Some motorcycles leave a long-lasting impression, sometimes for the best, sometimes for the worst. I jumped on my first Ducati ever this summer and I wasn’t about to half-ass it: it was the Monster 1200R. At a ratio nearing 1 hp per kilo, this Italian rocket was rightfully named.
I had the motorcycle for three days that I thought were going to be the best fun of my life. Was I ever wrong. Only a few hours on the motorcycle turned me into something dangerous. Someone cocky. That bike could probably take flight if I wanted it to, so I started feeling invincible. But no matter what, not even a Ducati will save you from bad decisions.
The first bad decision was mine. In 10 years of riding, I made my first genuinely dumb and rookie mistake and had my very first near-miss with a car that ended up costing me a bike drop, barely 12 hours after picking up the Ducati. After stopping to check for directions, instead of doing a proper shoulder-check, I assumed the cars coming up behind me had stopped for a stop sign and took off. What could go wrong? I was on a Ducati.
It was a costly mistake that landed the tips of the left grip and foot peg into the side of a passing car that hadn’t actually stopped, scratching off some paint.
I took a 36-hour hiatus from the Monster out of respect and shame, and settled back in the saddle with a bruised leg and ego. The Monster had to go back home to Pickering. On the highway, I met with not one, but two incompetent drivers who almost ended up with a Ducati stamped in their rear bumpers. In both cases, there was uncalled-for braking and in both cases, the culprit was on the phone.
After the second near-miss of the day, the third of the weekend, I had a mind to give up, park the bike and have a tow truck take it back. I did finally make it to Pickering, and now I’m convinced the Ducati Monster 1200R is forever cursed for me.