AMERICAN MUSCLE IN ITALY!
Harley-Davidson FXSTD Deuce
By Luca Manni & Peter Kaye
My name is Manni Luca and I’m 53 years old. I have been riding motorbikes for 33 years. Bought my first one when I as 20. I live in Grosseto, Tuscany Italy. I have been a motorcycle enthusiast since childhood.
My first motorbike was a Honda VT 500 Custom. After years of saving I managed to buy the bike of my dreams!
In 2000, at the turn of the millennium, the factory of Milwaukee introduced the Harley-Davidson DEUCE, an innovative model with a fabulous stretched gas-tank, rear fender with a lower horizontal cut and lighthouse diamond cut and a fully chromed fork enlarged, smaller and wider wheel on the back and larger and skinnier wheel on the front. It was love at first sight! I was planning to make a bike based on futuristic motorcycles in the late ’90s built by brothers Battistini in England (the Battistini are of Italian origin!) But then came a project: the bike of my dreams in collaboration with the Harley-Davidson Viterbo.
The Wheels are PM “Tempest” with the rear wheel being 5.5″ wide. The brake-pulley is from GMA (USA) and I went to the Rebuffini Cycles factory to build a ONE PIECE and ONE OF A KIND aluminum swing-arm; the Rebuffini Moonline with attached GMA brake pulley. Yes attached! The pulley is attached to the swing-arm.
The result? Fabulous! The right side is completely free to show-off the rear rim while the left side is dedicated to the disc brakes and the clutch: A GMA brake-pulley in the rear and a 13 PM floating disc in the front with 6-piston calipers (the disc was given to me by Ted Send in person!). Also, the vision derby cover is positioned where you can see the clutch discs.
Anodized black foot pegs of Italian OMP, lowered suspension from White Bros, original fairing with integrated headlight extension, LED front headlight and rear light, and saddle by Badlender.
But now we come to the piece de resistance: the engine. The kit complete processing of Screamin Eagle displacement 95ci has forged pistons, CNC ported heads with valves from 2 inch, new camshafts, programmable ECU, Mikuni flat slide 45 mm filter Kuryakyn corsair, drains V&H and valves PowerVent. About 115 HP scream when I open the throttle and the bike revs in an awesome way!
After making all these changes, I received international awards! The one of a kind Deuce has been published in major magazines everywhere in the world: Russia, USA, Japan, Italy, France and other countries, but the greatest satisfaction was after the publication in the American Journal IRONWORKS! And now? In Wheels Of Grace Magazine. The only Christian Motorcycle magazine.
Willie G. Davidson in person asked about me (via his secretary who contacted the director of the magazine) asking if he can have all the changes and information regarding my Deuce. It was indeed a very exciting time of my life and immense satisfaction for me! I use my Deuce almost daily and it is definitely not a show bike! Often seen in exhibitions beautiful bikes that are only aesthetically beautiful but are not suitable for daily use. I wanted to customize a nice bike, that is also powerful, but I can ride daily. Here in Tuscany, Italy, there is some stunning scenery, with winding roads in the hills. My Deuce is aggressive but also manages to keep up with the sport bikes around the curves! I decked the bike up to touch the chassis to the ground I’m in and out of corners; just touch the gas and the engine emits un’accellerazione (an acceleration) that is so awesome, and when I put the bike sideways while making the curve… W-O-W! Just like if I’m racing!
In all this, however, I wanted to keep the look of the Deuce. A bike that some may not think is pretty from the factory but for me it is just perfect!
Q & A to a Harley Rider in Italy
WOG: How do others look at you being Italian, living in Italy, and riding a Harley?
LM: The majority of riders in Italy love sportbikes and hate Harleys with skulls, lamps around the motorbike, fringes on the knobs and chrome studs everywhere. But my bike does not have all that. It is elegant and so the ones that ride sportbikes, love my bike.
WOG: Are there Motorcycle Clubs near where you live?
LM: Yes. But I live the bike-life like a lone wolf (and now in the company of my wife). Groups often force people to do things that one inside them would not want to do and the feeling of freedom I feel when I ride my Harley must not be compromised by choices made by others on where to go, at what speed, when to stop etc. I always want to do whatever I want, when I’m riding my Harley! LONE WOLF
WOG: What would be a popular group where you live?
LM: Roadrunner’s Gang.
WOG: Are there Motorcycle Ministries near where you live?
WOG: I understand your wife rides as well. How long has she been riding?
LM: She has been riding for one year.
WOG: Does she enjoy it as much?
LM: Absolutely YES!
WOG: Is it common for women to ride motorcycles in Italy? And even more so a Harley?
LM: It is not common, but there are some.
WOG: Are there any Christian Bikers in your area?
LM: No. It is not common here; the combination of a motorcycle group combined with the Christian religion is not common.
WOG: So, we are curious. Why did you want to be published in a Christian Motorcycle magazine? Is it because you believe in God?
WOG: Last but not least. How has Covid19 impacted Italy or more specifically your area?
LM: Covid19 was a big problem in Italy even though it is now improving. We still cannot go out by motorbike but it will soon be possible. Deserted cities, few people around and with masks. Here in Maremma, south of Tuscany, where we live, the situation is better than in other parts. Population density is limited and infections are few. We are lucky. We live in the far west of Italy, the most natural and wild area, without pollution and much wind. Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions in the universe!
Thanks to / Special mentions-
-My big friend Ted Sands (ceo of Performance Machine USA)
-Harley-Davidson Viterbo dealer