Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Clean up

Memorial Day was the nice day of the 3 day weekend, sunny and the temps got into the 60s. Charlie spent Saturday and Sunday at the Air Guard, taking the MSF basic rider course to get his M/C endorsement, and had to suffer through lousy weather and inept students. By Monday he was ready to ride. Fred joined us on his new CBR500R. Hannah rode the Monster and I was on the VFR.

We had a mostly pleasant ride north to Jay, which is on the far side of Jay Peak Ski Resort. The road up and over the mountain has been torn up in preparation for new pavement, so it was pretty rough, but we made it through to Jay and stopped there for lunch.

After a quick stop to look at the water coming over the dam in Fairfax, we rode back to Fred's. I swapped bikes with Hannah to see what the Ducati Monster is all about. It's all about fun, is what I can tell you. A first gear roll on wheelie is ready when you want, and there's enough power to get you up to speed anywhere anytime. I don't think I'll be leaving her behind at stop signs anymore.

We got back home with plenty of time to wash and wax the bikes. Jay came over to do some maintenance on his KTM, so we wound up with a garage full of bikes at the end of the day.

Jay got lots of advice about how to change his wheel bearings.

Tucked away in the garage; KTM 300EXC, Suzuki SV650, Yamaha XT500, BMW F800 ST, Triumph Bonneville, Honda VFR800 fi, KTM 200XC, Ducati M1100

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ducati roll-out

This past Friday, Hannah and I attended the Ducati Vermont Launch Party, put on by CyclewiseVT.com for the launch of the new 2013 Hypermotard 796. At least I think it was for that bike...but more on that later.

We had received instructions to meet at the Staples Plaza at 6:00, where we would get arm bands in support of the Boston Marathon victims, and ride en-masse down to the waterfront where the party was. I will say it was kind of fun riding down Main Street in Burlington surrounded by Ducatis. Its the only time so far that I've ridden the VFR and not been able to hear it because it was drowned out by the other bikes around me.

Once we parked the bikes and took off helmets and gear, it was a very comfortable evening and I recognized a few people in the crowd. It was always nice to answer the question "So, do you ride a Ducati?" with, "no, but this is my daughter, she has a Monster". She got a lot of respect.

This was a section of the bikes that showed up, dig the yellow 900 Superlight.

I even had a few people comment on the VFR, so I didn't feel totally left out on a Japanese bike.

Once we had some snacks, the party moved inside to the Echo Center, which is a fishy museum/educational center, where there were several new Ducatis strategically placed around. There was a DJ playing loud and tedious dance tracks, and the lights were dimmed to create more atmosphere...not sure what kind of atmosphere they were hoping for, maybe I'm too old to get it, but the room filled in pretty quickly so I guess it worked.

After a while they did in fact roll out the Hypermotard, as well as a Super something or other, we were stuck in the back of the room and couldn't really hear over the Techno-dance music or see much over the heads of all the 6+ foot tall Ducatisti. It didn't take too long for the crowd to disperse enough for me to get close enough to take this lousy picture...

So after the not so climactic climax, Hannah and I walked up the street for a quick bite, then took the long way home. It was a very nice evening. I want a Ducati.