Desmo Club is Growing Fast
Words and Photos: John Gunnell
The Wisconsin Desmo Owners Club has zoomed from 30 members to over 120. “We see more people renewing their memberships, too” said president Don Mildebrandt during the Milwaukee Masterpiece Club Day. “More of them are getting involved with our rides; they’re generally getting together more and the level of camaraderie keeps rising.”
According to Mildebrandt, the club has been around since 2003. It is based in Milwaukee and most members are from the Southeast Wisconsin area, but some of the members live as far away as Colorado. Between them they own a wide variety of Ducati models and there are even non-Ducati owners involved.
“Some of the members are Ducati collectors, but only a handful are real collectors,” Mildebrandt admitted. “The others are here at The Milwaukee Masterpiece to show off their bike or to show their passion for the marque. If people come to the show and would like to come out on our rides and join us, that’s more fun.”
Don got into Ducatis in the early ‘90s. “Back then I was going to the superbike races at Road America and I was big on Kawasakis. I watched Doug Chandler and Scott Russell riding their Kawasakis, but there was a booming twin that kept winning; Doug Polen was riding it and I got interested. Then, a friend of mine loaned me his 916 for a weekend and I was hooked.”
Mildebrandt has been riding Ducatis ever since then. “That’s all it took,” he laughed. He has three of the Italian bikes and his wife has one. The Ducati dealer in West Allis, Wis., supports the club a lot. “They are really selling these days,” he said. “I believe they are on track to produced 40,000 bikes this year. No wonder our club is growing!”