Saturday, 10 March 2012

RIP Mick Walker

Mick Walker, famed lover, importer and racer of Italian motorcycles has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Rest in peace, Mick, you'll be missed.

All who knew Mick will remember an ever-helpful, ever-smiling man who was always willing to help fellow enthusiasts. One time Ducati and Cagiva importer, he actually tried to buy the old Aermacchi factory when Harley wanted out (for the first time!): after Cagiva stepped in to buy it, Mick supported them and helped develop their products.

His knowledge and memory was legendary. When Ducati had a shuffle about in their factory and realised their usual lack of records meant nobody knew what all the old spares amounted to, it was Mick who went to Italy to sort out the mess and tell them what they had. No wonder he was far and away the most prolific motorcycling author the world has ever seen. Thankfully he finished his biography a little while ago; I last spoke to him in January, asking what he knew of the little Aguzzi featured at the back of Benzina #7. As always he was happy to chat and help out, even though he was obviously exhausted and very poorly. Didn't stop him talking positively about his next book, a definitive listing of every Italian marque ever built. Sadly that will never see the printing presses, but luckily we can all enjoy his autobiography, "The ride of my life" published by Redline books


  1. For most American fans of small Italian bikes, Mick has been the the number one source of English language reference materials. Spoke to Mick more than 10 years ago, a stranger calling him by telephone from California for help. Was gracious, friendly and helpful. Godspeed Mick! You did great things for our hobby and sport.

    1. What a sad, sad loss. I knew Mick from the days of the little shop in Wisbech, from where I bought my 750GT in 1975. Through the DOC I got to know him quite well, and I felt very honoured whenever he referred to me as a friend, not just a customer, club member or serial pesterer.
      The world has lost a true gentleman, and as Mick would have called himself, an "enthusiast". So long Mick.
      Spaggy - Ducati Owners Club GB

  2. A number of Mick's books were valued resources in research for my Ducati book some years ago. Three of his Ducati titles were in the bibliography, which, regretfully, the publisher omitted from the book. His hands-on experience and straightforward style made him a fitting Anglo
    ambassador for the Italian marque. Condolences to his family and friends, who will find solace in the knowledge that his contributions were positive and permanent.

  3. A true and loyal Ducati motorcyclist. He will live on through his books.

  4. A true gentleman and enthusiast. Mick will live on through his books and in the hearts and minds of those who knew him. I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend in his company at East Fortune 2 years ago.
    My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.
    Mary Gibson, President, Scottish Ducati Club

  5. God bless Mick, would love to hear your conversations with Eng, Taglioni.

  6. Knowing what it takes to put everything you've got into a book, I have always stood in awe of Mick regarding the quality as well as quantity of his prodigious talent. The world is a lesser place today. Norm DeWitt, San Diego, California

  7. Hello there, I am Mick's son Steve's girlfriend. I am trying to respond to blogs and posting on behalf of the family wherever I can and pass comments on.
    Thank you all so much for your kind words. It is comforting to know that so many people held Mick in such high regard.
    We will miss him very much, he was a truely lovely man. What Mick didn't know about motorcycling probably wasn't worth knowing!
    Many thanks - Mandie

  8. Mick was one of the best author's to work with. He was professional from the start, knew where the book was going and how he was going to get it there. And what a gentleman, spent many great afternoons discussing his books at roadside cafe meetings. Great sense of humor always considered the other guy. A little bit of old fashioned honesty is gone. My deepest heart felt best wishes to Susan and her family

  9. I am very sad to hear of Micks passing, as well as having many of his books I met Mick on the fence at a Lydden CMCRC meeting when he was writing the Minter book, he introduced me to The Mint, and we spent the day together, he sent me a Christmas card on the strength of a chance meeting, lovely bloke.

  10. I had the good fortune to meet Mick back in 1974 - I was a young 17 year old airman besotted by motorcycles - I was running a newish Suzuki 250 but really hankered after a 'real' motorcycle...a Ducati ! - I ended up buying a used 250 Ducati from Mick and a new example a year later - Mick was not really a 'dealer' - he came over as an 'enthusiast' simply helping other enthusiasts indulge the passion that he himself knew so well - such a pleasure to deal with, a gentleman, polite and decent - such an acheiver as well...130 top quality books since 1984 - astonishing...All I can say after hearing of his passing is well done Mr Michael Walker..yours was a life well lived and one that gave pleasure to in peace - you were a special man...