So a couple of weeks ago the Ducati test ride roadshow rolled into town .... when i say town i mean this place - https://www.squires-cafe.co.uk/
- My local haunt.
Not sure if you are familiar with the concept so briefly a manufacturer tours the country with a lorry full of bikes for the prospective buyer to test ride.
Why bother? You can go to your local showroom to test ride right?
The thing with these test rides is that they capture the people who are not really in the market for a bike, but who could be tempted given a taster of whats on to offer. And at times the bike you get to ride really does get under your skin.
So far i have experienced four of these days;
1: Suzuki -
GSXR1000R .... and was blown away by how good it was...
GSX-S1000 was a total let down however....
S1000XR - Nice, and very competent, though ultimately boring to ride.
S1000RR - Simply didn't gel at all, don't get me wrong I feel i should have loved it but it just didn't work for me like the GSXR had. Shame, i had expected so much more.
R1250R - An odd one this. Never considered it but was there on the day and thought that looks quite nice, and different with the flat twin pots. Gave it a test ride and its really got under my skin. So much so I am considering one as my next bike.
No photos and so heres a write up from Bennetts;
But enough of that, the Ducati road show i hear you ask?!
Not quite as well organised as the bigger manufacturers but hey this is Ducati right? We like things a little different!
First bike up was the Supersport. I've always liked these bikes - a halfway house between tourer and full on sports bike....
Fairly comy too....
Let's do this....
This was the first time i've been on a different bike since buying my 2016 1200S Multistrada exactly one year ago, and WOW! - Smoooooth air! Just as it should be on a bike. Such a revelation after the wind buffetting issues on the 'Strada that cause double vision at times.
The Supersport is a nice bike to ride, which is a disappointment in some respects as i hoped it would be a great bike to ride. I liked the riding position, i liked the fact you could rev the bike hard and have fun, unlike something that has 200bhp and is simply too fast to have fun on, if that makes sense? But something just didnt click like i hoped it would do. I enjoyed the experience but it's not the bike for me. I think i've been spoilt by the 'Strada's comfort and grunt. The refinement of the Skyhook suspension. The supersport felt quite basic in comparison.
So onto the second bike of the day. Familiar territory this one....
The lads from Ducati were kind enough to allow me to fit my backbox onto the 1260 so our lass could join me on the ride out. It was certainly interesting riding the 1260.
The first thing that hit me was (literally) the terrible wind off the standard screen. Horrid. Well that puts one question to rest - what are they like with the standard screen. Mine came with a larger touring screen, just as bad, and i've been meddling with various other screens for the last 12 months trying to get smooth air. Anyway, enough of that. A big difference is how quickly the 1260 goes through the gears with the quick shifter. Quick. Bloody quick infact. Before you know it you are into points gaining territory. I was surprised at the difference it made.
The 1260 you can feel is an updated package from the old 1200 like mine. The bike feels smoother, more composed, though i did overshoot into one right-hander when the bike didnt drop in as fast as i expected. Whether that was down to the longer swingarm and more rake on the forks, or the fact My bike is running the awesome Michelin Road 5 tyres i arent sure. Either way i was more cautious in the following corners. I would definitely say its a nicer bike, but for me its not worth the extra money it would cost to upgrade from mine. Having said that If they sorted that damn wind buffetting it might be though, ha!
So all in all a nice afternoons riding. Unfortunately for Ducati it hasn't inspired me to make an impromptu purchase, but you never know, i could have done. After all I still think quite often of the BMWR1250R i rode earlier in the year.
I'll leave you with a pic of old faithful ... stood next to the bike
..... and what remains of the first of the cooling towers to be demolished at the now closed down Ferrybridge power station.
Video of the cooling tower coming down here....