2014 Ducati

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There is always interest in what Ducati has lined up and in this case the leaked pictures are off the Panigale 899. Double sided swing arms, lower spec brakes and suspension from the 1199 but still going to be an interesting addition to the Ducati line up. Supposedly this is to be announced next week while they might have something else lined up for EICMA in November, that will be exciting.

Link: A&R

Stories Of Bike – Passion For Machines

There is no question that I love two wheeled machines, it brings out someone’s character and they fall in love with their machines. These videos are about Cafe Racers, guys who love these retro machines and work on them to make their own machine, I have always loved cafe racers because they have so much character. They might not be the best at cornering or the fastest, but each rider enjoys his machine differently. Over the years I have always wanted a retro looking Ducati machine because I have loved Italian machines but are a bit more powerful then the usual Cafe Racers. In these videos each person has a different feel for their machines and rides for different reasons, but like all bikers are all of the same mindset and that is the best thing about bikers, all lines are cleared and every loves being a biker. Cafe Racers haven’t caught on in Kuwait yet, but that will happen in due time since there are different cultures growing here.

Link: StoriesOfBike

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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Why I Love Emaratis & Omanis

During this little adventure of ours we had a vast experience across the UAE and crossing multiple times in Oman. It was an adventure of discovery and it was well worth it, going from city to city to get to the best riding roads I have ever been to. I have been riding in the best places in the US and honestly they do not hold a candle to the amazing locations in Oman & UAE. Aside from the roads and how clean everything was, every time we can to a security check point or interacted with them, the moment they found out we were Kuwaiti the tone totally changed and they were more then nice to us. And on the roads people would move aside 90% of the time and give us way, I mean every kind of person, we ran into a few idiots on the road but they were only 10% and were few and far apart compared to Kuwait who are 90% idiotic and rude on the road. I always knew Emaratis were nice people, and Omani’s were very respectful and kind as well but what happened to us was different then the normal situation

Omani Incident

During our ride I had a GoPro Camera mounted to my helmet, and as soon as we reached the Omani boarder heading to Khasab I switched it off but it was still mounted. When we got to the passport control, the officer asked about the camera and if it was recording, I told him it was mounted and switched off. I told him he could check if he would like but he said my word is more then enough for him. I know that it would have been a different situation if we were at the Saudi border. So after we crossed I switched on the camera and we went on our intense ride on the road by the sea on our way to Khasab which was breath taking. I saw an old sign that said military check point, but we didn’t think twice about since it looked old and we kept on pushing hard through the corners until around the next hill it turned out to be a full on military checkpoint with a small platoon of men. We slowed down quickly since we were coming in fast and they jumped on the road. Their captain came out quickly pointing at my helmet as I was slowing down, and they were talking to us sternly asking for IDs. Of course keep in mind that with our helmets on they have no idea who we are or where we are from. I had my passport with me and I was so thankful that I had that lovely blue passport with me. The moment they saw the color they said “Oh Kuwaitiyeen” and they relaxed right away, I was taking off my helmet and the captain came to me apologetically asking if my camera was recording I said yes since we were recording the ride. He said he is sorry but he didn’t want the check point showing up on the video and I said it wouldn’t be a problem, he asked if it would erase the whole thing I said yes and he apologized it didn’t take me 2 minutes to do that and I knew were gonna have a chance to hit those curves again. He argued with us to have coffee with him and food because of this, we spent 2 minutes on the security part and 10 minutes thanking him and excusing ourselves from stopping to keep on riding. They were more then nice to us and after that whenever a military vehicle saw us coming they would pull over to the side and let us pass. It was amazing, and when we rode back past them they stopped the cars and waved us through. Just because they knew we were Kuwaitis, what could anyone say, they went over and above being nice to us the moment they knew we were Kuwaitiyeen, I wish people were that nice in Kuwait.

Emarti Incident

Every time we went to somewhere new we would ask where is the best place to go to get some coffee and we usually get pointed to a nice mall, and a majority of them are nice. This was the fourth day on our trip and we were in Fujeirah, we went to a mall about 5 mins away called City Centre, very simple and pretty much all Al-Shaya’a brands so we stopped in Starbucks for a few cold drinks, and some of the guys wanted coffee. We were probably the only guys in jeans who were from the GCC, we sat there for a little while. Then one Emarati guy walked right up to us asking us how are we and if we were from Kuwait, at first I thought he knew one of the guys because of us very nice approach. We told him yes and from that point forward he told us we have to have dinner with him at his house, we thanked him and said we were still riding and he then said then coffee, you can’t just come to Fujeirah and not have coffee at my house. Honestly I was beyond surprise, what can you say to someone so nice, it was just something else. After we excused ourselves he gave us his phone number and said you aren’t familiar with the area and if anything happens and you need anything be sure to call me right away. What can you say to that, just extremely nice, I just couldn’t wipe the smile from my face. You can’t blame me for loving these people, not all Emaratis are like this but a lot of them are very kind.