Sunday, March 28, 2010

Would Hypermotard be my next ride?

Could this be my next ride?, originally uploaded by achung_123.

Finally after all these years I had a chance (& gut) to test ride a Hypermotard. I borrowed it from my riding buddy and took her for a spin during my weekend ride. I have been worry for test ride HM before due to two main reasons: riding height and engine power. It is obviously that I have height challenge; but what's really concern me is the engine power in relationship to the riding position.... it is truly a "wheelie machine", and the last thing I want is flipping my friend's bike!

After a short back road ride I think I finally finger out what's missing in my ride. Here is the list of things that "WOW" me at the time I rode off:
- Back and wrist pain were gone!
- Feels like I can see miles of road ahead of me.
- Riding at fully engaged first gear at 12 MPH without stalling - not sure about other bikes; but for Ducati dry clutch it is a major achievement!
- Without additional weight added to my wrist, the throttle control was like a dream - exact and precise.
- High and wide handle bar provide a lot of steering leverage.

Here are the drawbacks... at least for me on this test bike:
- Clutch-pull is typical Ducati hard - or maybe worse.
- Where is my clutch pedal? I have to look down and look for it - especially up shift...
- Kick-stand is rock-hard to kick in or out.
- Very light steering... scary light!
- So-so break; but far better than my Sport Classic.

There are many after market solutions for all the draw back factors... overall it is a very positive test ride - it is a fun, responsive, quick, and well made bike. I don't feel like it is as solid as my beloved Classic; but flexibility gave my the 'lightness' that I have been searching for. Will the Hypermotard be my next ride? Maybe the Hypermotard S; and I still can't get my eyes off the Super bike like 1198 - so many possibilities, so little budget....

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The best ride so far in 2010!

Ridgecreast Road, originally uploaded by achung_123.

This was by far the best ride in 2010! Took a different route this time. It was a lot more technical and demanding especially around the Apline Lake area; but it was well worth the risk and effort. The breathtaking view almost make my ride impossible! The best part was roads were almost empty during the early morning hours, and free of an police or park ranger. See Google map for my route - unlike HW1, this route is only recommended for someone has experience in "deep twisties" in the wood - after today ride, it really makes me wonder maybe I should get a motard as my second bike!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

First Spring ride to Point Reyes Station

First Spring ride over HW1, originally uploaded by achung_123.

View Larger Map

The weather seems to stabilized a bit lately, and I start my very first Spring 'longer' ride. Riding along HW1 was made me feel so lucky to live in California. Weather is still a bit cold especially in early morning; but I still like to start early to avoid traffic and squids. Thank to my TourMaster heated vest keeping me warm, and my Dainese Delmar perforated jacket keep me chill in the warmer afternoon sun. I know it sounds odd to have a combination of heated vest and perforated jacket (it is like turning on heater and AC at the same time); but in micro-climate area like Bay Area, it actually work quiet well without being too cold or over heated...

Check out my route for reference. Roads on this route are really smooth; but have to watch out of falling rock after the storms like today. A lot of clutch control in uphill Mill Valley residential area with slow and narrow traffic; once once you hit the top of the hill it will be smooth sailing. Ride safe and have fun!

Friday, March 12, 2010


WOW... this is really something. Don't think my Sport Classic can ever do this... so enjoy the show!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Wonderful local back roads!

View Larger Map

The weather was warm and sunny, and a lot of motorcyclists like myself had a wonderful time today. It has been too long since I last visited the Wall along with some of my favorite local back roads. Today the roads was clean, and almost free of cops (at least my route)... my body was aching after the ride but it was well worth!

Check out my route above (for all the local riders who's not familiar with East Bay). Keep in mind that both Redwood and Skyline are B to C route - meaning that the road conditions are far from perfect. Roads on this route are generally bumpy, narrow, and twisted. On top of that it's alway full of cyclists, tourists, and animals. As long as keep it below B pace you will be fine! Have fun... and stay alive.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hello new tank!

New tank!, originally uploaded by achung_123.

Today is a band new day.... sort of. My old spread tank has been replaced by DNA free of charge after 4 yrs of usage. Check out my earlier tank spread report - it has been a small but continues problem for the past few years. Some Ducati owners got replacements and some didn't since it is not really a safety issue - yet. I am one of the few lucky one got the replacement under 5yrs CA emission warranty. BTW, Ace Motorsports did an excellent job replacing my tank. Not a single gas stain on my newly wrap headers!

Still can't believe I scored a $1900 new tank plus labour... lucky me.