Growing up every young boy has their dream of one day driving, owning or acquiring their ultimate desire: their dream car.
We all have these as young boy growing up into adulthood but since I ride my dream isn’t driving the ultimate four wheels but rather the two. This fantasy would be better suited if the dream vehicle happens to stem from being Italian. Why Italian? Why not is the answer you’ll most likely receive. Their exclusivity, sexiness and pure performance and style over all else mentality is brutal. The fruits of such labor are quite evident.
The Ducati Panigale came onto the scene the middle of last year and with a big splash no less. I wont bore you with the statistics on the bike as it can be found here.
I will rather put forth the emotions it stirred in me as if I was riding for the first time again.
My friend was gracious enough to let me throw on leg over this beautiful beast of a machine. I was hesitant at first as I am a well seasoned 600cc rider but this was pushing almost TWICE the displacement of my own steed and a twin cylinder configuration at that. Screaming inline-4’s I am used too but the pure PUNCH and power of the low-end on this twin was outstanding.
He put his beast into rain mode – or more righteously I asked him to as I knew the throttle would be insanely sensitive to even the slightest rip. Even in RAIN mode she was making a modest 120hp. Yes. 120hp on two-wheels that weighed less than 500lbs wet. Do the math. Power:Weight ratio here was out of sight. Now imagine if she was in full RACE mode with all allotted 195hp at the twist of my wrist. But lets not get ahead of ourselves.
I rolled off out of the parking lot all bewildered by the sight of me, on an Italian motorcycle, roaming the streets albeit 10 minutes but it was a dream! The sound coming from the engine, bellowing out of the under body exhaust was not only like a dragon breathing fire onto your thighs but as if the God Thor was summoning thunder at your very feet. Few sounds in the world can stir a man’s soul and this was pretty much up there for me.
The gear changes were silky smooth. Buttery in fact that when I thought about my own bike it reminded me of trying to up-shift where it felt like my foot was kicking the pavement over and over again. Power delivery was also just as smooth even with only 120hp to my avail. A slight twist and off she went! The growl all the way up 8-10k revs was like a slice of heaven. POWER EVERY WHERE!
When I did have to stop though I had need only use ONE FINGER. Yes, ONE FINGER. We’re not talking about handful of braking while praying the brake pads do their jobs and bind to the rotors, we’re talking about how when you squeeze the Brembo brake lever those sweet M50 calipers grind the front wheel into a stop and you can physically feel the earth’s rotation slow for a brief second. Thinking back to mine – I would have probably end up going into the back of that loading truck by now.
I just can’t get over how indeed sexy this bike is. From its looks to its performance it won me over. I was in the midst of just riding less and less because the satisfaction of THE RIDE was slowly fading away. Until I sat on this. It put a grin to my face I haven’t had in a long time other than coming back from a lap on the track. This joy for just riding the street was immense in its own right that I believe my next bike will be consisting of a little Italian flag moniker on the tail section.