Friday, 11 July 2014
More on Mr Falloon - Ducati 860, 900 and Mille Bible v The Art of Ducati
Another brace of Ian Falloon money spinners, another hernia for the postman. In the interest of transparency, one book is great (and Kim at Veloce sent it to me for free); the other I paid for, and is... um, disappointing. Well to me, and I certainly have every admiration for Ian, having run an interview with him alongside praise for his work in issue 13 of Benzina. So let's do the positive stuff first.
The Ducati 860, 900 & Mille Bible is a pretty reliable, does-what-it-says-on-the-tin, reference, based on what the factory said it did, although if I was restoring I'd find the extra £15 and pay the eye watering £50 needed for the Ducati Bevel Twins 1971 to 1986 - Authenticity & restoration guide . Lots of period and restored bikes in both but there is an argument for buying the cheaper tome because, although the latter has useful details, the photos are better in the Bible. Well, I think so, but what do I know about photography?
Nothing apparently, because The Art of Ducati was a bit of a let down. Maybe that's not helped by the long delay in printing (perhaps due to it being printed in China, something I'm not a fan of - but at least it's admitted to; Veloce are more coy). The first thing to make my heart sink was the first sentence on the cover flap: "In the 60-plus years since Ducati's inauspicious start manufacturing cheap motorcycles - really no more than a two-stroke powered bicycle". Just plain wrong, and a bit of a fish across the face to Ducati fans.
There are other silly mistakes that contradict Ian's previous - and better - books. It's also a shame the owners of the bikes don't get named; maybe they're all paranoid about getting burgled or hit with a tax bill.
But it's the photography that should be the star turn, yet disappoints the inner anorak: non-standard bikes that seem to have been chosen for their shinny two-pack paintwork and polished alloy. If that's your sort of thing, and prefer your Ducais to have cambelts (and hate pushrods) you'll love this book. But for me it's a missed opportunity, and might explain why a newly published book is already so heavily discounted by Amazon to £26 from a cover price of £40. Hand on heart -if you can get a copy - Phil Aynsley's Ducati Tribute is much better, both to look at and as a reference. Sorry Ian