2018 was my first season writing for Canada Moto Guide, and what an excellent season it was. Motorcycles of many shapes and sizes graced my garage, spanning the spectrum from a 34 hp adventure bike to a 199 hp superbike. Each one was remarkable, and all had that element of fun that motorcyclists desire.
That said, I think riding the technologically advanced beast that is the Suzuki GSXR1000R, in all its MotoGP-inspired livery, was the high point of the year, but a litrebike of a different ilk captivated my spirit just that little bit more. The Honda CB1000R combined a Superbike-based powerplant with sophisticated handling and ultra-modern styling that just struck home for me. I am hoping its new-for-2019 CB650R little brother can do some of the same at a more affordable price.
What bad experience could possibly come of this parade of beautiful machinery? It came in the form of an invitation. Not just any invitation, but an invitation from Ducati for a press ride. And not just a press ride from their head office in the GTA, but during a free trip to Tuscany.
“How horrible”, you mutter sarcastically, “how could that be the low point of your year?”
Well, the low point came the moment I realized I did not have an up-to-date passport, having allowed it to expire a year or two before, and there wouldn’t be enough time to renew it before the trip.
“But you can get urgent passport renewal at your passport office!” you say. Well, not without proof of travel.
“Can’t Ducati get you that?” you ask. Unfortunately, not without a passport. Needless to say, my passport is now valid, and I’ve promised myself never to make that mistake again.
[Ed. Note: Don’t feel sorry for Dean. He’s off to ride the Ducati Hypermotard 950 in the Canary Islands at the end of January…]