In the sleepy town of Sandy in Bedfordshire in the UK, lives Chris Baglin, owner of Merlin Engineers Ltd. Merlin specialise in historic aviation and motorsport fabrication and repair. Around 8 years ago, one of Chris’ mates had an Egli Laverda. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Fritz Egli was a motorcycle racer turned custom frame builder. Amongst others, he built 25 Egli frames for the Laverda 750SF. Very rare and very beautiful and one of these bikes was the inspiration for what you see here.
To say the Italian’s know how to enjoy themselves and throw a party is one of the great understatements you can make, so when the 90th anniversary of the much beloved Ducati Motorcycle Company rolled around you knew the annual World Ducati Week was going to be something special. A 90 minute drive from the Bologna factory finds you in the Province of Rimini, where right next to the Adriatic Sea is the Misano World Circuit that hosts the Ducatisti from all over the world for a week of all things Ducati. From new model launches, to the endless track action with past and present GP stars ripping it up to the joys of the new Scrambler Land, just attending the event is a dream come true. But for Eduardo Iglesias of Spain’s Russell Motorcycles and his team not only were they invited by Ducati to attend the event but given a brand new Scrambler and asked to make something special to wow the crowds.
Back in the mid ’90s when Tool released their album Ænima I skipped school for the morning with a mate to grab a copy of the new CD from the local record store. We arrived back on high school grounds, me now rocking the latest Tool T-shirt, a ghoul like figure with a large syringe in his mouth…, needless to say it was straight to the principals office and this Tool inspired Ducati custom is set to get itself in just as much trouble! When client Joe Evers, a Tool fan himself, sat down with Australia’s DVMC Motorcycles to plan out this build he knew he wanted something completely different from any other custom floating around and starting with his bone stock 2002 Ducati ST2 gave plenty of scope to go in any direction. Known as Forty Six & 2 “named in reference to the Tool song with lyrics that talk about the evolutionary change in a species” this Ducati is like nothing that ever rolled out of the Bologna factory.
Taking the cutting torch to a Ducati is not something you do lightly, when that Ducati is a limited run 749r homologation special it’s no wonder it took some time before the power tools spun into action. This is not Ezikiel Dacanay’s first Custom Duc having previously built a café racer out of a 1997 916 but that bike was lost to an accident and it would take a few swings and roundabouts to get to the bike you see before you.
Written by Marlon Slack.
Under the guidance of engineer João Barranca, Portuguese motorcycle company Redonda is split into three divisions. The first is Redonda racing, specializing in road and off-road race bikes, Eco-Redonda, which concentrates on customizing electric cycles and Redonda motors – heavily modified motorcycles that can be ridden every day. The last collection produced this Ducati Indiana scrambler – a distinctively beautiful take on an often forgotten Italian cruiser.
Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of the Ducati Indiana – not many people have. In many ways it was a Cagiva rebranded in a spectacularly unsuccessful tilt at the American market. It can all be linked back to the late 1970’s when Ducati was haemorrhaging cash, partially due to the inaccessibility of their marque bikes and partially due to their production line alternating between ‘artisanal’ and ‘sheltered workshop’. The majority shareholder in the company, the Italian government, was keen to offload the brand and failing that, more than willing to shut it down completely. And there’s no better way to know you’re stuffed financially when even the Italian government is ready to pull the pin.
Imagine for a second that you’ve made it. Whether it be through sheer luck, hard work or divine skill, you’ve reached a point in your life where you have everything you’ll ever need – maybe even a little more. So you indulge your passion. Now this could mean pretty much anything depending upon who you are, but as you are right here at the House of Pipes then there’s a good chance that it involves two wheels. It certainly did for New York’s Stuart Parr, albeit with a decidedly Italian spin on things. And ten years later, he’s kindly showing the world the Frutti of his labour at a local gallery. He’s calling it the ‘Art of The Italian Two Wheel’. We’re calling it heaven.
Fast approaching 100 custom builds the Wrenchmonkees of Copenhagen, Denmark know a thing or two about turning factory machinery into one off specials. But where many rely on a multitude of bolt on parts and big dollar components WM use their vast expertise to bring to life the often hidden soul of factory bikes, make them bullet proof street warriors and then offer the parts developed along the build to their ever growing customer base. It’s not only a smart business strategy but it also results in bikes like build #74, a brilliant retro tech Ducati 900 café racer with all the charm of the 70’s and the high tech of today!
In the Nineties Ducati brought back the Super Sport SS range that had been such a success for the marque in the seventies with the now enormously popular classics the 750ss and 900ss. But while there was nothing particular wrong with the 1990’s version the Monster and top of the line superbikes were dominating Ducati’s sale, perhaps if they’d built their SS like Moto Studio built “Racer 5” sales success would never have been a problem.
‘英’ is the Japanese Kanji character for ‘great.’ It also happens to be the character that the Japanese use for ‘England’. See, when Japan first properly met the British, the poms were in the midst of creating the modern world with their fancy Industrial Revolution. And for a country that had closed itself off to the outside world for over two centuries, Japan-san was clearly impressed. To Japanese eyes, British steam trains were technology from 200 years in the future; similar to you or I seeing a motorcycle from 2214. So what better name than ‘Great’ for a country that could do that? Kind of how we feel when we see the latest creation from dear ol’ Blighty. Introducing Old Empire Motorcycles’s latest revolution, ‘Typhoon’.
When it comes to modern production bikes, it’d be hard to deny that Ducati have put some serious runs on the eye candy scoreboard. Whether it be in GT, Paul Smart, or even faired ‘S’ version, the Ducati Sport Classic is oft-cited as being the pinnacle of modern-meets-retro bike design. But let us remind you of another Pierre Terblanche Ducati design. This one’s a much rarer bird than the Sport Classic, but what it lacks in multitude it more than makes up for with the sheer boldness of its 70s-inspired design. It’s the limited edition Ducati MH900E. And as if that wasn’t enough, this example has been tweaked to produce what we think is one of the best-looking bikes we’ve seen all year.