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#128 Donard Maniaci

White Lake, MI

1928 Peugeot Griffon

My name is Donard Maniaci, I grew up in Southeast Michigan. I was born in 1960. My dad worked at Ford Transmission as a Engineer, I guess this would lay down the foundation as a future gearhead. One day my brother John, who is 12 years older than me, brought home a Suzuki 125cc. Our mother was not very happy with him. My grandfather and dad rode it to the end of the block and back. They said they didn’t like it but smiled all the way. He had a white COP helmet that he would wear when he rode. To be honest it looked a little dorky. As with many, time improves things. My brother dumped the Suzuki and went to 650 Triumph Bonneville. That bike was beautiful with a purple and white tank. This was the magic point when I thought motorcycles were cool. My best friend’s dad was also into motorcycles also. The time was around 1969. They had Norton’s, Triumph’s and BSA’s. Not many people had Harley’s at that time. I’m not really sure why. One thing for sure, I knew I needed to be part of this, so I set my sights on minibike. In fifth grade I worked all summer long shining shoes and cleaning a barber shop that my older brother managed. I scrapped together $60. My dad and I looked at minibikes for $60 and found nothing but junk. My dad decided to match what I earned. We found a Lil Indian minibike with a 4 HP motor. It had fold down handlebars and a suspension. It just so happened to be big enough so my dad could ride it. My buddy Mike also got a minibike, we rode almost every day in a field near us. As I entered college, I decided it was time to buy my own motorcycle. I didn’t know what I was doing and picked up a Kawasaki widow-maker. This was a 3 cylinder, 2 stroke motor that screamed. When the bike ran well, it would just smoke all my friends 4 stroke bikes. Unfortunately, it was just hard to keep running so I ended up selling it. After that I received my degree, got a job as an Engineer, got married and raised kids. I knew I was going to get back into motorcycling. I picked up a used KZ1000 then to a 1985 Goldwing LTD, yes it was gold with EFI. That bike was way ahead of its time, but it was top heavy and lacked power. I had to hit the marriage reset button and I met great lady. We met on Match and started dating. I noticed she had bike and loved to ride. She was riding a Yamaha Raider, 1900cc. That bike smoked my Goldwing. As a man, that just can’t happen. (yes, I said it) I then moved into a Kawasaki Concours. That bike handled like a dream and was fast. We kept both bikes until a accident. We then moved into Harley Ultra, with a sidecar and a pull behind Time-out camper. It’s the most domesticated Harley you’ll ever see. Today we own 3 bikes: 2017 Harley Ultra 1968 Triumph Chopper. Yes, it has a Bonneville motor. Ron Finch did the paint work, and it has won many trophy’s including Bike of the year in open class for 2022. 1928 Griffon. This is going to be my Cannonball bike.