~ 2002 Ducati Island Museum ~
World Superbike - Laguna Seca
updated 8/6/02

The following notes are tales from the event sent either to the BevelHeads list, the "Big" Ducati list or to me directly.  If you have a story to tell, please send me an email and I will add it....  THANKS!

greetings fellow heads

I just got home and am fuzzy as hell so this will be VERY brief then it is nap time..... 

THANK YOU to all who showed up to say HI, all those who showed up with their bikes to display, all those who wished you were there and all those who supported those who were in one way or another.

The island thing was a happening of epic proportions. It WILL go down in the ducati history books as one of those really big deals. It was fun to finally meet people I have conversed with over the years online for the first time.

DUCATI (DMH and DNA) were extremely impressed with our efforts and very actually quite vocal to me regarding their gratitude. Carlo DiBiagio (CEO - DMH) and Joe Piazza (CEO - DNA) were present to shake hands and to say THANKS on Sunday along with Christopher Spira (Director, Corp Communications and Investor relations - DMH) and Stefano Pederiva (Accessories & Apparel Manager - DNA).

Jim Viola (Marketing Manager - DNA), Stephan Evancho (Marketing Coordinator - DNA), and Julia Vitarello (Director Ducati DOC - DMH) are the folks who made this happen for us and were continually gracious and helpful.

Special thanks for Mike and "JW" for all their help as well. 

More stories will be told by the guilty parties as those involved get home, unwind and start typing. All I can say is that I have a new appreciation as to the meaning of "Racing For Pink Slips". I am going to hold off on a rundown for now. Rene and I will be posting all kinds of stuff on our sites as it all comes in - cameras were everywhere!

Those of you sending pictures: my mailbox was FULL already when I got here so if you get an undeliverable message when you try to send, please try again at a later time. I will be checking often. All photos will be posted very soon. Look for a first batch later this evening then check back every couple of days for updates. I will post a note to this list whenever I add more, thanks!

I'm going to bed now.....

Steve Allen <Ducatilust@FEzone.com> 7/15/02


I just wanted to mention what an absolutely sterling job Steve Allen did with organizing the Ducati museum at Laguna Seca. The CEO of Ducati was there, and lesser gods as well , and they all now know what a totally together group the bevelheads are, due to Steve's efforts.

soooooooooooo......(for Steve)

hip hip HOORAY
hip hip HOORAY
hip hip HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tom Meadows <tmeadows@greaterbaynet.com> 7/15/02

> hip hip HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> Tom Meadows

<AOL mode>
Me too!
</AOL mode>

It was excellent to meet so many Bevelheads in real life. And the fact that the races were close and exciting was an added bonus.

Thanks everyone for making it happen!

Paul Ritter <paul_ritter@hp.com

Gotta chime in here also - a GREAT job by Steve Allen in pulling this off, and it was definitely a credit to the Bevelheads!

Thanks, Steve!

I'll cherish the memory of the look on Steve's face when Tom insisted I needed to hear how good Ed's GT750 engine sounded... Something about an agreement with the Ducati brass that they wouldn't start the engines unnecessarily...

Hopefully next year I'll have time to spend at the Museum!


Willy Gonnason [wgonnason@ieee.org] 7/15/02

Many thanks to Steve, Ducati NA, and all Bevelheads who made the trek to Laguna. The event could not have gone better, (except for a certain race that was not on the regular schedule, but I'll not let the cat out of the bag on that one...).

Sheryl and I had an absolutely fantastic time, and we couldn't be more pleased.

The museum on Ducati Island was beautiful and very well attended, the racing was as exciting as any I've ever seen, and it was great to see our Bevelhead buddies again and to meet a few more.

Now I'll need to figure out how to bribe Robert to destroy a certain bit of incriminating video evidence... ;-)

I'll have plenty of pictures available when I get them processed and scanned, (still don't have a digital camera...).

Dan Kelo [Dan.Kelo@pepperdine.edu] 7/15/02

I promised my wife that I would forward her response intact. Here it is.

Does everyone know what happened in the "race"? Her message assumes that all have heard the sad tale...



<Begin forwarded text> Note from the wife:

Had a great time at Laguna! Pleased to see such a great turnout and meet some new bevelheads. Thanks to Chris for arranging the 6:30 p.m. Tarpy's dinner reservation, or was it 7:30 p.m., great conversation and company! Thanks to Steve for a great museum display (whenever you decide to take up professional event planning let me know); to Rene and Sue for the awesome shirts, to all the owners who displayed their bikes; to Bayliss for those blue eyes; and to Ewan McGregor for living!

I trust Dan will forward this message in its entirety without his own edits >. . .

Yes, my masculine, hunky hub rode off Ducati Island in a pink slip; yes, because the famous race so beautifully designed by Rene, Sue, and Robert was won by none other than the GT Buddha Tom Rolland. Here is what happened next . . .

Dan arrives at our meeting place an Italian restaurant in Monterey, so that we can load up the van and get on the road for the 6+ hour drive. Dan parks in front of the restaurant where several other riders are hanging around. He takes off his jacket and helmet and begins talking shop with admirers of his sport. When he is done with the chat he goes into the restaurant to take a piss but the men's restroom is occupied. Dan proceeds to the women's restroom and locks the door behind him. He glances at himself in the mirror and realizes he still has on the sexy, lacy pink number. Then he realizes he was just talking macho Duc shit with a bunch of dudes while wearing the pink slip. Not one of them said a word.

Pink slips, women's restrooms, what's next? Ladies lock up those fishnet stockings!

Best wishes to all, Sheryl

Kelo, Dan [Dan.Kelo@pepperdine.edu]  7/17/02

Man! I could write three pages of all the fun I had at Laguna! So I won't! But!....

The Bevel Museum was pretty interesting as one walked through and took in all the history. There was a lot of blood sweat and tears put into those bikes!


But what really pushed my button was Saturday night. 

When all the owner of these classics bikes saw fit to fire them all up at once and to let the history of the notes that these Motors had made in their day loose for all to enjoy. That sleepy little tent of times past, became the most Ground shaking, Blood stirring, and Ear shattering piece of history on the track. The guy's cracking the throttles looked like it was there first throttle they twisted at the age of Eleven, a time warp of some sort, smiles abounded everywhere, young and old. The scent of the blue and black smoke, priceless. From what I heard, it sounded just as good back in the 60's as it is today!

In a world of Temis, Arrows, 4V's. You folks made my weekend. 

Thanks for sharing your piece of History with me!

Art Ramos <duc996mono@hotmail.com>  July 16, 2002

Kudos to Jim Viola of Ducati NA and Steve Allen on the Laguna Superbike festivities, to the Bevelheads for the turnout of excellent singles and twins, Sue and Rene for the shirts so many civilians asked about, Ducati CEO Carlo Di Biagio for mingling, Tom Rolland for swapping buckles for books, my wife Bronwyn for driving support, all the good 'heads we met, Eric Bostrom for kicking brother Ben's butt, and to Bayliss, Edwards, Xaus and Hayden for having at it so artfully.

The Darmah worked perfectly to and fro on the coast road. Stunning weekend; faith in the human race fully restored.

Uncle Tod - Team Geezer
Tod [traff@charter.net] 7/15/02

Since the other bevel heads are still there, I'll take this opportunity to get in the first posting. Megan and I rode my '78 900 GTS from San Jose to Laguna Seca yesterday morning, and came back last night late. 

Steve Allen did a great job of organizing this event, and deserves a lot of appreciation. I overheard other Ducati owners saying that "the bevel heads are a class act".

There were 26 bevels there; 20 fit under a large tent on a nice floor with individual mats and placards, right in the middle of everything. Judges came by and picked a really nice 750ss (there were 2) and 900ss (there were multiple) for the concourse display area. Modern Ducatis still got to park on Ducati Island, but out in the open (all other brands were relegated to the outer dirt lots). We also got tickets for a catered buffet supper. Ducati arranged an autograph session right outside our tent, bringing out Ruben Xaus, Ben Bostrom, and a couple of pit bunnies; Troy Bayliss didn't show due to being hurt. 

Megan scored Ruben and Ben's names on her helmet, but sneered at the hotties. A high point was a guy with a Ben Bostrom Monster waiting for an autograph when his side stand mount fractured, dumping it on the pavement in front of the big crowd; I hate it when that happens. Ducati really treated us nice, again thanks to Steve.

We didn't have to empty our gas tanks or remove our plugs, as was rumored. This was good as Tom Rolland readily demonstrated how easily his beautiful 750GT could be kick started to life, to anyone who even made eye contact whilst walking past it. We even had a mass start up at one point, causing a cloud of Kendall 50wt smoke to billow from the tent, and everyone nearby to hold their ears; we did get a big round of applause afterwards, but it may have been for hitting the kill switches. A rent-a-cop (a.k.a. security guard) was then posted to prevent any further outbreaks.

Only a small amount of wrenching occurred in the tent. There was a chain replaced (from a nearby vendor) and a little clutch work (involving fabricating a part using a small nail clipper). Of course there was much critiquing of each other's bikes. In the dictionary next to the word 'clever' there ought to be a picture of Rene's bike; you've got to see it in person to appreciate all the work that went into just the rear brake caliper mount. I got several dollops of praise for my innovative clutch cable routing and also gathered a nice crowd for my oil replenishing technique demonstration.

I gave away an original sales brochure for a Darmah SS (to Steve for his work) and Pantah 600 (to Beth for a favor to be named later). I can't believe that not *one* MHR showed up; two 750ss but zero MHR?

My own opinion is that the round case Sport is more attractive than the GT, no matter what Tom says. Megan enjoyed sitting on my bike and talking to everyone who came by. She soloed an XR-80 over at the H*nd* exhibit by pretending to be 12 instead of 14. It scares me how easily she can tell a convincing lie. She thought the "Silver Shotgun" single was the coolest. All the bevel heads treated her nice.

A great time was had by all. Anyone in the area who missed it should start making plans for next year. The only bummer for me was running out of gas half way to Laguna Seca. I had to push a level mile for gas, but it was still morning and cool.

Best Regards,

Ken Ward [kenward1000@mac.com] 7/14/02

Kudos to Steve Allen for setting this up, it was first rate!

I have video of the Great Pink Slip Race, anybody have inexpensive recommendations for converting NTSC to digital (mpeg, avi, etc) ?

Robert Welsh [rwelsh1@san.rr.com] 7/15/02

First, before the adventures of "Mally the Wild Duck" I want to say that I had a blast at Laguna. The Bevelheads are a great bunch of people, helpful and resourceful. And special thanks to Steve for pulling off a great deed of Ducati pleasantly realizing that "Bevel Ducatis and their owners exist and the new generation appreciates us"

Mark left for Seattle an Monday, "0-dark-thirty" (He has a tail of his own to write about!) Rene and Sue left Tuesday, North on hwy 1 headed for Nakusp Canada.

Saturday. After breakfast we begin our trip to Laguna. Shortly after Moss Landing, I notice that my clutch doesn't work. I pull over and it appears that the shifting rod by the clutch lever has disappeared. I attempt to open the inspection cover at the clutch cover but with no suitable tools, it couldn't be done.

I decide to go on, dry-shifting. I make it into the track (passed the waiting traffic at the left-turn entrance, made a u-turn down the road and got right in) Well, my luck ran out at the ticket inspection where there was a lot of stop and go. I had to pull over and within 5 minutes a track official called a tow truck. He showed up in 5 more minutes and within 1/2 an hour I was towed to the Ducati Island. In between races I managed to take the shifting cover off, borrowed George Betzhold's clutch rod (the last piece) and with the T-handle from the spark plug tool of the newly acquired modern Ducati tool kit, off to the pits I go. A helpful mechanic, ground the end off with the same curvature and with a hacksaw, got the part made.

When installing the part, I discovered that it had not fallen off as I had thought but when the clutch cover finally came off, the jam nut was missing , So, off with the clutch cover in search of the nut. It was nowhere to be found.

Off to the pits in search of a jam nut. 1/2 an hour later, success from a privateer racer. Back to the island for re-assembly. while screwing the clutch adjuster, there was a piece missing, that short 10mm piece. (where did it go?) back with the hack saw, and cutting off another section of the T-handle. And yes, a nail file was used to de-burr the edges!

So, the bike was ready for the 6:00 start of the party and started up.

After the party is was time to go but the clutch was intermittently slipping and not wanting to adjust right. I hate to think why. I spent the night in Pacific Grove (thanks Rene and Sue) and then after the 2nd race on Sunday, I rode home with that partly slipping clutch. I haven't investigated the problem yet, but oil change and lots of fishing with magnets are in order. The only other casualty was the throttle adjuster screw and spring which disappeared somewhere between Santa Cruz and Monterey, and the rear carb top came loose.

Best Regards

Hans Mellberg <desmo750ss@yahoo.com>  7/16/02

Thank you, Steve Allen, for the outstanding efforts on our behalf. I felt like royalty being hosted by Ducati. They are to be congratulated for their hospitality and professionalism. Please forward my thanks to the powers that be at Ducati.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the Bevelheads in attendance. My wife, Inger, and I had a fine time, only  wishing it could have lasted longer. This was her first race experience and my first visit to Laguna since Kenny Roberts was still racing. The changes to the track are a real improvement and yet it is still friendly to the fan on foot.

You wouldn't believe how many "thumbs up" I got on the trip back to L.A. The coast road was absolutely beautiful, the moving roadblocks (tourists) relatively few.

Thank you, Tom Meadows, for your hospitality Sunday evening. Look me up when you are in the South. Those Y@m@h@ forks I spoke of have a diameter of 1.10".  All of us Heads in the L.A. area need to get together for a ride soon.

And a good time was had by all. I look forward to next year.

Thanks a bunch

Tim Keyes <TDKEYES@aol.com> 7/16/02


Yes, I was the poor sod whose single wouldn't start, but I must cry FOUL! as my excuse. I spent the month before Laguna getting the bike dialed in and running well. I then stripped it all the way down for the spray can cosmetics, and put the newly painted, but unused tank on it.

The tank had crud in it, bad gas etc, and as I am in the middle of the clean out process (new gas, drain lines, floatbowl, etc) I get this last minute e-mail from Steve Allen that the race organizers want all the bikes in the museum to have no gas and no spark plugs in them.

I had planned to ride my bike into the track area and now I am supposed to kill it and make it a hangar queen. I can't believe I fell for it. So I show up at the museum only to find out we are going to start our bikes for the evening party. I had to find a new plug, fresh gas, tools etc, and when it came time to start the bikes I had old bad gas in the float bowl and the bugger refused to light. Like Tim Keyes I had my bike facing the crowd so fortunately no one saw the shame on my face, all they got was my bum.

Not on the video is ten minutes (twenty?) later when I got it sorted out and running, and the resounding round of applause from the crowd. 

The best part of the process was filling my beer bottle with gas from the tank of an obliging sport owner. The only way I could repay him was to let him watch while I explained to Tom Rolland that GT's were nice, but singles could actually run on beer , as I emptied the beer bottle in my tank.

Of course when you have the oldest Ducati at the whole damn track, I feel you should get some slack.

Tom Meadows <tmeadows@greaterbaynet.com>   7/17/02


Words on the internet can hardly express the gratitude that people like me feel for all that you did to put a great opportunity in our hands. Yeah, that's right fella, if we had flopped, you woulda looked as cool as steaming dog shite on the brand new carpet of a brand new house. So isn't it GREAT that you had the (base*)balls to figure that everyone on Gene Rankin's Bevelhead list would support your play! You are the MAN!.

Now this must go forward, and we must continue to impress the powers that be that we can be their living historical event program, just give us those perks like Vendor parking permits, and the tent and security for the bikes that stay. And also for the ability to take our bikes for a ride, because that is what we do, and have them back before the MAN puts his on display (never be later than the teacher, right?). Of course the dinner tickets and a few choice moments of posing with riders is all good too! You gotta admit, Bostrum looked at least interested in seeing the gear gazer on Robert Walsh's 900SS.

So, Dude, My Salutations!
* Sanitized for home use

Peter Bonner - ASMA #93
Aaramar <aaramar@gvtc.com>  7/19/02

We finally got home mid afternoon today and after 2 weeks and 5600 miles I was ready to return to Laguna to do it all over again. That is the best place on earth for motorcycle people. It's too bad I had to make the trip with my bike in the back of the truck but there is no way I could ride that bike that far. At least I found some incredible roads to ride on if we do a MC trip down that way. There is talk of riding down next year but it will be on modern machinery.

Thanks to Steve Allen for setting the museum up and moving my bike around every night and morning. To Chris Hampson for the dinner meeting and everyone else that helped put this great event together. It was nice to meet Tod Rafferty since I have most of his books. It was also really nice to meet some of the ladies behind the possessed bike owners, they are great ladies who allow us to own and operate these wonderful toys.

If I had to see a man in a long pink slip I'm glad it was Dan. What a great sport you are Dan. Can't wait until next year!

Brian Norrie <bdnzx9@telusplanet.net> 7/19/02
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Hi Steve,

I gotta tell you... you guys are a class act.  Fantastic work.  Firing up all the bikes on Saturday night was a rare treat!

- Mike <webmaster@ducatipaso.org> 7/23/02

Steve, Wanted to write and thank you for all of your hard work up at Laguna Seca last month. The museum and show was great. Enjoyed seeing all the Ducks and especially all the old beautiful bevel heads. Thanks also for showing all the pics of my 350 "Super Sport" I think I counted 12 of them. I've told a lot of my Ducati friends about your site and hinted to them that if they looked hard they just might see one of my bikes!

I was very excited about winning one of the great Ducati Disc Trophies that John awarded. It was fun riding it back to the motel in my backpack. Several good guys helped me pack it securely. It, the trophy, proudly goes next to the similar one I got for my red and silver 350 "jelly mold" special that I took to DRA in Oct.

Do you have some kind of group to join so that I could keep in touch with "birds of a feather"? Be interested to join.

Lastly, I recently build, from a GT 750, a GT/ Sport with an alloy Imola tank and SS bodywork. It turned out quite nice. With some work I was able to finally produce a Bevel twin that I can touch the ground on with both feet and comfortably reach the clip ons. Put them on top of the triple clamp.

Lastly, as the clutch is one that only Popeye would enjoy, I was happy to read your test of the MMS hydraulic clutch conversion kit. I plan to order and install one soon. Thanks for the tip and all of your efforts for Bevel heads every where. 

Sincerely, Ted Henry <ducatited@earthlink.net> 8/6/02

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