Ducati Book and Ladies Leather Jacket

A new Ducati book and a look timeless black leather jacket.

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cover courtesy of FBA Moto Italiane

Ducati Monster book

Ducati Monster is dedicated to the history of the two-valve Monster. On October 24th, 1992, the first-ever Ducati Monster was launched to the public at the IFMA Show in Germany — the first of 350,000 such bikes built so far, in all their different capacities and configurations. Argentinian designer Miguel Angel Galluzzi’s then-innovative concept of stripping a superbike of its bodywork to create a user-friendly yet invigorating minimalist street bike, which combined sporting appeal and everyday practicality, was an instant hit, with thousands of customers eager to subscribe to his belief that “All you need in a motorcycle is a saddle, fuel tank, engine, two wheels and a handlebar. Everything else is superfluous.”

That’s a philosophy which, as expressed in the Monster, invented a major new segment of the motorcycle market that keeps on expanding year on year, as other manufacturers have continued to copy Miguel’s Monster mantra. But for Ducati especially it’s been a never ending story, as well as a gift from Galluzzi that keeps on giving, even after his 2006 move to Ducati’s rival Aprilia, to eventually become VP of Design for its parent company Piaggio. For that’s demonstrated by the huge number of Monsteristi who have bought successive generations of this model ever since, up to and including today’s descendants of the first-ever Monster M900 powered by an air-cooled desmodue engine.

The importance of the Monster family of models to Ducati’s balance sheet can’t be overstated. Indeed, the only reason the Italian sport bike manufacturer stayed in business long enough to eventually be acquired by the Volkswagen Group in 2012 was because of the profits generated by all those hundreds of thousands of Monsters built and sold over the previous two decades. For this motorcycle has not only established itself as a style icon, it’s also provided the financial platform to carry Ducati to its 14 World Superbike Riders titles and 17 Manufacturers crowns, let alone Casey Stoner’s upset 2007 800cc MotoGP World Championship. It’s represented a huge slice of the company’s total production for the past 28 years

No Monster, no money to go racing, and no sport bikes supreme like the equally iconic 916 and its successors, up to and including the current Panigale V4 R.

This book is the first of two such journals recounting the Monster story in hands-on guise from its birth in 1992 right up to today. This first volume covers the model’s original conception, and includes Miguel Angel Galluzzi’s detailed account of how it came about — and why it’s called the Monster! It also covers its development for customer sale in two-valve desmodue form, up to the 2001 debut of the S4 Monster powered by the 916-to-996 Superbike’s desmoquattro eight-valve engine, which opened the door to a new, more performance-conscious Naked bike market. A second volume covering the desmoquattro versions with four valves per cylinder will be coming later next year.

The book has been published in two languages, English and Italian, by FBA Moto Italiane in Firenze, and full details are available on their website. A sample of some of the pages is also available at  Motoitaliane Books.

The book is only available via mail order to be sent duty-free anywhere in the world, since books are not subject to any import tax in any country.

Basic Black: Vanson Villainess Ladies Jacket

woman standing inside car door

Any fashionista, male or female, will likely have some variation of a black leather motorcycle jacket in his/her closet. Why? It’s classic, simple, and always good looking, if not a bit mysterious. If you actually ride motorcycles, you need not sacrifice casual fashion cool for great utility and protection when you purchase a Vanson leather jacket. I ride in a Villainess Z150; Zirconian smooth black leather, custom cut with a simple look, yet very practical. I love the fit, particularly the snug forearm with long zippers. I also really appreciate the ignition key pocket on the left sleeve and the handy pen pocket in the wind flap (you know, for signing autographs and such). My jacket still squeaks and refuses to fold after two years of wear. This is thick leather sure to prevent road rash, even though Vanson qualifies it as a medium weight leather at 1.2mm thickness. The included elbow and shoulder armor make me feel safe; I just wouldn’t ride in a jacket without armor. The armor is adjustable with interior seams in the center back of the lining that were so well sewn that it took me a year to find the hidden zipper. Is it warm? Absolutely! Does it shed water? Just ducky! It doesn’t hurt that all Vanson jackets arrive hand waxed. At $529 it’s not the cheapest bit of gear, but I’m pretty sure I won’t ever need to purchase another riding jacket. The investment is proving to be quite sound and I’m enjoying the long break-in process with each new ride. And always, it just smells so good to put on and zip up. — Jean Denney

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
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