How Ducati was Put on the Map: British Customs Honors Paul Smart and the Imola 200 in Their Legends Series

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British Customs honors Paul Smart, who put Ducati on the map when he won the 1972 Imola 200, in their Legends Series honoring motorcycling greats.

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Paul Smart on a production Ducati in the inaugural 1972 Imola 200.

To know where you're going, you have to know where you've been.

The motorcycle community has changed. As the decades passed, the heritage of motorcycling was packed away, and has been largely forgotten with time. Now, the history of motorcycling is all but forgotten by the vast majority of the motorcycle community. The only place where the legends of motorcycling exist are in long forgotten archives that were never digitized, and knowledge of both these archives and the figures documented within them fade by the day.

Until now.

British Customs, a lifestyle brand and designer of aftermarket motorcycle parts, is revitalizing the lost heritage of motorcycling by connecting with the remaining legends that built the motorcycle culture as we now know it and sharing their stories with the riders of today. British Customs is establishing on their blog an authoritative database composed of numerous interviews, profiles, histories, and more on the racers, races, machines, designers, tuners, events, personalities, and more that collectively built the heritage of motorcycling.

British Customs is calling this the Legends Series.

To help motorcyclists get their own piece of history, British Customs has released multiple custom motorcycles built in collaboration with many of these living legends as well as parts developed with their input. These include the Triumphant built with Eddie Mulder, the Sonny Nutter Tribute built with Sonny Nutter, the British Customs X Mule Motorcycles Tracker Classic, the Spirit of Gyronaut with the heirs of the original Gyronaut X-1 team, Drage Pipes, Slash Cut TT Exhaust, Pro Builder Series Mule Motorcycles parts, the Stainless Steel Collection, and many more.

This week, British Customs added a researched and connected piece to their archives on the man and race who put Ducati on the map: Paul Smart.

In 1972, the then fairly unknown motorcycle racer Paul Smart was contacted by Ducati and asked to race for them in the inaugural Imola 200 race. Ducat was, at the time, considered a manufacturer of outdated motorcycles. The Imola 200 was modeled after the American Daytona 200, and competitors were required to ride production street bikes. Much to everyone’s surprise, Smart and his teammate Spaggiari won the race with ease and grace, instantly shooting them and Ducati to stardom.

The motorcycles Smart rode, like those ridden by all racers, stuntmen, enthusiasts, and the common motorcyclist alike, were all street bikes that had been stripped down and modified for whatever purpose they were wanted. In step with this mentality, British Customs has published a series of style guides on how to take any Triumph Modern Classic including the iconic Bonneville, Thruxton, Scrambler and others and easily convert it into a tracker, dirt bike, cafe racer, desert sled, bobber, resto-mod, and more.

Every week, British Customs will add at least two pieces to continue growing their archive as they are completed or documents are uploaded on the racers, events, designers, machines, personalities, and more that created motorcycling as we now know and love it.

Anyone interested in using or viewing the archival images and documents British Customs is digitizing is encouraged to contact them.

About British Customs:
British Customs is a Southern California-based lifestyle brand and designer of aftermarket motorcycle parts. They are known for making the highest quality factory-spec bolt-on parts that only require common tools and minimal technical knowledge to install. With any of their parts upgrades, the average rider can completely customize his or her motorcycle in a weekend.

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David Bumpus
Triton Communications
+1 3104368012
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David Bumpus

1-310-436-8012
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