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New Rider in Thailand / Alaska ?

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Hello from Patong Beach, Phuket – Thailand. I’m looking for everyone’s advice on how to go about getting started out on a new Ducati Monster.

I started an early semi-retirement in Thailand this year in January (I’m forty-seven), where I bought a small Honda 125 wave “I” (injected) to tour around the Island with and escape the local taxis. I’ve been riding now (on the wrong side of the road) for a little over a month and I have now been thinking seriously about buying a Ducati Monster when I go back to Alaska in May when I return to work for the summer months.

All of my friends ride Harley Davidson’s. They have been trying to convince me that a Harley Davidson is the way to go. However if I’m not mistaken Ducati’s are the Ferrari’s of the motorcycle world – am I not correct? Clearly if you look at the difference between the two very different lifestyles between them, Ducati is obviously more prestigious. Harley Davidson’s are something you would see parked together in groups outside of the local dive bar on the wrong side of the town, where as a Ducati rider with full leathers and a serious European approved helmet commands much more respect on the road, right?

So therefore I invite you all to tell me, in your opinions how to go about introducing myself correctly into the Ducati world. There are a couple of Ducati dealers in Anchorage, however I have never heard of a riding school anyplace in Alaska for that matter. I can manage for the time being here in Thailand putting around at forty kilometers an hour (because this place is really scary with absolutely no road rules), but I would prefer some professional riding instruction even if I have to go outside of Alaska to get it.

I believe that Alaska would be a great place to ride in the summer months. I have lived there for almost fifteen years and never thought about riding. After taking my life into my own hands here in Thailand and managing fairly well, I can imagine how much safer it would be with actual street/safety laws, lower traffic volume and beautiful mountain scenery with normal curvy asphalt roads to ride on.

Any feedback is welcome, and certainly appreciated.

Kind regards,

“Coppertone John”
Patong Beach, Phuket - Thailand
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395 Posts
I found the following at the website below.
You are correct in your observations.
Ducati Rider = someone who is in it for the ride not the destination usually riding alone and at a minimum of 10mph over the posted limit.
Harley Rider = it's the destination (usually a bar) riding in a group, preferably large, going a minimum 10mph below the posted limit.
(please note there are some exceptions to both groups)

http://nm.msf-usa.org/msf/ridercourses.aspx?pagename=RiderCourse Info

ABATE of Alaska ANCHORAGE 99503 ANCHORAGE (907) 566-3334
ABATE of Alaska ANCHORAGE 99504 ANCHORAGE (907) 566-3334
KENAI PENINSULA (907) 260-6777
SOLDOTNA 99669 KENAI PENINSULA (907) 398-4894
Valley ABATE View WASILLA 99654 MATANUSKA-SUSITNA (907) 746-7285

Premium Member
105 Posts
I have a 05 999 and have a passion for Ducati. I also have a passion for 93 Sporty Chopper that my father and I built. I enjoy riding both of them. I ride whatever I am in the mood for. I can go 100mph + but who would want to do that with 12 in ape hangers? I ride alone and in packs for both my toys.

We are motorcyclist and should treat each other with respect. You will get the hardcores or the 1% of each motorcycle culture to talk bad of the other, of which I disagree. We are entitled to our opinions. I wish the CAGE drivers(as described by zooom) would recognize that we share the same roads and we are more than just organ donors.

I say take a ride on both of them and then choose the one (or both) that will fit your needs and pleasure.

Other than riding in the city, how is riding in the country side?

41 Posts
Yo John,

Take the MSF course in Anchorage. Sign up for it as soon as you can, 'cause there's always a 2 month waiting list. You can sign up at Alaska Leather on Benson near the McD's. Akleather is a super cool shop. Great people. Say hi to Barb for me there.

The MSF course in Anchorage is done at the bus depot next to the PD station on Tudor. Intersects with Bragaw.

There aren't any tracks in Ak, but there are some good roads. Turnagain Arm, gets windy some times. Hatcher Pass. Old Glenn Hwy to Butte. I hear the road to Hope is also fantastic, newly paved and lightly traveled. Just not much in the way of gas stations.

Good luck. PS I prefer the Duc shop on Potter.
PPS. As for your retirement...you b*stard!

6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone...

Smegtheprez, I appreciate your research very much, thanks man for the A.B.A.T.E contact information. I’ll be sure to check them out along with the local Harley dealer. I guess Harley has a school as well, where you learn on Buell’s; I guess that’s alright, kind of close to a Ducati rather then Japanese.

Gunner999, I’ll take what you say into consideration when I get back and check out these schools. I originally thought of a Buell, and then I came to me scenes and remembered Ducati! Thanks’ you for your input as well.

Migz123, that probably sums it up in one sentence. Thank you Sir.

And to Ducwrx, I’ll take your advice and get on this as soon as possible. Sounds like perhaps we might be neighbors, perhaps we should stay in touch – [email protected]. I knew that I was going to have to pick between the two dealers in Anchorage, thanks for the opinion.

Regards fellows,

“Coppertone John”

Alaska Born Tsimshian
371 Posts
Hi John, Mark here in Anchorage. I grew up here and have been riding for many yrs. I've owned a few Ducs and still have a very trick 996 that www.oncycles.com has asked to use on their web site. I'll be doing the photo shoot with mtns in the background soon.

You can't sign up for the highly recommended MSF course here until our spring bike show on the 18th of this month. As WRX said you can get hold of AK Leather at www.alaskaleather.com or call them at 907-562-2324. I would imagine if you tell them you're in Thialand they might get you signed up earlier. Tell them Mark from REI and Saveth told you about MSF. The owner Barb is a good friend and I consider her a rider's best friend up here. She does whatever it takes to get people in proper riding gear! A side note, she just lost a nephew in an avalanche up here this last Tuesday. Very sad.

As far as the 2 dealers go, they both have their good points. I've purchased bikes from each and had them worked on at both. They're both pretty reliable and I'd say just go with whoever you establish the best rapport with, gives you the best deal, or has what your looking for. They can both get really busy in the summer.

Also just so you know, we are very fortunate to have a VERY friendly Harley shop up here! I've delt with every bike shop up here over the yrs and the Harley shop has been by far and away THE most consistantly friendly shop. I actually feel a little bad not having ever bought a bike from them. They even dyno'd my bike for free on my BD one yr! They also sponsor our local stunters www.arcticattack.com after the other shops told the group they didn't want anything to do with them. The shop's finance mngr owns a 996 among other bikes as well and used to roadrace in CA. The Harley shop is really trying to become a gathering place for all kinds of riders. They even put on a sportbike night party a few weeks ago and asked a few of us to display our bikes. I've incl a photo with a couple lovelies on my bike! Katie, on the front works at the shop and Vanessa, behind her does the two-up stunting with AA. A friend's MV next to mine was the "belle of the ball" as many had not seen one in real life before! The other shot is from their "Antique and Unique" bike show that's been goin on for the last couple weeks during 'The Fur Rendezvous' our midwinter festival.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask. Take care, MH


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