High end Italian motorcycle clothing manufacturer Alpinestars used the recent Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas to unveil a custom Ducati to celebrate 55 years of their brand.
The Venetian company started out making ski and hiking boots in 1963, hardly surprising given their location at the foot of the Alps, but quickly moved into the world of motorcycling. It was in the 1990s that Alpinestars really came to the fore, producing a full range of protective motorcycle clothing and becoming synonymous with some of the biggest names in Grand Prix racing, including current world champion Marc Marquez.
Alpinestars has worked with custom builder and designer Woolies Workshop, appropriately based in Venice, California, to produce a stunning special that’s, well, a bit special.
At the heart of the bike, is a factory fresh race engine designated for a 1974 Ducati 750 Sport, one of the most iconic Italian machines of all time, with a period frame designed by Jeff Cole and running gear from a number of other high end brands currently active in MotoGP, meaning Michelin tyres, Brembo brakes, Akrapovic exhaust system and Ohlins suspension.
Design elements tip a nod to some of Alpinestars’ racing greats, for example the thumb operated rear brake echoes that used to such devastating effect by Mick Doohan after the 1992 accident that badly broke his right leg and the tail unit apes the Ducati Desmosedici MotoGP racers of Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner.
Michael Woolaway of Woolies Workshop was the man tasked with the project, and was in Texas to unveil the bike. He said:“Alpinestars has covered my body and protected me for all the years I have raced. I have watched it go from its start in boot manufacturing in motocross, to leather race suits, to the mind-boggling innovation baked into the Tech-Air suit they recently brought to the US market. So, after talking with Gabriele at Laguna Seca two years ago, I found a new 1974 Ducati 750 Sport build race engine still in a crate. This motor was built to period race spec and would be the perfect Italian heart of the bike, but the bike also had to have current race spec components to tell the whole “new and old” story of this brand with styling from 1960’s Italian GP and a bit of more modern Ducati GP. Legendary frame builder Jeff Cole and I collaborated on the frame, and Jeff agreed to build the central section for this project.”
There’s no word as to whether or not we’ll be able to see the Alpinestars special at any shows in Britain this year, so for now we’ll just have to drool over the pictures of this stunning machine.
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