2013 Ducati 848 Evo

  One of the best memories of Italy is the motor traffic in the small, crowded streets of small coastal towns. On one occasion, I followed a Ferrari 550 Maranello through a canyon of five and six story buildings just wide enough for one sidewalk, some cafe tables, and a couple of small lanes of traffic. The sound reverberating against those walls was music, the sound of a lifetime. The only thing that came close, and far more frequent, was the sound of the Ducati motorcycles with their V-Twin engines breathing through desmodromic valve trains. Having my post-mid-life crisis (the first one was addressed with a Porsche 911) and not being able to afford a Ferrari, I needed the next best thing.

  Click for a Larger Image Here in the showroom of Duc Pond Motorsports on the day of delivery (these guys are a dedicated Ducati dealership in Winchester, VA and staffed with friendly and amazingly knowledgable riders and racers). The 848 is a sportbike, made for racing. It has zero practical features - no place to carry anything, uncomfortable, fuel mileage similar to the Dump Truck. Hot (temperature wise). But its a Ducati. Nothing sounds like a Ducati!

  This is the front brake. There is more braking power here than most cars have in all four wheels. Brembo makes brakes for exotics and F1 cars. These are about the best brakes in the scootering industry. I'm just starting to figure out how good they are. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image My brother and I on our scooters. IF we ever went anywhere together, it would be a funny trip. Mainly an issue of rider duration. I'd have to ride about 120mph for a couple of hours before the bike was out of gas and my body gives out. That would put me at about his half day point. When he catches up, I'd have recovered enough to be ready for my next 200mi, 120mph sprint to the campground. And he'd have to carry all my stuff.

  Here is the speedo/tach. It shows the miles when I started my first ride - seven. It tells what the temperature is outside (87 degrees). That's the temperature under normal standing-around circumstances and not sitting on the running bike where it is about 20 degrees hotter due to the exhaust pipes sitting about three inches under my butt. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here are the exhaust pipes sitting about three inches under my butt.

  This is how I personalized the bike the other day. To make it uniquely mine. I wasn't planning to inscribe this impressionist art into the side of the fairing. But, while I was at it, I personalized the clutch cover and adjusted the brake pedal and front brake lever. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image I personalized the rear brake lever a bit too much. So I unpersonalized it a little bit and then repainted it. To get to it, I had to take off the lower fairing.

  After personalizing the 848, I thought it may be good to practice on something a little smaller, something about 9x smaller. So, here is a Yamaha TTR90. It fits me pretty well. No lights so I have to ride during the day. Bumpy tires to give me some more traction. And a little junior front brake to give me some more feel. And since its an automatic clutch, no worries about how high its geared. And it only goes about 40, about 6x slower than the Duc. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image OK, back to the Duc, cause while I don't need to go 160mph, it would be nice to keep up with traffic. This is the proper orientation of the Duc, with its rubber on the ground and its seat the highest point.

  Another shot of the right side. Pretty cool machine. Note the huge downward slant, accentuated by the rear stand. But its still pretty downhill. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image This is the chain after I cleaned it with kerosene and then sprayed it with a chain wax. The chain is an RK 525 GXW IMPROVED. It cost several hundred dollars so I'd like to keep it in good shape. There is the 245mm disk on the other side of the Single Sided Swing Arm (known as a SSSA in Ducese).

  This little flag shows what country this motorcycle comes from. One day, those mufflers, called "Slip-Ons," will be replaced with an aftermarket version (Termignonis). But for me, the stockers sound good and 140hp is enough for now. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here I am with my riding buddies. From left to right: Japanese, Italian, American. It's cause of these guys that I have chicken strips.

  Getting an oil change. About 3.7 quarts of $10/quart synthetic oil - 20w50 Amsoil. I read a long article about how real PAO Synthetic is good in a motorcycle engine that has to deal with three different oil challenges: 1) combustion heat and byproducts, 2) shear forces of a transmission, and 3) a wet clutch's need to grip. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image My first piece of "carbon," scooter-speak for carbon fiber. Its called a Hugger. That's cause it hugs the back tire and establishes chicken strip measurement points.

  Here is the new Head Stand from Pit Bull. I have pins on it for both the 848 and the Ducati ST2. It gets the front wheel off the ground and releases all weight from the front springs. These stands work nicely together. I like Pit-Bull stuff. Click for a Larger Image

  Here is a GoPro Video of the Little Duc riding around the area.

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