So, most of you already know but for history’s sake I’d like to report that I am now the proud new owner of a 2006 Ducati Monster S2R Dark. It’s a 800cc “naked” sports bike. Basically like a crotch rocket with all the plastic stripped off and more “classic” styling. It’s the absolute shit.

I’ve wanted a new bike for a long, long time. I had a 1988 Suzuki Katana that my brother rode for many moons and then gave to me. I rode it also for many moons and basically rode it into the ground. Finally it needed more work than it was worth so I got what I could out of it on Craigslist and said goodbye. That was a few months ago, but I hadn’t really ridden it for about 2 years before that.

My brother Adam has a 1997 Ducati 748 Yellow that is absolutely gorgeous. And fast. I lusted after that bike so much it was sick. I knew that eventually I wanted a Ducati for the uniqueness factor. I love going fast, but there is something to be said for having a bike you don’t see 500 of on a Spring day. I decided on the Monster for a few reasons. 1) I can’t afford a 748 🙂 2) I really like the style. I don’t know I can honestly say I like it better than a pure sport bike like the 748 but I like it as least as much, so that’s plenty. 3) The monster has a little bit less of an agressive riding position than a normal sports bike and it’s more comfortable to ride over a long distance.

The sale couldn’t have gone more smooth. I went down to Letko with my money in hand, took care of the deal with Jim Koenig in about 20 minutes and then waited (not very) patiently while Mario and Jim prepped the bike. They took care of me very well and explained everything. Nicest bunch of guys you’ll ever meet down there. I’ve only been a customer of Letko’s for two days now, but I can’t recommend them enough.

The bike rides like a dream. It sounds much more like a Harley type engine than a rice rocket type engine. It’s got a definite growl to it and as the power ramps up it just sounds beautiful. I’ve been taking it pretty easy in corners so far but it handles just like I’d expect it to. Nice and smooth, easy to flick over and pull back up. It’s very responsive. It’s not the fastest bike in the world. The Intertron says it’s max speed is 127-136 MPH. Not insane, but more than enough. I’ve had it up to about 100 so far and can’t go any further until the engine is broken in. I’m supposed to keep the tach below 6k for the first 600 miles. It’s killing me. I wanna tear through the gears just to hear it scream but I’m being good. I’ve only broken 6k one time so far, as I was getting onto the highway.

What else? The starter is really neat. It’s got a “servo assisted” starter. You don’t hold the starter in until the bike starts, you just flick the starter button and it runs the starter as long as it needs to. When the engine takes the starter stops running. It’s neat cause you can just hit the button and walk away while the bike wakes up.

Like I said up there, it has been about 2 years or more since I last rode. I was a little worried I’d be rusty but it all came back instantly. When I pulled out of the parking lot with the bike it just felt perfect. The only trouble I’ve had so far is a single stall early yesterday. I just didn’t know where the engine’s stalling point was. I was in traffic and moving very slow in first gear, let it get below about 1k and it just cut out. I know now 🙂

So that’s that! My 29th birthday present to myself. And 30th, 31st and 32nd 🙂 Feel free to swing by and take a look, or hop on the back and take a ride! Call first though, I’ll probably be out riding.

Happy Birthday To Me