Keith Hale: 40 Years With a 1974 Ducati 750 Super Sport
At the root of every good marriage is a strong partnership – and the bond between Keith Hale and his 1974 Ducati 750 Super Sport is nothing short of heart-warming.
According to a report from MotorcyclistOnline, San Francisco-based artist Keith Hale purchased the Ducati from Jack’s Motorcycles in Fresno, California, at the green age of 22.
At the time, the shop had a handful of 900s and one 750 at the shop’s back.
After weeks of badgering the shop owner, Jack finally broke down, and Hale got his hands on the 750SS for $3600 – a hefty $400 over the original retail price.
The rest is history.
“I’ve ridden it to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Big Sur. I took third on it in AFM Formula Twins at Laguna Seca in 1980, and I raced it at Sears Point”, Hale recalls fondly.
“For several years in the early ’80s, it was my only transportation here in Northern California. I racked up most of the mileage on my daily commute: Redwood Road to Skyline to Grizzly Peak and back again, five days a week, rain or shine.”
By 1989, Keith’s love for (and constant use of) the bike resulted in the expiration of the first speedometer at 71,000 miles.
By the time Hale made a full restoration in 2001, the mileage was well over 100,000 miles – and he continues to ride the bike daily.
Today, Hale’s 1974 Ducati 750 SuperSport could collect a pretty penny on the market. A 750SS model was recently up for auction in Las Vegas and sold for a mind-boggling $100,000.
For Keith, selling his beloved bike is not an option.
“After 40 years of ownership, I have several distinct memories. In 1977, I rode from the San Francisco Bay Area to Fresno through 216 miles of back roads in two hours and 10 minutes. My first pass through the Corkscrew on the gas was scary fun. Later, the bike was spread all over my bedroom for a year during its restoration. After I put it back together, it started on the first kick…For me, the real joy of ownership is still the ride – loud, elemental, and captivating.”