Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ready to hit the road again...

It's been an interesting past few months... In between returning from my previous cross-country motorcycle trips to planning my upcoming 4K-mile trip through the southwest US states, I started playing with sport bikes again. On my 48th birthday this year, purely impulsively, I decided to purchase a 2006 Kawasaki Ninja.
Call it reliving my 20-something days, but I felt the need to revisit the feel of the powerful sportbike beneath me from the days when I was riding a 1986 Kawasaki Ninja along Southern California highways at ridiculous speeds. No doubt mid-life crisis buy.
A week or two after buying the Ninja, I quickly remembered how noisy and uncomfortable the smaller Japanese sportbikes were, so I sold the Ninja. Although, still feeling the sportbike itch, I ran across an ad for a 2001 Triumph TT600 which I couldn't resist. It's yellow, it's fast, and it was cheap!

I had always heard that the Triumphs were solid, ferocious, and dependable bikes, but I was curious about the British sport bikes since I never owned one. Triumphs live up to their reputation. This bike was aggressive, handled beautifully, dependable, and easily holds its own against the big sport bikes. The design of this bike is fully functional, minimalistic, but packs all of the power where needed. Bravo to the Brits for giving the Italians a good run for their money in the sportbike racing world.

As for the Italian sportbikes... Yes, I too fell victim to the allure of the sleek, lightweight, and definitely powerful Italian sportbikes and bought a 2004 Ducati 749S Superbike.

Damn! These things are scary. The Ducati doesn't handle like any other production-made street bike I've ever ridden. You don't turn a Ducati into a turn, you lean a Ducati into a turn. I'm having to relearn my sportbike riding skills all over again. This bike was made with one thing in mind. Racing. These bikes are noisy, temperamental, uncomfortable monsters at low speeds, but get them up into their power bands, and look out. Ducati earns its reputation at 65+ mph.

After all of this, my 2007 BMW 1200GS lays in the wait for my upcoming 4K-mile trip in the end of May through Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, and back into Oregon. I'm overdue another 'escape trip', and looking forward to the upcoming one. As usual, I'll keep posting my adventures as they unravel.