I grew up with my father loving bikes. He had a Ducati 860, which I occasionally got to help him clean and very occasionally got to go pillion, during which all I could do would be giggle uncontrollably. My father gave me some great advice, which was to get road sense in a car for a few years before considering a bike, which meant I could make mistakes in a safer environment (inside the metal box, rather than exposed).
When I was 25, I passed my test and always hankered for a Ducati and finally got myself a 900ss (after forays with Kawasaki and Suzuki). It was the best bike I had ridden, with straight through pipes, the noise was intoxicating and the experience was unforgettable. In 1997 I went to the Isle of Man with the 900ss and after 10 days and 1400 miles around the Island (lots of laps) I knew I had to get an upgrade.
Carl Fogarty was my hero at the time and the 888 was the bike that helped him get his factory ride, as well as starting him on his multiple World Superbike championships. So the the Ducati 888 Superbike had to be the one I wanted, as the 916 wasn’t my cup of tea styling wise, plus the number 8 is lucky in some cultures, so a triple ‘8’ has to be super lucky!
Now 20 years on from when I last had a bike, and a lovely family, the 888 is my project. If the 888 is in pieces, then my wife is happy that I can’t go out for a ride. When I do get her back up and running, I will be cherishing having her as a collectors piece and something to take out on occasional Goodwood, Ace Cafe and Brooklands Italian day meetings.