Saturday, July 14, 2012

Time to come up to speed and modernize

After a few months of bouncing back and forth, should I or shouldn't I; I bought a good friend's 2008 Ducati 1098S.  It was a long hard decision. many people were queried, consulted and in the end this is the result.  Even the day before that final paperwork was done I had some reservations.  Almost a solid moment of 'cold feet'.  But I put the mind to the side and said that this is what I needed, and it is.
For years I've always thought about Ducatis as an unobtainable goal. A high priced machine with beautiful lines, glorious sounds and impossible performance. The image of a 750SS or a 900SL, even a basic Monster could get the imagination working.  I knew just by the lines and geometry of the chassis, the sound of the engine that I would fit perfectly with a Ducati. 

At one point I even owned a smaller earlier 350 single which I named 'ankle biter' after vicious kickback pinned the top of my foot to my shin in a shattering cacophonous backfire. Running with a limp, I hobbled to the living room recliner; ripping the boot from my foot for fear they'd have to cut it off from the swelling when it was time to cast up the broken leg. I laughed so hard, never had I felt such and instant explosion of pain to make me blackout and fall over.

Ankle biter moved on to a more loved home. But it never did it tarnish the vision of Ducatis for me. Years later, and a few months ago the flame for Ducati spoke to me again.   I became inspired and we all heard that inspiration comes in many forms. My inspiration came from Hunter S. Thompson  Song of the Sausage Creature.  I became aware that the price was not roadblock but a goal  to be met; a reason to strive forward and rise to the challenge.  There are few that have Ducatis but so many that don't, I wanted to play at mastering  a Ducati but to do that you must have one.

It was fortunate that there were two of  these fine machines needing to be exercised;  an 01 Monster S4 and 08 1098S both  from the original owners.  The Monster had been worked over, dyno'ed 110 at the rear wheel with about 3400 miles on the Odo. The other an almost bone stock 1098S,  carbon Termignonis and under 2400 on the Odo.  A good long conversation my friend Tom W. got me to the  final decision, the 1098S would be the one.

On Monday I picked up the 1098 and found out just how amazing some of Ducatis qualities are.  It would go where I looked.  I found that out on the on ramp of 495. as I looked over my shoulder to glance at the oncoming flow of traffic; as my glance came back to my section of roadway it was clear I'd aimed for the left hand curb.  So used to muscling around 500+lbs BMWs the Ducati's lithe 395lbs needs none of it. though I never touched above 6000rpms the power was inspiring. This was welcomed in the rush hour traffic but not so welcomed in the stop and go traffic in town.  Anything under 25mph made you aware of the power pulses      
yanking the chain; the torque is phenomenal. The performance- inspiring.  

I've almost put 200 miles on the 1098S. each ride gets better and better. But there is only one word that really describes the Ducati full on, and that is deceptive.  I knew what I wanted and yet it has been more that anything I could imagine.  Very deceptive.

Fairing Stitching

I really enjoy stitching fairings and windshields back together from bits.  Yes, you can go buy a new one, but I do it because I can.