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Old Nov 25th 2012, 09:08 AM   #1
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supermodel knocked on my door

OooohAahhhYippeeDooDahDay!!!!!!!!!!!
was my exclaim as the doorbell rang - followed by thwapp – miaow – as I unwittingly stepped on the cat in my haste to get to the door. Didn’t even see the delivery man in my urgency to meet her (should have known this to be the tale of the day) as I fell flat on my face over the 2 boxes containing parts & accessories he’d left on the floor. “Sorry”,
“yeah, where is it” I screamed to him, pushing his very apologetic outstretched arm away as I upped and sprinted in the direction of his gaze.
The sound of his “over there” distant now, and fading fast. And there she was. Just standing there in a tight fitting dress and rubber stilettos. All juiced up and rearing to go. Oh my god!!!!
Rooted to the spot I just stared…..
Wham. It was a loud bang that brought me back to my senses – I’d just locked myself out!
“I’m so sorry” he began!
“Sorry, what”? I uttered, frothing at the mouth. “Just get me a crowbar & break the window”.
“But but but”, he began.
“F—k the door” I screamed, smashing the door with unknown to me brute force while manically clawing his arms away. Arms that were delaying my prime objective. I must ride her, I must ride her.
“I put the sus on p and ride mode to wet” he started.
“Shut up” I screamed, threw him a £20 for suffering my arrogance and with the sound of his voice decaying fast, I mounted her. With a little twist of the wrist to release the magic juice I lurched away.
OK then Bros, to be straight, I’m confused. And I’m confused because immediately apparent to me the ride position was more comfortable and Jap-like. The gearbox felt rubbish, clunky, hard and impossible to find Neutral. So what I thought, at least it feels like I could be comfortable all day [or so I thought at the time].
Getting up to speed I looked down at the clock to check I was still legal but found while being easy to read, the position of the screen was too close in, meaning I could not use my peripheral vision to watch the road.
Indicating right to go into an upcoming garage the TFT changed to an unknown ride-mode screen, and while this little stubb felt like a good German nipple I thought it interfered too easy between turn and ride mode and may lead to a few unpleasant moments in the future.
Squeezing on the brake lever didn’t reassure me at first as it seemed a little weak however later on I realised absolutely no fade whatsoever thus making it a good thing.
Now, pulling into this garage was an unusually high curb but the ground clearance coped very easily. I am sure most superbikes would have grounded out. As usual there were a lot of cars blocking in the garage with one spare pump on the far side. Scything through them to get to it I was pleasantly surprised to find the steering-lock and agility better that most pizza-delivery scooters.
Twisting my left toe outwards and slipping my heel of the back of the foot-peg I found and lowered the kickstand without thought nor even a glimpse downward. How innovative despite all negative reports. I filled up, paid and had to walk back a little more upright as there now was a little gathering admiring her.
Being A little more self-conscious I found kicking my leg over the higher-than-norm backseat in my tight leathers a bit harder to maintain grace. “Do a wheelie – let’s hear the engine – how fast is it mate” – where all questions I coolly ignored as I snapped my visor shut.
Then, a little panic, as the starter was so slow I thought I had a flat battery and was about to loose all kudos.
All inhibitions subsided as she roared into life making people stop and stand back in awe, as I pulled of smoothly.
Attempting to look back in the mirrors revealed though their position was right on them long stalks I just could not get a clear picture. It may well be vibration but I think it is the actual poor quality of the glass.
Moving off into 5.30pm rush hour traffic in London did not fill me with awe-inspiring anticipation. It was one of those days as I stated previously – and I do live here – so I may as well continue with my reality check, Right?
Checking on the now 105f traffic temp and snicking through the gearbox – wait, did I say snicking? – hold on a sec, observing harder I realised now she was hot, her character had completely changed.
Gearbox was smooth as her lines, the engine now had little pops, bangs and gurgles which was a joy to listen to and made up for the absence of the bag-of-nail clutch rattles. And though the clutch seemed a little grabby the light weight, agility and much improved steering lock honestly left me thinking – is there a point to the whole 600 class any more?
The heat from the pipes I am happy to say was a non-issue and despite what others have said was nothing on my old 748sp. Though in truth I’d rather wait till the summer temps come again before fully committing to this observation.
With gaps in traffic getting bigger progressively I was getting more and more chances to play with low down torque. While I must state I’ve had the up-map done, to me together with the fuelling and RBW was spot on. More than ample for the bikes weight, agility at low speed all the way through. I mean, honestly, do people really want to feel 195bhp at 10-45mph? Nope, not to me. Ducati got this perfect. I believe the changes from all out full-on superbike to easy commuter (despite riding position) very significant in this regard.
About an hour in now on my ride I must say I was starting to get a little uncomfortable on the wrists and posture front. And to my dismay found that not only was the screen a little short seemingly un-effective at holding me upright (at just over legal speeds) but that age-old trick of laying on the tank was not really working on this design-shape at least. Shame!
I also found my left glove to keep lightly touching the over-big pass/flash switch and while not enough to activate it was enough to make me realise it will take a lot of time – more than usual I would say – to get accustomed to the position of all the handlebar controls without looking down at them. Having said that, with the amount of electronics this bike has on offer I feel it is a small part of the entire learning curve.
However, you will feel rewarded as you notice other riders and cars pull up just behind you at the lights. And turning your head fast enough you’ll catch their eyes on that glorious TFT console.
The benefits won’t stop there though, as I noticed even other riders pull over in long lines of traffic to let that wonderful noise alert and separate cars like Moses and the sea.
And as the pace climbs (very easily done) the suspension hops and skips over bumps whilst the chassis remains pure, taught and true to wherever you point it. Very much like a racing ski on a cut-up piste. Further more it encourages you to climb and move around a lot lot more to control it’s direction, including all those little bum shifties which can make you imagine you are Casey Stoner spinning up and wheelieing all at the same time which I am sorry to say you ain’t shit, or at least I am not. I suppose the important thing is you feel like you do, and how much is that single point worth?
As a member pointed out to me (thanks) if you put your head on the tank at 80mph in 6th gear you hear a heartbeat, but I go further in saying – you can feel that heartbeat between your legs from the moment you fire up to when the engine spins anywhere over 7500rpm. But I’ll have to tell you about that and what happens another time.
For the purpose of this test lies in another direction, the direction of a true Ducatisti, which at heart is man and machine in perfect unity leading to a love of motorcycles, and not just pride of ownership (which every other manufacturer does not seem to understand) but ownership of your particular bike, your particular Ducati. of which no two of any model feel the same and thus a large reduction of the ego and an understanding that it certainly does not have to be the fastest (though close enough).
Just moseying along, feeling like a hero, being admired like a stud, armed with technical like an anorak, auto-status like a god at the café, bike-meet or on the road, all along being propelled by the most glorious and emotive soundtrack on earth.
People talk, and behind those jealous stares from other road users at the bike-meets, coffee shops and extravaganzas from the women who now look at you with more wistful potential, to the old boys in reminisce, to the little kids looking up at you on the streets you’ll thunder past.
All know, all want, all need at some point to have what you have already. The ideal and honour of being a Ducatisti. And now the adrenaline has calmed I leave you my brothers, shattered, exhausted, having laid out my hart in writing. Not to judge the manner of this test, set in adverse and atrocious conditions – at least for my Ducati – but indeed in the judgement of the very deep nature of my heart.
Is the loneliness over? Is the waiting over? Have I joined the ranks of the elite? Will you stand and call me Bro? Am I Ducatisti?
For so help me god I love this bike.

Last edited by the flashman; Nov 26th 2012 at 04:40 AM. Reason: add paragraphs
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Old Nov 25th 2012, 09:32 AM   #2
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I don't want in anyway to dampen your enthusiasm, it is great to see, but please please break your posts into bite size chunks of text i.e. small paragraphs. It just makes long posts so much easier to read (at least it does for my old eyes )
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Old Nov 25th 2012, 09:54 AM   #3
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I thought for sure this was spam.
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Old Nov 25th 2012, 10:27 AM   #4
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+1

and

+1

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Old Nov 25th 2012, 10:36 AM   #5
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Can someone summarize this please. I get bored reading...
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Old Nov 25th 2012, 10:38 AM   #6
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glad you enjoyed the first ride.

CUrious tho, clunky would be the last word I'd use to describe the gearbox, duc boxes are almost always sublime.
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Old Nov 25th 2012, 11:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by gman74 View Post
Can someone summarize this please. I get bored reading...
He got his Panigale.
He went for a ride.
He still has an erection.
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Old Nov 25th 2012, 11:04 AM   #8
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I'm happy for you but could you please edit your post so I could read it without go blind? Small paragraphs will be much appreciated!
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Old Nov 25th 2012, 11:37 AM   #9
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Back away from the caffeine...
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Old Nov 25th 2012, 12:27 PM   #10
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I Ride: 1199 abs
Ahhh guys i just love my duc as I'm sure you do yours. Its amazing. i think the absolute best fact is the combo of electronic wizardry vs organic. when i had my 748 sp i remember how organic that felt compered to my first bike [600 ninja]. so its incredible that the most tricked up bike remains the most organic. My gearbox is clunky till it gets up to temps not overly. But it will take a while to find neutral. I AM VERY VERY HAPPY WITH THIS BIKE
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