1969 Ducati 450 Jupiter | THE BIKE THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

NAME: Steven Panofsky
AGE: 59
HOME: Ukiah, CA
OCCUPATION: Maintenance Technician

"I bought my first 1969 Ducati 450 Scrambler, a.k.a. Jupiter, for $600 in ’71. It was my junior year at Los Altos High, and I was ready to upgrade from my 250 Monza. It took many hours in the apricot orchards to come up with the money.

“Riding has been my love ever since. That Jupiter did it for me. I could go on dirt roads and trails, twisties and longer adventures. With typical Ducati handling, light weight, plenty of midrange torque and a smoothshifting, five-speed gearbox, it was really fun to ride. I also learned the mechanical intricacies of a bevel-drive Ducati, since it always needed fettling.

“I sold my first Jupiter after I graduated. I got a good job and just had to possess a 750 GT. Two Jupiter cylinders stuck together in a 90-degree angle—how could I resist? What a great bike that was! Many years later, I decided to find a Jupiter to restore. In July 2008 a friend alerted me to a complete bike on consignment at a Ducati dealer in Santa Rosa. It supposedly ran, but when I tried to start it the sparkplug popped out and sat suspended, comically, on a stretched-out Heli-Coil. I bought it anyway. Many hours and many dollars later, I have a beautifully restored bike.

Riding this machine provides me with lots of déjà vu. I’ll never sell this one!”