OK ive been lurking for quite some time reading this thread and wondering when I would chime in. That video pushed me over the edge.
In 2000 I bought a Duc 996 Mono with Ohlins and the 5 spoke wheels. It was my dream bike. My dad had died the year before after a very short bout with cancer. His life was one of mostly work and his chair in front of the TV when he got home. Later on when I was older I dragged him off the couch and we scuba dove together and played golf... He finally came out of his self imposed day to day hell. I realized his coping skill for dreams unrealized was mind numbing tactics like drink, food and tv. Fortunately I helped him break out.
His life and then sudden death had me want to taste life from a fire hose. I bought the Ducati and a set of leathers At 38 I wanted to do something I had dreamed about doing since I was a kid. Take to the track and drag my knee around a corner. It was NHIS and BCM track days and Tonys Track days that year. Like heroin of motorcycling, was the Duc on the track. I couldn't wait to get back out there.
That time led to signing up for club racing. What do you know I was pretty good at it. I even got a second place at the Daytona national in 2003 and won a bunch of amatuer races at NHIS including one in the rain where I was dragging my knee through the puddles. Ah what fun! The best part was all the like minded people I had met. The parties that would start up when the racing ended where as much fun as the racing...
Yes that Ducati at full song triggered some strong memories. Good ones that I will hold onto.
Regarding touring on a bike not meant for it-
In 2008 after a breakup with a woman that you don't forget easily I found myself in a bit of tail spin. I had to work at Lincoln Memorial University in the north eastern section of Tennessee. I looked at the map and saw it was not far from Knoxville. Which is not far from the famous Deals Gap Tail of the Dragon. I asked the owner of the company if I could put in for mileage rather than fly down and rent a car for a week. As a rider himself he understood and approved the idea. I shipped my work clothes and laptop to the hotel near the college and then with only a small tail pack I suited up in my two piece leathers and rode my Buell XB12R down to Deals Gap via the Blue Ridge. It was an epic ride as the mid July temps were perfect and not a bit of rain during the whole time down there. These little twists of fate kept happening where I led met a bunch of cool people with dinner rides and drinks on porches and stories being told.
The ride home was like the horse to the barn. Two days of slab riding on the Buell was no fun but the awesome memories made it passable. I put on 2500 miles on the Buell Firebolt that week. What an awesome adventure.