19 OCTOBER 2020: WEST Australian motorcycle enthusiasts were able to forget about the planet’s COVID-19 woes for a day and pretend the world was normal, with a glorious display of beautiful bikes in an all-Aussie location near Perth’s Swan River on Sunday.
The 2020 Moto Italiane Ovest, staged by the Ducati Owners Club of WA, put more than 150 bikes and over twice that many people under the shade of some monster eucalyptus trees in the Perth suburb of Ascot, providing a stunning show of Latin exotica.
High-performance sports bikes (mostly Ducatis) predictably dominated the wheel count. There were 101 Dukes registered for display, 39 of them dated pre-1985, along with 32 Moto Guzzis, seven MV Agustas and a handful from other marques including Aprilia, Laverda, Aermarchi, Cagiva, Moto Morini and Vespa.
But it was a stunning little 1952 Ducati 98TL that stole the show.
Brian Ritchie found the bike at a flea market in La Spezia, northern Italy, in 2006. It had just one previous owner who bought it new in 1952 but who had died in ’62. The bike then sat unused on the family’s farm until the owner’s grand-daughter put it up for sale.
“I paid 1200 Euro for it,” Brian told The Bike Shed Times.
“It wasn’t in great shape, but it was mostly all there and it started and ran.”
As it turned out, finding and buying the bike was the easy bit — getting it home again was another story all together.
“Under Italian regulations, you can’t get a bike out of the country unless you are the registered owner,” Brian said.
“And as far as the authorities were concerned, the original owner was still the owner — so I couldn’t bring it home!”
It would be another three years before Brian solved the problem.
“I flew back to Italy, pulled the bike apart and packed it into three boxes,” he said.
“It was then no longer a motorcycle. It was parts. I sent the parts to Australia, using three different shipping agents, then reassembled and restored it. I only finished the restoration yesterday, so this is it’s first day out.”
Brian’s attention to detail was impressive.
“It took me 12 years to find an original number plate lens,” he said. “I actually manufactured one myself and was quite happy with it, and then tracked down a genuine one.”
Brian’s bike won best bike dated 1940 – 1984, as well as best in show, but it was only one of many stunning bikes on the grass. We gave the old Nikon a workout to capture these pics.
Moto Italiano Ovest 2020 People’s Choice Results
|Best Motorcycle 1940-1984||T||Brian Ritchie||1952 Ducati 98|
|M||Dave Skinner||1981 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica|
|Best Motorcycle 1985-1999||T||Ron McIntosh||1994 Ducati 916|
|M||Geoff Rossi||1993 Ducati Monster|
|Best Motorcycle 2000-2020||T||Paul Astill||2000 Aprilia RSV Mille|
|M||Mark Venosi||Moto Guzzi Audace 1400|
|Best Collection||T||Lex Harris|
|Best Original Motorcycle||T||Mal Craig||1974 Ducati 750 GT|
|M||Brian Ritchie||1952 Ducati 98|
|Best Custom Motorcycle||T||Geoff Rossi||1993 Ducati Monster|
|M||Chris Pearce||1978 Ducati 900 GTS|
|Most Interesting Motorcycle||T||Salvatore Toti||1989 Gilera CX125|
|M||Dave Lunn||1980 Ducati SSD900|
|Best Motorcycle in Show||T||Brian Ritchie||1952 Ducati 98|
|M||Paul Astill||2000 Aprilia RSV Mille|
*T=Trophy (Winner) M=Medallion (Runner Up)
3 thoughts on “COVID-19 be damned — celebrating the joy of Italian motorcycles, under a gum tree by the river”
Great photos of the magnificent display of stunning motorcycles. Great day out!
Great show. We at DOCWA are very happy with the turn up. Big day
Brilliant write up thanks Peter. It was an excellent event.
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