Since I got there a bit later than I wanted, I missed the 11am ride and someone had already claimed both Icons for the 12pm ride. So, I farted around the shop until it was my group's turn. I talked Ducs with Peter from the demo truck and some other random folk.
Finally, the clock hit fifteen 'til one and it was time to gear up and meet for the rules. Standard stuff, no wheelies, stay with the group etc etc. Mounting the bike, you notice it's weight and size, or rather, the lack there of. It's light, about 410lbs wet and thin, with a 31" seat height. The bars are high with a bit of sweep. The ergonomics fit me well. There is no windscreen or anything to obscure your view, just a tiny multi-function gauge. Thumbing the start button, the Termi exhaust barks to life with a nice tone.
From the first bit of gas, it's all torque. It reminds me of the Uly but tiny and not as choppy in the lower rpms; however the mapping wasn't perfectly smooth. Out on the road, city and highway, the bike was damn nice. The only negative about the handling was the rear shock, it was set for a rider with more mass. I should have adjusted it before the ride. Our route took us on the highway and off on to some city streets, then on to some nice hilly and twisty roads. The handling in the curves was effortless, the bike just flicks from one to the next. Some bikes you just mesh with and this, like my Ulysses, was one of them.
Back to that single gauge, the tach is on the bottom and consists of bars that fill up, like a battery meter. It's hard to read at a glance. I know that once I got used to the engine and the feel of the bike, I wouldn't use it much but it's hard to see. The cable routing is weird to because it loops up and over the gauge. Didn't really bother me, just kinda odd. Beyond that gauge, it's just your front wheel and the road.
The ride was short, only about 30 minutes but it was enough time to know that I'd be damn happy with that bike. The ultimate test is how well it would handle two-up duty. We'll see how next year goes, my garage might get a bit exotic.
Does Ducati America take kidneys? If so, do they have to be your own?
The 11am group rolls out.
The Urban model, fully decked out.
Can I take it out alone? I promise I'll be right back.