It didn’t start too brilliantly when I had to bolt down to Sydney to pick up a Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled. The pressure of work was such that I decided to go down and back in a day. It’s an easy drive compared to 10 years ago, but it’s still not a lot of fun.
But I ended up with the Desert Sled, and I know I’m starting to sound like a Ducati fan boy, but what a fantastic bike! I thought it’d just be a show pony for inner-city wankers to ride to the coffee shop, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The way the bike looks is just icing on the cake for what a pleasure it is to ride. Even photographing it felt great.
Craig Murcott was kind enough to take some time out on a Friday arvo to ride it for the camera and we got a few good pics, so that all went well. I put the poor guy in my open-faced helmet and waxed-cotton Dririder jacket for the visual effect.
With the pics done I went for a lap to Inverell to check out the Scrapheap guys, and my timing was woeful. They were all out on a ride. I did get to chat to Perry Gilsenan – organiser of the Scrapheap – and bumped into a few other great people, but I didn’t get a good look at all the bikes.
Riding that Ducati was really awesome. It doesn’t have mind-blowing performance like some of the big-money Ducatis, but the seemingly bare-bones presentation – which is thanks to some clever design, because there’s plenty of great technology at work on the Desert Sled – fantastic braking and suspension and a grunty V-twin make the ride a really joyful experience. I’m supposed to return the bike tomorrow, but after the Ducati guys showed me how to turn off the ABS, I now can’t remember how to turn it on again, so I’ll have to call them tomorrow, find out what needs to be done, then ride the bike again.
As I read that it doesn’t seem so bad…
That’s been my week, and it was a good one.
Let’s hope this coming week is just as good.
PS: The pic at the top of the page isn’t war-torn Bosnia. Believe it or not, it’s a 4WD training facility in Victoria, and the image is from a BMW training school called ‘Enduro Park’ in 2006. It was the first time I ever rode an HP2, a bike I still regard with awe. TF