Gotham Ducati NYC Desmo Owners Club

Introducing Gotham Ducati, New York City's first and only DOC officially sponsored by the Ducati factory in Italy.  There are numerous riding and social clubs, as well as groups built around track days around the tri-state area.  There also quite a few Ducati fan clubs, spanning New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but until now, there hasn't ever been a dedicated club celebrating New Yorkers who ride Ducati motorcycles.
Gotham DOC DOCNYC New York Ducati Owners Club Manhattan Desmo NYC

Gotham is open to all New Yorkers, Italian motorcycle enthusiasts and Ducati owners, but will focus on and in New York City.  From MotoGP events at Ducati New York in Soho, to bike nights at Spiegel, Gotham will partner with businesses, vendors and dealers that support the local motorcycle community in NYC.
GothamDOC DOCNYC Ducati Owners Club New York City,.  Italian motorcycle riders in NYC

For more information, check out or visit the Gotham page on the Ducati website.  If you’re interested in joining, you are welcomed to apply as well.

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© 2018 Tigh Loughhead

Track Weapon: Ducshop 848 1098 1198 Race Bike

Picked up this weapon from Connecticut this weekend, which apparently has been called "the nicest 848 in the USA." Dynoed at 158hp, this Ducati 848 actually houses a 1098 engine, reinforced with 1198 rods and bearings by the legendary Ducshop in Marietta, Georgia.
 In addition to Termignoni cans,
 this track-day weapon sports Ohlins suspension, both front and rear, as well as an Ohlins steering dampener sitting behind a custom adjustable triple clamp.
 Woodcraft engine and clutch covers protect the engine block
a Ducabike slipper clutch, 
and Woodcraft rearsets and hand guards protect me and the bike in a crash.
 The engine was built with a programmable MicroTech ECU,
 and came with spare wheels, a tank and two sets of Armor Bodies body work,
 and numerous other spares.
 There is nearly nothing I can do with this bike,
 except maybe give it a wash, maybe peel off some of the vinyl,
and wait until track season.
Here is the bike on the dyno.

2007 Ducati 1098 (Built by Ducshop) - 158hp / 90ft-lbs on Pump Gas.
1198 Rod and Main Bearings
ARP Rod Bolts
Shimmed Transmission
Cams Degreed
New Belts
Termignoni Carbon Slip-ons
Ducabike SBK Slipper Clutch (48th Basket)
BMC Air Filter

Motul 300V with New OEM Filter

NEW Ohlins Steering Damper
Podium Racing Adjustable Triple Clamps with (6) Insert Sets
Sato Racing Ride Height Adjuster
Tapered Steering Head Bearing Kit
Speedymoto “Underbody” Frame Sliders
AFAM Quick Change Sprocket Set-up with spare gearing.
DID ERV3 520 Chain
Magnesium Upper Cowl Brace
Tank Stomp Grip
Zero Gravity Double Bubble SBK Screen
NEW Tape Works Rim Strips
NEW Armor Bodies SBK bodywork with fresh paint.
Armor Bodies SBK Air Ducts
NEW Drippen Wet “Blank” Number Plates

Brembo RCS Master with folding leaver
1 into 2 Braided Steel Lines
Ti Cross Drilled Banjo Bolts
Ti Cross Drilled Caliper Bolts
New Brembo Race Pads
Motul 600RF fluid

Refreshed (New seals and oil) 1/15/17 by KWS Motorsports
Ohlins 30mm Cartridge Kit (.95 Springs)
Ohlins TTX MKII Shock (1.0 Spring)

Microtec M97 Stand Alone Engine Management with Cable and Software.
Microtec Quick Shifter (GP Shift)
Motion Pro Right Side Switch
Woodcraft Ignition Delete Kit
NEW Ballistic EVO3 EVX16-12 Lithium Battery
NEW Ballistic EVO Health Monitor
NEW Ballistic EVO Advanced Charger

NEW Woodcraft Clip-Ons
NEW Woodcraft Lever Guards (Both Sides)
NEW Woodcraft Rear Sets
NEW Motion Pro REV2 Throttle with Muliple Reals
NEW Motion Pro Grips
NEW CRG GP Clutch Lever


NEW Pit Bull “One Arm” Rear Stand
OEM Wheels complete set
Front and Rear Dunlop GPA Slicks (4 Lap on them)
OEM Fuel Tank w/ Fuel Pump (Black)
Armor Bodies Upper and Lower (slight rash, totally repairable)
Woodcraft Rear Sets
Woodcraft Clip-On Bar
Rear Sprockets (41t, 40th, 39th, 38th)
Front Sprockets (14th X 2, 15th, 16th)
Ducati Corsa Throttle Assembly with Cables
Triple Clamp Offset Inserts (0,1,2,3,4,5)
Speedymoto Axle Slider Kit
OEM Clip-Ons
OEM Clutch Lever
OEM Steering Damper
OEM Link
OEM Right Switch Gear
OEM Sprocket Cover
OEM Belt Covers
OEM Oil Strainer
OEM Fuel Filter
OEM Clutch Fiber and Steel assembly
OEM Clutch Assembly (X 2)
OEM Fans
OEM Taillights
© 2018 Tigh Loughhead

SoCal 5: Ducati Westlake in Thousand Oaks

Although my situation could have been better (result of the at the end of this post), the first think you notice when you arrive at Ducati Westlake is that the motorcycle shop is nestled in between a Maserati and a Bentley dealership.
The size of the outfit is impressive, sitting on a parking lot filled with gift-wrapped luxury automobiles, and driving in, you really feel like you have reached the Los Angeles suburbs of Southern California.

SoCal 4: Desperately Scrambling Down to Los Angeles on a Bad Bike

I am loath to disparage other motorcyclists.  Riding is a small community, and yet there are certain transgressions that are unforgivable, and this happened today when Mo at EagleRider San Francisco put me on an unsafe bike that nearly killed me due to his neglect.

I picked up a Ducati Scrambler last night with my friend Patty, who happens to run Desmo Silicon Valley, a Ducati Owner's Club in the Bay Area. Similar to NYC, the riding scene in San Francisco / San Jose seems fairly well-connected, and Patty knew Mo from various bike events.  Last year, I had a great experience with a Ducati Hyperstrada, but when Patty dropped me off to pick up the Scrambler, I nervously noticed that not only did the bike have over 27,000 miles on it, the Desmo service light was on.

Ducati motorcycles require valves to be checked regularly, I asked Mo about the light (with Patty as a witness), and he laughed it off, saying he just serviced the bike, but didn't have the software to flash the ECU (and thus reset the maintenance light).  Now I know a number of riders who check their own valves, and Mo owns multiple Ducs, so I trusted him as his word.  Unfortunately, this would turn out to be a huge mistake.

This morning I was up by 5am, and suited up to head south.  Patty and Eric had convinced me to skip Yosemite, and stick to some canyon carving in Southern California.
Initially, I had planned on doing the PCH, but there had been several landslides knocking out bridges and Route 1, so I resigned myself to slab much of the route to get down there, but possibly take the coastal route back.
I was on the road by 6am, and took a scenic detour on Route 25,  from Hollister through San Benito to Lonoak, California.

There was nearly no-one on the road, and it was probably in the mid forties, with a dense fog clinging to the tops of the hills, obscuring your view and chilling you to the bone riding through it.

But as the sun came out, the scenery was dazzling and other-worldly.
After stopping briefly to warm up my fingers, I continued on back on the 101 South all the way to San Luis Obisbo and Pismo Beach, where the palm trees beckoned the seeming beginning of Southern California.

I then got off the highway, and headed towards some amazing roads along Route 166 going into Los Padres National Forest. 
 I was a bit grumpy over an earlier fight I had had with my girlfriend,
 but stopping to pee I started to appreciate this alien landscape (at least for an East Coaster).
Looking down in during my rest-stop, I noticed a dead coyote or wolf in the canyon, and realized I was somewhere totally different.  

The canyons and roads of Los Padres are phenomenal, but unfortunately approaching Ojala is was when my bike started to malfunction.  
Completely leaned over in a turn, the throttle of the machine started to jerk.
  At first, stood the bike up, and shrugged it off thinking this was a new machine (to me), and that every rider doubts a bike once in a while, when going over a steel-grate bridge for example, or changing from asphalt to a concrete surface.
So maybe it was just me... But then I started to lean the bike over around turns again, and the throttle cut out again.

I found myself having to rev extra, and the throttle-response would suddenly lurch, which is incredibly unsafe when trying to power out of a canyon corner.

Here I was in some of the most spectacular country I'd ever seen, on one of the best roads I'd ever ridden, on a bike that I didn't trust.
I then began to wonder if there was something wrong with the throttle, 
or if the chain was too tight (I had a similar issue when getting a tire changed on my ST3. 
 I didn't think this bike came with DTC, but perhaps there was something wrong with the traction control going around corners.
The issue seemed to settle when I didn't push the bike, so I began to doubt the issue again. 

I ended up picking up the 101 in Ventura, California, and decided to shoot for Ducati Westlake, a large dealer Patty had told me about the day before. 

I was back in traffic, and realized that I could split (legally), and suddenly the engine started to surge again, this time quite violently, making me feel like my life was in danger for the second time today.  Changing gears at about 4200rpms and the engine would sputter and either surge or cut out, and bobbed and weaved and eventually made it down to the Ducati shop by about 3pm.
© 2017 Tigh Loughhead

SoCal 2: Desmoto San Francisco

Just as I had stumbled on the fabled Munroe Motors (Ducati San Francisco) last year while at Dreamforce, I wandered by a shop this year overflowing with Italian Motorcycles which turned out to be Desmoto.

Walking around the Mission looking for a Best Buy (so I could find a card-reader to download my GoPro videos riding),

I happened to pass by a Cycle Gear and Desmoto.

I struck up a conversation with the service manager Brien, and even though he didn't ride Ducs,
he told me that Desmoto specializes in all types of European machines, from service to restoration to race-tuning.
 There were race farings and Italian machines everwhere, like this 850GT Moto Guzzi sitting next to a Ducati Monster.
 In addition, there were a whole slew of trophies and posters from years past.
 Brien told me that the space had gotten incredibly expensive, and was slated to move to Portrero sometime in the coming months.
 I told him about my upcoming trip,
 and my plans to try and hit Yellowstone before heading south towards LA.
 Brien also knew Patty (with whom I was going to hang out with the next day) and Mo, from whom I was renting a Ducati, who he claimed had hid bikes serviced at Desmoto, though not too frequently as I was about to learn in over the next few days.
© 2017 Tigh Loughhead

SoCal 1: Ducati at Dreamforce

SoCal 3: Desmo Silicon Valley and Alices Restaurant

Last year, I had a quite a bit of awesome route guidance from friends who had lived or ridden the West Coast, but none better than from someone I had not met yet named Patty, introduced to me by a local friend Sandro, who helps to run DESMO on the East Coast.
Selfie Photo Credit: Patty

MV Agusta Edition: Tail of the Dragon

Tigh Loughhead rides Ducati Streetfighter Motorcycles at the Tail of the Dragon North Carolina
Motorcycles are one of the best things to ever happen to me...

MV Agusta Edition: Cherohala Skyway

Today was one of those halcyon motorcycling days that I'll see in my memory in sepia-tones for the rest of my life. 
I finally got a chance to ride the Tail of the Dragon and Cherohala Skyway. 

MV Agusta Edition: Gapalicious Thursday

A few weeks ago, I had an utter fail at the Tail, where I broke my key in Georgia the day I was finally intending to ride the famed Tail of the Dragon.  I've wanted to ride this stretch of Route 129 for years, ever since I left two friends in Asheville headed to Cherohala en route across the country on Italian Ducati and Aprilia superbikes.

Fail at the Tail

I've wanted to do the Tail of the Dragon for years... The Tail of the Dragon is one of the few motorcycle trips on my bucket list (besides maybe the Bavarian Alps) that I haven't ridden before.
If you don't know, the Tail spans a vertiginous 308 turns in 11 miles from North Carolina to Tennessee,  nestled in between the Smokey Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest, and which is widely considered one of the riding Meccas in the United States.

9th Annual Brooklyn Invitational Custom Motorcycle Show 2017

I stopped by North 14th Street with my buddy Eric last weekend for my fifth consecutive year attending the Brooklyn Invitational.
If you don't know, the Brooklyn Invitational Custom Motorcycle Show is a custom bike show in Greenpoint, Brooklyn each year, started less than a decade by custom motorcycle-builder Keino Sasaki, artist John Copeland and photographer Jeffrey Schad.

Back on the Blue Ridge Parkway

One of the greatest motorcycle trips I ever rode was a trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway about three and a half years ago.  Back then, riding my M600 Ducati Monster, I'd attempt to keep up with two friends riding the first 899 Panigale ever imported to the United States, and a brand new Aprilia Tuono.

Best of Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

If you consider yourself a motorcycle-sort of person, then a trip to Barber will become more of a religious experience than an educational trip to a museum.

Riding a 1980 Ducati 900SD Darmah vs 1981 Moto Guzzi CX100 Le Mans

Last week I was down in PA, belatedly celebrating a bday, and my buddy Alex asked if I wanted to try riding a couple of his vintage Italian motorcycles.  Now I've long lusted after the 1980 Ducati 900SD Darmah and 1981 Moto Guzzi CX100 Le Mans that sat in his garage, so I grabbed my GoPro and headed over to Giegertown. 

RideHVMC Track Day during the Solar Eclipse at New York Safety Track

After the DESMO BBQ, a few Desmo and East Coast Duc members Glenn, Melissa, Michael and I were going to head up a few hours north to Harpersfield, to New York Safety Track, one of the favorite racetracks for speedy motorcyclists.

Sunset at Safety Track

DESMO Ducati Owner's Club 17th Annual BBQ and Bike Show

This will be my fifth consecutive barbecue and bike show since joining DESMO, the New York and Tri-State area's officially recognized Ducati Owner's Club.

I've included a BBQ and bike recap of each of the previous four years below:

2013 Desmo Ducati Owners Club Annual BBQ 

2014 The 14th Annual Desmo BBQ 

2015 The 15th Annual DESMO BBQ

2016 DESMO DOC's 16th Annual BBQ

The Simple Beauty of Walt Siegl Motorcycles Bol dOr MV Agusta

I saw this bike a few years ago, and was profoundly struck with its beauty, even though I didn't know a thing about one of greatest custom motorcycle fabricators at the time.
Walt Siegl might be greatest living Ducati builder alive, designing and manufacturing super-light custom Ducatis (Leggeros), and his precise aesthetic turns already-beautiful machines into something transcendent (in this writer's humble opinion).
Although I was only peripherally aware of the WSM brand at the time, I was awestruck by this highly-modified MV Agusta Brutale triple when I saw it at the Brooklyn Invitational Custom Motorcycle Show a couple summers back, that I learned was part of Walt Siegl's "Bol d'Or" series.
I recall wishing that I had a better camera to capture the beauty of this machine, and I later learned that the bodywork and custom subframe weigh just 8.5lbs.  Known sometimes more for the appearance of his beautiful bikes, Siegl is an engineer and ex-racer, who knows modifications impacting power-to-weight ratio are much more useful than fancy farings, as sublime as they may be.  This Bol d'Or comes in at nearly a hundred pounds lighter than the factory Brutale.
 Walt Siegl builds out of Harrisville, New Hampshire, and is currently working on a couple Ducati projects using prototype aircraft-grade steel.
 I someday hope I can afford one of these machines, which I hear start at about $50,000,  and are backordered for quite some time, but until then... I'll just be happy that bikes this beautiful actually exist.

© 2017 Tigh Loughhead

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