The New Lust

OK, So this machine deserves it's own post. I spent Saturday afternoon chasing my buddy Rich, who owns Sonic Springs, across the ridges and through the valley's of the Ozarks. I was aboard my first generation SV650, a good friend who got me back into riding and has carried me thousands of miles on mountain roads with [relatively] few problems. But as glided across the pristine asphalt of Newton County, I realized... there is more to life than just function.

Rich's new Ducati 848 (with less than 1k miles on the clock) is as much a piece of performance art as it is a motorcycle. I have seen them in person, I have seen videos, I have seen thousands of photos.... but until you ride near one, you can't really understand just what the Italians are able to do with a little plastic and metal.
There is something about motorcycles that people either get... or they don't. Some folks run away in fear, others rush forward with an unparalleled passion. And different motorbikes yield different results. Rich for instance usually rides a V-Strom 650, a very utilitarian bike. Often referred to as "an appliance," the V-Strom is an amazing ride for the money and is capable of more than most people are. For instance, Rich took his and rode from Midwest City, Okla...... to the ARCTIC CIRCLE...... by himself. Now that's one heck of a motorcycle, and aboard it Rich is the safest, most sane rider I have ever known. Always tempered, always checking sight lines, always keeping the right hand under control. But aboard the Duc, Rich is a different man, a monster of the roads, still well in control, but more so with the right hand wrapped tightly around the throttle. When I finally caught him (at a stop sign in the distance) I asked him if that bike got in his head. His response was a big big grin.

A couple hours chasing rich reconnected me with my own bike, but also taught me where the limits of my front suspension are! It's not terribly common to see these bikes around, it's even less common to see them with an owner that it not an uber-rich poser who has more money that talent.

Anyhow, most of us will likely never ride a bike like this, but if you ever get the chance to follow one through the mountains on a 60 degree day in the bright sunshine... I suggest you do. The above picture is all you may see, but it's certainly worth the view.