Thanks for all the kind comments, the pic turned out neat by accident... the days are getting short in WI and my camera battery went dead after 2 pics so I had to motoGP it home and get back to the spot before the sun was down and this is what it looked like when I got back out there
I'll admit that I was apprehensive about buying this thing, been riding for 12 years or so and always jap liter bikes since my first ride, until this I had never even riden a Ducati. A couple friends have (Ducati, not 1098's) them that live far from me and always tell me how they love them. I have always loved the looks of the 916 from the time I first saw one in person but was worried I'd miss the straight line performance too much and wasnt keen on the maint. costs Id heard about. Then the 1098 came out with promises to break the mould so to say and address both of those issues, so I bit the bullet and ordered one figuring if for some reason I didnt like it I should have no problem getting rid of it
The nearest dealer is 150 miles from me so I never even saw one in person until I picked mine up. I was riding it home, having second thoughts listening to the engine rattle, riding a gear too high (liter bike habit) feeling the vibrations and wondering if I had made the right choice or not. I had riden RC51's and TL-R's and Superhawks so was acclimated to the vtwin shake and traits, but I could always return the bike to the owner and get back on mine
Anyways, after the first 75 miles or so it started to sink in that I was riding the coolest bike I had ever seen, and it was mine and for now that was good enough.
It wasnt until the following day when we went on a 300 mile trip to hilly, twisty, clean nonstop 30-40 to 60mph twisty roads that went on for 40 and 50 miles at a time that I knew I had made the best choice I could have ever imagined. The bike taught me things about myself, about my riding style, about my mindset while riding as I learned about it, about how it handled, how it carves through corners like an olympic skater on ice, how it does everything I tell it to better than I could explain it. The bike knows what to do, you simply guide it thru... it's amazing, indescribable and almost mystical to ride.
Every time we made a stop and I had a moment to reflect upon the roads we just travelled my eyes were opened a little bit more to the passion I'd heard in other peoples voices as they described what it was like to ride a Ducati. I always kind of thought of it simply as "hype" between those people who owned one and knew, I now realize that it is not "hype", it is not a "mindset"... it is a true and real sense of becoming one with a machine that reads your thoughts and does everything you tell it to... perfectly. It is art, beauty and a mechanical marvel sitting in my garage. Something built by people as passionate about motorcycles as we are, people who know what a motorcycle should be.
In the 12 years I've been riding I think that trip was some of the best, most spirited riding I've ever done. The bike is confidence inspiring, to say the brakes are magnificent would be an understatement and the ability to change lines/speeds mid corner with minimal chassis upset simply blew my mind. The torque is phenomenal and although I was trying my best to take it easy and keep the revs on the conservative side the motor feels like its going to be extremely strong. I've since broken 600 miles and done the first service and have began to run it up in the revs more and the power is great, the front is in the air in 1st 2nd and 3rd if you shift hard... to think that a completely stock bike does this out of the box surprises me in a good way
I now understand a bit better what people mean when they describe their love for riding on a Ducati. This whole story basically recaps my second time out on the bike, if you count 150 miles of freeway riding home from the dealership as a first time out. I have since come to the conclusion that my $$ was well spend and my speculation and second thoughts about buying this beautiful machine were nothing more than fear of not being happy with a change in what I am "used to". I havent stopped smiling yet and every night before I go to bed I go out to the garage and tell her goodnight and try to let it sink in that yes, its actually mine and it's still going to be here in the morning when I wake up :king: