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.


I had limped in on a Scrambler, whose throttle had caused the bike to lurch dangerously through the canyons of Los Padres National Forest, and then on which I had almost crashed coming down the 101 looking for a Ducati tech in Los Angeles.
Despite my mood (from having been given a defective bike in San Francisco the night before), the service staff were fairly accommodating, and the shop itself was quite impressive.

Ducati New York in Soho does a ton of volume in terms of the sheer number of Ducs they sell, but considering the size of the shop, Ducati Westlake must post significant sales numbers as well.  As I waited for a tech available to check out the Scrambler I was riding, I took the chance to admire some of the bikes on display. 
 In addition to the brand new 1260 Enduro Multistrada (just released at EICMA a few days earlier I believe), they had a number of custom and rare bikes either on display or being serviced.
 This Diavel's camo livery probably wouldn't hide any rider very well anywhere near LA, but you have to appreciate some of the custom clutch and exhaust bits.
 Similarly, this GT1000 looked amazing, with a brushed aluminum Sport Classic tank and silver forks.
 One of the coolest bikes on the lot was a Ducati Sport Classic 1000SE, a Special Edition of which only 100 were ever made (90 were shipped to the US),
 based on the classic Darmah 900SD black and gold color scheme.
There were a number of Scramblers I admired as I waited, some stock; and others' customized. 
There was an older gentleman in full leathers getting his Anniversario (number 147) Panigale serviced, who had put more aftermarket parts on this bike than number 354, which belongs to a friend of mine, who customized his to the hilt. 
Among the more ridiculously priced machines was an 1199 going for nearly $60,000.
Despite a ludicrous amount of aftermarket parts, I would have a hard time justifying double the original sticker price for an "S," especially on a deprecated model.
The machine was pretty badass nonetheless.

Epilogue: 

After finally fitting me in, the techs at Ducati Westlake replaced the entire kickstand assembly, which they thought could be responsible for the bike sputtering. However, on attempting to ride the bike off the lot (and nearly crashing it trying to get back on the highway), I found the issue was not fixed.  
Ducati Westlake Logo in Thousand Oaks California near Los Angeles
The shop was officially now closed, and the owner and all the sales and service staff crowded around while I furiously called Mo at EagleRider San Francisco.  According to the Ducati Tech, the oil was nearly black, so Mo's story of "just doing the valves" was complete BS, as you need to crack the engine case and drain the oil to access the valves (so you would expect nearly clean oil if this was the case).  Furthermore, although the lurching issue was likely due to valve misalignment, there was no way to actually do a diagnostic without clearing the "service light" code, which Ducati mechanics will only do after they actually complete the Desmodromic maintenance service interval.  

Long story short, Mo at EagleRider put me on an unsafe bike because he didn't bother to do the service interval, and then lied to me about having done it.  Livid and betrayed, I was also stranded in the suburbs of Los Angeles and at his mercy. I took his offer to leave the Scrambler with Ducati Westlake, take a $70 cab ride to Santa Monica and swap the offending machine for one of their bikes... which would turn out to be a mother. fucking. harley. 

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