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RED MIST–Testing 2012 Ducati’s

May 28, 2011

May 26, 2011

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It’s spring and you can smell the rubber burning!  Last Saturday, I made my way over to Cyclewise Ducati (suzuki).  Cyclewise is the ONLY Ducati dealer in Vermont.  It’s a small shop in just about the middle nowhere.  Then again so is virtually all of Vermont.

I’ve been to prior events at Cyclewise and they really go out of their way to put on a fantastic event.  They had a great spread of lasagna, meatballs, subs, and an assortment of sodas and bottled water.  That alone is way ahead of just about any other motorcycle dealer event I’ve ever visited.

The entire shop is on display. It’s surprising how little equipment there is in the garage.

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This immaculate Ducati was on display.  It was the work of a motorcycle painting service 

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So here it is.  The new Ducati Diavel.  165 HP of fury.  It’s faster than the Ducati 1198, and apparently has better brakes.  There is no complicated starting procedure ala the Multistrada 1200.  You just push the start button to active the electrics and thumb the starter.  Just about every motorcycle magazine published around the world over the last two months has detailed reviews on the specifics of the displacement, performance, electronic gadgets, etc.  The only thing I’m going to try and do here is give you an idea of what it’s like to ride the thing. 

In short, IT”S FREAKING FAST.  I’m talking hyperbike fast.  Rocket ship fast, seriously, disturbingly, amazingly fast.  On the back straight of the test loop I hit well over 1XX MPH.  Just as amazing are the brakes.  I went from triple digits to 40 MPH in literally the blink of an eye.  I’ve ridden everything Ducati sells and this felt like the best brakes of the bunch.  Just amazing.  With just a one finger on the brake lever you can toss out the boat anchor and get that thing stopped.  Amazing.  Of lesser importance is the color display on the Diavel’s dashboard – the first on any motorcycle.  Very cool. 

Where this gets interesting is the fact that you simply cannot look at the Diavel and not think about how it highlights what’s wrong  with Harley Davidson.  This thing has massive torque – like a Harley, a similar riding position (without forward controls), makes similar “braaaaaaaaaaap, braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap” noise and aggressive looks.  Unlike most Harley Davidsons, the Ducati offers traction control, anti-lock brakes, effective suspension adjustment, comfortable ride, handling around town and speed, and reliability – with a real world service interval. 

Assuming you could pry open the oyster like minds of most Harley Davidson owners, drop them on the bike and give them a few hours of riding, you might see a curious change in opinion.  Than again, from what I hear the V-Rod was a flop and the FXR is merely an oddity.  What most Harley folks want is the shake, rumble and feel of tradition.  They don’t want ABS, traction control, drive by wire, or brakes that actually work.  Whatever, to each his own.   It’s a shame, because if Harley could build a bike like this it would change the industry completely.  Then again, Harley clearly knows what they are doing.  Like buying MV Agusta, and selling it a short time later for a loss – that’s clearly a sound financial/operations decision.  Or shuttering Buell and taking a loss of more than $250 million rather than selling the operation.  Ahhhhhhhhhh yesssss, clearly management has their eye on the ball.  

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Back to Cyclewise.  The Chad Hollister Band provided music under the tent.

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I’m not  much of a Honda guy, but this motorcycle was absolutely immaculate and had a ton of carefully thought out details and modifications.  It was cleaner than my Futura!  Arrrg, I need to get back into my garage with a ton of Q-tips.

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Back at home in Stowe,\I could not wait to get out of Vermont.  It’s been raining to the point of flooding, mud soaked, and permanently grey for months.  Just awful. 

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Prepping the Caponord while the Futura sits outside in the rain.  Soon the Capo will have similar decoration on the right bag.  IMG_2117

I know this is supposed to be an article about Ducati’s – however.  I finally saw the new BMW 1600.  The model here is the GTL (luxury) model and was kitted with every single factory accessory and option possible.  The list price on this sucker was $26,999.  It’s a beautiful machine.  I can’t wait to demo ride the GT.  I’m not old enough to want the GTL – actually, I don’t think I’ll every be old enough to want a GTL.

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The parts for the Caponord arrived yesterday and I fitted them.  The bike is not charging a the same rate so it’s a bit of a worry.  But I’m scheduled to head back on the road no matter what after the holiday.  Check back for more ride reports soon.

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2013 8:37 pm

    Excellent Review! Hey I don’t see Oregon on the back you your bike there.

  2. January 26, 2014 9:39 am

    Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

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