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John Kevin Neal Sr. & His 2011 Ducati Diavel

June 30, 2011
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Our July 2011 cover bike is owned by John Kevin Neal Sr. from Kansas City, Missouri. A few weeks ago, fellow Cycle Connections team member Wally LaFond attended the Ducati Diavel Launch Party at Reno’s Powersports in Kansas City, Missouri and told me about this hot new Ducati he thought would make a good cover bike. After looking at his photos and doing a bit of research, I totally agreed.

As it turned out, this bike was purchased by John Kevin Neal Sr. who Wally knows personally, so I contacted John, and he was more than happy to ride his bike out to our photo shoot. During our shoot I took the opportunity to ask John a few questions for his bio in this month’s issue.

CC: John, what is your occupation?
John: I’m the Director of International Disaster Response Services for Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc.

CC: Do you have hobbies other than motorcycling?
John: Yes, I also enjoy fishing, boating, and hunting.

CC: Why do you ride?
John: For the enjoyment and the experience. You can see and sense more of your surroundings while riding.

CC: How long have you been riding?
John: I’ve been riding 39 years.

CC: What was your first bike?
John: My first bike was a Honda Trail 70. My first real bike was Suzuki 185.

CC: How many bikes have you owned?
John: More than 25.

CC: How many bikes do you currently own?
John: The one you see here, plus I also have a 1974 Harley FLH, a 1978 Suzuki 185, a 1981 Yamaha 1100 Special, a 1989 Harley-Davidson Heritage, three Honda Trail 70s, and several miscellaneous dirt bikes.

CC: Wow! What do you like most about your Ducati Diavel?
John: It’s different than anything else on the road right now. I also like the design, how it handles, and the speed.

CC: What is your dream bike?
John:A 1958 Arial 4 Square. It’s what my dad had, and had to sell when I arrived into the world.

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?
John: It was probably the night I was coming home and a semi pulled into my lane and almost hit me at 70+ mph. I had to hit the shoulder, ran over a 4X4 on the ground, went airborne, and somehow saved the bike without wrecking.

CC: To what motorcycle clubs or organizations do you belong?
John: None anymore. I was in H.O.G.

CC: Which motorcycle rallies and events have you attended, and which is your favorite?
John: I don’t attend any of the big events, but I’ve been going to Ralph Wayne’s Backyard National for about 16 years. This year I also attended the opening round of the Qatar MotoGP.

CC: Which is your favorite bike night location?
John: Any place I can ride to and has good access for parking.

CC: Any tattoos?
John: Yes. I have one on my arm in memory of a special friend.

CC: Do you prefer riding in a group or by yourself?
John: It depends on my mood. I’m happy either way. I guess the best times are when my son and I just take off and go without knowing where we are going. .

CC: Who are some of your closest riding buddies?
John: JK Neal Jr., Jason Blackmore, Ralph Blackmore, and Dick Blackmore.

CC: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
John: I actually lead a fairly mundane life. When I’m not traveling outside the US for work, I stick close to home, hanging out with family and friends.

CC: Thanks for the interview John, and thanks for letting us shoot your bike for this month's cover.

Interview by Mike Schweder

Photos by Bruce Stimpson with Stimpson Photography.

Published in Cover Bike Owners