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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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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UAE & Oman Bike Trip

This started off back in early June and we were discussing the details about going on a nice long bike and we were discussing the locations and honestly UAE was a nice location to start with. I didn’t want to rent a bike and do a tour, I wanted to ride on my bike on a trip not another bike. There were about six of us as I mentioned in the other post but by the time it came to commit only four could commit from the six, and it was a solid number so we went ahead with the idea. All the major planning and details were being discussed over the few months but the major travel arrangements didn’t happen except until the first week of October, I probably should have started it earlier since everything would get booked up on Eid and I thought we were going to go to odd places and there would be availability but I was very wrong, we hit German tourist territory with about 3/4 of all the locations we went to.

Bike Travel Preparation

  • We did as much research as humanely possible.
  • Luckily there are a lot British nuts in UAE who ride so we found a substantial amount of youtube videos for the areas we were heading towards so we knew what we were in for
  • Tristar serviced our machines and got them prepped by checking every nut and bolt on our bikes
  • I got a Garmin Nuvi 1490 LMT with updated Middle East Maps from Seas & Deserts
  • Mapped everything on Google Maps including stops and made sure we were on track to the nice curvy roads

Setting Up The GPS

  • I got the Ram Mount for the Garmin Nuvi 1490LMT
  • Installed the Garmin Battery Cable thanks to Tristar
  • The GPS wasn’t budging in speeds upwards of 240 kph so it was perfect
  • I transferred our routes through a program called Tyre which you can download here
  • I double checked our route on the Garmin Device and modified it slightly since it wasn’t 100% as we wanted

We got information from Tristar on which shipping company to use and we also checked a few others. We decided to have our bikes shipped to Dubai and start from there, we didn’t want ride from Kuwait to UAE because I heard that Saudi is a very boring straight line, no curves so it would be tiring and no reason to ride it. After a little research and a few quotes we went with Al Sawan shipping since they have had experience shipping motorcycles to Europe and other locations in the Middle East for other riders. They got our bikes to Dubai within 5 days ready in a storage facility, so picked them up from Dubai Green Park Community on Wednesday morning and road back to Dubai. It felt like we were the wild pack and about to embark on an insane adventure.

This is the route we took:

  • Day 1 – Dubai to Ras Al Khaymah
  • Day 2 – Ras Al Khaymah to Khasab, Oman to Ras Al Khaymah (Curvy Road)
  • Day 3 – Ras Al Khaymah to Fujeirah (Curvy Road)
  • Day 3 – After we got to the Hotel we took a ride from Fujeirah to Kalba then Hatta and Back (Very Curvy Roads)
  • Day 4 – Fujeirah to Al Ain (Again Very Curvy Roads through Kalba and Hatta)
  • Day 5 – Al Ain to Dubai (Straight Line & Boring)

We had to pack 7 days worth of clothing into a small tail pack on the back of the Diavel, and I carried a back pack which was a bit uncomfortable and not a smart idea. I brought a laptop and a few things which didn’t require and taking up space. So on the travel days I was in a bit of an uncomfortable position. I didn’t know the exact routes and the GPS gave us about 90% of the right routes, the thing is I double checked it as much as possible.

I had my GoPro Hero2 attached to my Helmet and switched it on during the curves which was a lot of fun. The one thing I just had to keep in mind was to switch it off at border crossings, but we had a few incidents at security checkpoints where the camera was running but I didn’t know they were there and they asked about it if it was running. So I just had to keep it in mind during our trip since we had a few places that we crossed that I put the GoPro away.

There were three parts to the ride that I loved, Khasab Oman, a beautiful two lane road by the coast head from Ras Al Khaymah to Khasab. It was thrilling to ride and felt brand new, I wish to ride again soon, we just didn’t have the chance to fully enjoy it. Then there were the curves just before Fujeirah, it was just over the top, high speed curves and then some tight curves up in the mountains, I was excited while riding, I haven’t seen roads like that in my life.

When we got to Dibba Al Fujeirah after the first set of curves we were riding by the coast with some very beautiful roads passing by the Gas Storage Facility in Fujeirah before getting to our hotel. It was fun and Fujeirah had the most modern mall, I think it was called City Centre, very nicely done. We dropped our things and went riding to Kalba since it was only 15 KM away and then continued another 60 KM to Hatta which we went through the infamous tunnel, I loved hearing from my screaming exhaust and I think so did the people outside the tunnel. The Diavel really is another name for Devil because that’s what it sounded like screaming through. We found a few Wadi’s which we stopped by, it really was a fun adventure, and took some pictures there as well. Then we rode back to the hotel and decided to turn in after getting some coffee. The one thing I have to say is that you can find a Starbucks in every location, I was shocked, they are everywhere.

Next day we headed out for our longest ride over 230 KM and surprisingly we only had to fill once even with the Monster riding with us. We hit the fun curvy part on the way to Hatta and through the tunnels, its such an amazing road. Then when we came close to the Oman border the roads became straight and it got a bit boring, so it was a little over an hour of straight highway, and as we got close to Al Ain the roads were turning into a major highway, four lanes on each side. When you get into Al Ain it is a beautiful area with lots of vegetation, and it feels like the old Sharjah that I remember from the 90s. And one thing for sure is that it was extremely clean, every road so clean, in UAE & Oman.

Throughout our ride we only got caught in traffic during the evening in Dubai as we were leaving. The best times to leave are early morning so you can enjoy your day where ever you are going. Everyone gives us way, about 90% of people on the road were nice to us or indifferent. The other 10% are a bit crazy but compared to Kuwait it’s a walk in the park. We spent most of our day riding and when the sun sets we are back at the hotel, getting a bite to eat and passing out to walk up at the crack of dawn when possible.

Our Hotels:

  • Palace Old Town – 1 Night
  • Hilton Ras Al Khaymah – 2 Nights
  • Nour Arjan Rotana Fujeirah – 1 Night
  • Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet – 1 Night
  • Palace Old Town – 1 Night

Since the moment the GPS was switched on we travelled a total of 1402 kilometers all over the UAE and a bit of Oman on Day 2 & Day 4. It was a hell of a trip and to top it off we went wakeboarding in Dubai Marina which was a lot of fun. I only got upstaged by my young cousin and I was falling face flat into the water, but I enjoyed it. The ride to Dubai was exhausting because it started getting a bit hotter then we expected and it was all a straight line, it was very boring, so hitting the water right away was exactly what was needed. This was probably one of the best rides I have been on and the roads in the UAE are better then any road I have seen in the UK or all of the West Coast of the US. The Diavel and Monster S4RS were more then capable for a very long trip and taking roads of every kind and I’m hoping to do something like this again and soon.


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Cross UAE & Oman

This will probably be one of the most intense rides I will ever take, we have been planning this for over three months, but the real planning started about a month back. We got our bikes prepped, we were initially supposed to be 6 guys but due to work conflicts we dropped down to 4 guys on this little adventure.

The Machines On This Trip

  • 1 Diavel Carbon
  • 2 Diavels
  • 1 Monster SR2

I have done some long distance traveling before but not in the Middle East so this is going to be a new one. We are as preparred as can be at this point. I mapped out everything on Google Maps and ported it to my Garmin Device which is mounted to the left side of my handle bar. I mapped out our routes exactly, calculated what we needed and the distances between stops and the gas stations in the vicinity and some areas don’t have gas stations so we needed to plan for that.

I have to thank Tristar for all their support in setting this up. We know its the beginning of riding season but they took our bikes serviced them, and even recommended changes for a long trip. I got a rear bag mounted to the back of the Diavel which doesn’t look too bad in my Opinion. I changed out my rear tire since it was a little abused so I had to ride it out a bit before taking it to UAE. They also recommended a transportation company for us since we didn’t want to ride through Saudi, so they were very helpful getting this trip off the ground.

Right now all our bikes are waiting for us in a storage area close to Jebel Ali. We get there, we ride them to Dubai and then the 1000 KM+ adventure begins.


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Ramadan Night Ride

It was just one of those moments, I have been wanting to ride for some time now and it just popped up to go on Friday night. Meeting up at midnight for a quick bite before going on our little adventure around town. We knew it was going to be a little risky but still we wanted to ride, and its been getting a little cooler in the evenings but still pretty hot.

We went out in full gear, no question about that, armored up top to bottom. Whenever I’m wearing my motorcycle gear it feels like I’m wearing battle armor, I’m ready for anything, but I know that isn’t the case but I was just excited to get on the bike. The plan was simple to ride just before fajer prayer so we could drink some water before passing out.

Heading down the 6th ring road to the airport then to Sabhan, and on the way we encountered a few nut cases on the way. We were supposed to be three but the other guy bailed out on us and so we were two. It was a bit more crowded then I expected and the roads were a bit dusty, we had a few moments where it felt like I might slip. So we were taking it easier and going a bit slower then we usually do and honestly I didn’t want to push my luck I wanted to enjoy myself so pushing the bike after its been stationary since May but still the Diavel is a beast. At any traffic light my tire would slip a bit because of the dust.

The crowds started thinning out around 2:00 am so there was less cars on the road and we were enjoying ourselves even more. I was getting bit tired so around 2:40 am we called it a night and started heading home. Parked and indoors by 3am, and I realized how much I missed riding, I love that bike.


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Fun Ride About Town

Taking advantage of the final days of riding in Kuwait, I keep hearing people hitting the beach or going sailing while I’m still riding. I honestly never get tired of riding, its just such a rush and I want to ride as much as possible. This ride was very intense, we had a group of dedicated riders, arriving on time sticking to the route. I almost made no stops throughout the ride and kept everyone on their toes.

We try to find the best curves we can around town and there are some nice roads in Kuwait, but still we need some more curvy and banked roads around Kuwait. The more I ride the Ducati Diavel the more I love the machine, I don’t even know if that is possible, it seriously a fantastic machine. I go into corner just as fast as these superbikes and I love it, if they did this with the Diavel, I don’t know what to expect from the 1199. The first bunch of Ducati Panigales 1199 have been paid for, the next bunch arrives the end of the year, I can’t wait to see one. Seriously not enough time to ride in Kuwait. One of the things I enjoy is when I hear the exhaust of the MV Agusta 312 R passing me, it is music to my ears, Italians know how to build their machines. Ending our great ride at Q Cafe in the Village, amazing place to get a tasty bite to eat before going home.


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The Heat Is Coming

This is probably one of the more interesting rides we have had this season, we started off as five ended up being 11 machines on this little outing. We are trying to ride as much as possible these days because its getting hotter and hotter. That morning I felt pretty crappy because of a Flu that was on its way, I pretty much ignored the feeling, took Dayquil, drank some fizzy Vitamin C and headed out. I know it wasn’t the smartest decision, but I have one Friday and I have to ride at any chance that I get.

As soon as I was on the bike the fresh air cleared my lungs, I honestly felt more attentive to the details around me, more alive with the rush of air and the sound of my exhaust. We went around town as much as possible with a stop in Doha which you can see from the video below, and this doesn’t always happen but we had a request for the BMW S1000RR and MV Agusta Brutale to go head to head, and they are both lovely and amazing machines.

We also ended up going to Wataniya Airport just off Sabhan highway and it was faling apart, the roof was coming off, nobody was using it or maintaining it. The one time I think the government should have stepped in is to bring that company back. They left Kuwait Airways to fall apart over the years and the one time we had something to be proud of it launched during a difficult financial time. We kept on riding until it hit about 31 Degrees while we were outside, as long as we were moving it was cool, but you can feel that summer is here, and its going to get hotter.


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