Speaking of Legends – Luca Manni & his Machine [Harley Davidson Deuce]
While most riders would feel privileged enough to be riding a stock Harley, for some, that just doesn’t cut it. They find within themselves a divine inspiration to make the motorcycle truly their own, not merely by customising it, but by literally taking it apart piece by piece and building the motorcycle up from scratch. Making the design even more cutting edge and taking the performance of the bike notches higher along the way. Luca Manni is one such man.
While, one would be inclined to assume that Luca sits in his garage all day tinkering with his tools, nothing could be further away from the truth. If you didn’t notice him arrive at work on his Tuscany Deuce, which he does everyday; you could easily mistake him for a regular pencil pusher during the day. But somehow unlike most pencil pushers, his undying passion and relentless love for all things motorcycle allowed Luca to muster enough time and resources over the years to manifest his long-standing dream into a reality.
To understand what Luca has done with the bike, you must first understand the Original 2000 Harley Davidson Deuce. The stock Deuce was a 1449cc V-twin monster, coming out of Harley’s Milwaukee factory between the years 2000 and 2005.
Based on Harley’s softail design, the Deuce featured the stretched Fuel tank, restyled rear fender and pull back bars which gave the motorcycle a very distinct look from its’ softail cousin.
Harleys’ Softail Deuce was a modern motorcycle with a massively refined yet under-stressed engine. Superb build quality. Impressive breaking and suspension and reliability beyond question are just some of the things one naturally associates with the brand Harley, and the Deuce was no different. We’re certainly not suggesting that it was the best Harley out there, but in terms of its overall performance, it was pretty much up there with the big guys like the Dynas and the Super Glide Sports.
It was an iconic machine of its time and was widely considered to be a brilliant concoction of Class and charisma, of Style and elegance and of durability and performance.
Not exactly designed for touring purposes, the bike was capable of speeds of up to 190 kmph that too without compromising any of the Harley’s trademark curves or Classic lines.
The earlier versions of the motorcycle came sans the FI system and thus were still true the Vintage sprit of Harley.
But the moment Luca laid eyes on his Harley Softail Deuce, he knew he had to rebuild the bike from ground up. And thus began Luca’s journey of transforming his iconic motorcycle into an ultra-Luxurious Supermachine. A machine that is so good to look at, it’s a challenge just to take your eyes off it.
And it most certainly didn’t come easy, as Luca would testify.
Taking inspiration from the works of the Battistini brothers and with the help and advice from Harley Davidson Viterbo,
Luca swapped Deuce’s stock rims for Performance Machine ‘Tempest’ wheels with a 5.5” rear that fits perfectly with the beautiful custom made swing arm from the Rebuffini Cycles, which also features an unobtrusive, integrated turn signals,
Providing a fabulous look at the rear wheels, while the left side is geared towards the breaks, which hails of a GMA brake pulley system. The front brakes feature a 13” Performance Machine floating disc, coupled with a 6-piston calliper unit,
Designed by none other than Ted Sands, of the famed Roland Sand Designs.
Luca had no plans to leave the engine unsouped either. And thus, it was treated with a full Screamin’ Eagle kit, 95” displacement forged pistons with 2” valves and CNC ported heads. And he didn’t stop there. He also ended up replacing the camshafts, adding a programmable ECU and swapping the stock for PowerVent valves and a Mikuni flat side carb couple with a kuryakyn corsair air cleaner. The result was a massive power output of around 118 bhp, almost double of the stock 63 bhp, and a gorgeously fine-tuned engine roar through its V&H ShortShort staggered pipes that’s a sheer delight to your ears.
Listen to the sound of this machine:
Doesn’t the sound just tickle your auditory senses??
Luca prides in being a perfectionist and a man of accuracy, and so you can rest assured he was not going to stop at the engine and the frame. He has made numerous outward modifications to the motorcycle such as the lowered suspension from White Bros, the anodised foot pegs, or an integrated headlight extension. The list goes on. One of the most impressive modifications Luca did was with the electronics of the motorcycle, which includes replacing the stock speedo with Dakota Digital Speedo and a flush mounted LED fuel gauge. He also integrated a state of the art navigation system from Garmin Nuvi. Truly avant-garde stuff, even by the 21st century standards.
Take a look at the motorcycle come alive:
Although Luca personally seems to be particularly fond of the ‘Moonline Swingarm’ built exclusively for him by Rebuffini Livio to accommodate the GMA brake pulley. But when you build a motorcycle so good that even the great Willie G. Davidson has to sit up and take notice,(Yes, you heard it) it’s hard to pick favorites. Tremendous attention has been paid to every single detail and finish of the bike, which only goes to show the level of passion and enthusiasm Luca brought on this dream project.
No surprises then that the bike has featured in a vast number of international publications and bike magazines around the world and continues to capture the imagination of not just vintage bike lovers, but practically anyone who has the sensibility to appreciate beauty and finesse.
And Luca has no plans of stopping either. He will continue to modify and transform machines into dream machines, as he was always meant to. The last we heard from him, he was tinkering on his Jaguar V8 and who knows what he might have up his sleeves. I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.
Until then, tell us what you think of this marvellous machine & its maker.…drop your comments below to let us know.
This was Luca's story, What's yours