The Grand Australian Roadtrip, put very simply and honestly, is a ride celebrating the innate desire that we riders have to ride a motorcycle on open highways under a blue sky. About having that freedom to stop when we want, where we want. The feeling of opening the helmet lid to let the cool wind hit your face and the scent of the pines invigorate you. That’s what it is, this road-trip. That and because it is cool to think you are MadMax for 23,000 kms! If you dont know who that is, read here!
For Charity? No sir. I believe that charity is a personal thing; I will do good to feel good. I will not to do good to be judged as a good person by my audience. I also do not believe in casting what my underlining objective of the trip is within an altruistic cocoon. And this is not to demean the plethora of good motorcyclists who ride for charity. My best wishes to them, and Godspeed.
But then there’s much more to this road-trip beyond the basic instinct of riding and taking corners on a motorcycle. It is a personal challenge, like all my previous road-trips have been, only tougher. The challenge is to be on the road for days at end. The challenge is to find my breaking point as I ride, take photos, take videos, blog, update social media, meet the expectations of sponsors, of my audience, of friends and family, and to manage my ‘office’ back home in Delhi (the xBhp HQ), which by itself is one of its kind in India where many a motorcycling ideas, events and motives have taken birth.
I will try to produce the best photos I can, posting them regularly on the blogs of this website. And posting them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and 500px. I will also be hopefully Instagraming a bit....
For the rest of "About The Grand Australian Road Trip, click HERE
Much like Harley-Davidson and Moto Guzzi, Ducati is associated with a single engine design—its signature 90 degree “L-twin.” Save for the V-four-powered MotoGP racebikes, it’s been since the ultra-rare, race-only Supermono single was discontinued in 1995 that the Italian firm has produced anything other than desmodromic-valved V-twins. But this wasn’t always the case. For the three decades prior to 1985, the year Cagiva bought Ducati and decided to focus almost exclusively on the V-twin layout, the company also produced a variety of singles and parallel twins, while the testing department experimented with a wild diversity of engine configurations and designs—most of which have been lost to history and not even displayed in Ducati’s factory museum.
This morning I got up at 3:30 am to watch the warmup of the MotoGP race from France live. To be honest, as passionate as I am about the sport and the Ducati brand I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the last couple of seasons have been hard to watch. And that’s from the outside which is, lets be honest, nothing like being on the inside and taking it on the chin every day. So the 3:30 am ritual for the Euro rounds has been less and less appealing, in the battle of sleep vs race fan, sleep has been winning....
The moral of this story is simple: Do not let non-motorcycling bureaucrats run a motorcycle company.
Ducati had a pretty successful run from its inception in 1946, especially after it introduced the Diana 250 single to the American market in 1961. However, financial problems cropped up in the early ’70s and, in the typical Italian way, the government stepped in to save the company. The new board, a governing body made up of gentlemen in Brioni suits, knew little about the realities of motorized two wheelers.
1977 Ducati Sport Desmo 500.
Although Ducati had made its reputation on singles, the board decided to phase them out after 1974…and replace them with 350 and 500 parallel twins. The idea of a 350cc bike was sensible, as the government provided a huge tax break for motorcycles under that size. And building a 500 version would be inexpensive, as all the hard work would have gone into the 350.
A week after the Rolling Stones played a semi-secret club date as a musical publicity stunt, reggae scion Ziggy Marley did the same -- performing a short set of his father's standards and his own originals Friday afternoon at a remote roadside cafe on the Angeles Crest Highway, to an audience of several hundred motorcycle riders....
Vicki Smith for Ducati.net's insight:
This carefully staged, strategically leaked, private event was hosted by Ducati....
The seventh in our Silodrome Selection series, an occasional round-up curated by Silodrome editor James McBride.The exoskeletons enjoyed by insects and crustaceans have a big advantage over our endoskeletons.
talian Custom Motorcycles – The Italian Chop – Choppers, Cruisers, Bobbers, Trikes & Quads
• The custom-built side of Italian motorcycles • See how iconic brands like Ducati and Moto Guzzi work as custom bikes • Aimed at Italian bike aficionados, as well as lovers of custom bikes • The first book of its kind • Stunning photography of finished projects • Owners’ stories and technical descriptions • Refreshing change from the long-established Harley Davidson custom scene
Vicki Smith for Ducati.net's insight:
Not for everybody but the first time we have seen a book focused on this side of the Italian bikes
The introduction of the next generation Hypermotard has now further broadened the character of the model family with a stylish and accessible mid-range tourer with everyday practicality – The Hyperstrada. While the new range delivers a thrilling and fun filled experience, the Hyperstrada goes that extra mile to deliver long distance adventure and enable practical, everyday motorcycling in absolute Ducati style. Brand new from the ground up, the family introduces the new 110hp Ducati 821cc Testastretta 11° engine in a new Trellis frame equipped with top-of-the range chassis components. While sharing the Hypermotard’s sharp and sleek styling to maintain that essential Supermotard look, the Hyperstrada is factory-accessorised with a full touring-oriented specification. It successfully combines performance with excellent ergonomics and the Ducati Safety Pack of latest generation ABS, Ducati Traction Control and integrated Riding Modes. Ample ground-clearance combined with a narrow waistline and commanding riding position gives the rider a confidence-inspiring stance, ideal for dominating the every-day urban commute or long distance journey. The new Hyperstrada takes the Hypermotard concept into the future with refined design and user-friendly technologies that will enhance its appeal to a wider range of riders.
There’s nothing like a barn find to get the motorcycling juices flowing, and this Ducati 750 Super Sport is one of the best. The bike was discovered in Belgium in 2009, after sitting in a shed for 15 years. It’s now been resurrected by Harné Heuvelman of the Dutch specialist Back To Classics, and it’s as close to vintage perfection as you can get...
Legends of motorcycling and over 250 classics from throughout the annals of motorcycling history met in Carmel for the fifth annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering.
Ducati had a huge presence once again as its North American headquarters is located nearby in the Bay Area. The Italian marque was also there to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Monster. What better way to celebrate the model’s success than to have the man who created the motorcycle himself, designer Miguel Galluzi, on hand to talk about one of Ducati’s best-selling motorcycles and sign autographs for fans. Ducati’s fervent advocate Vicki Smith presented two special awards on behalf of the Italian manufacturer, the first called the “La Piu Bella” award going to Jimmy Kilroy for his 1999 Ducati Monster dressed in an avante garde fairing. The “Passione Rossa” award went to another brand ambassador, Syl “Grandma” Salenius and her 2012 Ducati 1100 Evo Monster, her Evo sporting a license plate that reads “GMA’SBYK."
Checa's shoulder injury forces him to forfeit the Monza weekend Monza (Italy), Saturday 11 May 2013: Carlos Checa and Team SBK Ducati Alstare have decided that the Spanish rider will not take part in today's sessions or tomorrow’s races at the ‘Autodromo di Monza’. During the last week Carlos Checa has been receiving treatment for an osseous edema to the humerus of the left shoulder. This physical problem conditioned yesterday’s sessions, with Checa reporting pain in his shoulder. Overnight the inflammation worsened and early this morning, after consultation with both the doctors of the Clinica Mobile and Ducati Alstare’s management, it was decided that Carlos should not ride and should instead continue to recuperate in order to be back in shape in 2-3 weeks time. Checa will therefore not participate in the rest of the practice sessions or tomorrow’s races and will concentrate on preparing for the next round, to take place in two weeks at Donington Park (UK).
20 years. Ponder that. The only motorcycles that have been in production that long are class defining, life changing machines. Sportster. Bonneville. Goldwing. Motorcycles that redefined riding and how we did it. And now the Ducati Monster is among them. Clearly something needed to happen that was a proper tip of the hat to a motorcycle like that so we decided to do what it does best, we just went for a ride. And what a ride it was, a three day road trip from Newport Beach to Carmel for the Quail Motorcycle Gathering. Along the way there were stops at Ducati Newport, Ducati Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Big Sur and even a couple laps of Laguna Seca. Great roads, people food and riding all ending at the best motorcycle show America has to offer. Epic!
20 years. Ponder that. The only motorcycles that have been in production that long are class defining, life changing machines. Sportster. Bonneville. Goldwing. Motorcycles that redefined riding and how we did it. And now the Ducati Monster is among them. Clearly something needed to happen that was a proper tip of the hat to a motorcycle like that so we decided to do what it does best, we just went for a ride….
Ducati revs-up a passionate welcome for new CEO, Claudio Domenicali
• Ducati gives enthusiastic support for new CEO, Claudio Domenicali • Workers rev-up a ‘Ducati Desmo welcome’ below CEO’s window • The Ducati Desmosedici GP race bike leads the impressive fanfare
Borgo Panigale (Bologna, Italy), 29 April 2013 – After an emotional farewell to Gabriele Del Torchio last week, Ducati workers prepared for Claudio Domenicali’s initiation as the new CEO of Ducati Motor Holding with a passionate welcome, typical of the iconic Italian motorcycle brand.
47-year-old Engineer Domenicali from Bologna, who has been with Ducati for 21 years, could not have hoped for a better start as staff of the famous manufacturer organised a special display to support him in the new and challenging role of CEO.
Gathering below his new office, the workforce strategically positioned the latest Ducati motorcycles, hand-built in the company’s Borgo Panigale factory, and with the company’s Desmosedici GP race bike leading the chorus, started the engines to rev-up a high powered, Desmo fanfare, bringing the new boss to his window.
“My new challenge could not be off to a better start,” commented Domenicali, enthused by the impromptu ‘concert’. “It is a challenge that I face with pride, passion and extreme gratitude and I will do everything possible to repay the confidence that has been shown in me by giving my own contribution to the further growth of this extraordinary brand.”
Attention all easy riders, iron horsemen and two-wheel ethusiasts: Carmel wants you to pull on a helmet, crank the throttle and come for a visit.
On Saturday, the seaside town is to host the fifth annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering, which will showcase some of the coolest classic and sport bikes from "the past, present and future."
According to organizers, "the featured themes for 2013 include: The 20th anniversary of the Ducati Monster, antique, Japanese, European, competition, American, off-road, custom/modified and superbike." In addition to manufacturer displays and a for-sale-by-owner event, the event will include a new "Legends of the Sport" series. This year's honoree will be Wayne Rainey, three-time champion of the 500cc Grand Prix and winner of the Daytona 200 motorcycle race. Attendees also can enjoy a barbecue lunch with beverages from local wineries and breweries, plus live music.
If you are a motorcycle race fan, chances are good you got up this morning, (as early as 5:30 am for those of you on the left coast), got all settled in for the spectacle of World Superbike Superpole being streamed on BeIn web live or on the tv if you are one of the lucky ones that has access to that, only to find...nothing.
Vicki Smith for Ducati.net's insight:
After asking a number of web saavy friends why they didn't use Twitter it became clear that some people still think it's for posting photos of what you had for lunch....