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 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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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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Don’t Touch!!

It is just that simple! Don’t Touch My Bike!

People in the region do not have a concept of Bikes, they think Motorcycles are like Bicycles, and they just want to get on them for cool pictures or act like they are riding. But it is a very different relationship that the owner has with his bike, touching a man’s bike is just as bad as touching his woman, he will do something about it, and probably with a violent result.

90% of Bikers are very friendly if you ask them to take a picture with a bike, they will take the picture for you. And if you have your kid they will probably put your kid on the bike for you to take the picture. It is two things, the bike’s can be damaged from soneone who doesn’t know what they are doing, and the bike might fall on a child if its pulled the wrong way.

What drives me nuts are the moms who just send their kids to the bikes like they are play things for them and let them climb it. I have had my fair share of altercations with them and they act like nothing is wrong. Your letting a 4 year old grab on to a mchine 10 times his weight and 4 times his height, something will go wrong. One time a child grabbed my bike and burnt his hand because he put it on the exhaust pipe, he is a child he doesn’t know any better but I would expect the mother too.

Then there are people from South East Asia (India & China from my Experience) who have zero concept of personal property. They see the bikes and they just want to get on it and take a picture, I have had my fair share of shouting from afar to get people from throwing their legs on the bike.

There is a special bond between a rider and his machine, that is why they take it very personally, they love and adore their machines, so if you violate his machine expect some to violate you.

Solo Riding

This Friday I had only had one bike to ride which is the lovely Ducati 1098s, the Diavel took its own little adventure in preparation for another Epic trip. Getting on the bike is a must every week, and I love taking advantage of the empty roads. This was one of the rare times that I was riding solo, I was used to it in the early years of riding in Kuwait but I got used to riding with a few people every weekend but this time around their machines were not available for the outing.

I took the sea side right after getting a quick drink at Starbucks like usual, and it was a bit humid but just as long as you are riding the weather isn’t too bad. Its still a mix of cool and hot, and the humidity doesn’t help. When it gets cooler I know there are going to be a lot more bikers on the road. The funny part is seeing the people out driving with their top down enjoying their convertibles and I can’t blame them, its just too nice to stay indoors.

Since this was the first time in a while that I ride solo, I was riding a bit more aggressively then usual, I just wanted to push myself a bit and try a few things out during the ride and I have really missed riding the 1098s, when its summer you can’t really ride that bike, it just gets too hot in the wrong places. But I remembered why I loved riding it, it sends chills down my spine when flying around the corners, a rush like no other.


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Three Amigos Riding

This wasn’t the usual combination of riders and we also ran into the wolf pack while we were riding this time around. The wolf pack are a bunch of guys who love everything about riding and it doesn’t matter what they ride they are always together and I love that.

We were 2 Ducati Diavels and one Harley V-Rod, and we can all assume who were having more fun out of the road. I kept help but poke a little bit of fun at Harley but I can always respect those riders because they are a dedicated group and always watch out for other riders, and that is something I respect.

We went all the way to Doha for our usual route with a few changes and heading back down the 7th ring road since we wanted to try something a little different. Whats fun is that we know our limits but still have a lot of fun, I can’t keep the smile off my face when I’m riding the Diavel. One thing to note is that the Diavel can do 0-62 mph in 2.6 seconds which is just ridiculous for a sport cruiser, and I love that it can handle. And one thing that drivers never learn is that most bikes are faster then cars, unless you have jet turbine in your car, and a highly modified Nissan GT-R had to learn that the hard way, and I could see the disappointment in his face at 8 am on a Friday morning.


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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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Ducati – Vendetta

The Ducati 1098/1198 has turned into somewhat of an icon, a turning point for Ducati, and they have carried with success after success. One thing Ducati has managed that others haven’t is to cross different segments of riding without alienating their fan base and a majority of people are still insanely hardcore about Ducati. Now this is where the Vendetta comes in a little differently, Radicall Ducati & Dragon TT teamed up to create a new face to the 848/1098/1198. Taking the route that Ducati wouldn’t, a path down the darkside for an edgier, meaner looking machine. This is a body kit for the 848/1098/1198 with the same fittings, so something so menacing designed with simplicity in mind.

This might not be for everyone’s taste but thats probably why it is made by a speciality company. I’m tempted to get another Ducati 1098 and fit it with this kit, it is already a fine piece of machinery but its intimidating with this look.

The full Vendetta kit includes the following:

  • Aluminum front bracket
  • Front fairing with 2 high beam and 2 low beam ellipsoidal lights , windshield
  • Left and right sidepanels with incorporated blinkers.
  • Race type bellypan
  • Fuel tank
  • Solo seat with leds rear light incorporated
  • Solo seat under-tray
  • Air funnels
  • Two silencers adaptors

Link: Asphalt&Rubber


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Around Town

Its getting hotter and hotter these days, and you never know when a sandstorm will descend on us. So I ride as much as I can on the weekends and go to as many places as I can. One this ride I went all over town and emptied out the tank twice and the tank on the Diavel is on the bigger side then what I’m used to.

In one day I rode about 380 kms in a five hour period, I didn’t make any long stops except to get hydrated and fill up the tank when needed. I passed by Sahara since I haven’t been there in a very long time, and whats nice is that security opens up the door for me right away. I just went for a quick look before leaving. I always hope more bike friendly places open up in Kuwait in the near future, every year one place or another opens up and I hope they keep making bike friendly places.


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