LIVIN' IN THE SEVENTIES
In November 1977, a small and diverse but dedicated band of young motorcyclists came together, driven by a common need to share tools, know-how and an all-consuming passion for Ducati.
In those years, the Italian marque was seen as something of an exotic oddity amongst an Australian motorcycling community more accustomed to the familiar British, American and Japanese bikes. The members of the Ducati Owners Club of Queensland (DOCQ) were thus considered an equally exotic and odd breed.
ALONG THE ROAD WELL-TRAVELLED
Just as Ducati began to distinguish itself on the track and on the road, so DOCQ proceeded to make its mark on the motorcycling scene. The initial focus that favoured racing shifted more to the broader and more inclusive appeal of social riding, while DOCQ took the lead in establishing some iconic events that remain to this day.
The famous Story Bridge Concours (now under the aegis of Club Laverda) was a originally a DOCQ initiative, along with the establishment in Australia of British, European and American Racing (BEARS), the inaugural event being staged in 1987 to celebrate the DOCQ 10th Anniversary
TIME HAS FLOWN AND WE'VE ALL GROWN
42 years on and Ducati is no longer the quirky, idiosyncratic Italian machine, but now stands as the universal emblem for Italian excellence in motorcycle style, sophistication, engineering and performance.
42 years on and the DOCQ has evolved too, emerging as one of the biggest and most active one-marque motorcycle clubs in Queensland and boasting some 300 members across the state, with the majority in SE Queensland. Notably, some of those original founding stalwarts are still active members.
Widely respected by the motorcycling community, DOCQ is an Incorporated Association under state law, is affiliated with Motorcycling Australia (the controlling body of competition motorcycling) and a member club of the international Ducati factory-sponsored, Desmo Owners Club Network.
DOCQ also enjoys an excellent reputation and strong relationships amongst a number of dealers and within the industry generally.
SOME THINGS HAVE CHANGED
Riding the wave of change, DOCQ now communicates with members through a slick and substantial quarterly magazine (The Desmochronicle), a comprehensive website, Facebook and email. Monthly general meetings also provide a face-to-face vehicle for members to meet and swap notes, socialise, make and discuss proposals and keep up-to-speed with the Club's activities.
AND SOME HAVE NOT
The strong people focus of the Club remains, with special events, regular day and weekend rides and social gatherings. The membership is still a diverse bunch, though the demographic has moved beyond that of the young guns who typified the 70s era of motorcycling, to be a broad one embracing all ages and genders.
The unbroken and unwavering passion for Ducati is the enduring thread that binds all DOCQ members together regardless of all else.
AND SOME JUST A LITTLE
Of course, initially the bikes owned by members were all "current" models, whereas today the stable of machines across the Club ranges from what are now historically significant classic Ducati of the 60s and the decades following, to the most up-to-the-minute high-tech modern models.
To view a gathering of Ducati owners at an event, a concours, a social gathering or even a monthly meeting, is to see the rich history of Ducati in living, breathing form.
THE ROAD AHEAD
43 years is quite an achievement in a world of rapid change and impermanence but having made it this far and looking stronger than ever, it's clear that the Ducati Owners Club of Queensland is here for the long haul.
We'll see you on the road...just listen for that unmistakeable Ducati sound.