Christmas is over. Dakar’s done. At last we have time to catch up on some sleep and get back to riding. To kick off the new year we’re going to shake down the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro on a run to the Troy Bayliss Classic in Taree on January 21.
We picked up the bike from the eternally enthusiastic and cheerful folks at Ducati in Sydney just before the Christmas break, rode it up the Pacific Highway to Coffs Harbour, then handed it over to the Coffs Ducati dealer, North Coast V-Twins, to have the road Pirellis swapped to Scorpion knobbies.
With the knobbies fitted it was important we take an afternoon out of the office to give the bike a run, because…um…for safety an’ that. Or checking we had the gear we needed. Or something.
It was important, okay?
While we thought we were clever inventing an excuse to ride the Ducati – and you can believe us when we say we want to ride this bike at every possible opportunity – we were actually taken by surprise at the different feel given by the knobbies. We shouldn’t have been, but we were.
So that was a good little thing we picked up on our afternoon ride.
The other interesting thing we discovered was a slot for a key to be inserted under the rear guard.
“What’s that all about?” we wondered, trying to hold the Ducati to what seemed a ridiculous speed limit – a speed limit clearly designed for vehicles without the luxury of the Ducati’s incredible performance. When we pulled up we stuck the key in, gave a twist, and the pillion seat popped off. Under the pillion seat we found – gasp! – a toolkit! Complete with a tubeless-tyre repair outfit.
We thought toolkits were optional extras on modern bikes, so we phoned Ducati. “Standard equipment,” we were told, “Including the tubeless repair kit”.
We were very impressed.
It’s not a comprehensive toolkit by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s a spanner, a double-ended screwdriver, a tool to remove fuses (!), some lock barrels and a couple of other things we can’t remember. And, of course, a tubeless repair kit.
Any wonder we enjoy dealing with Ducati so much!
Just a quick mention for the Nexx helmet we picked up just before Christmas as well. It’s really feeling good. It’s light and has been beautifully designed with all kinds of options to suit adventure riders. We’ll tell you more about it as we get used to it, but so far it’s a very impressive bit of gear.
Back to work
After what was supposed to be a quiet afternoon of familiarisation and conserving the rear tyre (which didn’t quite happen) we parked the bike, very content and now we’re busting for the weekend.
We’ll be in Taree in Friday night and out at the Troy Bayliss Classic early on Saturday. If you’re going to be there, make sure you track us down and say hello.