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If You're Going to Break-In a New Pikes Peak, Might as Well Do It Right

3060 Views 26 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Cobrafreak
A year ago I had five motorcycles, but soon it will be just two. Two really nice ones, but still! As I’ve made more of a shift toward fun cars, I’ve been “thinning the herd” of bikes a bit. Plus, for much of the year I’d been thinking about upgrading my touring bike (Ducati Multistrada) to the latest model – a V4 Pikes Peak version. So, I decided I would sell two of my bikes (the previous Multistrada and my Hypermotard), to mostly pay the cost of the new bike. Sensible, right?



Shockingly, I was able to find one at the local dealer, and to make a pretty good deal on it. These have been very hard to come by, due to high demand and low supply. I’m thrilled, to say the least!

Of course, I bought it just as the weather here was turning frigid. The day I picked it up, temperatures were in the 50’s. The next day (and in the couple of weeks since), nothing but highs in the 30’s. Frustrating, but not surprising, as we’re heading into winter.

I took a couple of short rides around the area with my (essential) heated gear. The bike is a dream! Unbelievably nice, and a significant upgrade versus my 2016, which I’ve loved. Of course, I’m trying to be a good boy and stay within the proper break-in guidelines regarding not revving the bike too high for the first 1500 miles. Of course, I really want to get through those miles and really RIDE this thing. But it’s hard to rack up many miles in this weather!

So, last weekend I thought I’d try to find somewhere not too far away to go ride it. I was hoping to find some decent weather somewhere in Oregon or southern Utah. Nope, frozen and/or wet everywhere. Ugh. Then I looked as far away as the Northern California coast. The forecast there was actually quite nice! Sure, cold at night (low 30’s), but around 60 most of the potential route during the days. Hmmm. I could also go visit my son and daughter-in-law, who live in Napa. A nine + hour drive each way, but I used to do that for track days when I was racing, so why not?

So, Friday I drove down to a small town near Sacramento, where I’d start my ride, with the bike in the back of my pickup. Loading and unloading this heavy beast up the steep ramp into my truck is always stressful, but I managed without incident, thankfully!



Saturday morning I hopped on the bike and began my ride. It was quite cool, but warmed up quickly. It was so nice to be riding my new bike, in decent weather, in an amazingly beautiful part of the world. I was really surprised to still be seeing some beautiful fall colors along the way, too!

Unfortunately, I had to pack really light for the two-day ride, as my panniers were ordered but not available before I left. The dealer called me while I was driving down on Friday to let me know they had just arrived. Oops! Just a day too late. So, no nice camera or drone on this trip, just the iPhone for any photos I’d want to take along the way. That was okay, as this trip was more about riding anyway, and I didn’t expect the scenery to be quite as nice this time of year anyway.



I was having such a great time. The new bike was spectacular, the roads were amazing, and the weather was so nice compared to home. Within the first couple of hours I was already feeling like the long drive down was worth it, and it only got better from there.

The route I chose turned out to be absolutely incredible. So much variety, so many corners! My neck was getting tired from all of them. I’ve never experienced that many turns over two days. It was really perfect terrain for breaking in the motor – and the tires!



I was on fast, flowing stretches in the sunshine, and then a little while later, in deep, dark redwood forests, on narrow, primitive roads, with no other people around for long periods of time. The 360 miles I did on Saturday were just brilliant.

Eventually I made it through the forest, and there it was – the glorious Pacific Ocean! Ahhhh. What a gift to be riding along the ocean in 60 degree weather in late November. Especially when home is in the teens at night, and barely hitting 30 during the day.



I headed back inland toward Boonville, along more super-twisty and fun roads through the forest. So cool.



The more I rode, the more impressed I was with the bike. Although too quiet in stock form (we’ll fix that soon), the power delivery was super smooth and linear, the transmission with up-and-down quickshifter was fantastic, and the suspension was excellent as well. I love all the electronic wizardry with various riding modes, which changes suspension/power/ABS/traction control, etc., all on-the-fly. So cool. This is my third Multistrada since 2010, and the advancements they’ve made along the way have been really fun to experience.



Of course, this time of year, the daylight hours are pretty short, so I needed to get back over to the coast, where I’d spend Saturday night (in Fort Bragg). I got to the ocean at the perfect time – just in time for a beautiful sunset!







I had to park illegally very briefly (shame on me!) to get the cool shot, but that sun was falling fast!
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I had a nice night in Fort Bragg, with some good fish tacos for dinner. Saturday’s ride was about as good as it gets. 360 miles of heaven. I knew Sunday’s ride would be equally brilliant, with a few sections well known to be some of the best riding opportunities in the world!



I got up early to get started on the day’s ride, especially since I knew I’d be stopping by to see my son and daughter-in-law, and wanted as much time as possible with them. It was COLD! Around 36 in Fort Bragg, and it even dropped down to 32 as I headed north along the coast and inland. It stayed in the low 30’s for around the first couple of hours of my ride. Thank goodness for heated gear!

Despite the cold, I was cherishing the opportunity to ride along the coast in November. Always beautiful, and with the special bonus of almost no people along the route.







Soon I passed through Westport and Rockport, and was approaching probably my favorite stretch of road ever – the LEGENDARY twisty forest route of Rockport-Leggett. I’d only ridden it once before, a few years ago with my great friend Etienne. It was cold then too (in December), and we came the opposite (downhill) direction.



It was as glorious as I remember. What a road. It was super cold, but I still had a blast, and it was really fun to be going uphill, where I could ride less defensively, and a little more aggressively. I saw no other bikes, and just a few other cars, along the whole stretch. I could ride this road all day! But, I knew I only had so many hours, and a long way to go, with lots more cool and scenic routes to experience.



I stopped in Laytonville for fuel, and to warm up a tiny bit. Then, I headed back down toward the coast again, this time on a less known, but super cool road, just a bit south of Rockport-Leggett. A hidden gem! Branscomb Road. So cool, with more great variety and beautiful scenery. Empty!

Soon, I was back at the coast again, heading south toward Fort Bragg again. Now it was quite a bit warmer than earlier. Low 50’s already! That made a huge difference. I had to snag a couple more photos of the beauty along the way.





As you can imagine, I had a huge smile on my face almost the entire trip. This scenery! This weather! This bike! This level of riding enjoyment! In November? So thankful.
I can’t say enough about the perfection of the nearly 700 mile route I chose. So much greatness, and so little boring highway stuff, which is often needed to get to the good stuff. It was magical.



My tires were getting a really nice workout too. I was so impressed with the new bike’s handling. So limber and sporty for such a big, and fairly heavy bike. Comfortable and so much fun. Seat is a little too firm for long rides, but I’ll look into options to improve that a bit.



Around 3 PM I made it to my son’s place, where I enjoyed the very best part of the trip – priceless time with them. That alone was worth the nine hour drive each way!



Unfortunately, daylight was getting short, and I needed to get back to the original starting point in Woodland to load up and start the long drive home. I made it back by sunset.



I drove a few hours Sunday night, so I’d have less of a drive Monday, and actually be able to get back to the office by Monday afternoon. I spent the night in Fernley, NV, just east of Reno. My poor bike had to spend a very cold night outside. I’m sure it wanted to be back in California, just as I did.



A pretty perfect weekend! I decided I really need to do this at least once or twice a year. It’s a long drive each way, but man is it worth it. What a perfect place, and way, to do those break-in miles on the new bike. Having these memories will at least make it a little easier to get through winter, and to next riding season. Super grateful for the new bike, and looking forward to adding to the nearly 60,000 miles I’ve done on the previous two Multistradas. Well done, Ducati!
 

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Wow, you and your son don't look alike at all. 😆 Thanks for the story and pics, they're both awesome. I'm jealous, need to get back to that part of the world for a ride. You should go to WCM next June.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That sounds a great ride! How does it go compared to the 1200 multi? Is it as flickable?
Thanks! It was an amazing ride. The bike is really impressive. I'll know better once I can really hammer it (after break-in), but so far I'm super pleased. Power delivery isn't as grunty and torquey as my 2016, it's more smooth and linear. I love twins, always have, but there's nothing like a V-4. I think it's even more flickable. When you're moving it around in the garage, it feels really heavy. But out on the road, it's remarkably flickable, very light on its feet. So nice.
 

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Great trip, and write up! Glad the PP served you well on that journey in case I ever am compelled to take it instead of R1250RT, though the RT is so uber comfortable and capable for long days, it would be a tough sell to take my PP.

Having toy cars and bikes is fun, and it is job security for my Fed Ex and UPS drivers, and divorce attorney's I suppose.:)
 

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Thanks! It was an amazing ride. The bike is really impressive. I'll know better once I can really hammer it (after break-in), but so far I'm super pleased. Power delivery isn't as grunty and torquey as my 2016, it's more smooth and linear. I love twins, always have, but there's nothing like a V-4. I think it's even more flickable. When you're moving it around in the garage, it feels really heavy. But out on the road, it's remarkably flickable, very light on its feet. So nice.
Thanks! Let us know more as you get those miles on it!
 

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I had a nice night in Fort Bragg, with some good fish tacos for dinner. Saturday’s ride was about as good as it gets. 360 miles of heaven. I knew Sunday’s ride would be equally brilliant, with a few sections well known to be some of the best riding opportunities in the world!



I got up early to get started on the day’s ride, especially since I knew I’d be stopping by to see my son and daughter-in-law, and wanted as much time as possible with them. It was COLD! Around 36 in Fort Bragg, and it even dropped down to 32 as I headed north along the coast and inland. It stayed in the low 30’s for around the first couple of hours of my ride. Thank goodness for heated gear!

Despite the cold, I was cherishing the opportunity to ride along the coast in November. Always beautiful, and with the special bonus of almost no people along the route.







Soon I passed through Westport and Rockport, and was approaching probably my favorite stretch of road ever – the LEGENDARY twisty forest route of Rockport-Leggett. I’d only ridden it once before, a few years ago with my great friend Etienne. It was cold then too (in December), and we came the opposite (downhill) direction.



It was as glorious as I remember. What a road. It was super cold, but I still had a blast, and it was really fun to be going uphill, where I could ride less defensively, and a little more aggressively. I saw no other bikes, and just a few other cars, along the whole stretch. I could ride this road all day! But, I knew I only had so many hours, and a long way to go, with lots more cool and scenic routes to experience.



I stopped in Laytonville for fuel, and to warm up a tiny bit. Then, I headed back down toward the coast again, this time on a less known, but super cool road, just a bit south of Rockport-Leggett. A hidden gem! Branscomb Road. So cool, with more great variety and beautiful scenery. Empty!

Soon, I was back at the coast again, heading south toward Fort Bragg again. Now it was quite a bit warmer than earlier. Low 50’s already! That made a huge difference. I had to snag a couple more photos of the beauty along the way.





As you can imagine, I had a huge smile on my face almost the entire trip. This scenery! This weather! This bike! This level of riding enjoyment! In November? So thankful.
I can’t say enough about the perfection of the nearly 700 mile route I chose. So much greatness, and so little boring highway stuff, which is often needed to get to the good stuff. It was magical.



My tires were getting a really nice workout too. I was so impressed with the new bike’s handling. So limber and sporty for such a big, and fairly heavy bike. Comfortable and so much fun. Seat is a little too firm for long rides, but I’ll look into options to improve that a bit.



Around 3 PM I made it to my son’s place, where I enjoyed the very best part of the trip – priceless time with them. That alone was worth the nine hour drive each way!



Unfortunately, daylight was getting short, and I needed to get back to the original starting point in Woodland to load up and start the long drive home. I made it back by sunset.



I drove a few hours Sunday night, so I’d have less of a drive Monday, and actually be able to get back to the office by Monday afternoon. I spent the night in Fernley, NV, just east of Reno. My poor bike had to spend a very cold night outside. I’m sure it wanted to be back in California, just as I did.



A pretty perfect weekend! I decided I really need to do this at least once or twice a year. It’s a long drive each way, but man is it worth it. What a perfect place, and way, to do those break-in miles on the new bike. Having these memories will at least make it a little easier to get through winter, and to next riding season. Super grateful for the new bike, and looking forward to adding to the nearly 60,000 miles I’ve done on the previous two Multistradas. Well done, Ducati!
This is one of the best and most convincing summaries of the Pikes Peak. Hell, you got me thinking about buying one now! Though I am in the market for a Multi, I’d likely prefer the V4S given the heated seats, grips, etc options not included on the PP. Plus I’d never take it to the track and would also plan to do some fireroads around Utah, so the 19” front wheel would work better there.

Super sweet pics of this PP. Very well done. 👍
 

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I had a nice night in Fort Bragg, with some good fish tacos for dinner. Saturday’s ride was about as good as it gets. 360 miles of heaven. I knew Sunday’s ride would be equally brilliant, with a few sections well known to be some of the best riding opportunities in the world!



I got up early to get started on the day’s ride, especially since I knew I’d be stopping by to see my son and daughter-in-law, and wanted as much time as possible with them. It was COLD! Around 36 in Fort Bragg, and it even dropped down to 32 as I headed north along the coast and inland. It stayed in the low 30’s for around the first couple of hours of my ride. Thank goodness for heated gear!

Despite the cold, I was cherishing the opportunity to ride along the coast in November. Always beautiful, and with the special bonus of almost no people along the route.







Soon I passed through Westport and Rockport, and was approaching probably my favorite stretch of road ever – the LEGENDARY twisty forest route of Rockport-Leggett. I’d only ridden it once before, a few years ago with my great friend Etienne. It was cold then too (in December), and we came the opposite (downhill) direction.



It was as glorious as I remember. What a road. It was super cold, but I still had a blast, and it was really fun to be going uphill, where I could ride less defensively, and a little more aggressively. I saw no other bikes, and just a few other cars, along the whole stretch. I could ride this road all day! But, I knew I only had so many hours, and a long way to go, with lots more cool and scenic routes to experience.



I stopped in Laytonville for fuel, and to warm up a tiny bit. Then, I headed back down toward the coast again, this time on a less known, but super cool road, just a bit south of Rockport-Leggett. A hidden gem! Branscomb Road. So cool, with more great variety and beautiful scenery. Empty!

Soon, I was back at the coast again, heading south toward Fort Bragg again. Now it was quite a bit warmer than earlier. Low 50’s already! That made a huge difference. I had to snag a couple more photos of the beauty along the way.





As you can imagine, I had a huge smile on my face almost the entire trip. This scenery! This weather! This bike! This level of riding enjoyment! In November? So thankful.
I can’t say enough about the perfection of the nearly 700 mile route I chose. So much greatness, and so little boring highway stuff, which is often needed to get to the good stuff. It was magical.



My tires were getting a really nice workout too. I was so impressed with the new bike’s handling. So limber and sporty for such a big, and fairly heavy bike. Comfortable and so much fun. Seat is a little too firm for long rides, but I’ll look into options to improve that a bit.



Around 3 PM I made it to my son’s place, where I enjoyed the very best part of the trip – priceless time with them. That alone was worth the nine hour drive each way!



Unfortunately, daylight was getting short, and I needed to get back to the original starting point in Woodland to load up and start the long drive home. I made it back by sunset.



I drove a few hours Sunday night, so I’d have less of a drive Monday, and actually be able to get back to the office by Monday afternoon. I spent the night in Fernley, NV, just east of Reno. My poor bike had to spend a very cold night outside. I’m sure it wanted to be back in California, just as I did.



A pretty perfect weekend! I decided I really need to do this at least once or twice a year. It’s a long drive each way, but man is it worth it. What a perfect place, and way, to do those break-in miles on the new bike. Having these memories will at least make it a little easier to get through winter, and to next riding season. Super grateful for the new bike, and looking forward to adding to the nearly 60,000 miles I’ve done on the previous two Multistradas. Well done, Ducati!
Congrats on your new ride. You have a keen eye for taking photos. Thanks for sharing.
 

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My tires were getting a really nice workout too. I was so impressed with the new bike’s handling. So limber and sporty for such a big, and fairly heavy bike. Comfortable and so much fun. Seat is a little too firm for long rides, but I’ll look into options to improve that a bit.

NICE! No chicken strips on those tires!!



So, Friday I drove down to a small town near Sacramento, where I’d start my ride, with the bike in the back of my pickup. Loading and unloading this heavy beast up the steep ramp into my truck is always stressful, but I managed without incident, thankfully!

I'm planning a similar adventure and was torn between a small trailer and putting the bike in the back. Looks like you walk it up the ramp, along-side the bike. I also have a bike travel rack that fits in my 2" hitch insert, but I haven't mustered the guts to actually try it. It just seems too janky. Anyone else tried the hitch insert carrier?

I'm going to start in Oregon and work my way down the coast to Eureka...then drop down to the Avenue of Giants and then who knows where?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm planning a similar adventure and was torn between a small trailer and putting the bike in the back. Looks like you walk it up the ramp, along-side the bike. I also have a bike travel rack that fits in my 2" hitch insert, but I haven't mustered the guts to actually try it. It just seems too janky. Anyone else tried the hitch insert carrier?

I'm going to start in Oregon and work my way down the coast to Eureka...then drop down to the Avenue of Giants and then who knows where?
Because my truck bed is pretty high, I always try to find some sort of berm or elevated surface to help reduce the steepness of the ramp. This past weekend I didn't have much more than a curb/sidewalk for that, so it was pretty stressful loading and unloading by myself, but thankfully I managed without incident. I have those plastic steps I bring along (designed to help people mount a horse).
 

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Because my truck bed is pretty high, I always try to find some sort of berm or elevated surface to help reduce the steepness of the ramp. This past weekend I didn't have much more than a curb/sidewalk for that, so it was pretty stressful loading and unloading by myself, but thankfully I managed without incident. I have those plastic steps I bring along (designed to help people mount a horse).
I've always used 2 ramps side by side, one for the bike, one to walk up. 2 ramps don't take up more room than one and you keep that leverage over top of the bike going up or down.
 

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Fantastics photos! You sooo make me want to ride that area. But that's a bit of a ways from N. IL.!
 
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I’m trying to be a good boy and stay within the proper break-in guidelines regarding not revving the bike too high for the first 1500 miles.
Nice report!
Just curious about the mentioned miles… 1.500? First service is with 620 (1.000 km’s), why would you wait that long to hammer it?
During the delivery, the head of service was telling me not to worry too much about going above 6k RPM and just have fun.
 
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