I now don’t have the Panzer Tractor R1200GS and have my lithe Italian beauty, the Ducati Multistrada. It is a little cracker, goes like stink, and is reasonably comfortable – the long distance comfort was increased greatly by the addition of a CalSci windshield which does not really spoil the looks.
Fuel range is not 200 miles, not if you ride it how it is meant to be ridden, more like 165 miles before petrol station spotting gets a bit panicky.
The chain needs adjusting now, and I am waiting for Aylesbury Ducati to tell me how much the tools to do this supposedly routine bit of maintenance will cost. So, the Beemer has it for practicality but when that beautiful L twin of the Multistrada comes on song, and the force of acceleration in sports mode cracks your head back, I can forgive my Italian filly almost anything.
The Beemer is quick enough, practical and totally predictable. It is better in town with boxes. The Ducati boxes are bloody awful in town – but without the side boxes the Ducati is way more agile. My kids and even my wife think the Multistrada is much cooler and my wife points out that baggy goretex doesn’t enhance the look of the bike so the care bear suit (Aerostich Road Crafter) only comes out when I am going to Court.
The Ducati Multistrada is eyewateringly quick, and I have been caught just staring at my bike. Tragic I know. As I am not sold at all on Beemer quality, and the Ducati is a better motorbike, I have no regrets. Until this weekend, when I have to adjust the bloody chain. Which is concentretic cam. And needs a number of bolts torque set. Aylesbury Ducati have said one of their mechanics will talk me through it once, so it should be okay but it seems a faff. Just put a shaft on it! Then it would be even more Bella.
So do I regret ditching the Beemer? No. I am still starry eyed about the Duc, and the shonky boxes (apparently the original ones are shocking, these ones are just adequate, but the top box is big enough to transport livestock) and that bizarre electronic proximity key is just plain stupid. But the package taken together is just beautiful. And I even have cleaned it at 1300 miles. The real problem is that I am so unused to cleaning bikes that I am not very good at it, so a lot of effort for not a very clean bike but I am sure I’ll get better. I genuinely never cleaned the Beemer in 30,000 miles. Or the one before that at 40,000 miles.
So, Ducati, you have come close to making a perfect bike for me, an everyday rider who uses the bike a lot, and in all weathers. The boxes are a bit rubbish for me, but weren’t really designed for carting about Court files, the electronic key is just plain stupid and a shaft would be an improvement, as the speed, torque and acceleration of this bike means any marginal impact on performance would barelly be noticed. If you do 3,000 miles without wringing the bikes neck in a year the chain adjustment would not be an issue. Am I going on about chains too much? Probably.
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