Mostro Brutale – Lee’s Ducati Monster

It wasn’t long after entering the world of motorcycles that Lee would catch the custom bug, as he tumbled down the rabbit hole of Café Racers and their history. This passion would be expressed in the custom Cafe Racers he’s created since, and this 2003 Ducati Monster 1000S is no exception.

Lee was originally belting about on the roads with scooters, going for big trips with mates around New Zealand while having a complete blast. “It was during one baking hot day north of Kaikoura in 2009 that I thought “How cool would it be to do these trips on a big bike?” But I wanted something that had the same retro feel as my old Vespa. So it was a couple of months later that I bought myself a stock Triumph Bonneville.”

Owning this new machine, which suffice to say certainly had a lot more power than his 150cc Vespa, was great but there was a little something missing for Lee. It was upon looking into the rich history of Triumph Motorcycles that Lee came across the Café Racer scene that was flourishing in the 1960’s. “I was hooked from the start – the bikes, art, fashion and lifestyle. It was just before the big earthquakes of 2010 that I customised the Triumph into my first Café Racer and loved it.”

The custom bug had now firmly attached itself to Lee, and a 1998 Yamaha XJR1300 would soon find its way into his shed to receive a modern Café Racer makeover. “Its very rewarding transforming something standard into something unique that represents the art and lifestyle of the Café Racer. I enjoyed riding the XJR during the summer, and I sold the bike back in March 2017. With the proceeds from the sale I was in a position to purchase a different bike. I wanted to create a 3rd Café Racer and decided to purchase a 2003 Ducati Monster 1000S. I wanted to get away from the usual Japanese customised bikes.  As long as the servicing is kept up to date, these old Ducati’s are fine and are simply amazing to ride.  There really is something special about Ducatis.”

As with Lee’s previous projects, the Ducati Monster would be a naked bike to start off with. After some rough preliminary sketches, he would attack this new project with the same battle plan as is previous builds. “The most complicated part in this build would be the rear of the bike, and trying to get the seat pan right. There are many angles, and not having all the required tools at the time proved too difficult. So after many failed attempts I enlisted some professional help. I used Corey Taylor of Da Vinci Steel Craft in Christchurch to help with the seat pan and rear frame chop.”

Some much sleeker, more stylist DanMoto Twin XG pipes were added in favour of the very uninspiring stock system. “I chucked the new pipes on and took the bike out for a test ride, and the noise was obnoxiously loud. Out on the country roads it sounded amazing and open when letting off the throttle and changing gear. But for everything else it was simply too loud. The solution was simply ordering baffles from DanMoto, as riding the bike for any length of time without was a nightmare.”

“The paintwork was completed by Muzza’s in Christchurch. The tank threw us some unexpected issues that resulted in a complete restoration on the inside of the tank, with replacement fuel pump and filters. Muzza was great at fixing these issues thankfully!”

“These old school Monsters are great bikes and provide a great canvas to work with. My aim for the bike was to transform the Monster and accentuate its amazing engineering details and attempt to give the bike a mean, brutal yet stylish look.  Which in my opinion these amazing machines truly deserves.”

You can check out the entire build process on Lee’s website HERE

Photography by Stacey Cavalier Photography

Bikes Reviews

2017 Ducati Scrambler – Cafe Racer

The one the newest babies from the Scrambler Ducati line is somewhat of a black sheep of the range. It’s definitely a black bike, there’s not mistaking that. Introducing the Scrambler Café Racer – don’t let the name confuse you.


With the booming success of Ducati’s Scrambler range that pounced into the motorcycling market in 2015 we’ve been seeing slight modifications in this line of bikes, be it in engine capacity with the Sixty-Two, or styling. The brand new Café Racer breaks away from this in a much more nimble, corner-hungry, little demon-machine with a serious face-lift kind of way.

While the Scrambler Icon and its subsequent models have proven to be a great base for a custom build, some folks are opting for a more café racer style, you can now get that aesthetic straight off the bat. It’s not just the aesthetics that have been tweaked of this pocket-rocket, but a few subtle yet great changes that make this an enjoyable little ride.

While the name can be somewhat confusing with Scrambler being alongside Café Racer, which could seem like an oxymoron (actually that’s exactly what it is), this is much more than just a few changes to the Scrambler Classic. Harking back in Ducati’s own history, the iconic black and gold scheme is a throwback to the original Ducati 900SS. To add to the Ducati heritage of this machine is the number 54 emblazoned on the side, a nod to Bruno Spaggiari who used this racing number when he rode the Mototemporada Romagnola in 1968.

The Café Racer model features the same 803cc L-Twin engine as the previous Scrambler models, alongside many other parts including tank, headlight, frame, and the same Termignoni exhaust set up that the Scrambler Full Throttle comes standard with. There are new bits though, I mean, this is a new bike after all. The new 17” wheels come with Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres, radial-mount front master cylinder, new suspension and of course, some clip-on bars to complete the café racer look and feel.

Riding this bike you’ll instantly notice what makes it stand out in the Scrambler pack. The rack has been adapted to suit a more racing nature, with the angle of the steering head and the frame being tweaked to a rake of 21.8 degrees. This results in the bike cutting into corners like Anakin into a room full of Younglings (See: Revenge of the Sith). The bike is incredibly manoeuvrable, it isn’t a machine that has had clip-on’s attached and claims to be a Café Racer while struggling to perform its goal. This bike lives up to its name in both look and performance.

The Termignoni exhaust, which the bike comes standard with, looks good, and sounds good – to a degree. These are completely legal pipes, which means just as you’re starting to hear those sweet tones and notes, it cuts out and becomes friendly to even the sookiest neighbours. This is a fairly small bike, with a shorter and lighter riders loving the clearance and handling. I’m not a particularly tall person (read: bit short) so I asked Scrambler Ducati Ambassador Danny Clayton, who is a bit of a tall boy, what he thought of the machine after hours of riding. “As a taller gentleman I’m not usually drawn towards café styled bikes, but found this model to be incredibly comfortable and thoroughly enjoyable.” And there you have it.

The new Café Racer model also features a new Brembo braking system, with a Bosch 9.1 MP ABS system and pressure sensor. There is also a radial-type front brake pump, which is the result of a decision to mount a power single-disc front braking system. The market is still hungry for heritage and classic styled bikes, and it’s not an easy thing to pull off when you’re trying to mix vintage with contemporary. If you get the ratios wrong, you can end up with a bike that fits neither bill. This bike ticks off a lot of boxes. It looks fuckin’ great straight out of the factory, with plenty of room to customise it yourself.

It’d be nice to see the side number plate come blank, with the owner being able to add their own number in (shotgun 69) but Ducati have pulled off a lightweight, nimble as hell bike.

RRP for these badboys is $16,990 AUD

Ducati Scrambler Café Racer

o Black Coffee with black frame and gold wheels

o Desmodue twin-cylinder engine, EURO 4-compliant, with black finish and machined cooling fins.
o Termignoni exhaust with dual tailpipes and black anodized aluminium cover
o 17” Pirelli DIABLOTM ROSSO II tyres, 120/70 ZR 17 up front and 180/55 ZR17 at the rear
o Dedicated seat with cover for passenger section
o Lateral number holders
o Separate aluminium handlebars
o Fully adjustable upsidedown fork with black anodized sleeves
o Sporty front mudguard
o Rear-view mirrors mounted on aluminium handlebars
o “Caféracer”nosefairing
o Frontradialbrakepump
o Steel tear drop fuel tank with interchangeable side panels
o Dedicatedlogo
o Lowplateholder



Bikes Culture

The Great Scrambler Heist

While Papa Ducati slept, a crack team of reprobates snuck into the Scrambler barn to rustle up a herd of machines for 2 days of riding. With the new Desert Sled and Café Racer amongst the mix, a good amount of varied hoonery was definitely on the cards.

It was a mongrel team of riders that all turned up on the day, a good mix of blokes and sheilas who all seemed to hit it off instantly. This would be the foreshadowing of an excellent 2-day riding adventure across roads and twistys, dirt and water. The plan was remarkably simple – gather all the Ducati Scramblers that we could, ride their brains out, and enjoy it all the while. On the menu were the Scrambler Icon, Classic, Sixty-Two, and the brand new Café Racer and Desert Sled models.

The battle plan for day one would be to all ride together until we broke free of the traffic confines of Sydney. After a pit stop, and many coffees, two groups would be formed and broken off for the day. One would be on the Café Racers for some road and cornering action, and the second team would be snatching up the adventurous Desert Sled options for some fire trails and water crossings.

First we’ll touch on the naughty, dark little number that is the Scrambler Café Racer – a bit of a contradictory name, but we don’t mind. This is a standout from the new Scrambler line, and has gone for a more road savy/urban approach that has tapped into the ever-popular café racer niche. With it’s forks brought in, compared to the rest of the Scrambler line, and clip-ons attached, this is a remarkably light and nimble machine. It’s begging for corners, and a lot of joy is brought to your soul once you tuck over and lean in.

The Café Racer is a little bike, make no mistake. Though the taller riders of the day didn’t seem to have many complaints, so it’s not just us short bastards that can enjoy such machines. Riding close in check were the more standard Scrambler Icon and Classic models, eagerly keeping up with the dark Café cousin. Riding out through to Kurrajong and Wiseman’s Ferry was great in itself, but once we remembered we had escaped the office and work obligations, the fun really set in.

The on-road and off-road teams finally rendezvoused after hours of fun and swapping bikes. The local pub would be the victim for our hungry bellies, although upon arrival we were told the kitchen was closed “5 minutes ago”, now I’m not one for conspiracies but this seemed awfully suss. Maybe they didn’t like our haircuts? Maybe they were Harley riders? Maybe the kitchen actually was closed and I’ve got issues? It’s hard to say really, and maybe it’s all true. Regardless, the local pie shop up the road filled the spot just right. How good are pies but?

With the pies tucked away safely in our fat little bellies, we got wind of a beautiful lookout spot out near Blackheath. With the sun slowly making it’s way down, this seemed like a great way to finish the day and so the entire gang of Scramblers set out once more. We made it to our picturesque location with time to spare. The sun gave off dividends as we soaked up the incredible, albeit freezing, scenery.

Once the sun was gone it was a unanimous decision of “fuck it, it’s freezing, let’s get the fuck out of here.” To retreat to warmer housing, which also happened to have plenty of booze. Go figure? A big cook up was just what we needed, with everyone jumping on board to help with the feast. Young Patrick even learned how to chop vegetables for the first time, with L’Oreal from Ducati being very proud. The rest of the evening was very uneventful, with no one doing any creepy or sexual dancing at all.

Definitely not.

The following morning saw everyone rise with only mild hangovers, probably from too many finely sliced vegetables. Today would be the same riding, however with each group swapping bikes. This is where the very exciting, very new Desert Sled model would come into play.  This incarnation of the Scrambler series might be what should have been originally released years ago, it’s got plenty for hitting the beaten track and applying a bit of mischief and adventure into your rides.

This bike is in true retro form, throwing back to the stripped-down machines of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s that would be tearing up desert of the famous Baja desert race. With plenty of suspension, seat height, ground clearance and MX-styled bars, this is a much different riding form to any of the other Scrambler line. A completely different machine to the Café Racer (duh) and a much more dedicated off-road feel than the standard Scrambler line.

The Desert Sled is the heaviest of the Scrambler line, thanks to some much-welcomed additions. The frame has been reinforced to deal with the abuse of off-road riding, along with bigger suspension and a longer swing arm. The air-cooled 803cc L-twin engine that is in all these Scrambler models has been minimally changed, although with some welcome and subtle ones. The snatchiness of the previous Icon series has been eliminated, courtesy of a more progressive throttle opening and some work on the ECU. This hasn’t taken away any of the fun, but means you can control it when you want.

We took two of these Desert Sleds down some fire trails, across dirt, gravel, and the odd water crossing. They held their own, and, while not a completely dedicated dirt or adventure bike, it definitely performs well and is a tonne of fun both on and off road.

Despite the flashy new models of Scrambler taking up a lot of the attention for the day, the previous models held their own and maintained their stance as a versatile and enjoyable bike. Even the LAMS Sixty-Two model kept up, once it caught up on the straights mind you.

With dust having entered just about every crevice in our souls and hundreds of kilometres smashed out, it was time to return our faithful steeds back to the Ducati barn. Heading back east, the traffic began to return. Congestion, beeping, and the usual not-very-good-people you find on Sydney roads.

Back to Sydney.

Back to the office.

A special thank you to Ducati Australia for the bikes, and for all the cheeky boys and girls that made it such a great time.

Photography by Josh Mikhaiel and Throttle roll



Roads We Road: Episode 3

Episode 3 of ‘Roads we Ride’ has hit the streets, and Throttle Roll are spreading the word of this great initiative by Transport for NSW and the teams at Pipeburn and Stories of Bike.
Matt Laxton talks us through why he loves Macquarie Pass, and what he does to ensure he keeps on returning to ride it on his stunning Ducati MH900E. As they say, we’re all masters of our own destiny; with ‘Roads we Ride’ being a welcome reminder that rider knowledge is key to keeping the shiny side up.
See you on Macquarie Pass.

Murray’s Triumph Thruxton

A life of travelling the globe planted the seed of adventure in Murray, which only naturally would bud into motorcycling. Using one of the greatest forms of creating adventure, Murray and his Machine have forged a bond through thick and thin – and picked up something special along the way.

In his travels, Murray found himself adventuring on a variety of bikes as he explored over 50 countries. This pure form of transport became the essence of adventure, and as his life became more grounded, a solid machine was on the cards. “I decided to get my full licence and become legal, so I completed my riders test in the UK the day before flying out to Canada. I landed in Vancouver, and in that very day went to a dealership to find the machine that would be for me.”

That dealership happened to be a Triumph dealership. “I wanted a Triumph as it was a brand that was synonymous with exploration and heritage, for me. I was originally looking for a Bonneville but I fell in love with this pre-loved British racing green Thruxton as soon as I walked in. I then had it done up as a classic style café racer as it was intended to be. Adventure called once again, and I was on the road, headed for Mexico.”

“It was on this trip that I met someone very special, and it was actually because of this bike that I had met her – but more about that later. After a lot of riding – and I mean a lot, I decided riding a café racer wasn’t the most comfortable so I started changing the bike into more of a street sled. I removed the air box, put a two into one system on and did a few more engine tweaks. I added some Biltwell tracker bars and stripped everything off I didn’t need, opting for led strip signals and brake lights.”

The next morning, after spending about two weeks in the garage working on his bike, Murray and his machine were ready. “Five minutes into my ride I felt the back of my bike lift up, and heard metal crunching and plastic tearing. I was being pushed into a main road and had no control of my bike.” A young driver with a brand-new 4WD had decided whatever was on his phone use was more interesting than paying attention to the road, and so Murray found his adventure machine half devoured by the large four-wheeled beast. “Her truck was lifted off the ground – they’re tough bikes, but I was gutted. All that work, and all those miles.”

It was in the ambulance to the hospital that the situation really sank in for Murray – the bike was done for, or was it? (plot twist!) “Now, as you may remember, I had met someone very special on my trip, Well, she’s now my wife. I had some met some guys in Mexico and ended up riding to Arizona and back to LA with them – one of the guys was dating a chick down in Orange County. I cruised over with him, and little did I know but they had set up a blind date for me with her best friend. It was super awkward, so to break the ice I asked if she wanted to come and grab a pizza with me, on the bike. We jumped on, and we knew that was it. Fast forward to the ambulance. I realised that this bike was more than just transport, more than just the first bike I owned, more than the bike that had got me through snow, rain and hail driving through the Rockies in January, it was the reason I met my wife.”

Murray knew this bike was not done for, that he could breath life back it – but not without a fight. The bike had been declared totalled by the insurance company. Not taking this as a final answer, Murray took it to Triumph, who inspected it for themselves. “It was only the sub frame that was slightly bent. I got the insurance money, bought the bike back and immediately began planning how to rebuild it. First I replaced and upgraded the brakes, shocks, chain and cogs. I then had to address the sub frame and the fact the seat wouldn’t fit anymore.”

“If necessity is the mother of invention, then this was a necessary move. Personally I loved the look, slightly tracker, slightly bobber, slightly cafe. The big problem now was it was a little waspy in its handling, it was front end heavy. I took all the wiring and hid it under the tank, removed the headlight and gauges and started looking for options. I went down the face plate route with LED lights to keep in with removing everything unnecessary.”

“I love the memories of this bike. Everything I’ve been through in the last four years, this bike has been there with me. It’s forced me to take the hard route and discover unseen lands, meet new people and remind me that the world is a lot smaller than it seems. The bike is a vehicle, but not in the main sense of the word. It is a vehicle for movement, it forces involvement and it drives life.”

Photography by Sam Bendall

Words by Pete Cagnacci


El Bastardo – Fiona’s Shed-X Ducati

Shed-X have carved themselves a name and style that is due for all accolades. Fiona’s machine ‘El Bastardo’ is no exception. A donor Ducati ST2 that has been torn asunder and rebuilt into a whole new form.

No stranger to bikes, Fiona’s passion for 2-wheels is in its third generation for her family. “My grandfather used to race motorbikes, while my father was well known for his hooliganism at parties, riding through houses – so for me bikes are probably hereditary!” However when we caught with Fiona, we decided against dodging this fine machine down the hallways.

Fiona first stumbled upon this machine back in 2013 when it was still owned by the lads at Shed-X. A magazine had featured it, and sure enough it was love at first sight. Fortunately, a mate of Fiona’s owned his own Shed-X machine at the time as well – the all too familiar Paul and his Shed-X – allowing her to have a ride and get a taste for what these heavily modified machines could do. ‘I loved the way it handled – so decided then and there that I definitely wanted one for myself.’

At the time Fiona was enjoying a couple of other rides, in the form of a Yamaha Renaissa 250cc and a Harley-Davidson Dyna. Both rides were being enjoyed, but something was needed that could bridge the gap between lightweight but not enough power, and enough power but too much weight. The investment into a Shed-X machine was only growing more appealing – and upon Shed-X build no.1 ‘El Bastardo’ being listed for sale Fiona was on the phone and picking the bike up the very next day.


‘El Bastardo’ started life out as a not quite inspiring Ducati ST2. A good enough bike sure, but Jim and Neil from Shed-X had far grander plans for this machine. A major overhaul in performance parts, as well as aesthetics would turn it into what Shed-X are famous for. The engine was pulled out for a complete rebuild with high compression pistons. The stock wheels were binned, along with the forks, swingarm, clutch, lights, tank and brakes. The sub-frame was hacked away before the rebuild and transformation would begin.

The makeover featured some new upside down Ohlins forks, monoblock Brembo brakes, radical Ducati tank, single sided swingarm, custom mate 2-1 exhaust, performance dry slipper clutch and a lightened flywheel. The electronics are Motogadget gauges, M unit all custom mapped to the 996ECU with 999 wiring harness.

‘I was pretty happy with the build,and loved riding it – but after some time went by I wanted a change. I couldn’t bring myself to put it on the market because the bike and I have made a real connection, so I decided to change it up a little.

I had a clear vision for the bike and spoke to a few people about it. Most said “don’t do it!” – They didn’t think the old styled bikini faring look that I wanted to add would work on such a minimalist modern machine. But I went ahead anyway.’

‘I was looking for something similar to the 900SS bikini faring, but for the bike it would be too big and unbalanced. I looked at some of the Walt Siegel faring kits but in the end decided to go with a one off a 70’s Dunstall. I took the bike back to Shed-X . Jim flopped a mould from the what we think is a Dunstall and it was set up on the bike with custom brackets and clip-on handlebars. Exactly what I wanted!’

It was next that Fiona decided that whilst the faring was being re-sprayed, she might as well do the whole bike. ‘After a lot of thought about colour, I decided that I wanted to keep the bike the same colours because that is ‘El Bastardo’. It’s a well recognised bike, so I didn’t not to stray too far away from its original colours. I got Jim to freshen up the white and red, and put in a gold pinstripe with Ducati decals… Same-Same, but different!

The original custom stainless steel exhaust was also showing some coloured wear and was a punish to keep clean so I went ahead and got that ceramic coated. The cloth pad that was supposedly a seat was replaced with a more comfortable quality leather one with padding, and I’ve adjusted the height and suspension to better suit myself.’


Photos by Cam Elkins – @Storiesofbike



Beach Moto’s Ducati GT1000 Sport Classic

On a strangely overcast yet humid morning in Southern California, I am sitting outside the Shack Cafe in Playa Vista sipping on a much needed cup of coffee. In the distance, I hear the unmistakable rumble of a Ducati from down the block. Dennis is stopped at the lights. With a fervent and throaty roar, he approaches, pulls into the lot and parks 4 feet in front of me on this beautifully customised 2009 Ducati GT1000 Sport Classic.

We got to talking as motorcyclist’s do about the machine before us. Dennis acquired the bike originally from a friend out of state after trading a Moto Guzzi V7 for the GT1000. It turns out the owner of the GT1000 had a soft spot for the V7 and it became a win-win for everyone involved.

Ultimately I asked Dennis, “What compelled you to buy this bike and use it as a base for a custom project?” His answer was simple and to the point, “The GT1000 Sport Classic is by itself a beautiful motorcycle which retains a modern classic look. I like the simplicity of the air cooled engine and feel like the engine has loads of character.”

Dennis stressed to me that he himself is not a “bike-builder” however, he is fairly mechanically inclined. “There are always times in building or customizing a motorcycle where some custom fabrication is needed to really pull the bike together. Sometimes parts do not fit, screw threads need to be re-threaded, or a part made. This was case regarding a few design elements on this build.” To make it all work, Dennis sought out the assistance of StradaFab for custom fabrication and design troubleshooting.

Their first and largest contribution was a full custom exhaust system which produces a lovely deep-throated tone at speed. The rear turn signals were elegantly mounted and the rear brake reservoir is completely hidden due to a custom mounting bracket. While it took a ton of research and time to design, the results are undeniably beautiful. The GT1000 has a classic vintage appearance without tasteless mods and unnecessary shiny bolt on parts. Everything on it manages to be functional and practical.  A full list of aftermarket additions on this lovely machine can be found at the end of our article.

What also sets this bike apart is the paint scheme. It retains a level of flash without looking overtly flashy. “To achieve this we sought out our friend, neighbor and tattoo artist, Zach (@themachine13). Zach too builds wicked motorcycles and we really wanted to utilize his amazing artistic and creative talent for our bike.”

While a lot of work can go into designing and creating a custom motorcycle, none of that matters outside of the ride. The visceral feeling of being in the saddle. “This bike was never meant to be a track weapon even though it’s probably really capable. We were able to strike some weight with the removal of some of the stock parts and the addition of a light wheel set and awesome suspension,” Dennis tell me, “It is mostly used for city riding but the the power delivery makes this bike very fun. I mean it’s under 400lbs and has nearly 100bhp on tap, that always manages to put a smile on my face when I twist my wrist.”


OZ Racing Piega forged aluminium wheels

Brembo 4 piston front calipers custom painted black

Brembo 2 piston rear caliper custom painted black

Brembo T-drive brake rotors  

Brembo RCS19 brake master cylinder

Brembo RCS16 clutch master cylinder

Rear brake reservoir hidden custom mount

Oberon clutch slave cylinder

Custom brake and clutch lines

Corse Dynamics under swing arm rear brake caliper bracket

Corse Dynamics 7” headlight

Corse Dynamics upper and lower triple clamps

Andreani front forks inserts

Ohlins rear shocks

Ducati Monster 1200 brake and clutch reservoirs with Rizoma custom mounts

Driven clip-ons

Rizoma mirrors

Biltwell grips

Beast-R high inflow intake kit with K&N filters

Custom blacked out valve covers

StradaFab custom belt covers

StradaFab custom exhaust system

StradaFab custom exhaust hangers

Ducati Hypermotard oil cooler

Ducati Hypermotard oil lines

Diopa tail

Custom seat

Custom Woodcraft rearsets

Rizoma turn signals with custom mounts

Biltwell brake light with custom mount

Words & Photography by Sam Bendall @livemotofoto

Garage Sessions

DnA Custom Cycles

DnA Custom Cycles beginnings were truly humble, with $100 and a bike build off sewing the seeds for what today is a thriving workshop that is only growing further . Darren is pumping out some incredible builds that are being seen at shows and on the streets with a high bar of quality and creativity. It’s onwards and upwards from here on out.

It was back in 2009 that the precursor for Darren’s now full time job would come to be. “I was a broke shift worker without a bike. One of the shift fitters had brought in an old Yamaha SCR250 one day, and asked me if I could get it going for him. The machine turned out to be a total pile of junk, so I haggled with him for a while before he finally sold it to me for $100.” This machine would turn into a somewhat crazy build that would be entered into the Deus Bike Build Off of 2013. This new beast, dubbed Sir Rex, took out first place – and so DnA Custom Cycles would be born.

This wasn’t Darren’s first foray into motorcycles. Growing up in New Zealand, he was riding bikes before he could walk. As soon as he was eligible to get his licence, he did; and with it a Yamaha XT125. “I’ve been riding ever since. When I was a kid, Dad would always bring home broken mowers, chainsaws, bikes etc. I would pull them apart and fix then, then Dad would take them to the pub and sell them. Total slave labour!”.

The slave labour has ceased for now – however upon our visit to Darren’s garage we did notice his Son helping out with the work. So perhaps it’s just genetic. Regardless, the wheels have truly been spinning for Darren and DnA Custom Cycles since he started taking this passion to another level. “Back when I won the Deus build off, word had started to spread and I suddenly was building more bikes. I decided then to buy myself a CNC mill and to teach myself how to program and run it. Soon after came the lathe, and the list only grew from there.”

It was in June 2016 that Darren would finish 12 years of shift work to now completely dedicate himself to working on bikes. The double garage that served as the starting point for his humble beginnings has now been outgrown. More and more bikes are being worked on, with incredible results each time. It’s time now to step it up another notch, with an official dedicated space boasting 320sq in Riverstone NSW to play home to the new DnA Custom Cycles workshop. “It’ll be a completely licensed and insured motorcycle repair/service centre. I’ve taken on my Son as a 2nd year apprentice mechanic to help with the never ending workload that’s been pouring in.”

“The plan for the business is to build on what we already provide while expanding to some more exotic services. I’m hoping to be in a position to put our fibreglass/carbon guy on full time down the track with the view to build a large CNC router for making foam or clay plugs for custom fairings and cowls etc.

Once we are in the new shop and we get everything setup and running I’m expecting this year to be very interesting. There are a number of really cool builds getting dropped off once the doors are open.

Ducati/cagiva 650 full build

supercharged 750 ducati monster

supercharged honda cb900

gangsta c90 cub to finish

Honda cb400 dirt slider

Royal enfield 350 scout that will be a hardtail piece of art for display

And that’s just a taste of this years work. ”

This exciting new space that will be opening soon will boast everything from general servicing and repairs, to full custom builds. “We have the CNC mill that we use for custom billet parts from yokes, engine cases, rear sets etc. We also have a manual lathe for axles, stems and other cool parts. I love doing lots of crazy custom exhaust systems for pretty much any bike and style our customs can dream up. Both stainless steel and titanium.

To check out more on DnA Custom Cycles, CLICK HERE. We’ll be back soon to check out Darren’s new space and the exciting builds that come from it.



Garage Sessions

Dave’s Encompassing Collection

Spare a prayer for our dear friend Dave. A man obsessed and addicted to internal combustion, in every shape and form. His shed is a testament to his history with machines of every flavour, those which slam down roads, rip through waves, and tear up the skies. Get lost in Dave’s shed of infinite machines.

“I guess we can blame my passion on my Mother. When I was a little kid I made her life a misery at the shops if she didn’t buy me a matchbox car. It was a small price to pay for a little peace, and from that day forward my need to collect had begun.” This passion for collecting would eventually turn into much more as he was regaled with tales of his Great Great Grandfather, and the machinery talents this man possessed. “I was in awe of this man whom I had never met.” And through this man’s history, Dave would pick up the pieces and begin to create his own machines, starting with Balsa wood kit planes and eventuating to Merlin Engine Speed Boats that dominate the water today.

Growing up, each new model kit, bicycle, toy – anything that could be built and pulled apart would be. It wasn’t enough to own and use these for Dave, but an understanding of how they worked was essential. Before long, Dave had completed his first custom bicycle in his own room, and was building new ones from parts he gathered and selling them to mates.

“I made it that hard for my parents growing up, that eventuated in my Father turning up with a brand new Yamaha IT 125. He said I had to work for it if I wanted to ride it, so I quit year 10 early and went and worked with him plumbing. Once I got the bike I was really disappointed in it. It was a slug – although it didn’t take me long to work out that my father had asked the shop to leave the restrictor plug in the exhaust.”

A bow must be taken to Dave’s parents, for as he grew his collection of cars that were now turning their home into somewhat of a wrecking yard grew with him. “I remember my father telling me “If you buy a bike, you can fuck off out of here”. But naturally that didn’t stop me, and when I was 20 I bought my Harley-Davidson which I still have today. Dad just shook his head when I brought it home, and went back in the house. You must understand at this stage I was buying a car a week and the fights with my parents over it were constant. So I buy this bike, and two days later terrified of my father I take it down the road to my mates place and tear it apart there to do the restoration. Not long after whilst at the table eating dinner with my family, my father asks “So where is the bike”? When I responded with “I’m rebuilding it” he simply looked down at his plate and said “Fuckin’ $12,000 and he pulls it apart”.

All this fuss and collecting just cars and a bike (although today he boasts a small collection of 2-wheeled machines) and we are yet to touch on Dave’s boats. “To date I have around 25 boats, with the oldest dating back to 1890. My most famous of these being my Roll Royce Merlin powered monster Aggressor.” This V12 water demon was built by a young 19 year old by the name of David Tenny in the ’60’s who had ambition and dreams to win the 1972 Griffiths cup. The 1942 ex-Spitfire engine will excite any WWII buff, let alone those who are nautically and mechanically inclined.

What’s remarkable about exploring everything that Dave has in his machine sanctuary, is that if he didn’t at least make it himself, there’s an amazing bit of history behind it. We’re unsure if there’s a secret to Dave’s success in finding so many gems, or if it’s simply fate. “I use all the same methods in hunting down all these old things, though my wife often claims I send my “beams out and the thing I’m chasing appears. Others just call me “Tinny”.

Dave’s repertoire of skills is as impressive as his collection, behind able to create and fix most anything he requires for the projects he takes on. “I put it out there that I could do the unthinkable and repair rusted out and damaged bike tanks and make panels from scratch. It seemed I had tapped into a small niche with the bike community – nobody wants to weld petrol tanks. A steady stream of people have since walked through the door. It’s been a steep learning curve, and frankly it’s been a physical and mental struggle. That said, I am starting to get into a groove and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. My Dustbin Fairing’d Royal Enfield special is my first successful attempt at this new folly and I am very proud of it.”

More on Dave and this special Royal Enfield to come soon…

Garage Sessions

Dangerous Dave’s Ducati Den

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!” Ducati_Dave_Garage_Session20160712-(32)Ducati_Dave_Garage_Session20160712-(34)Ducati_Dave_Garage_Session20160712-(70)

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.”Ducati_Dave_Garage_Session20160712-(41)Ducati_Dave_Garage_Session20160712-(43)Ducati_Dave_Garage_Session20160712-(47)

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.

Fuck them.”



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!”






Mi Amore – Glen’s Ducati SportClassic

Some could call it fate, others just a coincidence, but for Glen one fateful day he would happen across a sleek and stylish Italian that would have him fall in love at first sight. If Glen’s wife is reading this – it should be now noted we’re referring to his motorcycle, however this might be equally as upsetting.


For years Glen had been riding his Suzuki GS500, quite content with his more reserved, humble motorcycle. That would all come crashing down however, as he went out one day for a ride up the Old Pacific Highway. “I saw a Ducati SportClassic and it was love at first sight. Since that moment I’d been keeping track of a few retro classics until I had the coin to do something about it. I had my eye on two models, the new Norton Commando or the Ducati SportClassic – however it would all come down to the Ducati that had originally enamoured me so.”


This modern classic style motorcycle would tick all the boxes that Glen was after. It had the look and the feel, while pressing the emotional buttons that many modern sports bikes did not. “It was never a question of “What is this bike’s performance?”, that was not what I was seeking.” The 2008 Ducati SportClassic that Glen would settle with  is the product of Ducati design chief Pierre Terblanche paired with the Desmodue 992cc 90degree V-Twin Ducati 1000 Dual Spark engine, otherwise known as the DS9 engine. It’s a modern classic motorcycle that looks incredible straight out of the factory.


This new machine would be a crowning upgrade from the bikes that Glen had previously owned and throttled, having bashed about on smaller bikes many years prior. “My first bike was an early ‘80’s Honda CB250 which was a great commuter, but the poor bike got flogged to death doing flat tracking around our backyard. The clutch burned out and the bike went down in a puff of smoke. From there I had a few shitter bikes of a similar vein, so I thought I’d better buy the bike that I wanted as soon as the first opportunity presented. Seven bikes later, and I have my keeper.”


“This is a machine that represents everything I value in a motorcycle; the fundamental ‘retro’ design, plenty of power, the marque. Whilst it wasn’t in my mind when I bought it, the bike proved to be a great platform to work on the look and feel. There has been significant change to the colour scheme, exhaust system, upholstery, timing belt covers, and all the small bits and pieces. It’s the geometry and essence of the bike that remains unchanged; I’ve taken a top shelf stock design (and what would I know compared to Pierre Terblanche), and applied very personal changes to make it mine.”







Bikes Reviews

On the LAM – Ducati Scrambler Sixty2

It’s no secret, the custom and classic side to motorcycles has been expanding and thriving over the past years. There’s a myriad of custom builders chopping and creating new looks for bikes, and the crowd that is buying and riding these bikes are forever hungry for more. Key motorcycle brands have been watching and listening to these growing riding desires, and following suit with new ranges of bikes that are the result of this growing avenue of style mixed with machine.

2015 saw Ducati release a new bike into the wild with the 803cc L-Twin Scrambler. While it was certainly something different for the often sportsbike orientated brand, it came as no surprise with the growing styles and trends in riding taking over the globe. The market for a classic styled, but modern motorcycle that could be customised was thriving, and Ducati knew what people wanted. A throwback to the previous Scrambler range made by Ducati for the American market from 1962-1974, the new range featured classic styling with modern power and performance.

The release of the Ducati Scrambler has been hugely popular, with the Scrambler 803cc in all its models taking the title of the tenth best-selling bike above 500cc in 2015. 16,000 bikes being sold globally is an impressive number for a bike newly released onto the market, so the people had spoken – they liked this bike. Following this success, a new Scrambler was set loose on the world – the Sixty2. This would be a smaller 399cc machine that still held the same modern classic look of its 803cc bigger brother, but this time made available for another audience of rider.

With Learner and Provisional riders in Australia sometimes looking at the prospect of a 4-year stint on restricted bikes until they can get their full licence, more brands are listening and catering to the LAM’s crowd – which is bloody great. The Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 is a big contender in the list of bikes that are available straight off the bat to new riders, so I, Pete, your friendly Throttle Roll photographer decided to get the scoop and take one of these bikes out to be put to the test. Whether it’s a daily commute through Sydney’s magnificent traffic congestion (can we blame this on Baird, just for fun?) or on an overnighter trip up the coast.

Having a Harley Sportster for my all-rounder bike, hopping on this 183kg (wet) bike came as a big change in weight, but a welcome one. It’s got a super relaxed riding position, with wide bars that give you plenty of leverage to play with. My first order of business would be to put the bike under what I would consider my most important test for a motorcycle – an overnighter trip filled with riding, camping, and beers. Gathering early in the morning, I’d be riding alongside 3 mates, on much bigger capacity bikes. This would be an interesting comparison.

We would head out west to Colo, and then up the Putty, down to Broke before finally arriving at Wollombi Tavern to camp and enjoy a beer or two. Even without the rack accessory that is available for this bike, my camping gear strapped on to the seat happy as Larry. Now that’s a tick. The riding position for these Scramblers is interesting, in that I’ve had others comment on how they prefer to ride further back up on the seat, whilst I found myself sitting with nuts up on the tank much like a dirtbike once you had a bit of speed and corners were on the menu. It’s a zippy little bike, not as aggressive as it’s 803cc brother, but it’s got some juice for a 399cc regardless. The bike would sit at 140kph quite happily, albeit taking a bit of road to get there. The boring/quiet/Highway Patrol friendly exhaust had been ditched on this particular model I’d received for a much nicer set of Termignoni exaust that was much akin to a sleeping cat that had suddenly been stepped on – a nice quiet purr followed by a high pitched screech.

The bike survived and was quite enjoyable for the Putty ride and camping trip, with thoughts of “it’s bloody fun for a 400c” swirling about in my head. Fun is certainly an adjective for this bike, with new riders finding it something that’s an easy to manage bike that also has a bit of zip, while more experienced rider’s enjoying a lightweight bike that can have it’s neck wringed, a guilty pleasure for many.

As a daily commuter, enduring the joy that is Sydney’s peak hour traffic, it’s a fine enough bike. However, with lane filtering being legal (because we totally never did it before…) it can be tricky squeezing the wide bars and mirrors through gaps in traffic, having to be ever vigilant of others mirrors. As far as taking a pillion is concerned, it quite happily took my Missus on the back for trips up and down the coast, which is another important box to tick off for me – and those looking to impress on tinder dates.

This is a bike that is absolutely aimed at the LAM’s market, with it’s Italian heritage giving it plenty of style as far as aesthetics are concerned – although the weird fin-shaped rubber key handle can be a big fiddly once it’s in the ignition and on a keyring. It’s a well-made bike, that although carries a reflective price tag, makes for a fantastic start off for those looking down the barrel of a possible 4 years on a restricted licence. All Scramblers come with ABS standard, which is a huge plus as well. With a metric shitload of accessories, you’ll be able to customise and change your bike without the need of an angle grinder or custom garage to keep your ride interesting. Scrambler Ducati has proven to be a range of bikes that has been popular for it’s look and performance, and the Sixty2 is no exception.


Ducatista Riders Festival

On 23rd January, Sydney Motorsport Park was a sea of red and sleek Italian design. Sydney Ducatista was having its first Ducatista Riders Festival, a celebration and showcase of Italian speed machines from different decades along with plenty of other vehicles for the punters to enjoy.

Ducatista found its roots in the merging of two groups, one being a small Ducati riders group that focused on modern Ducatis while the other was simply a bunch of guys that were trying to make a film that highlighted the passion behind the Ducati bikes and their riders. It was here that Ducatista would be born and from it’s humble beginnings it would grow and expand into something much more, boasting 1200+ members in its Sydney facebook group, 150+ members in Canberra and over 200 members in it’s more recent Melbourne addition. It’s a growing group of riders that are embracing the love for Ducatis, sharing knowledge and organising plenty of rides for its members to take part in.

The Ducatista Riders Festival is the first of what will no doubt be many events from the group. Despite the weather not being entirely in their favour, the day was a great success with hundreds coming out to Eastern Creek to pour over the hundreds of speed machines that were on display and on the track. The event was free and was perfect for the whole family, with there being a jumping castle and kids area. Unfortunately there was no jumping castle for the adults, but we hope that will be amended by the next event.

There was plenty to look at apart from just nice bikes, with Vozz Helmets having a display where you could try on and learn more about their exciting new take on the motorcycle helmet as well as plenty of food trucks. Members from the group enjoyed doing laps of the track and honing their skills, with a brief downpour putting a stop to the laps for a small moment before the lads and ladies headed back out onto the track.

To find out more on Ducatista and see what else is on for 2016, head to or following them at @ducatisofinstagram



The Beast – Nico’s Ducati 848

Casting its sleek Italian design aside – Nico’s Ducati 848, dubbed ‘The Beast’, is a raw and aggressive machine that has nothing to hide and everything to give.

It all started for Nico back in 2010, after he made the decision to leave school and so he could get a start in the motorcycle industry. “I went out and got myself a bike and started searching for a job in the motorcycle world. At the time nobody in my family rode motorcycles, but for as long as I can remember whenever I saw or heard a bike hooning down the road I’d always have a smile on my face. Since then I have been lucky enough to work around multiple European motorcycle brands and have now found my place working amongst the one brand that really brings out the passion in me; Ducati.”

Nico’s current bike came into his possession from a close mate in 2015. The bike had just received a major service and was running fine enough to cut up the roads, but still needed a bit of cosmetic work. “As soon as it came into my possession, the gears started to turn and sure enough my vision for this bike started to take hold and form. Before I knew it the cutting disc was out and the bike was in a million pieces.”

Having spent the better part of the past 3 years not just riding Ducati’s but also stripping them down to nothing and then putting them back together, this was Nico’s first actual custom build. “My bikes get ridden everywhere and anywhere, so it needs to be a jack of all trades. This started with being as light, narrow and snappy as possible to make commuting a breeze. Then came a serving of go fast goodies including a lightened flywheel, quick pull throttle, dry slipper clutch, full titanium exhaust and more aggressive gearing, this meant upgraded Brembo calipers and master cylinder were in order. Then all that was left to do was emphasize the bold lines that Ducati gave this bike when it was created, the short aggressive subframe and seat, Pirelli MT60RS tyres, aggressive bar position and a 7″ headlight to finish it off.”

The rich Ducati satin red tank pops out beautifully in contrast to the tidy single tan leather seat. This is a custom machine that has shed its stylish fairings and Italian design beginnings in favour of a more honest and intimidating look. No changes were made that would hinder this bikes performance, and it’s still very much a crotch rocket. “As soon as you swing your leg over and hit the starter button, all the thought and work on the aesthetics goes out the window. First, second and third gear is spent trying to regain traction or facing skyward. That’s probably what my favourite part of the bike would be – the fact that no matter where I’m headed on it, I turn up with a grin on my face and my adrenaline pumping.”

“My biggest challenge on this bike was the exhaust, I wanted to keep the look of just headers coming up under the seat but after riding it twice with just headers, dealing with lots of angry glares and a ringing ears for the next week, I knew that wasn’t an option.

Finally one night I came up with the idea I could fit a muffler style insert in the straight 70mm section of titanium running up next to my right leg, after an all nighter of fabricating, swearing and maybe a few beers the bike came down to a reasonable DB level that only occasionally sets of car alarms!”


Clockwork Orange – Paul’s Ducati ST2 Cafe Racer

Taking its namesake from the infamous 1962 dystopian novel, Clockwork Orange moves aside the ultraviolence and instead injects ultrastyle. It’s an aggressive modern take on the classic café racer that will get all the droogs drooling.

Paul’s beast started it’s life out as a 1999 Ducati ST2 Tourer, and it’s had one hell of a makeover. “I was researching café racers heavily on my last three builds, and the Shed-X’s kept popping up. In 2014 I was finishing up my BMW R80 build and decided to go to The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride for inspiration. It was there that I saw Ronnie’s Shed-X Super Leggera.

That bike in the flesh was spectacular! Not 2 weeks after the BMW was finished, Mike Berry from Desmoclinic had posted an ad for Clockwork Orange on Sydney Café Racers. After consulting Neil from Shed-X who also had a hand in the bike, I immediately jumped on it.”

Some of the mods done by Desmoclinic / Shed-X include –

  • 11985 Ohlins Forks
  • Ducati Streetfighter Triple Clamps
  • Rizoma Bars
  • 1098 Brembo Radial Mount Calipers with Brembo Racing Rotors
  • Marchesini Forged Alloy Hypermotard Wheels
  • S4R Single Sided swingarm
  • Ducati Monster Carbon fibre front guard

Paul has a bike for every occasion, which is a reflection of his riding history. Growing up riding Yamaha 2-strokes when he was no older than 7 with his old man. “He would walk alongside us and let the clutch out in 2nd gear, when we were done riding around we’d then ride back to him. Dad then bought a Honda TL 125 trail bile around 1975 and I was hooked. My first bike like most kinds those days was a Honda XR75, and the rest is history!”

Paul now owns 5 bikes, with Clockwork Orange being strictly for Sunday cruising through the National Park, or SCR Thursday night rides. “It loves the park’s tight twisty roads as much as it loves Sydney Motorsport Park or Philip Island race tracks.”


Garage Sessions

Nev’s Shed

You’ll find a lot of interesting bits and pieces in most people’s sheds, but Nev’s has a cumulative history attached, stretching back past all of the major western wars of the 20th century, and having links to generations of family.

Nev grew up spending time with his old man in his shed, working on whatever needed working on. “My dad was in the Navy, and then the Army for a total of 35 years. He grew up in Wagga during the depression and was a horse breaker, transporting sand and rock for the construction of roads around the local area. My old man was the smartest bloke I have ever known for CDF. It was fucking amazing at what he could fix with a piece of No.8 fencing wire and a pair of pliers. He never threw anything away – he did all his own repairs on everything from the car to leather shoes, he did some blacksmithing, electrical repairs, built his own dark room, he could fix or build anything.”

Having a Father that was so resourceful and handy meant that Nev had just about no choice but to have his own shed one day, where he could build and create for himself. “Over the years I have repaired and made countless things in my shed, from fixing IBM golf ball typewriters to making knives, leather work, making stock whips, building motorbikes to tightening eye glass frames.

My grandfather on my mother’s side was a mechanical engineer for a radio station in  Melbourne (3AW) for years, when he passed away I ended up with a few (don’t tell the wife, it was a lot) of his tools and machinery and my father passed away almost two years ago now and I still have to go through more of his stuff, the end result is that I have ended up with a collection of hammers among a lot of other tools.”

Following in his father’s footsteps, Nev was also in the Navy. This service would end up providing itself as another outlet for the accumulation of tools, “Back then it was pretty easy to order any tools you wanted whether I needed them or not. So I had a fair collection of tools before I received all the others.”

“The German WW1 helmet was bought back by one of my father’s uncles. I also made the display box for the rifles that were my grandfathers on my mum’s side, and the knives are my fathers and his fathers that have been handed down.

I have owned a few motorcycles over the years. DT250, RD250LC, XS650, (my Yamaha years) CBX650f2, BSA’s, Triumph’s, James and Moto Guzzi to name a few. I once owned and had 8 bikes in my shed at one time.

My shed to me is a heritage, a place of memories , past victories and also failures, a refuge from the crazy ass people in this world as it is just a tin shed.”


Culture Events


Housed in the iconic, heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Motorclassica was on for it’s 6th time showcasing some of Australia’s finest rare and exotic cars and motorcycles. With over one hundred years of motor vehicle history being represented, this is the Mecca for motoring enthusiasts.

Every nook, cranny and spare bit of flooring had it’s own machine in this beautiful 19th century building that was the perfect place to host such a celebration of motors. The event opened doors this year from 23-25 of October. Young and old were in attendance, with some enthusiasts matching many of the older vehicles in age, while there was also plenty of fresh young faces experiencing a glimpse into the past of motoring history.

The ground level was laid out with a huge assortment of cars covering every decade from the past century. Lamborghini, Mustang, Bugatti, Holden, and just about every other major auto brand had it’s own representation on the timber floors. The juxtaposition of car styles, and of modern and classic blended together in perfect harmony.

The second level of the exhibition centre was filled with a huge selection for motorcycles (unsurprisingly, staff weren’t keen on lugging cars up the stairs) as well as some other odds and ends form antique auto retailers, and even an array of vintage espresso machines. Motorbike brands such as BMW, MV Augusta, Royal Enfield and others had displays, showing off vehicles from their past and present. Other vintage clubs also had a large variety of bikes present. Some were true restorations, an immaculate image of the past – whilst others were left to be changed by time and celebrated their own unique patina.


Culture Garage Sessions

315 Speed Shop

Tucked away behind some road works up on the central coast sits 315 Speed shop, where you’ll find a bit of anything and bloke that’s done a bit of everything.

Kenny has had a history riding and building a huge variety of bikes – everything from flat track to choppers and café racers. “I started racing flat track when I was 10 and grew up racing speedway and long track. I’m still racing, though not as competitive after a few broken knees but I still love it. I always did all the race prep on the bikes; with the help of Peter Campbell from Goulburn we made down pipes and put the bikes on methanol. I did all my own head and cylinder work.”

Kenny’s life in the bike world was no accident, having a father who was passionately into bikes and riding. “I grew up with his old race bike in my bedroom, and all his bikes in the shed – including the orange CB750 Four that he bought brand new and rode from Sydney to England to see his Mum on.” This CB750 is one of the rare old bikes you’ll find that is immaculate, but hasn’t been sitting in a shed or never ridden. It’s gone from Sydney to Melbourne, missed the boat so Kenny’s father rode the bike to Perth to catch up with the seaward vessel.

Well used, and well looked after. Just what a bike deserves.

There’s an interesting ride sitting in 315 Speed Shop, a Ducati Monster 600 that has been converted into something that suits Kenny’s needs a bit more.

“The Ducati tracker got started at Peter Campbell’s shop, I did the testing and modifying last year to get it to handle properly. It took a while to get it to steer like a dirt bike and not a roady but I got there. I changed the front and rear suspension a few times, made some pro tapers fit, and moved the foot pegs around a lot. Now that I’ve got it to handle the way I like I’m going to pull down the stock 600cc Engine and build up a 900cc for it.

Unfortunately, ‘the powers that be’ canned the v-twin flat track class for now but hopefully by the time I build the hot rod engine for it next year they will bring it back.”

Kenny’s got a big history with Choppers as well, having worked at The Chopper Shop building custom choppers – “mainly big rear wheel raked out Harley stuff. I did all the machining and assembly, and then the jobs at The Chop Shop got more into the bobber style race and drag bikes.

I started building metric bobbers and cafe racers out of my own place a few years ago. I do mainly race style stuff – performance engines, bikes that go fast and not just look fast! A lot of jap muscle bikes, Honda Boldore and Kawasaki Z’s. This year the Harley’s have gotten popular, so I’ve been working on them again.”

Kenny rides with the Ride Till Dead crew, who are all about chucking the bikes up on one wheel. Check them out here -@ridetilldeadofficial and you can follow Kenny here @kenny_g_rtd



Anthony’s Ducati SportClassic

When Anthony was a young lad, kids either had a Ferrari poster on their wall or a Ducati. For him, it was the Ducati. Many years later, Tony has traded that poster in for the real thing – Here’s Tony’s Ducati SportClassic.

Anthony first started on bikes by jumping on Peewee 50’s at the age of 4, and as he grew the bikes did along with him. “I moved on to 80cc and 125cc race bikes on the dirt with an official sponsorship through HRC in Australia from the ages of 9 to 13.  As soon as I turned 16, I got my road license for bikes and have never looked back. Having raced on dirt, and fallen off on dirt – it was only a logical progression to go to road.”

Anthony’s ride is a 2007 Ducati SportClassic 1000s Biposto, with a few extra details including –

– WASP air intake kit with new fuel maps

– High compression pistons

– FLEDA rear brake lights with WATSEN indicators

– Rizoma goodies (bar ends, handle grips, mirrors, brake and clutch reservoirs

After riding and owning a few other Ducati’s, Anthony finally settled on his SportClassic after a bit of swapping about. “Having come off an immaculate Ducati 1098S, I was fortunate enough to meet the guys from SHED-X and had seen an article on their build Bastardo which was a heavily chopped and modified Ducati ST2 tourer.

I ended up doing a key for key swap on Bastardo for my 1098S. The short of it was that I realised, at that moment, that I am getting older – and wiser, and wanted something that would reflect and compliment my changing riding style. I wanted something cooler than cool, something that was not overly common on the roads, hence the full OEM fairing, and something that was more comfortable than my previous 2 bikes had been.

BOOM! Long live the Sport Classic! It looks like it was made in the 1970’s, goes like a modern bike, and best of all it has no oil leaks, no carbies to tune in the rain, and no kick starter!”

There’s a lot to love about this bike. Truly a modern classic – all in the red paintwork that fits Ducati so very well. “I love the way it looks from behind, especially with the new brake light and indicator unit. But, then again, it looks pretty sweet from any angle to be honest. I catch a look in the reflection of cars or shop windows and still love the look of it more today than I did yesterday. And yesterday, I loved it more than the day before! I guess I will be hanging on to this bike for a while. Looks like my son will get a pretty awesome 17th birthday present!”

Careful Anthony, he just might hold you to that.

“I love that moment when, at 6am – you throw the garage door open, rip a dust cover off, exposing your ride for the first time that day.  I love the noise the bike makes when you thumb the key to ON, flick the ignition switch to RUN and listen to the whir. You know the one? The one that really gets your heart skipping because you know you are seconds away from the rumble that you know so well!”

“I also love riding with the “trusted few”. That inner-sanctum of mates that you know as well as you know yourself. It’s that group of riders, the ones who are happy to get home ‘later than expected’ because they are there for you.  That group of mates whose riding styles you know – the one’s who’s wheels you can be inches off all day, knowing that they would never brake suddenly, because you know that they know that you are there. THEY are the ones I like to ride with.”


Bay 2 Bridge Rumble II

Hundreds of Ducati riders gathered on Sunday for the Bay 2 Bridge Rumble II which would end up at the Ducati Concours d’Elegance. It was an epic display of bikes, from just about every decade – all the while raising money for the Royal Rehab Centre which deals with brain and spinal injury.

The bikes gathered early on the Sunday at Rose Bay, with an impressive count of over 200 bikes. There was a fantastic mix of styles as well as modern and vintage motorcycles. Red was of course the primary colour of choice, in true Ducati fashion. The weather looked to be lovely and sunny, contrary to the reports of rain. However the grey sky would eventually take over and some light rain ended up coming along on the day as well.

Some prizes were given away, and a run down of the ride was issued. The bikes were mounted and the sea of Italian speed machines began their journey. Everyone kept in good formation, with there being plenty of markers to make sure no groups got lost. The sound of over 200 Ducati’s going through a tunnel is something that will give you shivers and make you tight in the pants.

After a few stops, the group ended up at the Concours d’Elegance which was hosted by the Ducati Owners Club of NSW at The Royal Rehabilitation Centre in Ryde. $3200 was raised for the charity that morning, which was graciously donated to the centre. At the Rehab Centre there was a bike show and competition, with plenty of classes and prizes. The bikes on display represented decades of Ducati, and there was a bit of every taste and style present.

Be sure to head to the Ducatista Facebook page and the Ducati Owners Club of NSW to check out more from the day. A very special thanks to Fraser Motorcycles for lending us some bikes for the weekend.



Il Santo – Gary’s Cagiva Alazzurra

Gary’s first steps into the world of two wheeled machines came in the form of an old Lambretta Scooter that sat on display in his living room. Today, Gary’s taste has grown towards bigger and meaner machines.

The passion for bikes started at an early age for Gary, “My mum was an antique collector in the Philippines. She bought a Lambretta scooter and used it as a display piece in our lounge room; in fact today we still have a bike or two in the living room. One day she went on holidays, and when she came back the scooter was painted blue. My brother had paid someone to restore it and get it running. This became my means of transport to school (piloted by my older brother who didn’t have a licence). Later he sold the scooter and bought a Yamaha DS6, that was a real bike!”

The need for bigger bikes of course bit Gary hard, and sure enough a new machine was on the cards. Il Santo is a 1984 Cagiva Alazzurra that has undergone a myriad of changes. The Cagiva Alazzurra was the result of an agreement between Ducati and Caviga for a supply of Ducati engines, so it is very much a Cagiva bike but with the heart of a Ducati. They were produced by Caviga from 1984 to 1986, and offered a more affordable option for those wanting a Ducati at the time.

“I bought the bike from a guy in his 70’s who could no longer ride it because of the heavy clutch. The bike was then stripped of its ugly fairings. In the early stages of the build, the tank and seat were replaced with a smaller headlight, and home made idiot lights. In 2014, the bike had its second rebuild; everything was sold off except for the frame, home made idiot lights panel, and carbs. Parts were sourced through friends, shops and anyone who knew people that had parts in the shed. The bike then received a much younger bigger engine, 750cc reversed head. I then added on an original 1975 500 Desmo tank with original paint from the factory, wheels off a Sports Classic (special thanks to Ronnie Fiala for finding them), a 50mm front end, extended swing arm, Yamaha XT500 vintage side panels and mufflers off an 1100 Monster.”

“The trickiest part of the build was fitting the 180 rear; the bike had 120 originally. I found a guy who builds racecars and roll cages to do the job; he had it done in half a day. Then it was finding the centre of the back of the wheels and swing arm, lucky I had previously done this modification on another bike, a Ducati 900ss Superlight, which I used the same wheels. It was easy as moving the bearings and spacers which I kept from the build.”

Perhaps the key piece of this bike is the tank, in original paint scheme straight from the factory. “It took a while to convince the owner to sell it to me and when he did, he said $100! I think it’s the tank that makes the bike stand out, and everyone always comments on it.”

“There are a lot of good people in motorcycling. It’s definitely your mates/friends that makes riding enjoyable. Sometimes I have to force myself to get on the bike to go for a solo ride but with other people and friends, it’s definitely more fun and memorable.”

For the Anime fans out there that noticed the nod to Akira in the title image of this post, well done! We thought the shot was very reminiscent of the 1988 film.