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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After 25 odd years wanting one after a single ride on a 900 Darmah I finally have a duke and the experience so far has outweighed all of my mighty expectations :)

I will probably never race or do more than an oil change but who knows where this will go.

I had my first real ride a couple of Sundays ago, hasn't been the best weather down here so have been dying to get out of the city, mainly to see how she went but also to get a bit of a nature fix.

I headed for the hills in a part of Victoria close to my heart….a 200 odd km loop (and many more corners) from my place in Richmond via St Andrews/Kinglake/Toolangi/Healesville/Christmas Hills.

Had planned a much shorter “practice” ride today but was swept further afield almost without any choice in the matter, it was like “she” knew these roads as well as I did and just wouldn’t take the shortcut home.

Once we’d cleared the ‘burbs she just wanted to gallop/race away with each stride faster and longer than the last, such an alluring cadence, I’d just let the reins out a little and she'd willingly accelerate endlessly without any sign of tiring or resistance. It was almost easier to let her go charging along than to try and restrain her.

Enough of the equine references??….I’m sure that If Ferrari didn’t get there first Ducati may very well have a horse as it’s logo, a stallion of course, although it would be red not yellow.

To see how she cornered was the main objective for the day, apart from a couple of quick laps up and down the nearby Kew Boulevard (if travelling at the 50km speed limit can be called quick) I’d had little chance to get to get to know this aspect of her personality.

Much of the road was damp from the earlier showers; the dampness persisted throughout much of the trip, a result of the cool weather and the shadows cast by the towering mana gums and mountain ash.

Tentative cornering early, the steep drops offs on the left had me rather tense early on with slow and unconnected turns along the narrow scenic climb from St Andrews to Kinglake. Towards the top of the climb cornering started to become more fluid and relaxed.

A quick lunch and a beer with some random company the at Kinglake pub and back onto the bike for the descent to Toolangi through the long sweepers down Mt Slide and some more tight stuff snaking down Myers Creek rd from Toolangi to Healesville.

During this stretch I’m letting her rev more, using the engine braking more and less of the Brembo brakes to control speed into the corners setting the bike up for smoother and faster corner exit acceleration. I found her spirit on this leg.

Galloped across Yarra valley sweepers from Healesville to Yarra Glen as the sun shone down and up and into the Christmas Hills for the last leg of the ride.

Was hard to keep to the 80km speed limit through the Christmas Hills so focused on body position and using my legs to take up some of the recoil from the bumps to keep the lines smooth and flowing.

Just finished cleaning her and looking forward to the next adventure, love this bike!
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