Automotive Classifieds of Interest Motorcycles Ramblings

A Quick Trip to Cape Meares on the Ducati and VFR

I had tried earlier this year to sell my Ducati 750SS, but admittedly it’s a slow market and I was asking a premium. Fast-forward to June and the weather has finally turned to summer. Time to take the bike off the market and ride! Paul suggested the following route for this Sunday:

View Larger Map

As you can tell, it’s a good day trip. But especially long if it’s your second ride of the year! My body is tired after this trip, but so worth it. Here are the pics (click for hi-res):

Cape Meares Oregon Coast Motorcycle Trip
Yep, this is what the Oregon Coast looks like when it's 70 degrees and sunny outside!
Cape Meares Oregon Coast Motorcycle Trip
The beautiful Oregon coast
Cape Meares Lighthouse
Cape Meares Lighthouse
Cape Meares Ducati 750 and VFR 750
Cape Meares Ducati 750 and VFR 750
Cape Meares Ducati 750 and VFR 750
Cape Meares Ducati 750 and VFR 750

Thanks for the great ride Paul!


Automotive Motorcycles Ramblings

The VFR750 and 750SS Attack the Willamette Valley Again!

The VFR750 and 750SS attack the Willamette Valley again, but this time the VFR is being piloted by Blake in a very generous loaner agreement with Paul. What can I say, the man is the shit for extending such an offer!

We took the back roads on Thursday for a killer ride up to Portland to visit with our SEO and PPC Vendor, Anvil Media Inc., on official OSU business. The weather on the way up was spectacular and we were treated to the best the valley has to offer while passing up all the various crops Oregon is known for: grass seed, wheat, filberts, strawberries, hops, grapes, green beans, corn, and many other types of organic produce. A ride like this reminds me why we live where we do!

Here are a couple pics from the Wheatland Ferry where we crossed the Willamette, and the current Anvil Media headquarters:


Here is the Google Map of our route up and pictures from the trip:


To follow up our trip, we assaulted Mary’s Peak on Saturday morning via back roads again of course! Highway 20 leading to the peak has recently been repaved at the base of the mountain and the road to the summit is still one of the best hillclimbs out there in terms of corners per mile and scenic views. Here are the pics from the Peak:


Many thanks to Paul for loaning out the bike to Blake, the best in SEO and Social Media for hosting us: Anvil Media, and rural Oregon for best and most scenic roads anywhere!


Automotive Motorcycles

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

Ducati Demo Ride May 2008 007

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.

Ducati Demo Ride May 2008 012

Ducati Demo Ride May 2008 013

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:

Ducati Demo Ride May 2008 005

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


Automotive Motorcycles Ramblings

Updates and Ducati Wallpaper!

After a recent visit to the Portland Ducati dealership, Motocorsa, I was cautioned not to even start the Ducati until I had replaced the belts. This is because they are rated at only 2 years, 12k miles, and I had no evidence that the belts were within those parameters. If the belts were to break, the cost of the head rebuilds would easily exceed the value of the bike. After some quick math, I took their advice and waited to tickle the 750 until today, when Paul replaced the belts. And we’ve had some damn nice weather here in Western Oregon that has been making me absolutely stir crazy for a ride on the bike!!!

Luckily I was able to satisfy my fix in a couple of ways. 1st was to turn my garage into a ghetto studio by gathering what I had in the house to make a backdrop and some strong overhead lighting to take some dramatic photographs. I ended up with this:

Ducati 750 SuperSport Wallpaper

(Click above image for link to full size wallpaper!)

This was the result of a relative photography amateur taking about 4 hours of trial and error shots, and some moderate Photoshop work. For a first effort, I’m thrilled. Here’s the original. If you’re a Photoshop wizard, or just want to take a crack, give the original the business and post a link of your interpretation. Or email me.

Update 3.12.08 – Here’s our first submission from Eric:

Blue Ducati SuperSport Wallpaper

A few weeks after that photo was taken, Paul and his wife met at our house for an evening of dinner and drinks, arriving separately. When they left the next morning, they took their car home and Paul left his bike in the garage. For nearly 2 weeks 😀 Naturally I made the most of it. Nearly every sunny late afternoon was spent on the VFR. (Paul, you are the man. Thank you so much!) While it sucked to leave the Duc in the garage on such perfect days, the VFR was a total blast! I mean:

  • It has a choke and starts on the first try.
  • It has fantastic creature comforts and modern conveniences like a full fairing, high mounted rear-view mirrors, comfortable seat, and even heated grips (!)
  • A clock and temperature gauge. And even a fuel gauge! You mean you can ride between tanks knowing how much fuel you have? Stupore!
  • It’s Red. bello!
  • It has a motor that is a relative of the RC45, and sounds totally fantastic with the Two Brothers carbon fiber exhaust.
  • And it was in my garage with a ‘ride anytime’ ticket provided by Paul.

Hell Ya, I rode her as much as I could! Here’s a short clip of my blipping the throttle before a ride:

Now I know what you’re thinking, “I hate YouTube bike exhaust clips that don’t rev the bike up that much!” To that I say: This bike is on loan from a close friend. A friend I respect. Naturally I waited to rev the piss out of her until the camera was off 😉 And she’s a screamer for sure. Once the needle swings past 8k RPM, hold on! She’ll walk the 750SS like it’s only running on one cylinder! Thanks for holding the needle for me when I needed my fix Paul!

Which brings us to today, when Paul came over to put the new belts on. I set him up with a Pepsi and a chocolate donut, and he dove right in. I had the nearly useless Ducati Factory manual open, and also the procedure on DucatiSuite for changing Ducati Timing Belts. He ended up referencing the latter more often than the manual, and had the whole job done in less than hour. With hours of sunlight left, we had to go for a quick ride of course to make sure the job was successful. And it was. I had a serious perma-grin on my first Ducati ride of 2008. We took a nice scenic tour of the Willamette Valley by taking highway 99N to Airlie Road, to Kings Valley, and back to Corvallis. You can check out the pics here, and here’s a wallpaper sized image that I photoshopped (too much):


Many, MANY thanks to Paul for getting the Ducati safe enough to start AND ride for ’08!


Automotive Motorcycles

Some Fall Riding Pictures

Paul was out with the Eugene VW Scene guys when they snapped this great rolling shot of him on the VFR:

1997 VFR750

And I snuck out of work yesterday for a quick jaunt North of Corvallis and snapped this one on the way home:

1993 Ducati 750 Fall Oregon

Wallpapers of the above image:
Fall Ducati 750 Wallpaper 1680
Fall Ducati 750 Wallpaper 1280
Fall Ducati 750 Wallpaper 1024

Not my best work, but at least I have a desktop that will keep me thinking of riding all winter!