West Coast Day 2: Ukiah to Eureka California


I got up early today a little miffed. My goal had been to get to central Oregon, and the lack of available hotels had pushed me back down south and inland several hours the night before.

West Coast Day 1: Riding Out of Dreamforce on a Ducati

 This morning, after speaking at Dreamforce, and meeting a truly staggering amount of people, I rented a Ducati Hypermotard to ride up the California coast. Many more pictures and video are forthcoming, but I have spotty wifi at the moment, and will add some pics as I can.
I got a bit of a late start today, and stopped in Santa Rosa to see family, but I managed about 300 miles today, most of which were incredibly twisty, on some of the most incredible roads I've ever seen.

The trip out of San Francisco

I had done quite a bit of research before choosing a bike rental outfit called EagleRider, one of the largest motorcycle firms in the country
 After contemplating renting first a Triumph Bonneville, and then an Indian Scout, I decided to take advantage of the technical nature of the roads out west and rent a sport bike.  Although a Bonnie or a Scout were about half the price (about $80-109 / day), the roads in California present a unique opportunity to challenge your skills as a rider, and a few of my friends back in NYC peer-pressured me into considering a Ducati (big surprise, right?).
 I had a few DOC and friend referrals to a a guy named "Mo" running a place called Eaglerider San Francisco Bmw Ducati Honda Motorcycle Rental, about a half an hour south of downtown SF.  Although I was a bit nonplussed with my inability to negotiate any type of discount, Mo turned out to be a really nice guy and I decide to rent a Hyperstrada.
I really wanted a bike with a bit of balls, but moreso something that would be comfortable in a variety of different situations, as I was hoping to ride as many different kinds of roads as possible (urban, technical twisties, choppy or dirt mountain), and the Hypermotard is the closest thing Ducati makes to supermoto style bike. 
I fell in love with the bike as soon as I got on it.  Firstly, I was a little afraid that the Hyper would be too high, but the Hyper"strada" sits a little lower, and is slightly tweaked to be a little more of a touring bike rather than an aggressive enduro-style motorcycle. 
Secondly, the handling is incredibly responsive, and the geometry totally different than the last couple crazy superbikes I've been riding. Instead of trying to hang off the side of a 160hp machine, the travel of the front suspension meant that you maneuver the bike largely by pushing down on the front forks. As a result, while the power is quite a bit less than my own bikes, I got the feeling that the Hyper was considerably more nimble, perfect for bailing me out around a 15mph corner on some deserted mountain road. 
I took off early, and immediately headed over the Golden Gate Bridge, hopping on Route 1 only for a second, to take Mountainview road up through Muir Woods up to Mount Tamalpias. 
 The sky was cloudless and the mountain views were dazzlingly spectacular.  If I hadn't had to watch out for blind corner after blind corner, weaving between speeding bicyclists, weekend warriors in SUVs and sweeping precipices dropping hundreds of feet into rocks and the ocean, I would have probably gotten a little weak looking at the natural beauty.  
I didn't take a ton of pictures, but have a TON of video, which I'll include in a video playlist each day (below) after my ride report.  


 After reconnecting to route 1, and heading up Bodega Bay, I headed back inland to meet up with some family for lunch at Russian River Brewing, one of the fabled beer Meccas of the world.
 I picked up a few Plinys, and at the recommendation of one of salesman at the brewery, headed back out towards the coast. taking 128 to Cloverdale and Booneville towards Albion and the coast, where I'd pick up Route 1 again and see how far I got north.  Hopping on 128 was incredible, as when I first got on led to about 40 miles of sweeping 25mph back to back corners, teaching me the first lesson I was to learn about California riding.
The foothills of any mountain are just about the best, and you can power up carefully until you reach the crest.  You might wind around the top, but peak roads are likely to be a little blind.  I made it down to Albion and then past Mendocino to Fort Bragg by about 7pm, where I lost all cell phone reception.  A little spooked, I found out that all hotels within 75 miles seemed to be booked on Saturday night, so with the aid of some spotty wifi, I booked Motel 6 all the way back down in Ukiah, CA, about an hour and a half back down an inland.  
I arrived in the dark around 9pm wearily, got some local Mexican food, and passed out promptly on my hotel bed with the TV blaring and all of my clothes on. 

First Day NYDUCATI West Coast Videolog Playlist


© 2016 Tigh Loughhead

Ducati San Francisco

Unbelieveably, in all of San Francisco, I'm staying about two blocks from Ducati San Francisco.  I've stayed for a couple of days in Portrero with a friend of my girlfriend, and then I'm crashing with a friend of a friend in the Mission, literally right down the street from Munroe Motors, the official Ducati shop in SF.

Motorycling San Francisco California

Off with the suit and onto the road...

Marketing guru and motorcycle fanatic
Ok, so I'm writing this a bit after the fact- but only by a couple of days.  I've been itching for this trip on many different levels, even to the point of leveraging my love of motorcycling into my presentation at Dreamforce.  See above for the third slide in my talk, which I was rehearsing at daybreak overlooking the Bay in Portrero.
Packing up my dry cleaning and riding gear
California has always seemed a bit like a holy land for biking.  One of the friends I was going to stay with during Dreamforce was a friend I had made going part of the way cross country on superbikes nearly four years ago.
Your humble author, Tigh Loughhead, at Dreamforce
I can't seem to shake this inkling feeling that riding here will be totally different from anything I've ever experienced.
 California has a totally different culture and respect towards bikes than any place I've ever been.
 In the first place, lane splitting is legal and it's tough getting used to "legal" lane splitting, while respecting other laws as well. Speaking of the law, police ride all sorts of motorcycles...
There are the traditional Harley Davidson police cruisere, but I see supermoto bikes and adventure machines as well.


 San Fran is quite affluent, but still craving authenticity, (much like Brooklyn,) and there are any number of Bonnies or cafe'd BMW Boxer bikes outside of the top coffee-shops.
 But at it's core, I believe that San Francisco is more of a biker-centric culture than the East Coast,
Drivers actually make way for bikes, and all different manner of people ride. 
I'm looking forward to taking off, though I haven't yet picked a route yet...
 I have a bunch of advice though, from a number of friends and club-mates back home,
as well as a few referrals to locals here. 
 Most of all, I just want to take off and go; leaving this crowded civilization behind.






© 2016 Tigh Loughhead

DESMO DOC 2016 16th Annual BBQ

I've been running around like crazy this weekend.

Superleggera at The Tuscan Gun


East River Sunrise

1299 Panigale Dark Ducati

Riding around on my Ducati Streetfighter this weekend was a blast, filled with that sickly sweet mixture of power and fear that makes your skin tingle and your throat tighten up, wondering about your mortality in the back of your mind (cue Song of the Sausage Creature...)

Ducati Lima in Peru


Motorcycle Culture in Peru: Andes to the Ocean

There are thousands of bikes in Peru, though mostly 125cc motorcycles.  Roncos, Pulsars, FZ125 and Yz125’s abound, and people use them for everything; from commuting to carrying pets to all-purpose delivery vehicles.  

Ducati Panistrada Project 1312 (2017 Supersport S)?


Is this rumor legit? Is Ducati about to unveil a Ducati Panistrada (a 2017 Supersport S) at World Ducati week in Misano Italy?


2017 Ducati Supersport S 939 Project 1312
2017 Ducati Supersport Project 1312 Image Credit MotorcycleNews

 © 2016 Tigh Loughhead

Bike Night at the Tuscan Gun

I've been riding and traveling for most of the spring, so I haven't had a chance to catch up on my ride reports, but had to recap a bike night in Brooklyn a few week's back.
NYDUCATI: Bike Night at The Tuscan Gun in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Moto Custom Carbon Fiber 1198S Ducati

Coming back from Joshua's house, Mark from Brooklyn Moto had invited me to come to a motorcycle BBQ in Brooklyn, and watch MotoGP, the fifth round taking place in Le Mans in France.

East Coast Ducs May New Members Ride

I'm in the process of writing up a more detailed ride report, but last Sunday the East Coast Ducs went up to Hudson Valley Motorcycles and did a few hundred miles in upstate New York.

Evolution of the Ducati Superbike


A short history of the Ducati Superbike over the last 30 years.

Joshua cooks 52lbs of Prime Rib for the East Coast Ducs

The master chef of Mu Ramen fame, who happens to a so be a massive Ducati motorcycle enthusiast and East Coast Duc member, invited the club to spend the afternoon dining with him and 52 lbs of mouthwatering, dry-aged prime rib steaks and watching MotoGP.
I missed the last event he was generous enough to host at his restaurant, so I wasn't going to miss this,

NYDucati Does Brooklyn

So I've had a rough time getting my bike on the road this spring.  After going out with the East Coast Ducs first ride of 2016 and discovering that I needed a new clutch in my 996, last weekend my chain was really loose.
However, I'm finally using my GoPro Hero4 Silver, and I've finally got some great footage of riding around the city,
even though I ended up getting pulled over on the West Side Highway.
Worried about my chain and recent drama at my garage, and wanting to get some video footage of New York City, I rode over to Klutch NYC, where Rafael runs a great shop in the East Village for motorcycle apparel and gear.
Rafael reminded me that Mark at Brooklyn Moto was now open on Saturdays, and that I should run over and see if he could check out my chain.  
Unfortunately, my chain was kinked and stretched *(which is kind of dangerous to ride on),
so we hung out for a while with my friend Erik, who is helping out detailing bikes at Brooklyn Moto.
I rode back to my house and ordered a new DID 525 chain, and a new Michelin front tire from Revzilla, before my girlfriend came over and we walked back over the Brooklyn Bridge,
to walk around Brooklyn Heights,
and watch the sun set over Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge Park.
© 2016 Tigh Loughhead