The first on-the-road update is from South Africa – A trip to Namibia turns out to include a visit to Mozambique and Swaziland where 10,000 virgins do a topless dance for the king …
Yesterday we introduced the Beijing-Ulanbaatar rally and Brock Usborne’s build up to getting his KTM and himself over there. Today we’re going to find out just how many times one man can crash, poop and generally beat himself up over ten days and 4,000 kms of Mongolian back country!
Taking a moment to ensure that two plus two is indeed four.
It’s 4:00 am and my coma-like sleep is interrupted by the thunderous tone of my alarm clock. I stir, and slowly start my robotic-like movements. It is the 8th morning like this and each day gets a little harder to wake up. I know what I have to do, just crawl out of my sleeping bag and put on my riding clothes, then pack up my tent, get on my bike and head to the starting gate.
As the subject of this test, we decided to compare two of the newer players on the adventure touring scene: the Ducati Multistrada and the Buell Ulysses. We have already published a test of the Ulysses, but as we rode it along with the Ducati, it seemed only appropriate to use it as a comparison for the Multistrada.
In part one we gave each test rider the opportunity to put in their two cents about the scoot that they had picked up and were effectively in charge of. In part two, let’s take a closer look at how the scoots stacked up against each other.
Which bikes do you put three unknowns onto? The last thing (contrary to track record) that we want at CMG is to crash bikes, and the idea of a gaggle of pumped up and excited new test riders on anything fast and sporty spelled trouble.
The shock of seeing the MT-01 doesn’t lessen when you examine it more closely. What’s with the huge air-cooled pushrod engine mated to a modern aluminum beam frame? The high-spec fully adjustable forks and shock unit? Then there’s the two huge bazooka-like mufflers exit way high – above the turn signals high – and the snaking contortion of the exhausts is a pipe-builder’s nightmare.
You can call the Vision the world’s first real touring cruiser – a cruiser as seriously built for touring as a Honda Goldwing – very different than a cruiser that has been accessorized for touring.
The 2007 KTM 990 Super Duke has the angular good looks of an Austrian super-villain who, as well as setting his sights on world domination has engaged in a vendetta on your driver’s license.
Getting off the old KLR650 and jumping on the ‘08 version, differences are major and immediately noticeable.