| | Collected! First impressions
I collected the Tricolore on Friday from Riders of Cardiff, used with 600 miles on clock, Termis fitted and having just had its first service. I met up with the owner and to say that he was gutted to be selling it was an understatement. He was well known by the staff at the dealers having had a few bikes with them and I have faith that heís run it in properly and looked after it. Itís still immaculate as youíd expect on a 600 mile bike thatís been looked after. I had to collect the bike in a van and drive the long 180 miles home before even thinking about going out for a play. Unfortunately by the time I got home it was chucking it down and proceeded to do so for all of Saturday morning! . Fortunately the track, I mean the road, dried out on Saturday afternoon to enable a first ride.
I started it up and was amazed at the difference in sound compared to my previous Dukes Ė 996,998,1098S. The whirring of the gear driven cams makes it sound a bit like a V4 but still with the characteristic beat of a V-Twin. Nice! The paint finish and general component finish is superb, as youíd expect from Ducati. My friends ride Japanese bikes and always moan about the components going furry over winter Ė that simply doesnít happen on a Ducati.
First impressions are that itís a phenomenal machine. I was worried about the reports that I had read about the engine not having the low down torque and grunt of the earlier bikes but itís so different in the way that it delivers the power that I donít think itís a problem, it spins up super smooth with plenty of character and still with a ferocious power delivery as the revs build, lifting the front as it does so. However, Iíve got to wonder what have they covered the seat covered with? Teflon? As soon as the power starts to kick in I slide backwards! Iíll be ordering the race seat as soon as possible, I had one fitted to my 1098S, it made a huge difference and was surprisingly comfy.
What have they done with the weight? I thought the change from a 998 to a 1098 couldnít be beaten in terms of how light the bike felt but the change from 1098 to 1199 is something else! The 1199 doesnít quite have the same surefootedness and confidence of front that the 1098 had but a few tweaks here and there should sort that out as I get more used to it. The bike turns on its side like a lightweight 600 and changes its line with a mere hint of input. You look, it follows. You grin under your helmet, it goes faster and leans further. Knee on the floor, it asks if thatís all youíve got? Itís so different to a 1098 that itís like riding a bike from another manufacturer.
The brakes are simply amazing and leagues ahead of anything I have encountered on a bike before. I need to rotate the levers upwards a bit to where I want them but thatís a personal thing. The quickshifter is going to take a bit of getting used to as itís my first experience of one but the gearbox is super smooth, in a different league to previous Ducatiís. The dash has finally brought bikes into the 21st century and I think that electronic adjustment will make experimenting with setup quicker and easier. Just stop, select the changes without even getting off and see what happens.
I think it may be quite warm in traffic on a warm day as my right thigh was already part cooked and it was relatively cool! There is definitely a lot of heat coming from the right hand side of the bike so itíll be interesting to see what thatís going to be like if we ever get warm dry weather again!
I only got out for an hour and a half on and unfortunately Iím away for work this week so wonít get out again until the weekend. Fingers crossed for sunshine and warm tarmac. There will always be people that say its overpriced and not worth it compared to other superbikes which I can understand because lets face it, it is a lot of money and thereís no denying that. However the feeling of Ď I want to get out and ride purely for the fun of ití is priceless. I had a good look at an S1000RR at the dealers whilst I was there and it just didnít create the same sort of emotion.
Itís going in for the full system to be fitted at the end of the month so Iíll be selling the Termiís that came with it. Iíll also change that monstrosity of a number plate hanger for something that moves the plate in back under the seat and tidies everything up, perhaps the R&G replacement but I havenít had an opportunity to see what else is out there. Anyone any other suggestions or fitted anything else?