Now fast-forward to the day itself. [By this device I conveniently gloss over my hurling of toys from the group pram on the ride up — sorry, but 120 miles in four hours through 30/40mph limits on a 748 is going to do in anyone’s head (and in my case, their back). The journey improved though – the second, solo, 120 miles was over clear and wonderful roads and took an hour-and-a-half. Antisocial git that I am.]
There have already been more words written and opinions expressed on the Ducati 999 than on most machines of recent years — replacing something as iconic as the 916 design was never going to be less than contentious. Over the next few months we’ll all no doubt be reading test reports and comparisons on the 999 until terminal boredom sets in. We’ll see it being wheelied, stoppied, ridden knee down, elbow down and occasionally arse up, by road testers whose behaviour is entirely untempered by the need to pay for maintenance, tyres and damage. Good for them — we’ll enjoy the vicarious carnage.
Me, I’m neither particularly fast nor painfully slow, moderately competent on a good day and prone to the occasional braindead moment — pretty much like most of us, then. So this is the everyman opinion, albeit concocted over the course of a single hour-and-a-bit’s test ride. This test ride has been occasioned by the decision to change bikes — time to pension off the faithful 748 for something a little newer, perhaps a little quicker and possibly a little more comfortable — the old injuries are playing up.