Rick’s Gentleman’s Express Blog

Motorcycle news and opinion

Archive for November, 2010

Henry Hogben

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I did not know Henry Hogben well, otherwise I would not have had to find out about his recent passing (much too young at 65 last September) in the CVMG newsletter.

If you have never heard the legend of Henry — perhaps the world’s greatest expert on restoring and racing old Ducati singles — then you haven’t been around motorcycles long. Henry could do more with an arm missing than most mechanics can with two. His was a life that revolved around motorcycling — starting as a mechanic and talented amateur road racer.

I first was introduced to Henry by none other than Rick Covello, another Ducati stalwart, when we were all attending events put on by the Niagara Artists Centre in St. Catharines. (Say what you want about artists but they sure know how to have a good time.) Henry was the quiet type that women seemed drawn to and was quite a presence on the dance floor where he substituted  spinning high leg kicks for the usual air guitar moves.

As befits someone who kept quiet about his personal life, a legend has grown up around him, about where he lived and how he came to lose his arm. I have heard quite a few different versions of each, including a couple of new ones in the CVMG obituary. Henry did ride once in a while on an old Ducati 450 set up with both clutch and front brake levers on the left along with a snowmobile throttle. I bumped into him and some other Ducati club members at a filling station one Sunday and watched in amazement as he kick started the big single.

The motorcycling community in Canada and indeed the world Ducati community have lost a quiet giant.

Written by admin

November 14th, 2010 at 3:49 pm

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