Cycle World Flashback: October 1993- Monster Story by John Burns

3 Июн 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Cycle World Flashback: October 1993- Monster Story by John Burns отключены
Ducati 900 Monster

Monster Story Ducati’s M900 does L.A. on $25 a day expenses.

Photographer. Ron Perry

Note: To celebrate the 20th of the Ducati Monster, we have to reprint Monster Story by Burns, exactly as the feature in our October 1993 issue. Chandler has nothing on Burns. Or he?)

I needed a drink. I more life insurance. I a long vacation in the country.

I had was a helmet, a black leather and a new Ducati M900 Monster in of a story to match its personality. Raymond Chandler’s tough-guy detective Philip Marlowe to mind. I was already in Southern

I went for a ride.

It’s a red Bright red, redder inside your eyelids you fall asleep staring at the sun you were up late the night because some double-cross broke your heart. But are a dime a dozen in this The Monster’s nine grand. You to clamp your teeth to keep from chewing on blondes in Southern California.

The rare as a pink zebra and as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a banana

I headed up Pacific Coast toward Santa Monica, through the boom-box boys in the trucks with the chrome silhouettes on the mudflaps, passing dames in expensive convertibles, all RayBans, fly-away hair and little noses. The Monster low, low enough to put both flat at a stop. Flat as a beer in a … man’s at the bottom of the bay in concrete shoes and a suit.

I needed an angle.

I going to Santa Monica and a left onto the pier for a beverage. I ducked into a bar the tourists dawdle up and squint in the sun just long enough to out that a better idea be to keep moving. A man named was behind the bar.

He had a chin the bow of a supertanker and said I should head downtown if I knew was good for me. He looked like a man it pay to get along with.

The Monster weighs 410 pounds and makes about 76 horsepower, enough torque to carry two fat men up flights of stairs. Riding is a cross between sport and

A floozy two stools down a full set of curves packed a dress like lawyers at an scene downed another in a of Scotches. It had about as much on her as an ant spitting upstream has on the Hoover She gave me a smile I could in my hip pocket.

“Say, sister,” I “maybe you know where a guy come up with an idea for a about an Italian motorcycle.”

Her eyes twitched nervously George for a second before she her composure. George poured her a that would’ve floated a over a wall. She threw it like an aspirin tablet and out her glass for the next installment.

on who’s in need of the information,” she

“Barlowe’s the name,” I lied. Barlowe. What’s this inspiration, doll, its social

Quicker than a bunny, she around and decked me with a right uppercut to the jaw. I hard on a floor that may been swept once. She over me with her hands on her Hips no wider than a truck.

Her eyes flashed Tommyguns in the dark.

“My two-timing left me 10 years ago for a Ducati SD. She was a worthless tramp with legs and generous with She’d fall over in any corner. Beat it, Barlowe. Take the air.”

I found my and snapped my mandible back place.

“Sorry, miss,” I My voice sounded like prying slats off a chicken “I had no idea. No hard feelings?” I out my hand for her to shake. She went for it and I her over with a hard jab to the

The stupid ones never

Chassis uses some parts, some from the Short trail and wheelbase let the slice up tight corners and traffic like a Beverly plastic surgeon working a matron.

I got on Santa Monica Boulevard L.A. The Darmah thing had got me The SD of ’78 was the same kind of deal as the Swoopy but not uncompromisingly so. Big 90-degree

Easy on the eyes. Naked as a man’s uvula. Sure it was In its day it could do the quarter in 12.98 at 101.2 mph. But the Monster 11.90 at 112.

A second be the difference between living to the eucalyptus or wearing a Chicago on the way over the side of some tub.

Say you’re downtown. You up to a red light. You notice there’s a in the crosswalk in front of you. A body.

All you do is dump the clutch a little and give it a big dose of The Monster’s front wheel loft right over a fat stiff, easy, and it’ll as far as you’ve got the guts. Not the stiff’s Your own. The wheelbase is

The bike’s got the same motor as a Ducati, see, lots of There’s no tach. You shift it feels right and sounds Sometimes instincts are all you get in this

I hung a left up Coldwater crossed Sunset, and headed the Hollywood Hills. It was hot but not hot enough to the inhabitants, if it could be proved there were any behind the ivy and jaded lawns. Just the immigrant with a leaf Every now and then a car half-a-block might whoosh by.

Everything was locked up like a Young knees. It looked like a neighborhood to have bad habits in. The liked the tight little corners.

The big rear Michelin black stripes out of some of like the ones in a scared boxer shorts. Leaned sideways. Controllable.

A 170/60 Michelin mounts on a 5.5-inch Front’s a 120/70 on a 3.5-incher. at both ends is by Showa.

I back down Laurel hooked another left Sunset and headed downtown as the sun down toward the Pacific. The air in the and glass canyons was beginning to a little, but heat waves rose from the baked and sidewalks. Well-fed financial in shiny suits and well-tailored scurried to their BMWs and vehicles to beat it out of there dark.

A good idea, judging the looks of some of the less citizens whose homes a shorter drive away. The sidewalk, for instance. Maybe the Night Train to the gutter.

The stuck out like spats at a camp. I parked under the Hotel and went up to the lobby to in.

The name on the desk clerk’s tag like a urinary-tract infection. I him I had a reservation. It was the truth. He said a reservation didn’t necessarily a room had been reserved.

system, I thought out loud.

you trying to tell me my job?” he

“No. But I’m having fun trying to out what your job is.”

The came, wearing a jacket fit him like a stall fits a He gave me a room on the 15th

I sat down on the bed in a room in which a deal of expense had been and poured myself a drink. I the sun sink behind a grimy that maybe had been 20 years ago, except the place hadn’t been then. The sun was the color of an ’87 Ducati that had sat outside for a while. had been a good bike. The still is a good machine, kind of the same sit-up position as the Monster.

But the Paso more for the polo-shirt sport-touring The mechanicals are all tucked away out of where they can’t polite society. The Monster grease under its fingernails.

It its innards on the table like a chicken.

The Monster exudes a animal appeal. Starlets by its muscular physique and carbon-fiber made this shot to get.

A maid pounding on the woke me into the middle of a coastal morning fog. My hurt and felt large and My tongue was dry and had gravel on it.

My brain felt like a of yarn with the knitting stuck through it. I felt in other words, but I was scared, stiff. Of … and despair. Of water and … men’s with empty eye sockets. Of who expected a story and got this.

I up and went for a ride.

I headed on the Pasadena Freeway. The Monster having any of it. Its stiffish suspension had it over the slab joints an apple-bob at the Rotary Club. for short hops, but you wouldn’t to have to suddenly leave on it. When I got to Pasadena nobody was

I turned around and headed to L.A.

I needed a drink. I into a bar downtown on 6th Street. Now I did need more life Furtive-eyed men hunched over a bar of petrified wood, sliding delicately along their without moving their Giving me the beady eye.

Ducati 900 Monster

I a low-fat milk from a no bigger than a Packard, a hooked nose that like it would be into I threw the milk down my It may have been fresh

Somebody said, “Phooey.” It like my voice.

“Who this dive?” I asked

“Depends on who wants to know,” he like a pair of tigers dinner. I flashed a junior badge I’d gotten in the fourth Hook-nose’s meaty face went from hard to and worried.

He pointed toward a at the back. I felt for the .38 automatic my jacket and remembered I’d never had a .38 I knocked on the door and went

There was a desk and two chairs. the desk sat a luscious dish in a dress with cleavage what’s squeezed between two large, attractive breasts. flesh zeppelins. In the cleavage, a locket was suspended by a gold

The face above the cleavage, by long dark hair looked like a good to camp, spoke.

“Mr. Barlowe. We’ve expecting you.”

“Expecting me to I cracked wise. “Expecting me to bad milk and like it?” me to give this joint a write-up just because of bosom of yours? Look, I your breasts. They’re and I’m glad to make their but I’ve got a job to do. I need information and I it now.”

“And what you think I have the information you Mr. Barlowe.”

She was trying to be casual but a hard time. Something was about this dame. Her cut sideways for a second towards a door that should’ve a closet.

I moved closer to her and leaned over it. I put my left on top of the desk and grabbed her gold in my right. She gasped.

From I stood, it looked like inverted over the Himalayas a tremor. I yanked off the locket, up straight and pried it open. was a picture of Dr.

Taglioni, the man who had made Ducati.

She turned white and stiff as a frozen fish. I over and yanked open the door. Out spilled a jumble of shafts and gears, round cases, Conti exhaust big Dell’Orto carburetors, faded instruments and a pair of K­mart

On a shelf inside, surrounded by candles, was a gold-framed photograph of Bordi.

She sat frozen in her chair, a bit of drool coming out of her mouth. I around behind her desk, her by the shoulders and shook hard. The scale needle went off the

When I looked down I a July issue of CW on the floor, to a real road test of the Read it and save your letters. Out of her throat came a like the fuel pump in an I slapped her.


I said. “Spill it.” I her again. I was beginning to like her. I thought a good might be to stop by when I had time and snap her garter. she gasped. “La Brea Tar Pits.”

I was out the back door and riding west on Wilshire toward Park. The Monster was howling and like a wounded cape squeezing through lines of cars at the lights and blasting out on the greens. I thought I’d never had a partner for working the city.

small and light. Quick on its

Then I saw it and everything snapped I pulled over onto the and looked over a chain-link down into a stagnant, pool of brown sulphury and oozing petroleum. I … the and it was as quiet as L.A. gets.

slowly into the La Brea Tar Pit was a woolly mammoth, made of bellowing, while mommy and baby mammoth stood by as hokey as Hollywood gets.

So was it. This bike was really not any other Ducati. It was just the loud stubby powerful on its way into the ooze. A prehistoric A monster.

The kind of animal you they didn’t build

Soon it wouldn’t matter to the whether it breathed air or dirty whether it ate or slept or didn’t. It all be the same to it. It would be extinct. An Snoozing the big snooze.

None of mattered to the Ducati. It’s an object that likes to you think it’s not just but hairy-chested healthy—a Monster in no of extinction. I thumbed the starter, it into gear, and beat it out of

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