Spirito D’argento | Megaphone

These things, they say, take time. So often it seems that planning goes on forever. Analysis paralysis becomes the SOP.

Did a long trip last summer on an Airhead BMW that I’d wanted for almost 20 years and finally found. Very cool, but not ever going to be the great corner-carver I’d hoped for.

Got back and started thinking about the next bike. Almost talked myself into a BMW R1200S.


But it’s not sexy. It’s vegetables. It’s the honest, hard-working, non-thin girl next door with no bad habits, as exciting as a skid of wet sheet-rock. And it’s more complicated than Middle Eastern politics.

Watched a bunch come and go on eBay. Almost bid on a few.


Talked myself into the silver one. Decided to name it Geist, which is German for Ghost. A bike to remind me of many things: those folks who left the party early who I can't play with anymore, and the ones who never stopped working 'til they keeled over. Looking at pictures of my parents climbing the Pyramids on their honeymoon, and seeing them unable to climb stairs now, reminds me that I probably won't be getting younger and healthier.

To remind me of my buddy David, who always told me to have more fun and work less. Even considered having an R1200S painted silver-smoke like his R90S.

But it’d still just be a dumpy chick in a hot dress.

Thought about David and how he lived. He was one of my closest friends for a very long time. I worked on his streetbikes and racers every week for 20 years. He won two national championships on bikes we built. Only thing more determined than Goldstein was the cancer that took him out. Diagnosed to dead in a few months, he died with a negative net worth, but with an SRO funeral and a million good times.

His 900SS Ducati was the high-water mark of the old-school, air-cooled, two-valve V-Twins: carbs, and no computers, but radials, huge brakes, plenty of honk, impeccable handling, killer looks and not too terrible to work on.

Started thinking about a red (hey, it’s a Ducati!) 900. I liked the CR model with the half-fairing better than the SS with the full-fairing.

Did some research and found out how many things were cheaped-out on the CR, and went back to looking for an SS. Chased my tail with a few loons online. Finally had a done deal with a guy in Maine. After we had all the details worked out, he sold it out from under me. Lit a candle and prayed he gets the crabs. If you see a guy with a Ducati shirt madly scratching his privates, you’ll know why.

Posted a note on the DESMO list. Found an SS in Pennsylvania. Oh, it’s silver. Wrong color. And the wrong fairing. I’ll deal. Hey, silver is a ghostly color, and that was where this started...

Many e-mails and phone calls to make sure (my motto is have no faith in anyone and you’ll rarely be disappointed), and we are on our way.

Of course it snowed last night, but I just don’t care. At this point I’d push the bike home...

I know these things take time, but it seems as if this process has dragged on forever. And time was what this is all about.

Get there and take a look at the bike. The previous owner installed a CR half-fairing. And the bike comes with the SS full-fairing. Oh…

I'd brought tools to check compression, charging, etc. Left them all in the van. I didn’t care. Just looked at the bike, shaking my head, and wondered how it all worked out.

As we were loading the bike in the van, it came to me that SS stood for Silver Spirit.

Thanks, David.

Plans are made for changing. I started searching for a BMW, preferably silver like my friend David’s, when this Ducati stumbled into my path. He would approve.