In the mid 1990’s motor cycle sales experienced a massive shot in the arm courtesy of Great Britain’s Carl Fogarty and his determination to become a World Superbike Champion for the third time. His success became synonymous with what media and commentators would ultimately call the “most beautiful motorcycle in the world” – the 916 from Italian manufacturer Ducati and his challenges were covered by press and TV in a way not seen for decades.
The colourful world of racing boosted audiences, improved participation, elevated sales and drove the controversy of ‘parallel importing’; a system of personally importing motor cycles to side step what turned out to be indefensible price fixing within the UK market. Apparently the British consumer did not like to ‘pay more’! The press were all over this in a way that doubled media coverage in these already exciting times – motorcycling seemed to be everywhere.
And in 1997 I joined the party too.
That year, through a local bike dealer, I imported my own Ducati, a 748, the smaller brother of the legendary 916. Identical to the 916, it was the first bike I bought and it’s the same bike I have today.
At the same time, entirely by chance, I subscribed to a magazine that regularly featured new products many of which were niche and would otherwise remain unknown. I learned about ‘Magnom’, a pre-filter particle trap made to aerospace standards and phoned the company as soon as I could to order one – having been in the lucky position of being able to buy an expensive bike brand new I was pretty keen on anything that would help keep it that way, reasoning that if the complex motor ever ‘let go’, it was likely to be an expense I couldn’t swallow.
For the past eighteen years my one owner bike has been maintained by a man even more fastidious than it’s owner. Together we’ve planned everything according to Ducati’s service schedule and with the bike now well past 40000 miles we’ve had several opportunities to monitor the wear within the engine, specifically the known Achilles heel – the hard plating of the Desmo valve gear. At each of the 20000 and 40000km major services the engines health was assessed as ‘like new’; clearly an expensive worry off any owners mind and a fantastic endorsement of the filtration levels promised by Magnom. And yet, with another 20000km’s more again, what would the story be this time – that’s a motor that’s done an awful lot of work?
Incredibly this story continues to write itself as ‘more of the same’: even I’m surprised to have got away with nothing replaced so far! My bike is the highest mileage 748 Ducati Alf has worked on and the engine is still ‘as new’ – if that’s not the finest endorsement of a long-term, real world test, I don’t know what is. And, Alf was sufficiently impressed by the Magnom filter to fit it to all his race bikes at that time.
So, if like me you’d prefer to protect your expensive equipment, superior levels of filtration are something you should seriously consider; think of it as cheap insurance against the bad times – it works.
I’m raising a glass to the next 40000 miles. Cheers Magnom……it’s been a load off my mind.