Coast to Coast (and back?) with an Italian Supermodel

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Quite simply, there's no enjoyable way to get to Salt Lake City from Reno by land unless you're in an air conditioned bus traveling at 100mph with a bartender serving mojitos to you and 10 Hawaiian Tropic Bikini girls.

    My choices were Hwy 50 or Hwy 80. 50 was appealing because of its reputation for being the 'lonliest road in America', but the gas stations are few and far between and I still wasn't quite sure how much I could get out of the Panigale's tank (avg. fuel consumption up to this point was around 31 x 4.5 gal tank.....). So 80 it was. Also made it easier to get to Bonneville.

    First stop was in Fernley. I'd been there a couple times before back when I was a track whore. Incredible track, too. The best course in the Western US IMHO.

    Though only a short while out of Reno, I was already baking in the heat. It was a good 100 degrees out--and the sight of firewood made me think that people who live in the desert are really crazy.

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    And 80 was beautiful, despite being really straight (which made it a great road for exploring the upper limits of the bike).

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    For the first time I really got to open the Panigale up. If any police are reading this, I'm just going to come out right now and say that every high speed claim I make in this thread is a complete and utter lie simply meant to impress adolescent-minded men who like reading about high speed fairy tales.

    With that said, I took advantage of several opportunities to open the Panigale up. I'd wait until there was a big 'hole' in traffic so I didn't have to risk passing anyone with, oh, say, a 100mph delta. With zero cross traffic, no directional traffic and no critters I could just hold on and enjoy. At a certain point, though, the bike would weave back and forth....as if there was a hinge in the center of the bike that allowed the front and the back to be doing different things. Frameless design or suspension setting issue?

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    This is how you feel when you're 200 miles into 500 mile journey, have a sore ass, a medium well right leg, a Flock of Seagulls hairdo and blood on your lip for no reason at all. Come to think of it, I think this is the"are we there yet" expression I used to have when I was a kid and we'd go on long road trips.

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    Still very beautiful:

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    #21
  2. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Definitely the only Beverly Hills Sign in existence with bullet holes in it:

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    And the land of Root Beer and Trampolines, finally:


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    #22
  3. olderigetfasteriam

    olderigetfasteriam Adventurer

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    Subscribed. Thanks for posting.
    #23
  4. LWRider

    LWRider Been here awhile

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    Enjoying the read. Subscribed.
    #24
  5. ktm950se

    ktm950se Banned

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    Wonderful presentation, please continue! :D

    ktm950se
    #25
  6. OneBall

    OneBall Been here awhile

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    :clap great to see someone using a sportsbike properly, still not convinced on the looks of the 1199 but it's growing on me.

    With the weaving issue try checking your tire pressures, the 30 degree change between morning and mid-day can make a massive difference.

    That rear tire looks like it'd be lethal in the wet!

    What's with Utah, root beer and trampolines?
    #26
  7. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Ok, going to jump ahead of myself a bit....just went through a massive storm between SLC and Grand Junction Colorado and almost didn't make it. OneBall--you're absolutely right about the tires. Almost went down twice (going in a straight line, that's how bad the crosswind and downpour was). I'll get more into it chronologically when I catch up. I've done a lot of rain riding on sportbike tires, but never had such a lack of control. Scary!

    Good point on the tire pressures, too. And regarding the looks--in person it's truly a stunning bike. Far moreso than in pictures.

    As for Trampolines, Root Beer and Utah--well, I grew up in/around Mormons. Though I wasn't one, a lot of my family was--and because they couldn't drink Coke, they drank Root Beer--which was one of the only non-caffeinated sodas around. As for the trampolines, I don't know why it is, but for some reason Mormons love trampolines.
    #27
  8. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Mecca

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    Ok, so the road going out to the Salt Flats is straight and smooth. Speed limit is 45mph. But there is literally NOTHING around. I was tempted to just blast away, but on roads like this you never know--there could be a turtle or a giant pothole or whatever. Not wanting to risk an exploding front rim, I just kept my eye on the other side of the road for debris and things to worry about. And good thing, too. Because without warning the road just ends abruptly. No sign, no big yellow warning barrier, the road just ends right into the salt. Had I not been cautious I'd be a limbless dehydrated mummy right now waiting for someone to find me come the next festival of speed.

    You can drive on the Salt Flats - and as far as I know it's legal to go as fast as you want. But 1) salt is kryptonite to metal and 2) it's SLIPPERY as all hell. Not quite ice, but definitely ice like. So I gingerly rolled out into the abyss, stripped down (it's like an oven) and took some shots of the supermodel:

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    That speck out there is a dude who'd driven all the way from Louisiana with his girl. Gave me a nice little history Bonneville, too. They sure did look mighty comfortable in their air conditioned truck. I should have asked for some Grey Poupon.

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    It was around here I hit 177mph, which shattered my pre-Panigale record by a significant amount and will stay in my own personal record book until I do a Mojave Mile or similar....though hitting high speeds requires little skill, it still is a lot of fun.

    (BTW, anyone who is anti-ABS has never experienced the exhilaration of grabbing a massive handful of brake, dropping 100mph off terminal velocity in seconds at the threshold of adhesion without having to worry about smashing your face into the ground as the front locks up. The ABS on the Panigale (set to 1) is simply outrageous and maniacal.)
    #28
  9. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

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    Okay, you got me. :ear I'm in, this sounds like a kickass RR.

    Subscribed!! :lurk
    #29
  10. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    So I've been in Salt Lake City and, well, there's not much to report. The people here seem to be one of three types:

    1) Super wholesome LDS types
    2) Portland-esque hipsters
    3) Meth heads

    Oh there's also way more crack than I think I've seen in public since I've been out of SF.

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    My apparently very bi-curious buddy (Hi Collin!) filling up in the Castro:

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    #30
  11. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    The desert took a toll on the bike. Both the clutch and the brake were spongy, so I'm guessing a combination of the hi temps and air in the systems from the factory led to needing a flush of both systems.

    Fortunately I'm staying about 7 miles away from the only Ducati Dealer in Utah (Salt Lake Motorsports), who had me in and out in less than an hour and all was covered under warranty. Sweet! Thanks guys!


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    And walking out to ride away, I had another 1199 celebrity status moment:

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    #31
  12. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Last night in SLC. Had some great BBQ and explored aimlessly. Driving around some of the areas Salt Lake City became a bit more charming. There's some beautiful houses and cool neighborhoods for sure, but beyond that the city is just lacking, imho.

    I did run across the following tombstone at the Salt Lake City Cemetery that apparently is quite famous. No one really knows the story behind it, but I have to say it's the second best epitaph I've ever seen:

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    #32
  13. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    The grave is hard to find. At the intersection below you just need to face with your back towards the fence/houses, then walk maybe thirty feet and turn left. I could tell you exactly where it is, but the extra effort makes the reward more worthwhile. Funny enough it'll be the only grave in X-1 with flowers.

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    #33
  14. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Ended up in a strange part of town and was hungry. With a name like Devil's Daughter I figured it had to be good.

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    At $5.38 for some brisket and some real hot sauce it was no mistake.
    #34
  15. kamikazekyle

    kamikazekyle Been here awhile

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    I purchased a majorly modified 06 Multistrada about 7 months ago, and I get comments EVERYWHERE. I don't think there's one time I haven't stopped for gas and someone hasn't come up to talk to me about it. I've had other riders go out of their way just to see what it was and have a chat. Even in traffic people will ask me all sorts of questions just because it has the Ducati logo. I swear, that name has sex and power attached to it. The farther you are from a Ducati area the more powerful the image.

    It gives me tons of issues and just looking at it wrong makes something break. But regardless of the fact that my Ninja 1000 performs better, handles better, gets better mileage, and is more comfortable, not one random person has batted an eye at it. Well, except a bunch of cruiser riders when I was in Michigan and Ohio that did 180's in their seats at seeing a sportbike. Even my CBR250 gets more comments and attention :p

    I wanna sell or trade the Multi for a KLR or XR (er, what?), but the narcissistic side of me really wants to hold on to it. Ducatis do have a weird kind of character, for better or for worse, and that twin just grows on you.

    Anyway, following the report. You're probably going to be one of few people to really put on a lot of miles on the 1199 in short order, testing the long-term endurance of the engine and bike. I always like reports involving long distance sports/supers and like your current take of "whatever, wherever, how I feel" to traveling. I just got back from a three week trip with the Ninja and am planning quite a few sub-week long and a few multi-week trips in the near future.
    #35
  16. Comrade Art

    Comrade Art Working stiff

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    Nice looking bike. I've taken a cruiser to 115 mph but 177 would definitely make the sphincter twitch.
    Stay safe and keep posting :D
    #36
  17. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    When a stranger meets a Ducati:

    Enjoying your commentary. Interesting take on things. In 2002 when my son graduated HS I bought him a Ducati 750 Monster called a 'Senna'. It was a grey motorcycle with red wheels. Put on some Termi's for the sound and sent him off to college in Tempe.

    His Monster always attracted attention with its unique appearance and really sweet sound. So one day he rolls up to some pumps, blips the throttle and shuts her off. An elderly gentleman walks up and starts examining the bike carefully from all angles. He only had one comment: "That ain't no Honda..."

    :lol3
    #37
  18. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    Great RR! I'm doing a transcontinental trip in a couple of weeks but with a fat German chick - a GSA. Hey, I'm old.

    Mike
    #38
  19. JDMitchell

    JDMitchell Adventurer

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    Great RR! There really is no sexier sound than a high strung Ducati, except a woman in the middle of a org.......................... nope the Ducati sounds better and requires slightly less maintanence. :D



    You gonna stick with the stock tires when the originals are ready for replacement or will you go with a more touring friendly setup?
    #39
  20. optimum_malarky

    optimum_malarky Premium nonsense

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    Loving the report so far! I'll be curious to see how the trip pans out, especially if you continue to stay with people in their homes, as opposed to hotel/moteling it! Question on your gear: what jacket are you wearing? It looks like leather, but with some serious venting....
    Subscribed!
    #40