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I finally got a Ducati
We'll this is my first entry for Duchess. I decided it was finally time to get something with a little less engine displacement. Let's face it, you don't need 150+ RWHP motorcycle for the streets . . or even some tracks. So, I traded the R1 in for a 2006 Ducati 749.
So far, I've been quite impressed with the handling of the Ducati. It's got to be the best handling bike I've ever owned.
For reference, here are the bikes I've owned in the past:
Here are some pictures of my last bikes:
on 04.01.09 @ 10:02 PM PST [link
Ducati Group Ride gets a new member
So, about a week and a half ago I helped Matt, a co-worker and friend, pick up a 2003 Ducati 999s. He's been salivating over Duchess since I picked her up and has always wanted a Ducati himself. He'd been debating getting a Speed Triple (he being a Brit and all) but the allure of the Ducati was just too much, plus he got a smokin' deal for it (practically stole it, he did).
Since I was out of town last weekend, we didn't get a chance to ride. So, for this weekend, I planned to get together with Chris and maybe a few of his closer friends for a smallish group ride. I find these rides allow for everyone to really get to talk more and stay together.
So we got together in the usual spot, and we weren't alone. Another fairly large group ride was planned to meet at the same spot and time.
Despite Matt just getting the 999s, he sure did seem to be eyeing Chris's Hypermotard awfully closely
The group consisted of Ducati:
Matt (999s), Chris (Hypermotard), Sandy (999r) & myself
as well as some non-Ducati:
Brandon (CBR600RR), Matt (SuperDuke 990) & Sicko (R6)
I led the group up Hwy 9 to Hwy 35 (aka Skyline) and then on to Alice's. Chris decided to be photographer for this ride and get out in front of the group and get some shots of us rounding a pretty nice corner on Hwy 9.
Unfortunately for Matt, he was a bit to close to the rider in front and wasn't able to get his first shot of him riding the 999s. I'm sure he'll have plenty to purchase from the photographers that stand trackside at most track day events soon enough.
We then stopped at Alice's for a bit, at which point Sicko decided there were too many corners for him and bailed out. We then took Hwy 84 to Pescadaro Rd (aka Pescy). I really like Pescy, it reminds me a lot of the more technical roads in the Santa Monica Mtns. We then regrouped at a gas station at which point Sandy had to had home.
We then took Cloverdale down to Hwy 1. We rolled down Hwy 1 and looked for another good spot to get some pictures.
The boys and their bikes:
At this point we were hungry and headed to a little spot in Capitola for some fuel for the bike and the boys. Once we finished eating, the serious riding began.
We took Porter St/Soquel San Jose Rd to Summit Rd. We then took Summit Rd to Old Santa Cruz Hwy where we made the customary stop at the Fire Station.
At this point, Brandon and Matt (KTM) had to get going since they had long rides home. The 3 remains Ducs just had to get some more curves in (to make up for all the freeway stuff we were doing before lunch). We took the 17 to 9.
At this point, Matt was obviously feeling more comfortable than his mornings phrase "I'll just stay in the back" and decided to lead. We did a 'lap' on 9 and then Chris had to head home. Matt and I did 2 more laps before we finally decided to call it a day.
Good times. Nice to see Matt getting into his groove on the 999s. We were carrying some nice "street sane" corner speed through most of our after lunch ride on 9.
I just can't get enough though, so Duchess and I will be out for a "Mellow Group Ride" tomorrow bright and early.
Stan on 06.20.09 @ 09:08 PM PST [link]
Mid-week Lunch ride
I missed out on getting some miles on Duchess last weekend for a great reason. I went to SoCal to attend my youngest son's 8th birthday party. I also got some early Father's Day presents
But, I finished my project at work, had no mid-day meetings and the weather here was perfect for a lunch time ride to Alice's.
I got in contact with a long time moto-friend, Andy, the admin of SBR. He actually helped me move in here months ago and we had never gotten a chance to ride together since I moved here. Considering he only lives 15 minutes away, is one hell of a rider, knows some of the best roads in the Santa Cruz mountains (been riding them over 30 years) AND is a fabulous photographer . . this injustice had to be corrected
I left work "early" for lunch, geared up and rode over to Andy's place. Once we got there he showed me THE best route to get to Page Mill rd from his place. He gave me plenty of demonstrations of just all the different places you could "wheelie for safety"
Once we got to Alice's, we had some lunch with some other SBR members that happened to be taking their lunch break at Alice's.
One of my own selfish goals for the ride with Andy was to get some pics of me on Duchess. So, after lunch Andy and I decided we were going to hit up a couple of roads I'd been on before, get some pictures and then head back. Marci decided to join us on her GSXR-600. She has had a knee replacement surgery and this was her first ride after the surgery. I could certainly sympathize with her having had a surgery on my knee not so long ago.
We got some great pic that I simply can't capture all of here . . and why should I when Andy's done such a good job of it in this thread on SBR.
Needless to say, it was a great lunch break. Thanks Andy and Marci
Stan on 06.18.09 @ 11:10 PM PST [link]
21st Mod: Carbon Fiber-look Billet Aluminum Bar Ends
I did it again. I exercised my right to stumble across something new.
My 21st mod should have taken about 10 minutes to install, but instead, the installation took about 4 hours.
Here's what happened. I bid on a pair of Carbon Fiber-look Billet Aluminum Bar Ends with Ducati engraved on them that I found on Ebay (how could I pass these up).
So, I win the auction and send my PayPal payment off immediately. The Seller communicates well and send me notification when they ship. It's all good right? Once they arrive, I skip happily back from the mailbox and start to put them on immediately.
As I'm putting on the bar ends, I notice that I can't get the end of the bar end that is supposed to fit in the end of the clip-on to go in (you following me here). I take a quick measurement and notice the hole at the end of the clip-on is 16.5mm but the end of the bar end that's supposed to go in that hole is 18mm?
I sent the Seller and email 24 hours ago and still haven't heard a response. Looks like I'll have to give some Neutral feedback to this Seller.
Since I don't have a lathe, I called my buddy Steve (ApexMolester on SBR) and he suggested I get ahold of the SBR admin Andy. Andy then pointed me to Nichols Motorcycle Shop.
After calling and talking to Jim, he told me to go ahead and bring them in with the bike. Once I got there, met the Family-owned and run shop with YEARS of experience servicing and making parts, mostly for Ducatis, I knew I was in the right place.
Jim and co hooked me up for just $20. Now the bar ends fit PERFECTLY, thanks to the gang at Nichols.
Let that be a lesson for you boys and girls, when life hands you lemons . . make lemonade
Stan on 06.04.09 @ 10:54 PM PST [link]
20th Mod: Billet Aluminum Brake Pedal Lever
So, I exercised my right to stumble across something new. My 20th mod took about 25 minutes to install, mostly because I had to take the right side fairing off. I won a Black Anodized billet aluminum brake pedal lever made by the Gas Cap Dude in an auction on Ebay.
I was a bit skeptical about bidding on it at first, because I did need the extension piece that was sent with the Ottimoto rearsets. I emailed the Gas Cap Dude and told him about my needs and he said they make a extension piece that he could add for $5. That's all I need to hear to "Buy It Now".
I really like the looks of this pedal lever vs. the cheesy looking extension that was provided in the Ottimoto rearset kit. Ottimoto would be smart if they got the Gas Cap Dude to make this brake lever pedal for them to include in their rearset kits (which do include a shifter pedal lever). Ottimoto? Hello? Are you listening?
Stan on 05.28.09 @ 11:04 PM PST [link]
19th Mod: Pazzo Racing Levers
My 19th mod took a little over 30 minutes to install. I won a set of Pazzo Racing levers on Ebay. What I really like about the Pazzo levers are the options available. I go a set of black shorty levers with a silver adjuster.
At this point, I consider Duchess 'Motorcycle Makeover' complete. She now looks like the vision I had in my minds eye when I first bought her. I still reserve the right to stumble across something new, but at this point, there are no more parts on order.
It's time to ride . . tomorrow I'll be going to a Ducati Group ride, so it looks like I finished Duchess just in time.
Stan on 05.23.09 @ 06:19 PM PST [link]
18th Mod: Carbon Fiber Cam Belt Cover
My 18th Mod took about 45 minutes to install, thanks to the help of a great Step-by-step write-up on how to do it that I found on Ducatisti.co.uk. I won a Carbon Fiber Cam Belt Cover made by Pit-eck in an auction on Ebay.
Overall, it looks really good, but I'm not quite as satisfied with the fitment as I was with the other Pit-Eck Carbon Fiber parts I've order. The bottom 2 holes on the cover don't properly line up, so I consequently went without putting them in. Since they are hard to see and the cover fits tightly without them.
Stan on 05.21.09 @ 12:27 PM PST [link]