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Rarest Ducatis to star at London Concours in 2022

By General Posts

Two-Wheeled Heroes in the heart of the City: Rarest Ducatis to star at London Concours in 2022

  • Rarest and most significant Ducati motorcycles to be assembled at London’s Honourable Artillery Company this June.
  • Exceptional examples from the past 50 years will be united at the capital’s leading concours d’elegance event, charting the rich history of this most storied motorcycle brand.
  • 4x World Superbike Champion and Ducati Ambassador, Carl Fogarty, will also appear at this summer’s event, in association with Bikesure
  • Sixth annual London Concours to run from the 28th to 30th of June in the heart of the City.
  • Tickets on sale now at londonconcours.co.uk/tickets, from £35

London, UK (27th May 2022): The London Concours, presented by Montres Breguet, has announced that this June’s event will feature a selection of two wheeled stars from the most iconic and evocative motorcycle brand of all, with its ‘Ode to Ducati’ Ducati. Spanning close to 50 years of the Italian marque’s illustrious history, the remarkable collection of bikes will wow alongside the Concours’ breath-taking array of four wheeled machinery – from spectacular supercars to the finest classics – on the immaculate lawns of the Honourable Artillery Company in the heart of the City.

The wonderful selection of motorcycles from the Bolognese manufacturer will include an example of the rare 750 GT ‘Sandacst’ from late 1971. The bike, Ducati’s first v-twin cylinder machine, was born when Fabio Taglione, or “Dr. T” – Ducati’s longstanding chief designer and technical director – was tasked with building a 750 class bike to compete with the likes of Moto Guzzi, Laverda and of course the Japanese giants. The move into the 750 class was viewed as crucial to the success of the marque; a gateway to significant sales volumes in the USA. Taglione’s proposed low-cost solution was to blend two of Ducati’s well proven small capacity ‘singles’ onto a common crank case, creating a 90-degree V, or “L Twin” as he termed it. The 750 GT, widely praised by journalists in period for its smooth power and sharp handling, represents the genesis of Ducati’s illustrious lineage of V-Twin machines. In order to get production going as quickly as possible, the very early bikes had engines with sandcast cases and many other detail features not seen on the series production machines, which featured die-cast motors. Just 400 out of a total production of some 4,000 GT’s were built this way before the revised “square cased” engine was introduced in 1975. Relatively few of these early bikes have survived, with a small handful at most to be found in the UK. One not to miss.

This summer’s show will feature another ‘70s 750 – the Super Sport, or “Imola Replica” dating from 1974. This, the very first Ducati SS was conceived as a road going version of the race bike that made a stunning debut with the late, great Paul Smart on board, winning the famed 1972 Imola 200 on its first outing. With Smart’s teammate Bruno Spaggiari taking a close second place, Ducati found themselves catapulted from an unknown producer of lightweight single cylinder motorcycles to a major name on the world map of exotic sports machinery. Unsurprisingly, Ducati management, not least ‘Dr T’ were keen to build on this seismic victory with a road-going replica of the winning bike. A limited run of Imola replicas were sanctioned, the first prototypes emerging in late 1973. Following on from the prototypes, just 401 examples of the ‘Replica’ were ‘batch built’ in the spring of 1974 – all under the direct supervision of Taglione in Ducati’s race shop. At a heady £1650, the SS came in at 50% more than Kawasaki’s mighty Z1.

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The 750 SS on display this June was one of perhaps 25 bikes at most delivered new to the UK – shipped to its first owner by air freight – and has been cherished ever since by a total of just four owners in 48 years. Often referred to as the “green frame” these 401 bikes were the only round case Ducatis to leave the factory with the iconic “Desmodromic” cylinder heads.

The Honourable Artillery Company will play host to another ‘racing replica’: a 1980 Ducati 900 MHR. The bike is closely affiliated to one of, if not the, greatest racers of all – “Mike the bike” Hailwood. At the age of 38, 11 years after retiring, Hailwood made a comeback appearance at the Isle of Man TT in the Formula 1 class. Riding a modified and specially prepared 900 SS Ducati, he won the 1978 race. This burnished his already god-like reputation among fans, and prompted Ducati to introduce what would become their best-selling bike of the late 70s and early 80s: the 900 “Replica” or MHR. The MHR that will be on display at the HAC this June recently made a pilgrimage to the Isle of Man for the Classic TT, following in Hailwood’s tyre tracks 40 years on from his stunning victory. Much of the credit for the race preparation for the 1978 race goes to Steve Wynne of Sports Motorcycles in Manchester. It’s a source of great satisfaction to the owner of all the bikes on show that it was none other than Steve Wynne who rebuilt the engine and cosmetically refreshed the 1974 750 SS “green frame” also on display.

A Ducati from the late 1980s will also be amongst the bikes on display, an 851 Kit Racer from 1988 – a fuel injected, water-cooled four-valve machine that moved the game on significantly for Ducati sports bikes. The 851 featured an evolved version of Ducati’s two valve, air-cooled ‘Pantah’ engine, revised by its original designer, Massimo Bordi, with a little help from a famed British engineering firm Cosworth. The resulting power plant laid the foundations for 30 years or more of Ducati Superbikes. The road going variant, the “Strada” was initially criticised for its unusual steering characteristics – on account of its 16” wheels – and lack of firepower when compared with Honda’s RC30. The ‘Kit’ rectified things, with power boosted to 120bhp, larger 17-inch magnesium wheels, a braced swinging arm and a close ratio gearbox, amongst other race shop only features. Only 207 examples were built, and the Kit Racer is viewed by some as the most thrilling and visceral of all Ducati’s sports bikes.

This June’s event will also host more modern machinery, including the Ducati D-16 RR of 2008. The 1000cc, four-cylinder D-16 RR – modelled on Ducati’s GP6 Moto GP racer – was a real weapon, offered only to select customers, promising nigh-on Moto GP performance for the road. In the view of the late, highly respected journalist Kevin Ash, Ducati delivered on this promise. Packing a 200bhp V4 (with four valves per cylinder and four cylinders, hence ‘Desmo- 16’) and revving to 14,000 rpm, the D-16 Race Replica offered a lucky few a glimpse of what it was like to pilot a Gibernau or Capirossi factory race Ducati of the period.

The collection of superb Ducatis will also include the 1199 Superlegerra of 2014 – the bike that heralded the end of the road for Ducati’s long line of twin cylinder superbikes. Whilst the v-twin is still found today in Ducati’s middleweight and sports touring models, Ducati waved goodbye to the v-twin Superbike with these exclusive limited-edition models. The Borgo Panegale factory pulled out all the stops, producing two batches of super exclusive “Superlight” ‘twins’ – the 1199 of 2014, and the 1299 of the following year. Just 500 numbered examples of each were delivered worldwide. The 1199 SL that will star at this June’s event retailed at £60,000, produced an eye watering 205bhp, and weighed just 155kg dry – a weight more typical for a 500 or 600cc middleweight sports bike. Packed with the latest in technology and rare materials such as magnesium, carbon fibre and even tungsten – the latter used for components within the engine – the SL was a furious performer. Autocar underscored just how furious by substituting an 1199 SL for a Ferrari La Ferrari when carrying out a supercar test with the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918. The Superleggera matched the 903bhp McLaren P1 and Porsche’s 918 right up to 180mph, even pulling ahead after a standing start, before the cars’ slippery aerodynamics and longer gearing gave them an edge. A rare opportunity to witness this remarkable machine in the metal.

These dramatic Ducatis, and more, will be on show at the Honourable Artillery Company this June, at the capital’s ultimate automotive extravaganza. Carl Fogarty, the 4x World Superbike Champion and Ducati Brand Ambassador, will also make an appearance, on behalf of Bikesure, the ‘Ode to Ducati’ class co-sponsor. Fogarty will be chatting with Dave Vitty and Jason Plato, from the Fuelling Around podcast on Wednesday 29th June.

Further class announcements will follow in the coming weeks, as we build towards the 6th edition of our unmissable event.

Andrew Evans, London Concours Director, said:

“It gives us great pleasure to reveal this latest exciting class, which will bring the most spectacular bikes from the most evocative motorcycle manufacturer of all to the heart of London. Ducati is a magnetic brand that holds great allure for anyone with a drop of petrol in their veins. The superb selection, along with the fantastic array of supercars and iconic classics, is set to make this June’s show the most special yet.

“Guests to the Honourable Artillery Company will be treated to a truly special array of cars, along with a decadent range of food and drink options, and a carefully curated line-up of luxury brands and boutiques. London Concours 2022 is set to be another occasion of total automotive indulgence.”

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Batman body double drives motorcycle through streets for filming of The Flash

By General Posts

by Sean O’grady For Mailonline from https://www.dailymail.co.uk

Batman body double drives motorcycle through streets of Glasgow during filming with both Ben Affleck AND Michael Keaton taking on the role of Caped Crusader.

A Batman body double drove the Batcycle through the street’s of Glasgow as filming of The Flash got underway on Monday.

The film, which also shot in London last month, stars Ezra Miller in the lead role while both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton are reprising their roles as the Caped Crusader.

The double sported the eye-catching Batman costume as he filmed the Hollywood blockbuster on the streets of Glasgow which has been transformed into a US city.

Members of the production crew were seen trying to push the giant bike along the street with the double at the wheel.

The Flash, due for release in November 2022, is reportedly filming in George Square while Cochrane Street and George Street are also being used, according to Glasgow Times.

Large sections of the street were blocked off to pedestrians with several cars and trucks parked nearby.

The Flash is the latest film to be shot in Glasgow after the city was recently transformed into 1960s New York for filming of Indiana Jones 5 where Harrison Ford’s body double was seen earlier this month.

Michael Keaton has already been spotted filming in London but has yet to be seen sporting his Batman costume, implying he may only be returning as alter ego Bruce Wayne.

Ben, who played Batman more recently, has yet to be seen on set.

The film sees The Flash travel back in time to prevent the murder of his mother, triggering a string of unexpected consequences in the process, including meeting Batman in a parallel dimension.

The Flash was originally scheduled for release in 2018, although it was later pushed back due to its troubled development process.

Director Andy Muschietti was brought on to helm the feature. It was rescheduled for a June 2022 debut and was eventually pushed back to November 4th of that year as a response to the onset of the global pandemic.

Earlier in June, Muschietti, shared a photo of Michael’s bloody Batman costume to his Instagram account.

The actor was announced to be taking up the helm of the Caped Crusader in the much-awaited film this past April, although he was first speculated to have been involved with the project in June of last year.

Muschietti’s photo showed Batman’s iconic insignia that is typically placed on the center of the character’s costume.

A few drops of what appeared to be blood were notably spattered across its front.

The image seemed to signal that Keaton would be returning to his former role in the forthcoming superhero film.

The Birdman star’s first time portraying the character was in 1989’s Batman, which was directed by Tim Burton.

The feature was well-received by critics upon its release, with many reviewers pointing to the actor’s performance as especially strong.

Michael went on to portray the character in the film’s sequel, Batman Returns, which was also helmed by Burton and released in 1992.

After the Ed Wood director stepped down from a planned third sequel, the Beetlejuice actor also left the series, and the two were replaced by Joel Schumacher and Val Kilmer, respectively.

Other actors who have taken up the helm of the Dark Knight since then include George Clooney and Christian Bale, among others.

Ben went on to portray Batman in the 2016 feature Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and played the character in several other features.

The 48-year-old actor was initially supposed to direct, write and star in the upcoming feature The Batman, although he later left the production and was replaced by Robert Pattinson.

Both Ben and Michael are set to portray younger and older versions of Bruce Wayne in The Flash.

A film based on the DC Comics character had been in development for several decades, with several aborted attempts to create a movie about the superhero occurring over a period of roughly thirty years.

The feature went through several prospective directors, including Rick Famuyiwa and Seth Grahame-Smith, before Muschietti stepped in to helm the flick.

The Barry Allen version of The Flash will be portrayed by Ezra Miller, who first played the speedster in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

Other performers who will appear in the long-awaited movie include Kiersey Clemons, Sasha Calle and Ron Livingston.

The feature will follow the titular character as he travels back in time in order to prevent the untimely death of his mother, which causes consequences to occur in his own timeline.

Meanwhile, filming of the untitled fifth film in the Indiana Jones franchise has been going on for several weeks with parts of the Scottish city transformed into 1960s Manhattan.

Harrison himself has been forced to take a break from filming for three months as he recovers from a shoulder injury sustained on set.

During filming this month, Harrison’s stunt double charged through a crowded parade celebrating Apollo 11’s landing in 1969 on horseback.

Bolting down a city centre street in a grey suit, the action-packed scene saw a lookalike for 79-year-old Harrison rip through a banner as cheerleaders performed in the street and crowds waving American flags looked on in surprise.

London Motorcycle Show on the horizon

By General Posts

by Fraser Addecott from https://www.mirror.co.uk/

Check out all the latest machinery, plus a whole lot more, at the capital’s big bike fest

The post-Christmas winter months are probably not most bikers’ favourite time of the year – seeming cold, wet and miserable.

One bright spot on the horizon, however, is the ever-popular London Motorcycle Show.

This annual extravaganza continues to go from strength to strength and the 2020 edition looks like being no exception.

Alongside the latest machines from the world’s leading manufacturers, visitors will be able to see explosive live-action racing, rare classic machines, biking celebrities and a UK-exclusive celebration of iconic racer Barry Sheene.

All the new models from AJS, BMW, CCM, CF Moto, Ducati, Ecooter, Honda, Husqvarna, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Mutt Motorcycles, MV Agusta, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Triumph, Yamaha and Zero will be on show.

Nine of Sheene’s legendary race machines (including his two title-winning bikes) are being flown in from Australia specially for the show.

And teammate Steve Parrish and Suzuki chief technician during Sheene’s winning years will be onstage sharing insight and anecdotes.

Race fans will be kept enthralled with a completely revamped Michelin Thunderdrome live-action event once again taking over the centre of the show.

The free races will see the world’s fastest road racer Peter Hickman going head-to-head with fellow Isle of Man TT competitors John McGuinness, Michael Rutter and James Hillier.

Visitors can purchase a VIP paddock pass, which allows them access to the racing stars and an unbeatable view of the action.

Alongside that, the Classic TT will officially be launched at the show, while, in between races, John McGuinness will be found propping up the bar at his own pub.

The 23-time Isle of Man TT winner will be pulling pints and sharing tales from his incredible career with punters throughout the weekend.

Statistics show 41% of riders are wearing helmets that are more than five years old and beyond the manufacturer’s service life.

Anyone who brings their old helmet to the show will receive a free gift and the opportunity to purchase a replacement at a bargain price.

Those wanting to take part should sign up beforehand at helmetamnesty.com.

Motorcyclists looking to escape on an adventure this year will find plenty of inspiration in the Adventure Zone and Bonhams will be bringing rare and exotic machines from the legendary Italian manufacturer Giancarlo Morbidelli collection.

The show is on February 14-16, at ExCel, East London.

For information and reduced-price early-bird tickets, visit mcnmotorcycleshow.com.