> The Original Loud Bike


It's all Francis McDermott's fault.

I had a 73 GT (and a host of European and Japanese bikes before it) during the late 80's but lost it (along with everything else) during the Dark Period. So, in 1995, my 1st year's sobriety present to myself was a well used 1977 Ducati 900SS that was purchased from a guy in Kingston, Ontario. He'd bought it in New Zealand (it was originally imported to Australia) and shipped it back to Canada in the early 80's. It had a rough life and spent a fair chunk of time outside, but when I was thinking of purchasing it, the shop that was selling it said that I could get a bit of history from the McDermott Brothers in Shawville, Quebec.

A call to Fran didn't raise any red flags, so I picked the bike up and a few weeks later made the trip north of Ottawa to visit the now infamous McDermott brother. Fran has a hobby farm and as he was at that time basking in the life of a bachelor, his collection of bevel twins (oh, and a pair of singles and two TTs) was on display in his living room. When I saw his desmo bevel-twin racer (the Grey Bike), I was hooked.

Fran acted as Ducati help-desk while the bike (now in my kitchen) came apart over the winter and in May, he and his brothers took me to Mosport for my first DOCC event. I scared myself silly on Saturday, but by Sunday, I was going vintage racing. That was Loud Bike Rev 1.0. Just a clean 900SS with no fairing. Superbike bars, fairly sticky tires, clean and shiny - but far from track ready.

Later that summer, I spectated at a VRRA event at Mosport and a few weeks later, made a call to Montreal to reacquaint myself with Guy Martin (last spoke to him in my final year of high school). We roughed out a plan for a motor, I gave Guy a small pail of money and went off in search of a roundcase motor. By January, I had a 73 GT that had sat in a shed for 16 years and with it, my donor motor.

Seven months later in Guy’s Dorval, Quebec garage, the Rev 2 (track ready and vintage legal) bike fired up and the Loud Bike was born. I spent five hours riding up and down the Ottawa River parkway breaking the motor in and finished 5th in Period 2 Heavy at Mosport two weeks later.

Over the next winter, I switched to Ceriani forks, clip-ons and a fairing and Rev 3 evolved from a full season of track time. The following year, saw minor improvements like the floating rear brake, but it was 2001 when I changed the weight distribution by moving the seat forward 3” and installed a Domino quick-action throttle (Rev 4).

One of the amazing things about the bike was that it was street legal throughout its entire life.

I sold it to Gareth Wilson of Toronto, Ontario in May '03.