Aprilia RSV4 Factory, the bike that brings Aprilia back into the 2009 Superbike World Championship, is the product of this immense technical know-how.
Gregg DesJardins’ life-long passion for the welder’s art was initially sparked out of frustration. As a 15-year-old boy building a hot rod with his father in the family’s garage, DesJardins’ vision for the project was thwarted by the duo’s lack of welding ability. That hindrance catalyzed within the teenager a profound determination to master the discipline. DesJardins received a wire-feed arc welder as his high school graduation present and embarked upon an autodidactic apprenticeship.
As a manufacturer of motorcycles, Bimota brings to mind a quaint, privately owned coffee house among a sea of innocuous, conglomerate-run establishments crowding the landscape. As is usually the case with any exclusive, artistic hang-out, you may have to go a little farther out of your way, pay a little more, and the service may not be especially attentive. But for the connoisseur who appreciates the ambience as much as the coffee, it is unquestionably worth it.
Tucked in behind the windscreen of the NCR Millona One Shot, rapidly reeling in blurring pavement on the steep banking of Fontana’s California Speedway, my peripheral vision caught the flashing red shift indicator light. Having not counted the shifts and traveling at this speed, I assumed all the available gears had been exhausted. Out of curiosity, I chopped the throttle for a millisecond and tapped the shifter. My inquisitiveness revealed that sixth gear was still virgin territory.
From an early age, Gregg DesJardins was inadvertently spoon-fed a unique customization and chrome awareness. He grew up around the creative environs of the family’s garage, in close proximity to his father’s passion for building hot rods. A wonderful metallurgical playground of rolling cut-and-chopped Detroit iron fueled young DesJardins’ fertile imagination and set the developmental gears in motion.