Deep Thoughts from the Off-Season
Our Rambling man has a couple of questions about the new Ducati 1098: How are they able to sell it at the older 916's price point? Also, when can he get one!
December already? Wow, where does the time go? Typically by this time of the year I'm in way over my head (and budget) on a winter restoration project that seemed far more approachable and perfectly reasonable in the fall. After an autumn spent downsizing the fleet, I'm spending the off-season pondering the mysteries of the cycling universe rather than complaining about missing tools as I'm accustomed to. Allow me to use my column space to share ('tis the season after all) some of my off-season revelations.
Supermoto: What has taken the world so long in realizing the potential fun in slapping street tires on a dirt bike? While we're at it, why don't all of the manufacturers have one in their lineups?
Stunt riding: What is the guy riding the three-mile wheelie down US Route 20 going to do when someone pulls out in front of him? Why do I feel like highway travel on two wheels is dangerous enough and there are riders passing me by on one?
Why don't I own a Triumph? Every time I consider a new sportbike, the Triumph Daytona 675 Triple always comes to mind first then gets passed up by something flashier, better known, or more expensive. Thoughts of Triumph ownership are then suppressed right up until it comes time to consider a new bike again. This vicious cycle leads me directly to my next question: Where is the closest Triumph dealership?
Will the GOAT ever be pumping his fist in celebration out the window of a stock car in the years to come?
Ducati: How in the world were these guys able to price the all-new 1098 at just $14,995? The 916 model on which it's based, cost the same amount back in the early 1990s. No complaints, though, although I do wonder how slim the odds are of the local Ducati dealership not being back-ordered until 2011.
Adventure-Tourers: No offense to proud owners everywhere, but what in the world is BMW using for design inspiration on these motorcycles, the evolutionary history of aquatic life-forms? As a supporter of smooth flowing lines, I can't help but become a bit puzzled at the blocky, cobby, protrusion-laden style of the BMW line. Then, too, converts everywhere keep saying the same thing, ride one and you'll understand.
Will the custom phase ever fizzle out? One can't help but notice that with spokes-models such as the crew from American Chopper, how much damage the custom scene can withstand before the American public (not only viewers of the program but the individuals purchasing the bikes) has enough.
RC: What in the world is motocross legend Ricky Carmichael thinking by retiring to pursue a career in NASCAR? Aside from a desire to win, one can't help but wonder how many direct skills that a motocross racer possesses will transfer over to driving a stock car on an oval pavement track. I would suspect superbike champions would be a bit more liable to transfer over to NASCAR, and even then...
UM (United Motors
): Korean import UM has been littering the mags with tantalizing ads for their new V2C-650S. For those of you not familiar, imagine a 90-degree V-Twin, DOHC, liquid-cooled 650 slapped into a chassis reminiscent of the Harley Nightrod. Factor in a three-year warranty and an MSRP of $6,300 and why aren't these things all over the place? Perhaps this year one of these elusive beauties will find its way to cruise the night, granting me the chance to pester its owner into sparing no detail.
With its $6,300 price tag, the V2C-650S from Korean import United Motors has Jason curious. Maybe not enough to buy one, but enough to jaw the ear off the first owner he happens to run into.
Aprilia: The exotic sportbike manufacturer has recently hired the services of designer Miguel Galluzzi; the man responsible for Husqvarna's dirt bikes design as well as Ducati's successful Monster. Looks like more drooling coming soon.
Snowmobiles: I find myself wondering how I can label myself a native Western New Yorker without owning (or have ever owned) a snowmobile. Nearly every cyclist I know balances out the riding year by switching over to the sled lifestyle during the off-season. Sure, they boast about group rides, tours all the way down into Pennsylvania, weekend races, and late-night trail excursions, and yet I look outside at the blowing snow then lazily return to my cup of coffee. Maybe I just don't like being cold or (and I never tell them this) perhaps I just have too much to think about as it is.
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