The Roland Sands Desmo Tracker: FIRST RIDE

| January 26, 2012

The Ducati Desmosedici RR is the most desirable series production motorcycle ever made. End of subject. No other bike has so faithfully translated the performance and allure of Grand Prix road racing in street-legal form to a highway near you – as the discerning and fortunate members of its owners club are united in appreciating. It’s a true racer with lights, the ultimate expression of the Italian firm’s sporting credo, as perfectly encapsulated by the one-two dominance of Ducati teammates Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi in the last-ever 990cc MotoGP race at Valencia in November 2006. It was those factory GP6 racers that provided the inspiration for the 1500 limited-edition run of the 200 horsepower V-four Desmosedici RRs built in 2008. It truly is the Mona Lisa of motorcycles.Ain’t she pretty.

Still, imagine sneaking past the security guards at the Louvre and drawing graffiti on the real Mona Lisa – a goatee… maybe, and a pair of glasses. That’s the sort of sacrilege of a two-wheeled work of art that some horrified purists believe Roland Sands has accomplished in creating the Desmo Tracker – his transformation of one of those 1500 MotoGP replicas into a high-barred hotrod based on a U.S. flat-tracker, complete with chunky dirt tires, and totally devoid of the Desmosedici RR’s curvaceous bodywork that’s so clearly derivative of Massimo Tamburini’s exquisite mid-‘90s 500GP Cagiva styling. Still, I guess Leonardo da Vinci had his own sources of inspiration in creating La Gioconda.

On the other hand, while some remain firmly convinced that the Los Angeles-based Sands has made a sow’s ear from a silk purse in building the Desmo Tracker…

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