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Discussion Starter #1
Just about everyone who's ever ridden a motorcycle has probably wanted to take off on one and not look back, myself included. Course it takes a lot more than balls to do it. House, spouse, job, finances, and the hairy hands of fate typically conspire against most recklessly brilliant decisions. We tell ourselves, "one day," and often that day never comes (or the day comes but you're just some old geezer planning out routes based on the proximity of hospitals).

It took a couple of months (and one unexpected event) to finally provide the right set of circumstances for my adventure, but I'm finally two states into it and finally have some time to devote to this chronicle.

I briefly considered the advantages and disadvantages of particular makes and models of bikes, but when it comes down to it, comfort and convenience are overrated; masochistic machines cultivate will and test mental fortitude, so something like a Goldwing or even a BMW Swiss Army 1200 were totally out of the question. In the end it came down to only one choice: the 1199 Panigale S.

My plan:
Start from LA (where I lived), head north, then east.

Rules:
Don't plan anything that doesn't need to be planned
Stay somewhere until I get bored or restless, then move on
Don't become attached to anything I can't walk away from in 5 minutes
Don't end up in a hospital or morgue

My job allows me to work anywhere so long as I have WiFi and a working cell phone. So I'll be traveling either at night or on the weekends and working the normal 8-5 during the week. Best of both worlds! Flame away, haters! :)

More to come....
 

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Get yourself a helmet cam & a blog, and you'll be good to go :-]
 

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I love adventures, stay frosty my friend, love the pics!
 

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That sounds like an absolute blast! I also can work off the laptop anywhere wifi can be had, except with a set schedule of 9-5 it basically would keep me riding mostly at night, except weekends. Maybe I can get my boss to sign off on two week working vacation haha. Good luck man and stay safe!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
CAlexio--spent a lot of time in/around SJ (grew up there) and SF on my way out of LA, but won't be back for months!
Flyinbulldog--I will be going through Colorado. Thanks for the offer. Have a friend in Boulder I'll be staying with for a bit, but there's so much more to see in CO, so I'll hit you up. I'm also not going to pass up the opportunity to meet one of - if not THE most - opinionated Ducati owner in North America! ;)
Ray916--Saw your setup on another forum. Definitely a more solid setup than what I've got, but mine gives me just enough of what I need and didn't require much in the way of modification:


The main bag I use is my old Triathlon transition bag and the tail pack is a Kriega US-10 pack. I removed both screws holding the seat release mechanism that are under the solo tail cover and bolted in two of the extra straps that the Kriega comes with to the mounting points (I used longer screws than stock). This allows me to securely fasten the front part of the bag using the snap in connectors and then I run one strap under the back part of the solo cowl to attach the rear. Super solid. Removing the bag and hiding the straps takes seconds. The only issue is I've marred the top of the cowl even though I placed a nice microtowel under it. Oh well....Ducati Paint seems very easy to scratch. In 2 months I have more cosmetic issues than I ever did on my 675 (after 5 years of ownership).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In addition to working out a luggage solution I had to figure out a way to not lose my license two states into the trip. I picked up an Escort Solo off of Amazon--it's battery powered and has a remote mic jack.

I then had to work on figuring out how to mount both the unit and headphones into my Bell Helmet. I bought the Bell because it's HOT and this thing was supposed to flow air. Meh, can't tell. And the helmet is loud. I'll probably replace it sometime during the trip.

Back to the mounting. I tried a couple different ways to mount the unit, but ended up on a really solid setup that has now been tested at speeds well over 150 (more on that later).

I attached some industrial strength 3M velcro - like material (Walgreens!) to the back of the unit and then moulded a lump of Sculpey oven bake clay to create a flat surface. After baking at 175 for 15 min., I superglued the clay to the helmet and viola--solid helmet mount that can be removed in seconds.



After burning through and cutting up $30 worth of headphones I ended up using ones I already had--the kind that have a little rubber grommet that you shove into your ear. The unit only kicks out mono, so I cut the other earbud off. It's deafening if you turn the unit up all the way. I hit three radar traps the first day I was out, so yes--definitely was something worth the effort and cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I had originally ordered my bike from Newport Beach Ducati when the 1199 was first announced. In between that time and the time the bike came in my girlfriend (who I'd moved from the SF Bay to LA with) kicked me out for sleeping with her sister. Well, not really--at least I would have deserved it if I had. But she doesn't have a sister and instead just woke up one day and said she didn't want to be in a relationship. Hearts break, life goes on. So I left LA on my dependable, reliable and awesome 675. Shortly after making it back to the Bay Area my 1199 came in, so I flew back to LA and picked the bike up and started the REAL journey.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
The bike needed to be broken in. Though I think there's some truth to the 'hard' break in method, this is a new model Ducati after all and has a little black box that records all of your fun. The last thing I wanted was to have a mfg defect get blamed on me because I took it to 9000 rpm twice in the first 1000km. So I decided driving up Hwy 1 would be an excellent opportunity to keep the revs varied and enjoy a nice scenic, twisty road.



Unfortunately after Malibu Highway 1 SUCKS. After making it through several awful towns were travel was stoplight to stoplight (Hwy 1 is only glorious in small sections) I decided to motor over to101 up and vary the revs by exiting the freeway every few exits and then getting back on + I did the whole 'yo-yo' maneuver in which I'd speed up/slow down/speed up/slow down. I'm sure I looked like an ass, but it had to be done.

Two or three times I did redline the bike, however--but only because I'd hit a false neutral between 5th and 6th. I was using the quickshifter with constant throttle. The power would cut, then the transmission would float between the two gears and SHIT this bike revs quick even under 1/4 throttle.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
101 was awesome. The scenery is beautiful, it's got some nice sweeping turns, traffic is light and the air is a lot cooler than 80, which was good because man this bike gets HOT! It seems to come in waves. There are times when it's just warm, but there are other times when it's positively painful.

The whole 1 debacle and the 101 on/off, speed up/slow down thing made a 6 hour drive into a much, much longer drive. I was enjoying myself, but the new riding position, combined with the heavy backpack, heat and duration wore on me.

Somewhere on 101, with shadows getting long:

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Those the tires you're on? Seems like you should consider something with more "life" and better in the wet.:think:


I think the only water on the ground is around swimming pools....

And it seems to me I'd get zero miles out of my tires if I replaced them before they wore out!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I made it to Moffett Field a little after sunset. The light was fading and I looked over to Hangar 1, which I'd seen my entire life, only to see stripped skeleton of the former megalithic structure. I got a couple of crappy pictures from the Caltrain station, but here's a better shot by smashz up close:

 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have a good friend who invited me to stay with him for a week up just North of SF in Mill Valley. I have to admit the 10 or so hours on the Ducati was the toughest non-self-powered-two wheel ride I'd ever done. Once I made it into SF, though, I felt at home again, driving by SFSU and a few places I rented on 19th while going to school. Made it to the bridge and was finally only about 10 min. from a plush, comfy air mattress set up in a spare room. :)



(This pic stolen, too...wasn't about to try and take a left handed pic while driving on the bridge, but it captures the scene perfectly.)
 
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