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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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.

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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The Days Are Still Cool

These days its getting a bit warmer but still there is a lot of riding left, I’m trying to get in as much as I can at this point. This past weekend we rode about 350 Km around town, from Bida’a to Doha to Subhan and back to Bida’a for something to drink. It was an intense ride since we wanted to ride as much as possible during that amazingly cool morning, and the dust lifted from the night before.

This time around we were a bit more organized with the riding since we had plan, and a few different routes which made things interesting. The 1st ring road has turned into one amazing corner, at least the new part is, its the perfect curve, I hope they don’t install a camera there any time soon. Recently I have modified both the Diavel and 1098 so that my license plate is somewhat hidden.

After a nice long ride we had a nice cool drink, we thirsty as hell and I didn’t let anyone stop for a drink the whole day since I wanted to enjoy the ride as much as we could. There are a few surprises in the pictures below since we had a lovely machine join us in the previous ride I had to put the pictures up.


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Riding With The Hooligans

This was probably one of the longer rides we have had in a while and the weather was just perfect, a lot of riders came out and this was probably the largest group of riders we have had together in a while, with an interesting mix of riders and machines.

We were out riding from 7 am and didn’t stop until 3:30 pm all over Kuwait in different routes, its been a while since I had to fill up twice in one ride but it was fun and we did have our shenanigans on our little adventure.

I honestly can’t get enough of the Diavel, it is such a fun machine to ride and amazing around the corners. No Sport Cruiser can compare to it, its on par with most sport bikes and you just can’t wipe that grin off your face when you are pushing it as much as you can. These days its getting a bit warm so I’m trying to ride as much as I can before the hot season comes in, sometimes I wish I could take my Diavel with me on the plane to Europe and ride around for a while from town to town.


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4 Italians Out On The Town

8 am Meet up and heading out right away, we wanted to make the best out of the time we had without any delays. But then we faced one major delay we weren’t expecting, our friend got caugt in a speed trap on 5th ring road at 7:48 am. That was the last thign I expected that early in the morning, we took some time but things worked out and the guy managed to get out of it without getting his bike towed which is a miracle. So we started off an hour later and took the roads as usual, and more people came out this weekend then the week before, seems a lot of people were back in town.

We were riding hard and enjoying every corner, there were four of us, all Ducatis surprisingly, until about halfway through the GulfRoad an old friend joined us with a BMW 1000RR and he rode it like a mad man. Then I noticed his bike, no light, number in the front, no plates, and running on slicks. He was riding a full on race bike and we was making us look like old ladies. When we stopped and I talked to him it seems he has been racing professionaly on his own in the SBK Championsihp (Superbike) and now he is ranked 12th in the Gulf. He has been taking his bike from Bahrain to Qatar and to other locations to practice and race on the back of his Chevy pick up truck. Now that takes a lot of dedication, and the last time I rode with the guy was about 2 years ago and he is insanely better then what he used to be.

It was a hell of ride and we took another which had a lot of fun turns heading to Doha which was entertaining and still I want to find new roads.

The Machines:

  • Ducati Mosnter S4RS
  • Ducati 1098
  • Ducati 1098S
  • Ducati Diavel Carbon Red
  • BMW 1000RR – The One Stragler Coming Along For A Bit


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Last Ride of 2011

4 Italians & 1 Road!

The last Friday of 2011 and we really wanted to go riding, meeting up at 8 am in Starbucks Arjan in Bede’a. Surprisingly there were a lot of people still in town and I was really looking forward to the ride. The best part about the people I was with is that they knew how to ride hard and fast in a group, they knew the rules of staying together, and they knew how to handle themselves. We were supposed to take it easy, but that didn’t really work out, we were flying like demons from the start and there was Nobody on the roads. Everybody was out of town or at home sleep so we took full advantage of it.

We went to Doha as usual because its a fun route and there are some nice long straights and a few bendy curves on the way. Then we took the 7th ring road to the Airport road to Subhan and kept on going. It was a blast, I loved hearing the exhaust of all the different machines, and we were pushing the limits of our bikes through every turn and loved it.

The Bikes We Were Riding:

  • Ducati Diavel Carbon Red – I Was Riding Like a Madman!
  • MV Agust 312R – Demon On The Road
  • Ducati 1098 TriColore – Pure Speed
  • Ducati Monster S4RS – That was a very loud machine!


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Formula Drifting on Reem Circuit KSA

I haven’t been to Reem Circuit in Saudi Arabia so this is the first time I see from this footage but it seems they gave Vaughn Gittin Jr and his Formula Drift Mustange free reign over the track and anything around it. Formula Drifting is one of the coolest sports to watch and the amount of skill it takes to control the vehicle at high speed is over the top to say the least. And it seems Gittin enjoyed himself on the track with a few close calls.

Ducati By The Autodrome

This is the first time I pass by the new Ducati store by the Autodrome, and its right next to the Autodrome and one hell of a dealership. I walked in thinking that I was at the candy store, I kept looking at each machine. The new Monster 796 looks really good, and I loved the 1198R they had up on the second level. The design of the store is fantastic with so many bikes to look at, I just couldn’t get enough. If I wasn’t wearing a dishdasha I would have had my leg over each and every bike.

There was even an 848 Evo in the back, and that looked like a beautiful machine that I couldn’t get enough of. Those beauties kept teasing me every time I look at one of them, now to wait for the Ducati Diavel coming out in a few months, based on what the sales guy said it will be on the show room floor sometime between February to March.


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