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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...

NYDucati: Ducati 899 Panigale on sale at Koup's Cycle Shop in Harrisburg PA

When Ducati released the 899 Panigale a few months later, inspired by Antihero's epic trek, he changed his mind and decided to take a Duc from Coast to Coast.  I've been gearing up for some serious touring of my own, and strongly considered joining, but the last two months of my motorcycling life have been simply awful, since this asshole sold me an ST3 with a bad ECU (more to come on that- the bike has been sitting at Fast by Ferracci for the past month).  Amidst weekly trips to PA and getting sick, I haven't even had a chance to ride with the DOCNYC yet this year, and I figured it didn't really make sense to limp along on a cross country trip.

Tigho's original NYDucati packing job.  I later ditched the tent and sleeping bag | 899adventures.comFinally, last weekend I had a chance to do some maintenance on the Monster: to mount the rear tire at Kiss Honda, and change the oil, and get it back up to NYC for the season. Feeling a bit rushed, I asked my buddy and his friend, riding a brand new Aprilia Tuono V4R, if I could come along on their cross country trip for a day or two, as I had taken off work a month ago.  I also had off on Good Friday, and was planning packing Friday on meeting them the following day in central PA, but my rear brakes suddenly started grinding.

My Duc-saavy brother in-law offered to help me (yet again) at 6:30am Saturday morning (I was supposed to join the boys at 11am an hour away), and sure enough, the cheap Chinese brake pads I put in had ground down to metal in less than six months.  I called every cycle shop I knew, and nobody had brake pads in stock. My bro's dad had some, so we went over to his house and took the caliper apart, only to discover they didn't fit. Finally, they suggested a place in Harrisburg called Koup's Cycle Shop, who had pads in stock, but only did registrations on Saturdays.  After some desperate pleading, they agreed to try to fit me in "sometime" during the day, but with "no promises."  I had all but given up, as it was already noon by the time I got to Koup's, when I got a text that the boys were running an hour late...
2013 Ducati Monster 796 Darmah Edition at Koups Cycle Shop by NYDucati |

The guys at Koup's were utterly fantastic!  They took care of me immediately, and I was in and out within twenty minutes. Finally, the fickle Ducati god's were smiling down on me...I rode out to find a phone charger, and stopped at a Verizon store, where apparently no one had seen a Ducati before, as several people bizarrely asked to take my picture with the bike.

Ducati 848 Corse Superbike at Koups Cycle Shop by NYDucati |

Then I rode to the nearest gas station and sat down in the sun while charging my phone.   The boys were a couple hours behind schedule, but I didn't mind at all. By the time they arrived, I was ready to roll...  Several people were incredibly friendly and chatty, including a self-proclaimed motorcycle mechanic bragging about burning out his 1200 Gremlin cruiser (? guessing a Harley) and an awesome guy named Victor, who regaled us with stories of jumping off his Goldwing, and his father's disdain of Japanese bikes, and a veritable rant about the 899 not having a frame.

899adventures boys show up on a Panigale and a Tuono in Harrisburg, PA with Tigho NYDucati

 © 2013 Tigh Loughhead


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