Friday, August 21, 2015

Two naked Italians

Ducati Monster 1200 S

Yesterday, I rode the Ducati Monster 1200 and the Aprilia Tuono back to back. These bikes are similar in some respects but, by design, they ride very differently.
Something about the matte black Aprilia was a bit hot. Like a stealth bomber, I imagined that this nondescript naked bike would help me fly under the radar of the local and state authorities. I'm invisible! Even if they could not SEE me, they certainly would hear me coming!
The Tuono has a 1000cc V4 engine that likes to rev very high. To make adequate power, you need to keep your wrist pinned and the noise level high. The seat is as comfortable as the granite garden bench we have in the side yard. You don't sink into it at all, and you imagine you are being ridden out of town on a very fast rail.

The dealer insisted that I ride the Duc again. I had ridden it last weekend and had almost written it off as a noisy, Italian money pit. The bright red color also is a traffic stopper. Or a traffic ticket.
After the Aprilia, the spacious and thick cushion of the Ducati felt like a La-Z Boy recliner. You know what they say about the bigger cushion. It's a ride all day sort of bike. The one thing I discovered about the riding dynamics is this: with a twin engine in the Duc, torque is the order of the day. When you blip the throttle in ANY gear, the Duc leaps forward like a Great Dane after a squirrel. It makes prodigious amounts of torque and, if any of you need stumps pulled, come see me in the spring.

Both bikes are good bikes, but with different purposes. The Aprilia is more of a track tool and the Ducati is more of the gentleman hooligan's bike. It's the bike you would have stunted in your 20's, if crashing didn't stunt your riding career.
The dealer is preparing an offer and, the only question left is when? Do I want to make payments all winter? Not so much. Still lots of season left and the Duc is a 2015 model about to be marked down. Let's see what happens next. Worst case? I'm riding a 2016 model next year, tricked out the way I want it.
A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket

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