Captain respectively.  Craig McElroy was nominated and elected as Secretary.  The officers are looking to a strong end of 2013 and a great start to 2014.

The results of the 2013 GDOG Scavenger Hunt are final.  Craig McElroy made a valiant effort to take the prize of the most items, but ended up with 70.  Craig was unable to get photos of motorcycle policemen as well as the elusive, naturally occurring, atmospheric phenomenon rainbow.  Gary Kwawer managed to get photos of his motorcycle next to police motorcycles and motorcycle policemen:

This success gave Gary the edge of 71 items as he also did not get the elusive rainbow.  As for the points, they have already been reported in earlier messages and Gary totaled above 18,000.  Both Gary and Craig blew away 2012's winners in items reached and points.  There will be a scavenger hunt as part of the 2014 activities for the owners group.

The October 2013 group ride was attended by 5 riders.  Our ride captain Joe Henderson designed the route to appeal to our riders in the Columbia, IL area.  Unfortunately, our Illinois riders chose not to ride with us that day.  Never the less, the five of us had a great day, even though the weather was a tad bit brisk.  Kevin Fitzgerald, Joe and Gary met at the 1st rallying point.  At the 2nd rallying point, Giorgi and Vito joined the group, as seen by the photo below.

At 11:00AM, we pulled into the restaurant below for lunch, where we attempted to warm up before heading back out.  One thing I can say with certainty, electric clothing makes riding in the fall, winter, and early spring months much more comfortable.

Some calendar items, we will be having our November Bike Night on the 5th at Tavolo V on Delmar, 6:30PM.  Our Holiday Party will be held at Triumph Grill on December 3 at 6:30PM.  Cost is $30/person, plus beverages and tips.  This event is for members and spouses.  Please email Gary at

Riding for the rest of the year is hit or miss, so no rides are scheduled for the last months of the year.

We look forward to seeing you at the bike nights and holiday party.  Please be safe and enjoy the transition into winter.

Gary Kwawer
President and Chief Contact Person
Gateway Ducati Owners Group

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gateway Ducati Owners Group October 2013 Monthly Message

Hi Folks,

Before we go into anything, some calendar items.  The October Bike Night will be held on the 1st at 6:30PM.  We will meet at East Coast Pizza in Chesterfield Valley.  This is going to be a great event as we shall discuss the results of the survey and also have our elections for the officers of the group.  Anyone interested in assisting the owners group move forward, grow, and develop, please let me know.  The grizzled veterans have done a great job, but there will be a time when we wish to enjoy, not lead.  We are looking for new people to begin taking on leadership roles.  The upcoming group ride on October 5 will also be discussed.  This ride is a change is that there are two start points and it is designed for our riders in Illinois to participate.  Also, MotoEuropa will be having a bike night on October 3.  They are celebrating their 3rd anniversary as a dealership.  I plan on attending, as do other members.

Due to the calendar, we did not have a bike night in September.  Instead, many of us went to the MotoEuropa Bike Night on September 5.  I was one of them as was Vito Sicola, Craig McElroy, Nicolae Bica, Steve McCaskie, Jeff and Erica Range, Mark Shoemaker and his son Aidan.  Our members from MotoEuropa were there as well- Andrew Dinan and Chris Kuhn.  It was a fun time.  Some photos follow.

Craig McElroy is standing behind my 2005 Multistrada and in front of his Monster.

Jeff and Erica Range posing atop his Ducati.

Just when I thought I had the only black MTS in the STL area, here is a new couple to the Ducati community posing near their 2006 Multistrada 1000SDS.

The group ride for September 8, 2013 was cancelled due to an inconvenient rainstorm.  Many of us were bummed as we looked forward to the ride.  The ride was held on the 15th instead.  Nine riders plus Joe Henderson showed up and had a great time.  One rider's motorcycle had issues, but he was rescued, the others carried on.

An unofficial ride was held on the 22nd to prepare for the October ride.  The ride was uneventful and all riders returned safely.  The October ride looks to be a great route with lots of fun.  Details have been sent out via email.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Gateway Ducati Owners Group September 2013 Message

Hi Folks,

August started off interestingly.  Apparently, an email line went around discussing the tendency of some of the Ducati tanks to swell after exposure to gasoline mixed with ethanol.  Under warranty, Ducati sent those affected new tanks, made of the same material.  Now, that is how the manufacturer chose to solve the problem.  What I am more concerned about is the fact that the emails get sent in a reply to all, except for me.  I do not want those emails, nor do many others, so please target your responses accordingly.  For those of you getting unwanted email, try deleting them.  Getting angry or sending angry emails does not engender good will.  Also, if you are going to pass on information in those emails, please ensure that it is factual.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gateway Ducati Owners Group August 2013 Message

Hi Folks,

Well, July was a quite month for us as we had no bike night and only one group ride for the month.  The administration of the club was problematic in July, and I take responsibility for that.  None the less, we still did have activity and August promises to be very busy.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Gateway Ducati Owners Group July 2013 Message

Hi Folks,

First, let us dispense with the immediate calendar items.  There will be no bike night in July due to the proximity of the 4th.  The next group ride in July will be on Sunday, July 7- arrive at 8:30AM for the pre-ride briefing at the QT on route 109 south of I-44, and leave at 9:00AM sharp.  The ride will be from Eureka to Sullivan, catching Meramac Caverns along the way. This ride will be an opportunity to gain some much needed Scavenger Hunt points for our members.  The next Gateway Ducati Owners Group Bike Night will be held on Tuesday, August 6 at 6:30PM.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gateway Ducati Owners Group June Message

Hi Folks,

After the monthly bike night described last month, the Gateway Ducati Owners Group kept up with their activities for the last 3 weeks of May.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Gateway Ducati Owners Group May Monthly Message

Hi Folks,

The month of April went by fast.  I was out of town starting on the 15th and did not return until May 5. During my absence, the group rides continued.  The second group ride of April had a date change due to the ride leader's, Jay, preference for riding in weather above 50 degrees.  This was a great idea. Unfortunately, the ride did not end up as planned.  Four riders set out: Jay, Kovy Young, Frank Trau, and Aaron Davis for a ride down to Bixby.  On Highway P, south of Potosi, Kovy encountered a problem in the turn and had an accident.   The members of the group handled the situation well.  Frank and Jay stayed with Kovy, kept him from moving, and made certain he was still breathing.  Aaron drove back to where he could get a cell phone signal and dialed 911.  The paramedics arrived, took him to the hospital in Potosi, eventually to SLU hospital, and now Kovy is back home, walking around.  He told me via text that he shall return to riding as soon as he is able.  All of us are grateful that he is recovering and wish him well.  Jay was leading his first ride, and showed remarkable poise and maturity when he encountered this situation.  Jay's actions are to be commended.  In fact, all of the riders did an excellent job making sure their injured friend was well taken care of.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

March and April 2013 Message

Hi Everyone,

I chose to combine March and April messages as the weather in March 2013 was not conducive to man or beast, especially those who use 2 wheels to get around.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chicago Motorcycle Show Photos

February 2013 Monthly Message

Hi Folks,

Mother Nature has made it difficult to enjoy life on two wheels for most of January and thus far in February.  Regardless, we shall continue to do what we can to prepare for the upcoming riding season as spring is around the corner!

I recently attended the International Motorcycle Show in the Chicago area.  Ducati unveiled the Diavel Strada and the Hyper Strada.  These two motorcycles are designed to be commuter and traveling versions of the Hypermotard and the Diavel.  Both add a small windshield and panniers.  Once I learn how to post photos, I will show them on the website.  Ducati also put on a fashion show at the event that I did not attend.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The January 12, 2013 Ride to Eat Pizza Report

The January 12, 2013 Ride to Eat Pizza has been completed.

The day started out with sunny skies and 50 degree temperatures as we set off on our own routes to PW Pizza.  Four riders showed:  Jeremy Kocher on his MV Agusta Brutale, Al Schwartz on his Diavel, Kevin Fitzgerald on his Monster, and Gary Kwawer on his battle scarred Multistrada.

The restaurant was happy we were there.  We had great conversation, good food, and a pleasant couple of hours.  After eating, there was Ducati and MV appreciation time, and as the skies clouded up, temperatures started cooling, we headed back.  One suggestion was to rotate the ad-hoc dining events to different types of food (Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, etc).  Broad agreement was reached among the four of us.  Kevin suggested we also include an exercise class before riding in order to burn calories in preparation for the meals.  Jeremy was nominated for the role of exercise leader, but he has not accepted the position as of yet.

We shall continue riding to eat, weather permitting, this winter.  Be safe and have fun.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

GDOG Schedule of Events 2013 (preliminary)

Hi Folks,

Here is the proposed schedule of events that will soon have its own place on the website.  Please review and email any improvements and suggestions to me (

Ad hoc rides as weather permits

February 3- Group Ride?
February 5-Bike Night at Triumph Grill
February 16- 2nd Group Ride

March 3- Group Ride
March 5- Bike Night
March 16- 2nd Group Ride

April 2 Bike Night
April 7- Group Ride
April 20- 2nd Group Ride
April 21- MotoGP in Austin, TX

May 1- Scavenger Hunt Start
May 5- Group Ride
May 7- Bike Night
May 18- 2nd Group Ride

June 2- Group Ride
June 4 Bike Night
June 15- 2nd Group Ride

July 2- Bike Night
July-6 Group Ride
July 15- 2nd Group Ride
July 21- MotoGP at Laguna Seca

August 4- Group Ride
August 6 Bike Night
August 16-18 GDOG ride to MotoGP in Indy?
August 17- 2nd Group Ride

September 1 Group Ride
September 14 2nd Group Ride

October 1- Scavenger Hunt Ends
October 6 Group Ride
October 8 Bike Night
October 19 2nd Group Ride

November 3- Group Ride
November 5- Bike Night
November 16- 2nd Bike Nights

December 3   Holiday Party!  Triumph Grill

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Gateway Ducati Owners Group January 2013 Message

Happy New Year to all of our members!

I realize it has been awhile since our last update.  I apologize to the membership.  

We concluded 2012 with a stronger owner's group than we started the year, and we have more active members than ever.  Our relationship with our sponsoring dealer, MotoEuropa, continues to expand and improve as Eric Nordstrom has agreed to represent us to them.  Our elected officers now include a young man in his 20s, Nagendra (Jay) Jayanty.  On the corporate side, Ducati, NA has appointed a full time person to manage the relationship with the Desmo Owners Clubs in the USA.  Also, per new communications, and the new 39-page DOC agreement, new initiatives on the part of Ducati to support the DOC efforts are in the works.  This appears to be a worldwide effort on Ducati's part.

Our Holiday party, held on December 4th at the Triumph Grill, was a resounding success.  The staff at Triumph Grill outdid themselves and prepared a great menu for our enjoyment.  The serving staff was excellent.  The chocolate dessert was amazing.

Dues for 2013 will continue at the $20.00 level.  Mark Oldham, GM of MotorEuropa, informed us at the Holiday Party that 2013 active club member's benefits will remain the same in 2013 as they were in 2012.  Moreover, as the number of our official members increase, only those who are active (dues paying) members will be mailed the DOC kit from Ducati.  All others will need to pick it up at the events.  Dues can be paid to our treasurer (Bob Oesch) at events, or via Paypal on this website.  Any dues paid now are for 2013.  

We will continue our to have one Bike Night per month.  In general, it will be the first Tuesday of the month.  We have been having the Bike Nights at Triumph Grill for the past 2 years, exclusively.  We shall continue to meet at Triumph Grill in 2013, but we shall also be moving around and meeting at different restaurants.   Many of the members like the idea of riding their bikes to the Bike Nights and showcasing them at different locations around the area.  Advanced notice of the location of the Bike Nights will be given in the reminder emails and also on the website.

As of now, the schedule of our Bike Nights is as follows (please mark your calendars):

February 5 Triumph Grill
March 5
April 2
May 7
June 4
July 2
August 6
October 8
November 5
December 3   Holiday Party!

The location of the Bike Nights, especially during peak riding weather, will be announced on the website and via emails.  The Bike Nights will commence at 6:30PM.

During 2012, we held our monthly group rides on the first Saturday of each month, with the rain date the first dry weekend day afterwards.  I will be conferring with the other officers to determine if we wish to change the day.  Until then, ad hoc groups can form up using the email system, etc.  Also, do we wish to add a second ride?  While our ride captain, Joe Henderson, can lead the first ride, another member, who wishes to take a leadership role, can lead the second monthly ride.  Any member who wishes to lead rides should confer with Joe as he is in charge of the rides. 

I completed the paperwork for recertifying our owners group as an official DOC.  We will learn in the near future whether we make the grade. 

For those of you who wish to be more involved, please contact me by cell phone (314-368-4547) or email ( and I will be happy to discuss anything you wish.

On a personal note, I was getting ready to ride my motorcycle to MotoEuropa to have some maintenance done.  Despite being on a trickle charger, my 3-year-old battery went kaput.  I pulled out my AMA card and called their roadside service.  Bob from Sherman Towing arrived within 20 minutes and took the two of us to the dealership.  This was covered at my membership level.  For this reason, I recommend becoming an AMA member.   Now, once my work was done, Friday, December 28, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and took MotoEuropa up on their service to deliver my Ducati to my door, for a fee.  Considering that snow and ice were forecasted, the dollar amount was small for the comfort and safety. 

I wish all of you and yours a prosperous, safe, and healthy new year!  I look forward to visiting with each of you at the Bike Nights as well as on group rides.  Also, please telephone or email me with any questions and/or concerns.

Gary Kwawer
Chief Contact Person and President
Gateway Ducati Owners Group