bikerchris Posted April 20, 2009 Report Share Posted April 20, 2009 So you've been best man for your best friend, the last thing on my mind was receiving a gift...may be a bottle of JD, but not this! I was smiling from ear to ear when he rang me up and said he'd booked a Ducati evening for me at Brands Hatch I bought a second hand pair of leathers off ebay for £170 that fit perfectly, in the past I just borrowed them, but I thought it's about time I stumped up the cash myself! I bought some very cheap knee sliders and off to the track I went. Having arrived at the track I was let down by two details, firstly, although it was called a "Ducati Experience" or similar, that actually meant taking your own bike and perhaps having a few go's on a Duke if you were keen to buy one. Now, as I turned up with my road boots (like off-road without the steel toe-cap) due to not having the finances to buy proper raceboots, I think getting a Duke was completely out of the question! A friend had given me a lift in a car and my only bike running properly was my commuter hack (Bandit 1200, aka "blandit") and that's not exactly a track tool...plus it was 30 miles away and not track prep'd to say the least! So that was my main downer, luckily though, the staff there were very kind and lined up as many Duke rides as possible. An amusing moment was when the lady there said, "Are you interested in buying a Ducati?", I replied with, "Well if it gets me more rides on one, yes!". They really were so understanding, I even signed up to receive junkmail for the rest of my natural born life as a way of saying 'thank you'. The second issue was my new leathers - they fit perfectly and I was content with the price too. However, when I went to attach the new knee sliders, the velcro was the same on both the slider and the leathers....oh dear. Further research on the subject (contacting Axo) has confirmed that they were probably rejects. But....who in their right mind makes a product and has both the right and wrong material sitting next to the manufacturing line! You'd only need to be distracted by an early smoke break or a naked woman and WHAM, £500 leathers reduced to £300. So on the day I had no knee sliders - no big deal to my ego, I just enjoy being on the track Still cause for concern and most corners I kept my knees in a little and just practiced my braking/gear change instead...on a Duke, cool Due to the £1000 crash excess, I decided to resist going on the 1198 for fear of highsiding and causing expense that the plastic couldn't handle, so I opted for mutiple goes on the 848. Rest assured I'm not about to provide a personal write-up of the aforementioned Duke, I'm not a journalist or have immediate access to other manufacturers comparative machines. But even so, what a fantastic machine. I felt so 'at home' on it, the seat/bars position felt perfect for my average 6 foot and a bit frame. The brakes had plenty of bite and the power came in smooth...almost boring BMW like! There was 'a moment' when I was a little too enthusiastic with the throttle and the back end stepped out enough to widen my eyes - it soon returned and off I went. It's a real confidence boosting machine, you can change lines quicker than an artist can change paint brushes. That was evident when I was following another rider and he eratically changed position mid-corner as if to avoid something, I was able to adjust my position sooo easily and get away from trouble. Since then, I've bought race boots...I can not put into words how much easier it is with them - this is common sense to most! I've returned to this site because I plan to take part in the NoBudget Cup (Enduro) based in France/Belgium and need some reminders! I also like to contribute seeing that I'm read some really useful info! Anyway, hope everyone is well and keep the rubber side down Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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