Nobody knows how Dave got the nickname ‘Dangerous’, not even Dave himself. But with us being big fans of alliteration, and Dave having a driven desire for Ducati’s, this moniker works just fine. Something is for certain however, and that’s if Dave is in town, then there are beers to be had in the shed. And if there are beers to be had in the shed, then there’s shit talking about bikes to be had in the street.
Transport yourself (with or without the aid of mind altering substances) to the outer suburbs of Melbourne in the early ‘70’s. There you’ll find a much younger, although equally as dangerous Dave making good use of the wide-open spaces on his mini bike. That’s where it all started for him – and it sure as hell didn’t stop. “My metal flake, lime green Malvern Star Dragster with 3 speed centre shift gears, sissy bar and giant reflector just didn’t cut it any more; I needed an engine!”
It took some time for Dave to finally acquire this much-desired engine, and fortunately for him it came attached to a bike. “I got to hone my skills during my teenage years on my mates dirt bikes – I begged, borrowed, though didn’t steal, and got to ride my mates road bikes as well during this period. By this stage there was no going back. A 1976 Honda 400F became the first road bike that I actually owned, it was all I could afford.”
This Honda would end up having the living daylight flogged out of it, as Dave would ride it up and down the east coast making good use out of his first road bike. “It was then that I got to ride all sorts of late ‘70’s and early ‘80’ sports bikes, mainly when the friends that owned them needed a break. One of those bikes was a bevel drive Ducati 900SS. From that day on I knew I had to have one.” And so the ongoing love affair with Ducati’s would be born.
The Ducati 900SS was still out of Dave’s financial reach, however along came a 1976 Ducati 860 GTS that was just the right price, and so it was his. “That bike still lives in my shed. It’s morphed into a quasi-street tracker and has been a part of the family for close to thirty years. The next bevel bike I got was the ’81 Ducati Darmah that came to me from a mate who was moving overseas. I’ve modified that thing many times, not for any other reason than it was one of the best bikes I’ve ever owned, I just love riding it and want to get the best from it. It just took a while to not be bothered by the purists who think you have to keep it all-original.
Despite owning a myriad of other motorcycles over the years and riding shitloads of other bikes in between, it would be the bevel drive Ducati’s that would forever be Dave’s soft spot. “I love them because they are the coolest bikes on the planet, despite the attention they need. If you want the best, you have to work for it. Having said that, I have an Ducati ST2 as my daily rider, a 1972 Honda CB750 and about 5 Yamahas.”
Dave’s shed is no hideaway man-cave for him to be a reclusive weirdo in, and instead is very much part of the neighbourhood as case upon case of beer is ingested with friends passing by. Those needing a helping hand with their own motorcycle project are welcome to get a page of wisdom from Dave in bike repair and modification. Henry, the son of Richard Goodwin who we visited not too long ago has his 1968 T120 Hardtail Bobber up on the bench currently being worked on, “But after that, it’s back to bevel drives!”