My Top 15 Rides of All Time

This week has been rough- with Monday blowing sub-zero temperatures into New York City...to nearly 60 and pouring by Thursday.  I'm working on a pretty cool project with my Streetfighter... (more on that later- I'm dropping an 1198 engine in the bike to create a StreetfighterR), but I've been doing some clean up on the website, and it has made me a little sentimental for rides gone by.

So much of my identity has come from the rubber I've laid down on the road alone and with others,  to the point that most of my closest people are now largely in the motorcycle community.  I thought I'd take the weekend to reflect, listicle style- on some of my absolute favorite rides I've ever been blessed to take.  So with all of that said, here are my top 15 Ducati motorcycle trips I've ever ridden, in no particular order:

1. Museo Ducati in Borgo Panigale


I've actually gotten to visit the Ducati factory a couple times by now, but the Museo Ducati is absolutely essential to visit if you go to Bologna (or even anywhere in Northern Italy).


2. The Cabot Trail


Going on 5 years ago (and before I took videos apparently), my buddy Jay and I embarked on a 12 day, 2500 mile adventure up to Nova Scotia and around the Cabot Trail, lugging a case of beer and camping out at Meat Cove, at the northernmost tip of Cape Breton Island.  This trip was such a self-affirming journey, for the people that we met, and what I discovered about myself, and even moreso discovering what was out there available to me in the world.

3. Riding up the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey to the Black Sea

Several years back, a couple friends and I rented bikes in Istanbul, Turkey and I rode a Yamaha MT-05 up the Bosphorus all the way to the Black Sea, bordering Russia.  We had a few drinks and dinner at an incredible seaside restaurant and proceeded to do burnouts on my buddy's Yamaha R25 (an R3 for the Asian markets).  Though it rained for much of the trip, it was one of the highlights of my life on a bike.


4. Northern California on a Ducati Hypermotard


The first year I was invited to speak at Dreamforce, the largest tech conference in the world, I rented a Hypermotard and rode alone as far up the coast of Northern California as I could, seeing some of the most beautiful country and sunsets I had in my life.


5. Lake Lugano, Switzerland


A couple of years ago, one of my buddies Alex and rented BMWs and traveled around Northern Italy and Switzerland.  Lugano was one of the highlights of the "Lakes District-" with dramatic mountainside towns, and tunnels carving through the mountains around the lakes.

6.  Quebec by Ducati and the Parc du Maurice


Before the days of Gotham Ducati, or even the East Coast Ducs, a whole bunch of us rode all the way up to Montreal on our Ducs.  Joe and Jerry and I pushed on even further, taking the scenic route up to Quebec City, passing through an incredible motorcycle road (and managing not to run afoul of the very tight speed limits) in the Parc du Maurice.

8. Southern California on a busted Scrambler


I got a chance to give NYDUCATI a shout out in front of several hundred people at Dreamforce this year.

Although I got a bum bike, the roads from San Francisco to Los Angeles are some of the greatest in the world.  The terrain is other-worldly at times, and whether you're along the coast by Big Sur or carving canyons of Los Padres National Forest, the trip is truly incredible to do by bike.


9. Lake Como in Italy after EICMA


I remember thinking at the time that I'd never seen such beauty in the world as when Alex and I rode up to Lake Como north of Milan in Italy.

10. Gotham Ducati Bachelor Party in Beverly Hills


via Gfycat
 I don't actually have a write-up for this, as the proprietor of RentaDucati.com is an absolute scumbag who tried to screw us out of thousands of dollars for doing a couple of burnouts.  However, getting to stay in Beverly Hills and ride the roads around LA was an absolute blast and the roads...some of the best I've ever done, and was lucky to share with my boys.


11. Tail of the Dragon and Cherohala

Every year, a dedicated group of MV Agusta riders gather in Tellico Plains, Tennessee for Gapalicious, to ride around the Smokey Mountains, which include the East Coast motorcycle Meccas of the Cherohala Skyway and the Tail of the Dragon.


12. Cross Country on Italian Superbikes

 Again, long before I carried a GoPro (actually I might have still had a Blackberry), my buddy Cameron and Jay decided to go cross country on Italian Superbikes, which Cam painstakingly detailed the life of his Panigale (the very first 899 ever shipped to the United States) at 899Adventures.

 I have to say, that even though I only got to travel part of the way of this epic journey, down the Appalachian Skyway, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and onto Asheville, North Carolina... this trip singlehandedly ignited a passion for travel and adventure by motorcycle.

13. East Coast Ducs take Montreal


 I still can't believe we had nearly ten Ducs ride all the way from New York City to Montreal. (Credit: Gerald Charles on the vid)
Hot as it was, we had an amazing ride and an even better time hanging out, drinking and eating Poutine together.
(Credit: Shawn Mathew w/ the vid)

14. Acadia with DOCNYC

This was one of my first long distance trips with the New York City Ducati community. Five of us slabbed it all the way to Maine to get to Acadia National Park, getting caught in a torrential downpour on Cadillac Mountain the last night.... worth it.

 

15. Harlem Superbike School


Every week, a couple of us wake up really, really... really early and ride up to White Plains and around the lakes.



© 2019 Tigh Loughhead

Ducati Trivia at Apulia with Rockwell Cycles

When Donny asked me to help promote Rockwell Cycle's trivia night in Hoboken a couple months ago, I was pretty pumped to participate.

NCR New Blue SportClassic

 In 2006, Ducati teamed up with famed racing parts manufacturer NCR to build an extremely limited run of its SportClassic line, that went on sale at the time for $50,000.

Toys for Tots at Charlies Chop Shop

I've met Charlie a couple times over the years, but somehow had never been to his annual toy drive, where supercars and and the super-generous convene in Astoria to collect gifts for children.

Carlin Dunne's Spider Grips Ducati Team Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak

Seems like Ducati is branching out from MotoGP and Superbike racing.

International Motorcycle Show NYC 2018

I've been going to the International Motorcycle Show every year since 2013, but last year Ducati wasn't in attendance, and I skipped the show.

Panigale V4R Reveal at Ducati New York with Gotham Ducati

Ducati New York invited Gotham members and customers out last night to preview the 2019 Ducati Panigale V4R, a homologation superbike with 231hp and winglets capable of delivering 60lbs of downforce at 150mph, perfect for the West Side Highway of course. 
Gotham Ducati New York Panigale V4R Release Party

Italian Motorcade from Massachusetts to Tennessee

I had stopped by my friend Chuck's house last week, en route to the 35th Annual IMOC rally.  

IMOC 2018 35th Annual Italian Motorcycle Owners Club Rally

Bimota V DueI've been to the IMOC (the International Motorycle Owners' Club Rally) three out out of the past four years, and was excited to get to go this year as an official Ducati sponsored event!

HSS gets Nailed

Well, I've managed to keep my nose clean lately, or at least keep from running afoul of the law on my motorcycle... until this morning I guess...

Gotham ECD Family Barbecue

Tigh Loughhead of Gotham Ducati and East Coast Ducs Tom Napolitano, Shawn Mathew, Walter and Albert Feliz
I've been riding with a club called the East Coast Ducs ever since we started the club several years ago at Walter's house back in 2015.  

Third Annual Festival Fine Italian Cars, Bikes and Food

Who would have thought my Ducati track bike would win an award from the Ferrari Car Club of America today? 

Pure Speed at Summit Point Main with Evolve GT

I'm so far behind on keeping up with this blog, but better late than never.

Ducati American Flat Track at the Meadowlands

American Flat Track by Ducati at Meadowlands

Tigh Loughhead of Gotham Ducati and Steve Radt of Ducati New York at American Flat Track

Desmo Silicon Valley Ride to Alices Restaurant to Big Basin Redwoods State Park


Desmo Silicon Valley Bike Night in Saratoga California

I skipped out on Dreamforce a little early this year, to come down to Saratoga, California for my friend Patty's Desmo Silicon Valley Bike Night.
Gotham Ducati and Desmo Silicon Valley Bike Night 2018

Revs up Fan Engagement at Dreamforce

My two worlds are colliding.. Ducati and Salesforce. Hot on the heels of the Ducati "Connected Customer Experience" last year at Dreamforce in San Francisco,

Summit Point Shenandoah Track Day in West Virginia


Gotham Ducati Track Day at NJMP

My boys from Gotham Ducati in NYC are joining me at the track today.  James showed up after dinner last night, but Jerry and Tommy got in late. They decided to ride down, and didn't get in till after midnight and unbelievably, they rode down from NYC.
Harlem Superbike School OGs

Changing the Clutch on a Streetfighter 1098S

Well, I finally burned out the clutch on my Streetfighter.

Crashed Panigale 1299RFE Final Edition

Apologies for posting this El Duro... 😛. 

New Jersey Motorsports Park NJMP with EvolveGT Track Days


Museo Maserati: The Panini Motor Museum

If you ever have the chance to visit the countryside around Modena in Northern Italy, you'll find one of the most exquisite collection of Maserati cars collected from the last 100 years.  Nestled in one of the barns of a working family farm, you can get a tour of a Parmesan cheese factory, and experience one of the finest displays of antique cars, a collection so incredible it's been colloquially called "Museo Maserati." 

Parmesan cheese!


How to pack for a motorcycle track day

Racing motorcycles is a ton of fun, but requires a good bit of preparation.  It's awful to wait for weeks for a track day, then drive several hours to NJMP or NYST to find that you've forgotten something essential important or essential.  I've put together the following pack list to remind myself what to bring along to a track day, but maybe you might find it helpful as well.



Track Day Basics

A bike: You should prep your bike and make sure it's running smoothly BEFORE leaving for the track.  If not, you'll fail tech inspection, and not be able to ride.  Most riders safety wire parts of the bike that might come loose during a track day, like an oil filter and bolts, which especially if you ride a twin (like a Ducati), often untorque due to vibration.

Riding gear: Most racetracks require full leathers (at least zipped together), and though you can rent gear, it won't fit nearly as well as something of your own, and I highly recommend adding a back protector if your suit doesn't already equipped. Most tracks also require "gauntlet" style gloves and race boots, and a decent helmet.

Gotham at ProItalia in Glendale California

 For reasons that haven't been resolved yet, I haven't posted about our ride to California to celebrate Jon's bachelor party.

Rockwell Cycles Track Day at NYST

My goal is 10 track days this season... a weekend per month.
Tigh Loughhead of Gotham Ducati Racing Motorcycles at New York Safety Track
Credit: Anthony Collins Photography

Harlem Superbike School

Every weekend, when the mercury rises above 60 degrees, my boys and I are out at sunrise to participate in a ritual we like to call Harlem Superbike School.

We wake up around 4:30 or 5

Racing Ducati 848s at New York Safety Track

Tigh Loughhead of Gotham Ducati rides an 848 at New York Safety Track
My buddy Jeff and I had been planning on racing Ducati Motorcycles at New York Safety Track for months now, having joined a race outfit called EvolveGT back on Black Friday last year, which gives discounts on track days.

848 1098 1198 Track Day Motorcycle Tire Prep at New York Motor Works

Back at Jeff's New York Motor Works. I'm itching to get to the track, but I need new tires.

Ducati New York Grand Opening in Soho

Last night I had the opportunity to attend Ducati's official "Grand Opening" in Soho.   Ducati Soho (the moniker by which the shop is more colloquially known) has been around for years, but the owner of Ducati’s most prolific franchise decided last year to divest the Triumph brand from his lineup, becoming Ducati’s flagship dealership globally.
Tigh Loughhead and Jorge Lorenzo at Ducati New York Grand Opening in Soho

Gotham Ducati NYC Desmo Owners Club

Introducing Gotham Ducati, New York City's first and only DOC officially sponsored by the Ducati factory in Italy.  There are numerous riding and social clubs, as well as groups built around track days around the tri-state area.  There also quite a few Ducati fan clubs, spanning New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but until now, there hasn't ever been a dedicated club celebrating New Yorkers who ride Ducati motorcycles.
Gotham DOC DOCNYC New York Ducati Owners Club Manhattan Desmo NYC

Track Weapon: Ducshop 848 1098 1198 Race Bike


SoCal 5: Ducati Westlake in Thousand Oaks

Although my situation could have been better (result of the at the end of this post), the first think you notice when you arrive at Ducati Westlake is that the motorcycle shop is nestled in between a Maserati and a Bentley dealership.
The size of the outfit is impressive, sitting on a parking lot filled with gift-wrapped luxury automobiles, and driving in, you really feel like you have reached the Los Angeles suburbs of Southern California.

SoCal 4: Desperately Scrambling Down to Los Angeles on a Bad Bike

I am loath to disparage other motorcyclists.  Riding is a small community, and yet there are certain transgressions that are unforgivable, and this happened today when Mo at EagleRider San Francisco put me on an unsafe bike that nearly killed me due to his neglect.


SoCal 2: Desmoto San Francisco

Just as I had stumbled on the fabled Munroe Motors (Ducati San Francisco) last year while at Dreamforce, I wandered by a shop this year overflowing with Italian Motorcycles which turned out to be Desmoto.


SoCal 1: Ducati at Dreamforce

SoCal 3: Desmo Silicon Valley and Alices Restaurant

Last year, I had a quite a bit of awesome route guidance from friends who had lived or ridden the West Coast, but none better than from someone I had not met yet named Patty, introduced to me by a local friend Sandro, who helps to run DESMO on the East Coast.
Selfie Photo Credit: Patty

Tigho Ducati Blog List:

Rides gone by...