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Tom Stephens NCR "New Blue"

I've attached a couple of photos of my NCR "New Blue". I was looking at your website and saw the photos of the Ducati "Old Blue" and thought there should be a "New Blue" to go with it. Now if there was only a way we could both get together to go on a ride on a sunny afternoon, all would be right in the world. But since the "Old Blue" is in Ireland and I'm in Northern California, I don't think it will happen very soon.

NCR took my donor Paul Smart and made the conversion to a "New Blue". They say it is the only one based on a Paul Smart. The few others they did are all based on the twin shock "Sport Classic". I also had them put in their high compression pistons, titanium valves, light flywheel, ect. Since they are all custom orders, I had mine done a little different then the others. I had the BST wheels painted silver instead of gold. The mirrors are blue instead of silver, and the cylinder heads are red. I also used the number 16 instead of 31, as a tribute to it starting life as a Paul Smart.

I've also sent you a photo of my MH900e "Carbon Dream" & my MV Agusta 312 "Corse". You didn't have a photo of either of those on your website.

In addition, Tom Stephens from the US sent us this, and it’s just stunning, thanks Tom.

I saw your website and it is one of the very best I've seen to those of us that live, eat, & breath Italian motorcycles.I'm sending you the photos of one of my bikes. It is the only one in America. Our EPA has stopped allowing the importation of the bike. If you really want to have your heart broken, U.S. Customs seized the next 2 bikes after mine and they are going to crush them. First they crush our retirements and now they are going after our motorcycles. It makes me mad just thinking about it. Each bike is unique, and this one is mine.It is a 2009 Vyrus 984 with a 1200cc NCR race engine. It is the identical engine they use in the new NCR "Mike Hailwood". Needless to say, it has the light weight crank, big-bore race pistons, oversize titanium valves, ect ect. The engine was actually assembled by the head of Ducati Corse Moto GP engine development. The brake rotors are Carbon Fiber as is all of the bodywork. We were shooting for 135kw and 135hp. It always sounds like I have a dead battery. With 14.5 compression it really cranks slow. I have to run leaded 110 octane race gas. The bike draws all kinds of spectators. Most are respectful and appreciate the bike for the master piece it is. A few will make stupid comments about the cost or "what direction is it going". These people have their ignorance on full display for all to see. You have to order the bike at the factory if you want one. I loved every minute of the process. I imagined it was being built in some small factory up in the hills of Italy and it is. It's just outside of Rimini on the boarder with San Marino. The president (Ascanio) took me on a test ride when I first went to see it. We took off through the streets of San Marino at a speeds I wouldn't dare ride on the roads I ride all the time in Northern California. It was amazing how well the bike handled. We stopped at a small restaurant in the hills that Ascanio meets once a month with Tamberini, Ago, Rossi, and others that are the giants of the Italian motorcycle scene. I can only imagine those meetings. It looks like it should be in the Godfather movie. These guys are all involved with the bike for the love of the sport. They all have contracts with other companies and if it was America, the lawyers would never get done suing everyone. Rossi and Ago live just a few miles from the factory. They both ride the bike from time to time. Can you imagine being out for a Sunday ride and the two of them blowing past you with their knees dragging? It really happens. All these people believe the design is the future of motorcycles. It's their passion to offer their input into building the bike. Vyrus can never advertise this, they just have to rely on word of mouth. After the bike was done, you go over and spend a week riding the back roads of Italy and I meet a guy that told me he has seen them both out riding just like they are one of the guys. I put down a $70000 deposit and the deal was done on a handshake. I didn't get any receipt for the deposit. If you can't handle doing business that way, then you need to visit your local Honda dealer. They take it as an insult that you wouldn't trust them, and it really is. They see it as they are building a work of art that you should be damn grateful your going to be able to even buy one. They are serious craftsmen that I saw working 16 hours a day. However, I must admit, I did get a little nervous when the financial world collapsed a month after I paid them. As part of being in the Vyrus family, I can go to Europe for a GP and Vyrus will have a bike for me to ride. A year later and after hundreds of emails, she was done. I had it painted the same as a special version blue MV Agusta that was given to all the members of the World Champion Italian soccer team. MV didn't make the bike available to the public. Because Rimini is such a tight nit community, the guy that paints the MV special versions, painted mine. The colors are the ones used by the soccer team. I also had them paint a helmet to match the bike when it was first ordered. I just now got the helmet after a year and a half. If you have to explain why we love the Italian motorcycles that are on your website, then you'll never understand. On a rainy winter day, it's a joy to just go out into the garage and give her one more coat of wax. I must admit, it's pretty cool to ride up to a Moto GP and know I'll have the most jaw dropping bike there. Every nut and bolt is titanium. And not the titanium you can order on the internet. If you've ever looked real close at a real GP bike you'll see titanium bolts that look different then the normal stuff. The Vyrus has the same titanium bolts that GP bikes have. I never thought that one titanium bolt could weigh so much less then another titanium bolt that is the same size. Needless to say, an ordinary 6mm bolt cost $30. Vyrus also has the same brake calipers that were being used on a Moto GP bike just a few years ago. I tried to order them for another Ducati I have and was told by every Brembo distributor that they were only sold by Brembo on a case by case basis. When they were building the bike they sent me pictures of the Machinist building the crankshaft. I got pictures of the technician assembling my bike. I then got to meet him when I went to Italy. When did you ever hear of such a thing? When I picked up the bike, the engine builder showed me the valve lifter set-up he used. It is a special titanium set-up that looks completely different from the stock valve adjuster. It is hand made by Ducati Corse and doesn't have a part number. Only hard-core enthusiast that own the kinds of bikes on this website will be able to appreciate this kind of craftsmanship. It does have one downside. I know how much work went into making the bike and I'm always worried I'll drop it and destroy all this hard work. The upside is, I always get the best parking spot on Ducati Island no matter if I have a parking pass or not, and you know how much that is that worth!Tom StephensSacramento CA

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