Ducati 1098S Testing: Welcome to Hell-A

LA Burning
Sitting in an over priced $190.00 Ramada Suite in West Hollywood I can only conclude things are not going particularly well with this excursion to test the 1098S.  It’s not the bike, that’s brilliant, but getting there certainly hasn’t been half the fun… and I’m waiting for a change of tide.

Nipping up the Angeles Crest the Ducati 1098S sings and with LA burning in the background I have a pretty good incline how Nero must have felt.  Burn, baby burn.  Riding at night puts you in touch with a bike, but after getting up a 5AM I’m wearing down a bit so I hit Topanga Canyon Rd, and slalom into town.  The original intent was to take the Crest out towards the coast, but signs saying the road was closed ahead were discouraging.

I honestly thought people were honking because they liked the 1098S or its sound.  As it turns out either the dealer didn’t put the license plate on it, or the plate was lost in the canyons…  I didn’t actually notice this until dinner, and then after asking the reputable and disreputable on the street determined that plates are in fact mandatory in California.

This is actually the rat-race poison icing on the cake for the trip so far.   Getting to the airport for a 12:25 flight after receiving confirmation of the bike at 10:20 was a bit stressful.  Finding the Alaska Air line bunged up due to staff that seemed mostly to be staring wistfully off into space at nothing discernable didn’t help.  Waiting at Dollar rent a car for the computer systems to come back up for an hour before anyone took the suggestion of using a manual system, saw cracks forming.  Slewing through traffic so content to trundle I had time to shoot an in car video review of the Dodge Avenger is probably a good indicator of state of mind.

Making it to SoCal Ducati in time to pick up the 1098S, throwing a leg over it, and having it grumble to life made up for it all.  It returned my enthusiasm.  To much so it seems, I forgot to check for the bloody plate.

Salt in the wound?  The Hotel has a bar… it’s closed.  Who closes a bar at 10:30PM?  Originally I planned to shoot some video and do a “24” based piece for this trip…  Mission impossible more like.

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