Ducati flat track racer


Every now and then, I get an email from a gentleman called Seth Dorfler, who is well known in US motorcycling circles. Dorfler presides over a seemingly inexhaustible archive of vintage motorcycle photographs, plus Ducati and Moto Guzzi memorabilia. (Much of this material was gathered from his days working for the Berliner Motor Corporation, one of the leading US motorcycle importers from the 1950s to the 1970s.) Seth invariably includes an unusual photo or two with his notes; after our recent feature on Don Castro’s Triumph, this Ducati dirt tracker landed in my inbox. The provenance of the round-case bike has been obscured by history. “I first saw the bike at a Motorcycle show in the 70s,” Dorfler recalls. “The bike was part of the Berliner/Premier Motor Corp. display at the Texas show—one of Berliner’s dealers arranged for it to be on the booth.” After a couple of days digging around, it looks like this lovely machine was built by Eddie Wilbanks—the “Wizard of Odds”—and campaigned in late 70s GNC-Dirt Track Nationals by Kenny McDonald (as #26) and then Steve Freeman (as #68). It looks just as cool today as it did then; is anyone out there inspired to make a streetable replica, perhaps using Ducati’s current 803 cc, 81 bhp Hypermotard motor?