It was that time of year and again I kind of invited myself to the Borgo Panigale DOC Christmas party, a few revellers came along, Kevin, Tracy and Dylan Baker, Guy and Wendy Gagen and of course Pensionato. I was with Natalee as it was the first anniversary of our engagement at the factory. Nat and I arrived at the same time as Wendy and Guy, from different ends of the country, us going via Frankfurt. Quick wash and it was out, we had a quiet meal that night at the restaurant next door to the hotel Del Borgo where we always stay.

The first of our many trips into Bologna the day after, just a bit of site seeing and of course lunch, by the time we got back the others had all arrived, it was beer o clock !! The numerous cafes near the factory in Borgo Panigale all serve snacks, free whilst you are drinking so you have to watch You don’t eat too much , it was off to a favourite of mine, Randaggio that night, more food and of course a drink or two, it was a big change this year as we spent four nights in Bologna, not just two like the previous year.

Into Bologna again the day after, we found a food, drink and craft fair, I could feel myself gaining weight !! Out that night to La Stella, another favourite of the clubs that frequent the factory.

Monday was the factory day, the girls decided they had been before so they went shopping into Bologna, again…..

The factory tour guide was great as always and we had a very in depth tour, her partner tested the Panigale when they are built, nice job, after lunch in the canteen we went to another small factory, Spider, they make the lovely Diavel wheels as well as Moto 2 and 3 wheels, works of art. That evening was party night, itis reallyjust a huge raffle, we did well between us with Pensionato winning a team shirt, not jealous, small model bikes and I did well with a race truck and also a rare 1098 in Yellow, Richard Starkey will be jealous !!! Home the day after, knackered skint and fat !!

oh well, it was worth it.


Successful Stafford

The bike show at Stafford is always a little bit sad, it is the last major show of the year so the last time I see many of my friends,  as always Kevin put on a great show, some fabulous bikes on display, massive thanks to all the owners for taking the time and effort not to mention cost to get them there.

A good night followed the busy day at the show, a good meal at the Stafford Balti, a few drinks were consumed over the evening.

A great reward for all the hard work, we won second best club stand at the show, a great achievement, we have won best none British and best none Japanese show before but this is the highest we have won.

Where to next ??


Rides and mishaps

We have taken advantage of some nice Autumn weather and had a few ride outs, I arranged one with Ducati Manchester where I was loaned a Monster R for the day, what a bike, just nuts with it taking effort to keep the front wheel down on hard acceleration, we just had a nip over to Southport then some nice Lancashire roads back to the dealership calling in at my place of work, Jaguar in Bolton for a coffee, those free ones are always the best !!

The second ride Adie Such planned a route, meeting at Cafe Italia in Bolton for breakfast we then headed North through some great roads, I was on my 600 Monster which developed a fuelling issue, I thought I had cured it but it struck over a hilltop pass just East of Kendal, thanks to Andy Mellor for the help of his left leg pushing my stricken Monster to civilisation and phone service, as I patiently waited for the AA I got it started and rode south down the A6 to meet the patrol, it turned out to be a blocked fuel filter which had only been fitted a few weeks, oh well by passed with the help of AA and back to catch up the group.

i did not end up catching them but despite everything had a great day out, Stafford next, then dark nights 😞😞😞


Southern Rally fun

This year we decided to go to the Southern Rally for a full week, Chris, Rona and the lovely Holly and Nathan also decided to have a full week. The decision spread and Dave and Sue also decided on a longer break, Steve and Madge weren’t too far behind arriving on the Tuesday.

Camp DOC was basking in the sunshine with trips fishing and crabbing during the day with a few drinks at night. The weather was superb all week, Chris, myself with Theo went to the beach in beer for an ice cream, Theo wanted to try his new helmet out that I bought for him.

Saturday came and the weather really turned, I cannot remember a wet Southern rally over the last few years, a ride to Steve Hilary’s RedMax speed shop for coffee and a drool we decided just to head back to camp, the forecast was getting worse, later in the afternoon I feared for the tent the wind was that strong !!

The buffet and Saturday night party went well as always the venue had been done up much to the better, all too soon it was time for bed and pack up in the morning, always sad to leave the Southern Rally as it is the beginning of the end of the riding season.


Great Northern Rally

Thank you to everybody that made the rally in Cartmel last weekend a great success, I had a few bike issues so thanks a million Stewart Brown for loaning me a bike and Roy Wood for loaning me a jacket after zip gate!!

We seem to have found a great route, the riding was absolutely superb, the weather being the best yet, both rallies so far have seen good weather so it’s Chris Caltons turn to book the weather next month.

A garage day yesterday saw the Monster running and I am planning a few more hours in there today.

Don’t you just love Ducati.






I have been home from Italy now a week, a few are still making the trip back after staying on to make the most of the trip. My trip started in Genoa the Saturday before WDW, WPM or World Presidents Meeting this is a meet for the heads of clubs from all over the world, all continents were represented with more Asian countries represented, this is clearly an indication of a very important market for Ducati.

I got to ride a 400 Scrambler for the trip which covered just under 1500 miles, I was a bit upset with the choice of bike at first but when revved hard it performed well, the 800 Scrambler would have been the perfect choice, the trip took in mountains, tight turns and what could only be described as goat tracks, I felt sorry for the guys on the Panigales and the Multistrada Enduro is just too big for me, there were though some guys smaller than me riding them and very well.

we stayed in Florence on the way down and what we saw of the city is beautiful, we had though an hour to have a walk round, on a few days the bus to take us to dinner was already there and we had 20 minutes to get ready, it really is a whirlwind trip with late night and you have to packed and ready to roll by 8 am.

It was so nice to see so many members at WDW, the most we have ever taken over, massive thanks to Kevin Baker for organising the tickets, the event was bigger than ever, the Scrambler area was very good, the entertainment for me went a bit flat Saturday night with the football but the after party at Dolce Vita was always the place to be, it really is a crazy place where mechanical sympathy is just not considered, Guy Burton nearly had a baby !!!


Keighley ??

I had a very unlikely e mail in February from the Italian Workers Association who were holding a festival to celebrate republica day. There would be stalls of food, wine and all things Italian, it was provisionally booked as a ride to event rather than a show. Fast forward a few months and the weather forecast was good, I managed to borrow a Scrambler Flat Track Pro off Ducati Manchester for the day.

We met at the store, good support from the Wirral branch heading over making a dirty dozen, 12 of us set off, Nat in support in the car , we stopped by the Thatch and Thistle and met Paul Armstrong on his Elefant, it was the first event that have held and it was at the Academy school in Keighley, it was that Italian I asked Nat for a Euro for a gelato !!

There were a couple of super cars there but they didn’t stay long which was a shame, we were later on invited for lunch in the canteen, lovely pasta and we were not charged, we all felt a bit special, all in all a great day and we have been invited again next year.

Ducati Club Race

Hi all, had a very exciting week end last week end, the full story will be in the next issue of Desmo, now all colour !! Thanks to Jilly and her hard work to finally get it in colour, anyway, Keith Ringle the club secretary had arranged to meet a couple of his friends from New Zealand at the Netherlands Ducati Club races at Assen, Glyn Robinson who now runs Sports Motorcycles and Kevin Grant a Britten owner, two Brittens were to be on the track over the week end, travel plans were discussed but the decision for cheapest and quickest was eurotunnel, a hell of a drive but worth it, after 14 hours we arrived, straight to the bar.


Thev two days of racing were awesome Rich Llewellins TT2 won best and it was competing against 600s, the TT1s were quite a bit quicker but Rich still finished 5th overall, the Battle of the twins revival race was awesome with 851, 888, 916 up to Panigale all on track, the noise of this and the singles race well, you can imagine……..

Paul Smart was thrapping around on a replica, Al Wager was with Alan Cathcart, one word, Amazing, could we do something like that ? Possibly, who knows, it was nice to also finally meet Pat Slinn after a few e mails over the years, I will stop there, until Desmo.


MCN Show

The MCN show this year was one of the best, funniest, proudest week ends I have had for a while, it is the first time I have ridden and the route taken took in some cracking roads, Nat was running support car while I met Johann on his Diavel, Sharon, Johanns fairer other was taking all of their luggage. A couple of Diavel Gremlins and traffic saw us all split up, re-grouping a few hours later in Derby, I then had clutch issues on the Paso but fixed in a few minutes. We arrived just after 8 and the tents went up quick style with the help of a few friends, a trip up to the bar to see the bands a very expensive drink then back to camp DOC for a nightcap. The stand organised by Steve Benn with the help from Colin Darlow looked superb, 43 bikes were incredible, thanks to everybody taking the time and trouble to get there, we had the lot !!

We had the hot plate on early and cooked breakfast, the Southern Hemispere cooks did a sterling job, Natalee was quickly put in charge of collecting the £10 per head for food all week end. The crowds poured  in and were astonished and amazed at the club stand, we got the thumbs up from Ducati UK also, Leighs regalia also started to sell well, all too soon the day was drawing to a close and it turned to beer o clock, burgers on the Braii !!

Bands and funfair were then dispatched then another drink at the camp, we had, ahem a key issue Sunday but something and nothing, people started to depart and pack up when we were told to stop and expect a guest, Colin Edwards stopped by and brought with him the MCN festival of motorcycling S best club stand trophy, very well deserved. Steve is not doing the show next year, we now need some to follow it on. I hope the show goes ahead and that we are very much a part of it.


Sunny Valley Rally

What can I say about the rally this year ? It certainly had it all, personally I had a great time escorting 24 Belgians to the event calling in at Ducati Manchester on the way there. They were on a three day trip and decided to attend the Friday night in Shropshire, they stayed at the Bull which is a great Hotel, they arrived at the Unicorn in time for dinner or tea depending where you are from.  We had a few drinks and a great night, they even brought gifts of t shirts for all of us, they were up and off quite early th next morning so didn’t stay up too long, the called in to say good bye at 9 am Saturday before heading on to Donington, we then had a 200 mile around Wales in mainly good sunshine before back to the Unicorn for dinner/tea and again a few drinks, they never seem to last long enough and I wonder if anyone would be up for a four day rally ??

It’s  a busy time with the MCN show in Peterborough this week end, the weather is looking good, see you there ??