Biker Baristas

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Adding perks and details like vending machines, flat-screen televisions and leather couches to a store can make the shopping experience a pleasant one for customers. Here's another detail that dealers might want to add to their store ambiance: A custom espresso and cappuccino machine modeled after the Ducati Tricolore tradition.

Distributor Café Razzi has taken the LavAzza BLUE espresso machine and given it a custom spin by painting it red, white and black – a color scheme that's Ducati-inspired. Italy-based LavAzza, the maker of the machine, is the world's largest espresso company.

"We took the idea of custom painting a machine and making it our own," says Anthony Garcia, a representative of Café Razzi.

The first machine was a collaboration of talents, with Café Razzi and LavAzza, plus a design team from Pininfarina (a company that has designed for Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati and Honda) and Larry Pagrim, an AMA Formula Extreme rider. The one-of-a-kind, hand-painted machine was raffled off to a lucky winner at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.

Tweaks to the design of the initial Pegram machine were made in order to simplify it for consumer use. One of the red machines is a staple at Phoenix Ducati, in Arizona.

"It is being praised by our customers," says Tony Fuller, a salesman at Phoenix Ducati. "It couldn't be easier to use. You can pick what you want, put the pot in, press the button and you're done."

Café Razzi was also at February's Dealer Expo at the Italian Trade Commission booth, handing out espresso samples and selling a number of machines.

Each machine is $999 and comes with 100 coffee capsules specifically designed for the machine, four porcelain cups and a sample package of other products that LavAzza offers.

For $1,900, dealers who are true Pegram fans can opt for an autographed, limited edition model. Ten percent of the product's cost goes directly to Pegram Racing. Café Razzi is also in talks with Matt Mladin to create a Suzuki model.

Another possibility is to let dealers design their own custom espresso machines. A minimum of 10 machines would be required for purchase. – Cynthia Furey