It all started innocently enough… Isn’t that always the case? I met New Yorker Marcos Lara back when I was selling off the remnants of the 900SS and 750 Sport that were used as the basis for the Cadillac. Marcos won the bid on the 900SS gas tank and then contacted me about the frame that was still about a day away from closing. We agreed to step away from eBay and have a chat by phone and it was during the conversation that I concluded that he was a complete nut case (regarding all things Ducati), but he had a pretty interesting ride.
You see while Marcos has only been recently diagnosed with MBD, he was already sick by the time I met him. He told me the sad tale of his recent crash involving a freshly rebuilt and somewhat hot-rodded ’91 900SS…
Wait a minute.. I think I’ve gone too far back in time and this post’ll take forever. You see, there’s plenty goin’ around here, but no time to write about it. This means I’m writing about stuff in no particular chronological order at this point - but at least life cannot be said to be dull at the moment. Could I ever have said that life was dull at any particular moment? Uh, yeah – come to think of it, back in the late 70’s when I was an aspiring insurance underwriter…. Well, but, no. Work was dull, but it was after all, the 70’s. I was young…
Confused? I am. So is Fran and just about everyone else in the tribe, but they’re old and have the advancing years as an excuse. Errr…
OK, back to Marcos Lara’s bike. It’s a long story. So long that it probably would qualify as an epic so I’ll have to do a Photo Essay rather that try and distill it to something consumable in the posting format. The bottom line is that Marcus sent me his bike what feels like a long, long time ago and I finally delivered the finished product to him back on the 3rd of February (just before jetting off to the Caribbean).
The really short version is that what started out as a relatively straightforward crash rebuild turned into a serious project that was regularly punctuated by Marcos’ irregular, but frequent announcements that he had bought even more new stuff that had absolutely no hope of being an easy “bolt-on”. He became a slave possessed by some internal subliminal mechanism that was likely downloaded into his psyche by those evil bastards at eBay. I chipped away at the ever-shifting project until The Big Crash last May and then it – along with the rest of my life – ground to a sudden halt. Well, not quite. Undaunted, Marcos kept buyin’ stuff anyway.
While I managed to limp through the completion of Neville’s RC, I knew I couldn’t even fathom jumping into Marcos’ work with the busted body. I’d button-holed local Ducati fanatic Jon Snaddon to do the initial tear-down, inspection and straightening of my F1, so Jon, retired from the feds and equipped with a spiffy shop, a fastidious nature and a good knowledge of the 900SS - seemed up to the task when I approached him to work with me on the completion of Marcos’ bike. So, while Marcos continued to buy shiny stuff, Jon and I set to the task of making stuff fit and buying the dull bits required to somehow bring the various components to a cohesive, functioning state.
Time passed, and Marcos bought more stuff. I got a new job, my body healed and we began to send Marcos anonymous emails threatening bodily harm in the event that he might buy more stuff.
Alberta Wheel Repair fixed the front rim, Chris at Ottawa Valley Custom Paint applied the lovely colors and shine, BCM supplied the OEM replacement bits, I cursed a lot and Jon did a ton of machining to make stuff fit. Take a close look at the bike. Little is what it seems. It’s a strange machine in the context of what Jon and I do in our own worlds. Neither one of us would have built this bike to this level or style independently. A track-ready custom built to a painfully meticulous standard. What’s really cool is how much of the stuff just disappears into the bike as background (or just looks stock).
The delivery was performed on a deceivingly warm looking day at the rest stop just south of the Derby Line US/Canada border. Marcos was a hoot; mile-a-minute questions and exclamations and a grin that just wouldn’t stop. It was a treat to meet the man in person after so many months of email and phone chat and his rabid obsession with the 900 makes me look like a casual enthusiast. As life slowly comes back to something approaching normal, I’ll probably have a chance to do a photo essay with the technical details in the next month or so… Meantime, drop by Marcos’ site for more pics.
Rumor has it that Doug Cook will have my Multistrada ready by next weekend. Patrick’s bevel is starting to look like a motorcycle and Spring is only a week away.
I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
Content: 1987 Ducati 750 F1, 2005 Ducati Multistrada MTS1000S, 1993 Ducati 900 SS Custom, loudbike, Steve Munro