First post of Sweet ’16

It’s official…I’m posting in 2016. I know this is exciting for you, dear reader, so I’ll ask that you refrain from coming totally unglued. This is, after all, just a blog, and not a very good one at that.

Sometimes you put stuff out there for the wide world and wonder whether anyone will ever see it. Mostly that’s what I do–minus the wondering whether people see it bit. Probably because this blog’s really just for me.

So anyway, this winter has been especially cold and wet. Lots of snow and rain and as a result, I have yet to ride the 2004 Aprilia Tuono I acquired last month. I find this annoying–to say the least–as my birthday is rapidly approaching and I’d very much like to have at least a short ride on the bike.

Aside from the rain and snow and cold, the thing that’s been keeping me from riding is the bike hasn’t started since it came to live with me. It’s funny because I watched the previous owner fire it right up at his place, heard it run. There were no signs of anything being amiss. When he brought it here I didn’t even think to have him start it–why would I? As he drove off with the Guzzi, I tried to crank it up and and it almost lit–then the battery didn’t seem to have enough juice. According to the interwebs this is a common problem. The previous owner claims he never had any issues with it and wanted to blame my charger–the one I hadn’t hooked up to the bike yet. Sigh.

I’ve replaced a couple of known weaknesses–connections to the regulator/rectifier. Put it all back together. Yesterday I ordered a new Yuasa battery–something a bit more potent than the stock battery (of course the battery that was in there wasn’t stock…was a crappy BikeMaster gel battery). Also ordered a Tecmate Optimate 3 battery charger as they’re supposed to be  “smarter” chargers. Hoping that’s all it takes.

The Ducati flag was a Christmas gift. At least it's Italian. The previous owner flew a Confederate flag in his shop.

The Ducati flag was a Christmas gift. At least it’s Italian. The previous owner flew a Confederate flag in his shop.

 

Not long after getting the bike–and not being able to ride it or even fire it  up–I began suffering from buyers remorse. I always considered the Tuono a naked sport bike. Honestly though there’s not much naked about it. They literally stripped the pretty plastic bits off a the Mille sportbike and replaced them with less pretty plastic bits. No relocating anything to tidy up. Just hidden differently. You can only barely see bits and pieces of the motor. It’s the closest thing to a plastic-wrapped rocket I’ve ever owned and that’s just not me. I much prefer to see the motor and after the Guzzi–which hangs its lovely 1100cc motor in the wind for the world to see–the Tuono is a big change.

Last weekend, though, I got the rest of the wiring done on the bike and put it back together. The sky was blue and it was nearly warm. I pulled the bike into the sun near the rollup doors and admired it. I realized it’s really sexy and was inspired to shoot some photos–some of which are attached to this post. As I took pics, I thought about the exotic bits on the bike: titanium, magnesium, billet aluminum, carbon fiber, brembo brakes…all very sexy. Now I can’t wait to hear it again. Can’t wait to ride it. And if while I’m riding the front wheel should happen to levitate over bumps in the road…well that’ll be a bonus.