Friday – Out On The Town

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A few more additions and a few old faces have joined our Friday morning ride and the group did get bigger. It’s sort of like organized chaos but with a lot of testosterone flying around. People are excited and some of these guys adore their machines, me being one of them. The thrill of riding just can’t be compared and that is what compels us to get up with only a few hours of sleep to ride in the morning.

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We seem to be having a lot of Germans joining us these days, and they are impressive machines. We are a bit particular about who joins us on the ride because honestly it would be a bit dangerous for a novice to join us and there is a very good rythem going on with most the riders, there is a chaotic understanding that somehow works in this order. Some of the riders are extremely skilled and some of the riders are Cafe Racers like MFW, but still it’s a lot of fun and the best way to start off the day. Honestly we need more curvy roads, and I need to find them to freshen our routes a bit, change it up.

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First Ride Of The Year

My New Year’s Eve wasn’t eventful but I was looking forward to riding in the morning, and ride we did, taking full of advantage of the somewhat empty roads. We had a bit of a late start and a lot of people were going out to breakfast, we were counting on more people sleeping in. The roads were still a lot of fun, but we took a few different routes to change it up a bit and this time we had two Germans joining us on our adventure.

This group of riders were experienced and very aggressive on the road which is a lot of fun, lets just call it fast cruising. Sometimes I don’t accept new riders to join the Friday morning ride because it isn’t for everyone, I might ride with them solo to teach them how to ride, but this group was over the top, even I had a hard time keeping up with them. Especially Duke & MKN, they were at each other the whole ride, German Vs. Italian, The Battle of the Riders, who takes a corner better, who is faster on the line, and if it wasn’t like that on the road, they would argue while they were parked.

We went around most of Kuwait as usual and headed to Prime & Toast for breakfast, or my case an early lunch. I love the roads around Kuwait, but sometimes there are some dirt spots to watch out for. The first ring road is always a lot of fun, but the new ending to it seems incomplete, still its a lot of fun. Most of the time the roads are empty and we are fine, but that Tuesday morning there was a little bit more traffic then we were comfortable with so it was annoying to deal with them, but still an amazing start to the year.


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Hooligans In The Rain

This was a crazy weekend, it was raining every other day in the week and Friday was pouring all morning but the afternoon was nice but it was too late ride then. After waking up at 4 am on Friday and not being able to go back to sleep there was no way I wasn’t riding on Saturday, I was going to ride one way or another. Woke up at 4 am to hear a little bit of rain, but no more past 430am so I was waiting until a few people woke up and we met up at 7am at Starbucks Bidaa and the roads were wet and a bit dirty. We just had to ride caustiously, and in my case that didn’t last too long.

I brought down the horse power from 162 bhp to 100 bhp with traction control set at high to keep it relatively safe since I knew there was a lot of water spots and missing traction areas. That lasted about 20 mins into the ride before letting loose and going back to normal but luckily the roads were drying up because it was a lovely sunny day. This time around one of our good friends from Kuwait Choppers decided to join us, and these guys can hold their own and they were a perfect fit for our little band of hooligans.

Three Ducati’s, One BMW, And One Suzuki, its always fun to change things up a bit and we had fun during our ride. Nobody was on the road, and there were a few times some of the guys were drifting with their bikes, that took total control and discipline to keep the machine in check or trying to control an accidental slide which happened a few times because of the wet roads. We were honestly having a blast, the only thing was that there was a little more traffic then I would have preferred and some parts way too much, got used to no traffic on road and made the best of it. This time I took two GoPro Hero 3 and installed them on the bike, one doing a timelapse and the other a video. Lets see how it does quality wise for the GoPro Hero 3.


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Hooligans On The Road

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7 am at Bidaa and rolling out right away, but 7:20 am we are already on the road and flying, very few people are on the road by then, most bikers leave around 8:00 to 8:30, we prefer to enjoy the empty roads. These days its getting pretty cold, and for once I started fitting into my bike gear, but I had thermals on and put on my riding pants because it was cold. I love riding in the cold, its combination of shivering and an electric feeling pumping through your veins.

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This was the first ride I brought the Go Pro Hero3 with us, and it was mounted perfectly on the 1098s, just to the side and I would follow the other bikes and even some of them I couldn’t keep up with. I was trying to get the perfect angle for riding. As I was following one of the guys rock started flying, it was just as the 1199 aka Duke aka The Rock Thrower was passing us. I have to say that the 1199 is one of hell of machine, it is worlds apart from any other Ducati they made, I couldn’t even think of keeping up and one of the other traits it has is throwing rocks anyone within 100 meters of it. That is when a rock came flying and I thought the GoPro Hero3 fell off because something hit my foot. When I looked down I was happy to see it still attached.

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We flew across town enjoying the beautiful sunny and cold day, and the first ring road is one of the essential spots to take those beautiful curves. With the Beemer with us it was a very interesting mix of machines, 4 Italians and 1 German, but we all get along, and the most important part is that we all have an understanding of each other’s riding habits. Need more curvier roads in Kuwait to enjoy driving them, but we also keep an eye out for any new construction, we always have to be careful because in Kuwait a road can be dug up overnight and that has happened to us a few times.

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Riding In The Rain

When ever there is a chance to be out on the road we will be there and in this case it was a bit cloudy but that wasn’t going to stop me from going out on the bike. At least the weather was cool, we could ride without feeling the heat of our machines or the weather. It seems people thought it was going to rain so the roads were a bit empty and we got an early start to the riding on Friday and we were going at full throttle. This time around everybody who was riding with us is an experienced rider, just Duke was getting familiar with our style of riding but he is more then capable of handling himself and at times his skill amazed me.

Halfway through our ride it started raining, and common sense says to slow down but with all honestly a lot of common sense goes out the window when the streets are empty and our bikes are revving nice and loud. Duke is used to London weather so he is used to riding in the rain, so as I was pushing it he was right behind me while a few of the guys slowed down (Kubayashi). There is a lot of construction going on in the Shuweikh area and that is pretty much killing me at this rate, new holes to deal with. There is another route we are thinking about exploring but we need to check it out on an alternative day. But we were enjoying the lovely roads while they were empty and its becoming a habit that we end our ride at Q Cafe for a quick bite. On the next ride I’m going to try out the Canon G15, these were the last pics taken by the Canon G12 before that nasty fall that rendered it useless.


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Hooligans In The Monring

The cold is here and we have the streets to ourselves, well at least that is what I think when I wake up at 6 am after 4 hours of sleep. Honestly riding gets me so excited that I just want to get on my bike and rip the streets apart. Recently the streets have been somewhat empty and people don’t start riding except around 8 am for a good hour we have the streets to ourselves and we do ride like hooligans.

We usually discuss the route before heading out, everyone is fueled up and we head our way. My rule is simple if someone is new to riding he become someone’s wingman and follows him at a steady pace, not a hard pace like the way some of us ride, if we are only experienced riders then it is every man for himself from point A to point B, and we honestly ride fast. This time around we had the Ducati 1199 Panigale join us with an experienced rider. I have ridden with other machines and the Diavel can hold it’s own with 99% of the machines, hard accelerations and going into corners, but the Panigale is a machine of a different breed. He was pushing into corners where I felt that I was scratching the limit of my riding skills, it was still going, that machine is a beautifully fast and insane in corners.

It was a hell of adventure and took a few different routes but I need to go and look for a few different routes to keep things interesting. I still think about Khasab Oman and Hatta UAE, those corners were beautiful. And the weather these days makes me want to ride, and even with the rain I want to ride, this cool weather just feels so good.


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Ducati Panigale 1199 – A Beautiful Affair

One of the most beautiful machines that I have seen in a long time. Ducati do know how to design their machines, I think most Italians do, its rare to see an ugly machine out of an Italian firm and this case the 1199 Panigale is the top of the breed. I have had my eye on this machine for so long, thinking about it, always crossing my mind whenever I see the color red or hear a v-twin engine revving in the background.

I had my chance to try out the Ducati 1199 Panigale when I was in California, it was the best possible setting to try this beautiful machine, and a ride in the mountains and just by the ocean to cool after a long fun ride. I thought they couldn’t make the 1098/1198 ride any better, I was wrong, it takes precision input, gives you the ride feedback and claws on the group like it’s life depended on it. I took every corner with confidence and even when I didn’t know what was coming around the corner and I went in a little too fast, this bike would just keep on gripping, I had few moments when I was almost paralyzed with fear but luckily years of practice and an amazing machine got me out of a possible bad situation.

I have to say that having an 1199 is like having a relationship with a feisty Italian woman, you just don’t know what your going to get out of it. When I rode this bike, its the same exhilarating feeling that I got the first time I rode the Diavel, excitement just shoots through my spine, they did everything right. I thought this is the machine of my dreams, but sometimes dreams are just too good to be true, there was just one fault, one damn thing that Ducati screwed up and for us living in the Middle East, its going to be a little hard to ride this machine, well for me at least. Even when riding in relatively cool weather in California, I would get a little hot under the legs, and especially the right leg, turns out all the heat is being emitted from the engine block, specifically from the piston head area which is devastating. If its getting hot here, how will be in Kuwait, seriously, at every stop light my legs would get hot, and I wasn’t too happy about it, if you are moving, and this machine moves fast then your fine, but if you are stopping then you are going to be in trouble, it gets a little too hot down there.

I for one loved the 1199 and everything about it, if it wasn’t for that one fault I would get one as soon as possible. For now I don’t want to park a motorcycle in my living room just to enjoy staring it, but if I’m going to to do that then the 1199 would be at the top of the list. Don’t get me wrong, it is probably one of the best machines I have ever ridden, but they made just one mistake, I hope somehow they can correct in the next iteration of this beautiful machine.


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2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale

At last the sexy beast from the Italian firm has been unveiled after months of teasing, we at last get to see the machine we have all been craving to see. Its faster and lighter then 1098 & 1198, and a few design changes have been made to make this a menacing looking machine. Sanity was thrown out the window when they had this machine in mind, its 22 lbs lighter and 20 more horse to get this machine rocketing past any thing on the road.

Ducati have taken it a step further with the Panigale which was unveiled in EICMA at the beginning of November. I really do love the lines of this machine, and especially the LED lights that give it this futuristic look, the first full-LED headlight on a motorcycle . I was always a fan of the underseat exhaust but they wanted to lower the center of gravity to handle better so they took the exhaust down, I’m liking it, I’m really wondering how it sounds but knowing Ducati I know it would sound damn good. The package will set you back $17,995 for the base model, while S trim nudges the MSRP to $22,995. The top-of-the-line S Tricolore will fetch a more heart-stopping $27,995.

They have a lot of electronic additions to this vehicle and one of them the GPS Data Aquisitioning system to give you all the Data Logging info that you could want. You get the traction control system as standard on all bikes but ABS is optional on the Panigale. But the most interesting part for me is the electronically adjustable suspension system which will really change how the ride feels. I really want to get my hands on this bike, so many rumors and to see it in real life would be something else.

Link: Asphalt&Rubber
Link: Autoblog


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