Nova Scotia, Eh? 12 Days, 2600 Miles

Hopped on my ST3 with my buddy Jay and we're taking off for Nova Scotia.  Packed and ready to roll.

 Leaving from my buddy's house in Harlem.
In South Portland
© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

2014 Ducati 1199 Superleggera at Eurosports in Coopersburg

 I stopped off at EuroSports in Coopersburg last week, on my way from NYC to PA, to find a Ducati Superleggera 1199 on the showroom floor.  Not only is this bike exceedingly powerful, boasting the chops of the 1199 Panigale R, it's incredibly light, offering the highest power to weight ratio of any motorcycle ever in history.  At $65,000, it blows the 2007 Desmosedici away at 186 horsepower at only 366 lbs (dry weight). 

Twin Duc SportClassicism

I picked up my ST3 a few days ago from Rockwell Cycles and out in the lot they had two matching sunburst Ducati SportClassics back to back. This is probably my favorite bike that Ducati has made in the last decade, and this coupla Ducs lined up in a row did not disappoint...

Quick Run Up to Bear Mountain

 It's hard to believe such beauty and great roads are less than an hour outside of NYC.

Offroad over Hawk Mountain to Tamaqua and Back

I woke up early this morning to an incredible day in Pennsylvania; eager to get out on the road. My ST3 has been out of commission for almost the entire time I've owned it, and apart from one big trip,  I haven't had much of a chance to ride.

Central Park West Crash takes out the ST3

A few Tuesday's back, I was trying to catch up to the DOCNYC at Columbus Circle, for an evening ride on my Ducati ST3.  Unfortunately going down CPW in the mid 70's, a cab was stopped in a traffic lane, and I stupidly decided to pass it on the right, just as a girl decided to get out.  She didn't look behind her, and though I managed to slow down to about 10mph, I hit the door and went down.  

NYPD Harley Davidson Road King and Electra Glide Motorcycles by Central Park

 I'm not a huge cruiser fan, nor much of a Harley aficionado, but these police-'hogs' (pardon the pun) looked pretty boss walking down 6th Avenue in Midtown today.  I know the city spent close to $3 million last year on Harley Davidson Road Kings and Electra Glides, and I guess they wanted a strong presence for NYU's graduation ceremony at Radio City Music Hall this morning.

Return of the ST3 (w/ New ECU) from Ferracci

After several weeks of heartache and fruitless diagnoses,  and another month with my newly purchased ST3 stuck at Fast by Ferracci in Willow Grove, I finally heard back what was causing the issue with my EOBD light.  "Fabio," the service manager from Ferracci, called me the Thursday before my big trip to confirm my worst fear, that the ECU was bad.  I found one on Houston Superbike's eBay page, and called them to confirm that I did in fact need the performance "racing" ECU, because of my carbon cans. 

Day 6:A Ducati Traveler Returns Home to NYC Wanting More

On a dreary Tuesday, I embarked on my final ride of the trip.  A measly 120 miles lay ahead of me, all freeway, leading back to the metropolis I call home.  I was still riding a high from my stunning feat of endurance the previous day.  

 I took my time, and stopped off in Bethlehem, where an abandoned (and crumbling) old steel mill had been turned into a Casino and shopping outlets. 
The tattered asphalt of I78 going into Newark was kind of an abrupt return to gritty reality.  I was choosing to sacrifice the freedom of the open road and the comradery of the motorcycle community for the predatory consumerism that puts food on my table. 
My adventures were at a close, (my GPS wasn't working for the first couple days), and i finally rolled up to my garage in the East Village in the early afternoon.  Altogether I rode about 1800 miles and I just wanted more... Hopefully, I'll get my ST3 from Ferracci in the next couple weeks and plan a Ducati adventure of my very own... Soon.   

© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

Day 5: 700 Miles in 10 Hours on My Ducati Monster 600

I woke up this morning around 7ish and checked the weather.  After four days of sunny skies and the temperature hovering in the 60's range, I knew I was spoiled, and of course there were scattered thunderstorms predicted, which would turn bad in the afternoon.  
I had breakfast with the boys one last time, and we decided to part ways early.  I had an amazing time with them, and I was really regretting not taking them up on their open invitation, and running off and going west, as I knew they were in for an epic adventure they would remember for the rest of their lives.
I managed to leave at around 8:15am, rushing a little bit because of the coming rain, and Google Maps told me I had 692 miles to get back to my grandmother's house in PA.  I didn't look back. In fact, I don't think I stopped for more than five or six minutes to fill up for gas or have a breakfast bar for the next 10 hours...  I was Tennessee quickly, and once I hit the Smoky Mountains it started to get really dark, veering through semi trucks and around the mountains.  After Johnson City, it cleared up and I picked up 81 in Kingsport, which I would take for most of the rest of the trip and it suddenly it got dark again began to drizzle. "Shit."  I stopped in Roanoke Virginia to put on my frog suit.
 The skies cleared once again. For the next six hours the weather rotated between hot and humid sunshine to dark, moist gloom. I didn't really intend to drive all the way, but I felt like I was outrunning the storm, and the forecast wasn't too much better tomorrow, so I kept going and going, through Harrisonburg, where I was planning on going to Rocktown Beer Festival that weekend, through Winchester and then onto Martinsburg, West Virginia.

 By the time I had gotten to Hagerstown , Maryland at around 4pm, I wasn't even sore any more. I was numb. I was the bike. I continued to Carlisle and Harrisburg Pennsylvania. When I arrived home around 6:30 (still in rain gear), I wasn't even tired and swear I could have ridden to NYC if there was enough light.

Immediately after pulling up, my brother in law snapped this photo and handed me a cold glass of Nugget Nectar. I took a long shower, and as I sat alone on my Grandmother's glass roofed porch, the sky finally opened up to a violent storm, beginning with a hail leading to a torrential downpour.  I can honestly say that sitting there was one of the happiest moments of my life.  Outrunning a storm half-way across the country, drunk off of a beer and a half, truly clean for the first time in a week, my vision cleared (my peripheral vision was still whirring by at around 70mph), while the throaty melodies of my Monster reverberated rhythmically in my head.  

© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

Ducati Motorcycle Hiatus in a Pimp Stretch Limo Cadillac Fleetwood

I don't usually talk about cars here, but tonight I'm going to make an exception and digress. Asheville is a cool town.  Our hotel was located a bit west of downtown, so we had to call another cab, which we disputed, as it was a $55 up front bill, not including tip. Between the three of us though, we managed to justify that split between us, this would be the typical cost of a cab ride in NYC. Turns out it was one of the best investments we made the whole trip.

Twenty minutes after reception made the call, a guy rolls up in a blacked out Infinity FX35, and he's blasting Silk's "Freak Me" as loud as he possibly can on the stereo.  He presumes (on his own) that three dudes are cruising for ladies, and proceeds to chauffeur us around the city of Asheville, blasting some of the grimiest R&B (think Boyz II Men, even Sade) you could imaging.

Finally, we arrived at Pack's Tavern, where we were starving, and had some great beer and food. We were bushed from the long ride that day, plus I had finally and begrudgingly decided to turn around and go back to my job in NYC, so we planned on an early night.
We called the cab company again, who said our driver was busy, but they would send someone else.  15 minutely later, up rolls a 80's-era Cadillac Fleetwood stretch limo.

To make things more wild, this classic pimpmobile was being driven by a (easily 300lb) black dude named "Roosevelt," also blasting seriously raunchy R&B, this time accompanied by music videos broadcasting on two flatscreen tv's inside the limo.
The upholstery was custom red and white leather, and we kicked ourselves for not heading straight to the club in this whip. 

Diamond in the back,
Sun roof top,
Diggin the scene with a gangsta lean-
woo hoooo-oooo....

 We drove around for a while, chatting with Roosevelt, until he finally dropped us back off at the hotel for the night.

© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

Day 4: Take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville

I had planned on turning around and going back home today.  However, we were out a little late last night (in bed sometime after 3am, though I swore it was closer to 11:30) and got up early (7am).  I had planned on taking two days down and three days back up, but I was having a blast and the boys were trying to see how far they could get me to go...

Day 3: Best Ride of my Life - Virginia is for Lovers

Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles in front Seneca Rocks West Virginia
Happy Easter! What an incredible day.  We drove less than 300 miles today, but it was some of the best riding I've ever done.  I don't think we saw more than 50 cars the whole day, the sun was shining, and the roads were incredible (albeit a bit gravelly).
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles trip on Easter 4/20/14
Here is the route today, thanks to DynastySS's Spotwalla.

Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles in front Seneca Rocks West Virginia 2
Our first real stop in Monongahela National Forest was in Seneca Rocks, outside an "Indian Trading Post" called Yokums, a stunning spot that looks more like the Southwest than the Southeast. 

Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles in front Seneca Rocks West Virginia panorama

Our next stop was in a tiny town called Monterey, where we chatted with a few locals and refueled.  An older guy riding a beat up old VFR750, with a box of fried chicken bungeed to the pillion.  
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles and Richard's Honda VFR750
His name was Richard, and he was a bit gruff at first, but gradually warmed up to us.  This old-timer offered to show us a few back roads, and I quickly lost the pack.  Turns out he was an AMA certified pro for several years in his younger days, and could ride better than any of us. The roads were amazing, and my buddy even let Richard take his Tuono for a spin. 
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles in George Washington National Forest
Outside George Washington National Forest.  Richard took us a little out of the way, so we were starving when we rolled up to gas station / restaurant called "Cucci's" in Hot Springs, VA around 4pm.
 Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles at Cucci's Restaurant on Easter 4/20
I've never eaten at such a suggestively-named restaurant, and when we inquired delicately about the name, our poor waitress got quite flustered and turned beet red. I think she got a kick out of us though, and left a friendly note on the back of our bill.
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles at Cucci's Restaurant on Easter 4/20
This is what the roads looked like all day:
 And the scenery...
 More turns, turns and more turns....
 There was simply no traffic.  We had the roads all to ourselves.  We got a little bit nervy towards about 6pm, when none of us had cell phone reception and we got lost with no cell phone reception.
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles on Gravel outside Covington
The sun was receding behind the hills, and the roads had turned to gravel after Covington ,Va (not a very friendly looking destination), so we finally came across a car, asked for directions the nearest hotel and pushed on till we got to Blacksburg, home of Virginia Tech.
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles on Easter doing Hooptie Ride

Ready to go out, we the receptionist at our hotel couldn't find a cab service that was open on Easter, till I suggested a "Dial a Hooptie" I found on Google.

© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

Day 2: Harrisburg to Davis, West Virginia

Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R in Davis West Virgina outside the Bright Morning Inn
Parked outside the Bright Morning Inn in Davis, West Virginia

Day 1: Gearing up for a Taste of a Cross Country Superbike Trek:

Tigho waiting at a gas station outside of Harrisburg Pa for the boys from | NYDucati

Six months ago, a friend of mine DynastySS told me he was moving back to the West Coast after 7 years in NYC.  His company Streeteasy was acquired by Zillow, and he was going to take the long way round to get back home.  He asked if I was interested in riding 300 miles / day non stop to San Francisco, to which I replied, "...on my Monster?"  He said something along the lines of, "That bike is a cruiser compared to mine...I'm going to get my Triumph 675R track bike legal and take it across the country." Crazy...

Faulty ST3 goes to Fast by Ferracci

For the past three weekends running, I've made the commute down to PA to work on my 2004 Ducati ST3, trying to fix or even find a presumably electrical problem with the bike. I finally got in touch with the previous owner of the bike (his dad sold it to me), and discovered the issue of the EOBD (check engine) light, error sensor messages and a jittery throttle, all which apparently stem from an unresolved issue he neglected to fix (or even inform me about).

 ST3 goes to Fast by Ferracci

And sure enough, when I flicked the highbeam, the light flashed and the whole instrument panel started flickering dangerously.  Although I have several family members and friends who excel at Ducati maintenance, I've officially given up on troubleshooting electronics and decided to take the bike to a dealer, and was advised to go down to Fast by Ferraci in Willow Grove.  I borrowed my dad's truck and my brother in-law's enclosed trailer, and hauled the bike down to the Philadelphia suburb (above).

ST3 goes to Fast by Ferracci

This bike has been nothing but a headache, but I can't help still hoping that it's just one issue that will be simply corrected. There is a cracked connector coming out of the headlight assembly wiring harness, that I couldn't figure out how to release and check.  
ST3 goes to Fast by Ferracci

Here's hoping the bike isn't a total lemon, and I'm not going to get completely gouged. I had a rather large trip planned, but unfortunately if I don't get the bike back next week, I'm probably screwed. 

© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

Wasted Weekend Wondering about my Wounded ST3

Tigho's Naked Ducati ST3 in the barn, assessing electrical problems “EFI Er. 1.1” and “Er. 3.1.”
Part 1: It’s a long way, to Pennsyltucky…
My Monster has been incredibly reliable.  The carbed engine has been bulletproof over the last 7,000 miles (on the cusp of 20K total), and I haven’t had any issues that have given Ducati questionable reputations in the past.  The computer system on my ST3 could be another matter.
I rode to work on Friday morning, and was a little over-eager to hit the road.  There was either gravel in the street, or I’m not used to the kickstand yet; and I dumped the new bike in slow-motion like a stupid rookie.

I managed to pull the bike up almost immediately, and sheepishly rode to work.  There was virtually no body damage, but when I turned the bike on, the EOBD (check engine) light was on, the coolant temperature wouldn’t register, and the fan wouldn't shut off.  I scoured some forums, and came to the conclusion that I had damaged the coolant sensor, and that I could probably ride down to Pennsylvania to see my brother later that day, as this was my plan for the afternoon all week.

After work, at the entrance gate to the Holland Tunnel, the engine started sputtering, and the engine wouldn’t engage when heavily twisting the throttle.  I couldn’t turn around in merging traffic, so I decided to limp over to Jersey City, and then in an anxious fit of reckless bravery/idiocy, to see how far I could go before having the issue again.  After I got on the Pulaski Skyway, the bike felt fine for two hours, and I was hoping cleaning or drying the sensor would resolve the issue.

ST3 Jersey Journey to NYC

I need electrics...Saturday was beautiful day; sunny with temperatures in the high 50's in PA, perfect for a late winter ride.  Sunday was cloudy, cold and barely in the 40's, creating a pretty brutal atmosphere for bringing my bike back to NYC. 

I love my new saddle and tank bags, and a windscreen is an entirely a new experience for me, (since my Ducati Monster affords none of those accoutrements) but neither handwarmers nor wind protection afforded me too much comfort on the long, cold ride back to the city.

PreSpring Ride through Lancaster County

After a rather lengthy trip back to Pennsylvania last week by bus, my girlfriend and I met up with my brother in-law and went riding out from Giegertown out to Adamstown, PA.  He's the Ducati expert in the family, and rides a Cagiva Gran Canyon, and I I took the ST3 out for the first time recreationally.nyducati tigho rides to lancaster county in amish country with a cagiva gran canyon

Ducati ST3: First Impressions of a new Silver Duc

I rode this 2004 Ducati ST3 down from Ringwood, NJ on Saturday to Pennsylvania over ice and snow, and I can't wait till spring to really open her up and bring her up to New York City.Ducati ST3: First Impressions of a new Silver Duc parked in Tigho's barn

Lotus Builds a Motorcycle, the Lotus C-01 By Daniel Simon

Tigho Ducati Blog List: