The Last Ride: Mick Walker

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Mick Walker (left) and World Champion Barry Sheene in 1973.

Mick Walker, the world’s most prolific author of motorcycle books, passed away in March at the age of 70 from cancer. Sadder yet, his death came the day before the first bound copy of his autobiography, the 264-page The Ride of My Life, came back from the printer.

Walker joined the Royal Air Force at 15 and served in Aden (now Yemen), where he rode a series of bikes, including a Ducati 200 Elite. Returning to civilian life in 1961, he bought a 250 Ducati Daytona, and in 1963 he took up road racing, inevitably with a Ducati. Walker’s love affair with Ducati prospered, and he opened a motorcycle shop in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. That eventually led to his becoming Ducati’s appointed U.K. spare parts importer, as well as an official dealer for Ducati and Moto Guzzi, Harley-Davidson, Aermacchi, MV Agusta, Benelli, Garelli, Jawa and Derbi.

In 1983 Mick Walker became assistant editor of Motorcycle Enthusiast magazine after closing his dealership, but soon switched to writing books dealing with Italian bikes. His first book, Ducati Singles, was published in 1985. With no less than 136 separate titles published since then, his works have become the journal of record for many motorcycle brands, and an invaluable reference for many writers. Walker authored all of his work in longhand, never using a word processor or even a typewriter. His favorite method of writing was to assemble the requisite data and research material, then head off to a remote location in Scotland, where he could write undisturbed.

The onset of an illness that would eventually prove fatal encouraged Mick Walker to pen The Ride of My Life, covering his wide variety of experiences as a rider, dealer, importer, tuner, team boss and author. MC

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