Automotive Motorcycles

Ducati Demo Day: A Kid in a Kick Ass Candy Store

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Paul and I did the Ducati Demo Day at MotoCorsa in Portland this past Saturday. It was completely awesome! Their facility is a very cool place to hang out anyway, but getting to sample their brand new bikes was really amazing. It’s a guided group ride with a dozen or so brand new bikes that riders can preview at no cost. Sharp marketing too because if I had a spare $12-15k for a new bike, I would’ve signed immediately upon our return. Later that night, Paul and I were still trying to convince ourselves it might be doable!

Before heading up, I checked the Ducati website for the current offerings and to make my pick. I wanted to try something vaguely similar to my 750SS, but in a brand new flavor. And the Sport Classic was my pick. I was very excited to find out they had not one, but two openings for Sport Classics for Paul and I to sample at 2 o’clock. His was the up rated S model with Ohlin’s forks, full fairing, and full Termignoni pipes. Mine had the stock pipes, which were way too quiet. When Paul cracked the throttle on his, everyone noticed immediately and sounded much more the business. They really should come this way stock.

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While we waited for our turn, the reality started setting in. If I scratched this thing, I would own a second Ducati, costing 4x as much as mine and with a big scratch to fix LOL! That’d be fun explaining to Mrs. Rubley! The butterflies started to swim around in my stomach… I was briefly comforted watching the earlier group leave with a couple of noticeably novice riders who came back unscathed.

Once underway it was a total breeze. There were many similarities to my own bike, and I was at home right away. Riders were guided at a very smart pace and given a great 20 mile tour of the Portland hills. Tour guides front and back made sure we stayed together and stopped traffic at intersections to keep us together. Fantastic route and great planning. By the time we got back, I was grinning ear to ear like it was Christmas morning. I won’t miss it again!

My 20 minute review of the Ducati Sport 1000:

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Pro’s – Classic minimalist styling with a comfortable seat, spoked rims, cafe racer clip on’s, and retro decals. Nice modern amenities like fuel injection, 6 speed gearbox, and the refinements that are now found in modern Ducati’s.

Con’s – Not so great on/off throttle response, a gas tank that’s a tad uncomfortable to sit against, and those stock pipes are obviously engineered to be lame so you can upgrade to the Termi’s. But other than that, she was a wonderful ride with very approachable power and controls.

A huge thank you to Ducati MotoCorsa for hosting and Ducati NA for generously loaning me a beautiful new bike that absolutely made my day!

Ducati Demo Day at MotoCorsa 2008 Gallery