I have difficulty when trying to answer the question about when this ride report began. Only because from my perspective it really began the first time I threw a leg over a Suzuki RM80 as a kid. It's convenient to begin with the first day of the journey. But I have bad news for anyone who's not gone big with a long, extended road trip: shit begins way, way before the key goes into the ignition.
Anyone reading this--or any other ride report does themselves a great disservice to think that what someone taking off on an open-ended trip is the result of luck or fortune. When you see the first pic of 'setting off', you’re seeing the end result of what could have been years of construction and planning. I don't meant the kind of planning that begins with google maps or Trip Advisor or NatGeo Travel magazines. I mean sorting your life out so it can happen. Before C2C, I spent years detaching myself from anything and everything. So that when the final detach happened, I was ready to roll.
This trip was not so easy. Though I'd made the decision to fly the bike to Europe to continue my ride, my ride did not cooperate. A perplexing high-idle issue that reset itself every time I went into the dealer couldn't be fixed. Before anyone goes nuts and starts firing arrows at Ducati, keep in mind that my bike was the highest mileage Panigale in existence. It also saw 10 hard track days, monsoon rains, sand, dirt roads. She slept in 30 degree weather, endured Hurricane Sandy and not once ever failed to start. In an effort to identify what was causing the high Idle, Ducati replaced all the major components. The good news--nothing was wrong with any of 'em after all my abuse. The bad news: the issue was still there. I was running out of time. I had two choices: wait for a fix or get a new bike.
I went with the latter, which also gave me a worldwide (and unlimited mileage) warranty. Ducati Newport Beach, whom I purchased my original bike back off of, gave me a great deal (Thanks, Aaron, Chris, Mark, Brandon, Adrian and all the rest of the staff who had a part of helping get me on my way!).
Though I made it to Milan just fine, a US Customs Delay meant I'd be showing up to World Ducati Week at Misano in a rented Audi. Can't really complain--World Ducati Week is kind of like holy week for Ducatisti.
With that said, a few pics are below. Full album is here: World Ducati Week - antihero