<img width="200" height="133" class="floatleft" src="www.motorcycle.in.th/images/articles/The_Ducati_848_Love_at_first_Sight_1.jpg" alt="" />Every year there is a motorcycle launched that catches my eye, and unfortunately for my wallet and my better half, I usually end up acting on these whims too. It's been no different this time; my first sighting of the Ducati 848 in the flesh was on our last Italian holiday and it had me instantly scratching round for the funds to buy one and with good reasons I think. It has the same styling as its Ducati 1098 sibling, but at a fraction of the cost, and with a much more user-friendly nature for the less experienced rider' that's how I justified it anyway.
I took delivery of the red pocket rocket a few weeks ago, but it hasn't seen much action yet I'm afraid to say. Work commitments and my reluctance to take the Ducati 848 out for reasons I still need to discover myself. Not a good start really, and it got worse.
At the first weekend of no commitments out came the riding gear, several of my friends stood at the window waiting for me to fire up the Desmodromic L-Twin and guess what? I'm afraid that where it all ended, flat battery I could hear the laughter inside my helmet, but I'm being harsh, it had sat for quite some time doing nothing but the odd turn of the key to watch the display go though its sequence so it's my own fault.
Off with the riding gear and on with the battery charger, now this was easier said than done, normally off comes the seat and the battery sits there waiting for a couple of crocodile clips' but no, out come the Allen keys, 15 or so bolts and three-quarters of a sweaty, frustrating and curse filled hour later, off came the left fairing and there sits the battery, tucked nicely away. Not very helpful Ducati...
I was beginning to believe the Ductati 848 and me weren't meant to be, daft I know, but just wanted to ride the damn thing.
Finally, another absolute free weekend and brand new battery installed, charged and we are ready to go, the only thing holding me back was the running-in-period - somethings you don't really give a thought to with modern machinery, but very important - and it's hard work keeping the revs down with that Desmodromic soundtrack blaring away underneath you.
I'm persevering though, as hard as it is, and despite the restraint I'm already beginning to see the Ducati 848's characteristics coming through and some string hints of what's to come: torque, power, handling and that sound...