And it was around this time of the trip that a curious thing started to happen:
Chicks just LOVE this bike. Over the years on other bikes I've had women blow kisses, one fat drunk girl flopped her jugs out a passenger side window (a memorable, but not pretty sight) and girls here and there who wouldn't otherwise notice glance casually--basically anyone on a bike knows what I'm talking about. Probably the funniest female reaction I ever got happened when I was walking by a black dude in SF who had that modern black panther/Kwanzaa look to him. His ~6 year old daughter looks up at me in my Vanson jacket with helmet in hand and says, "Hiiiiii Mr. Policeman" in this little-girl-flirty-crush voice. If looks could kill, the glare her father (who clearly hated both white guys AND cops) gave me would have put me six feet under.
Anyhow, back to the Ducati and its effect on the opposite sex. You have to do a lot to get close enough to whisper sweet nothings into a woman's ear. But the Ducati takes care of this from a half mile away. The aural noises the V-twin makes apparently stimulate a woman in ways no other vehicle I've ever owned does. So by the time you arrive they're waiting with anticipation. Performance figures of BMWs S1000RR (which seems to be crushing the Panigale in all the magazine comparos) might be the stuff of adolescent male dreams--and if that's your thing (16 year old boys), look no further than the BMW dealer. But the Ducati undeniably makes panties wet. Anyone who owns one can attest to this I'm sure, but this is my first one, so it comes as a bit of a surprise. I don't see it on any of the schematics and it's not listed in any of the spec sheets, but somewhere under all that gorgeous bodywork lies a proverbial babe magnet.