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DOCC Grattan Rally 1997

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Written By: Kent Kunitsugu   Photography By: Kevin Wing

But if you're a member of the D.O.C.C. (otherwise known as the Ducati Owners Club of Canada) it's a reality. A group of enthusiasts numbering 1500 strong, this organization of Duck fiends invites their members on annual treks to several racetracks in the U.S. and Canada to give them the opportunity to safely wring-out their machines and test their riding skills in a controlled environment,  We recently had a chance to join this friendly group during their midyear visit to Grattan Raceway in Michigan for a few days of speed, fun, and camaraderie. The challenging 11-turn track is situated among the corn fields os southern Michigan, in the near idyllic setting of lush, green grass and thick woods (things we don't have here in arid Southern California).

Despite what the name suggests, it;s not required that you 

own a Ducati of be Canadian to be a member of the organization; as long as you have a keen interest in Ducatis or European hardware, you're welcome to join. Your annual dues entitles you to enter track excursions (although they are restricted to machinery that at least a chassis or engine of European or American origin), a nice quarterly newsletter, invitations to road rides, picnics, etc. Those interested can write to the DOCC at  955 Brock Road S, #6 & #7, Pickering, Ontario, Canada, L1W 2X9.

Everything from priceless vinntage bikes to all-out modified race-ready machines show up at track meets like the Grattan event we attended. With friendly, atmosphere that pervades the pits, striking up conversations is easy.  We thought we'd give you a sampling of the trick machinery that we found in attendance on this D.O.C.C. track day.

Left: We got a take Michael Cecchini's immaculate Ducati 888 SPO for a quick roast around Grattan. The blueprinted motor was supremely tractable, pulling from as low as 3500rpm with no problems, yet it accelerated much more quickly than other 888s we've tried. Handling was rock solid, with excellent stability under the strong barking offered up by the Brembo billet GP3 calipers, a trait Cecchini credits to the GMD Computrac "Optimized" Suspension.  Cecchini claims the bike weighs 405 pounds wet, obtained through the combination of lightweight items such as Sharkskinz bodywork (minus six pounds), a nine oune flywheel (minus six pounds!), and a Nichols aluminum clutch basket with Barnett plates (minus two pounds).

Left: Other weight  saving items include a titanium "Spaghetti" exhaust made by Jack Rousch Racing that dropped 13 pounds from the stock piece, and insanely trick, Taylormade carbon-fiber outer/magnesium ineer wheels made by Jordan F1 auto racing that weigh an increbible 15 pounds less than stock.

Left: DOHHHHH!! Once in a while those cam belts fail, often with catastrophic results.  One set of valvles and pistons , comin' up. (Chris Edwards DB2)