Every time we start something new, we get all the details right on the first try, don’t we?
When I purchased my first ever motorcycle, I was absolutely loving it, but still did not know how much of the year I would be riding and certainly was not initially thinking of it as my primary transportation on a day to day basis.
Here is what 11 months and over 5000 miles can teach you.
- 25° F is really cold
- you can fit a few things in a backpack, like bagels, ground coffee, and milk
- you cannot (or at least should not) fit eggs in a backpack, especially with your work laptop
- A motorcycle with no wind protection is not fun on the interstate at 75 mph
- Did I mention 25° F is really cold?
- the seat and leg position was not comfortable for more than an hour at a time
When I started, I had no idea how cold was “too cold” before I put it up for the winter. I ended up never “winterizing” and was riding regularly when there was no ice or snow and the temperature was at or above 25° F. That was cold but manageable for the ride to/from work and definitely not any more than that.
I also was not expecting to be riding so much that the stop for groceries was going to be so limited, even with adding a tank bag later. If I needed anything more than four to six smallish items, I would need to go home and grab the car to go shopping. But I would also need to swap out to non-motorcycle clothes since they are heavier and hotter than normal clothes (trade-off for the protection they give), and are particularly bad when hot (not enough relief inside) or very cold outside (get very hot inside a heated building).
The first time I was on the interstate, it was I-35, and at about 65 mph was a non-event – I had worried over nothing. But latter on there was a day where I needed to get home more directly. I took I-70. I don’t recall if it was particularly windy, but I was buffeted around my head and shoulders without end and no windscreen to hide behind or get relief from. On top of that, it felt like my little Ducati Scrambler was doing its best to just hold 75 mph but to not ask it for any more power. Not good for going farther afield in the Kansas City area.
And finally, while exploring routes to Topeka to try and find out how we used to go to grandma’s house, I also discovered that after 2 hours of riding, my legs were cramped and my butt was sore. Not a problem for my daily commute, but limiting if I wanted to do more.
And for those reasons, I started thinking about how to address the issues I was having.
One way was to accessorize: heated grips, side bags, and wind screen add-ons. But that would also likely mean a new seat. And those changes would change the look of the bike but still not address the leg-room issue.
Another way: trade up.
Having had a great experience with Reno’s Powersports and liking the Ducati brand, I started looking at the other motorcycle options Ducati offered that standard or available factory options for heated grips, wind protection, and luggage, as well as at least a bit more power for the interstate and improved leg room.
The short list:
- Hypermotard in “Hyperstrada” configuration
- Multistrada 950
- Multistrada 1260
I even went and sat on a 1260S (a big step up in many ways, including how I needed to get on since it was so much taller!) and talked with the owner of Reno’s in January of 2018, less than 6 months after buying the Scrambler. Not ready to buy yet, and still needed to decide how much more I wanted to spend (hint: all of the three options were >$12,000).
Looking at my YouTube history, I watched dozens of videos on the Hypermotard and the Multistrada models, but most of course were covering the big new update, the 1260 (the previous model year was the 1200 with a slightly smaller engine).
The final thing that sold me? Pikes Peak.
Not that I would ever be racing up pikes peak in any kind of vehicle, but the idea that I could have comfort, power, and agility? Yes Please!
And yes, Ducati won 1st and 3rd in the “heavyweight” category that year.
And thus, in July of 2018, after 11 months and a bit over 5000 miles on the Scrambler 800, I traded it in for a machine a lot taller, more than 100lbs heavier, twice the power, but with heated grips, wind protection, comfortable seat, and generous (and good looking) storage capacity I now knew I needed for a daily rider.
So do we get it perfect the first time round? NOPE! But if I did not get the Scrambler, I would not have known that my dream bike for midle-aged me was a 2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260S with the touring package.
Trying something new may require fine tuning or adjustments. It can also mean new friends and communities.
Stay tuned for my encounter with a MADOG!