Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Italy 2010 Part 2
I'm back from Italy. Not much more to add to my Part 1 post. I was glad I rented the GS bike while I was there. I am planning on buying a new motorcycle in a couple years and heard a lot of great things about the GS so I wanted to try one and put it through the ringer. I put on about 1500 miles during the week. I rode in a bunch of different conditions. I spent a day riding around the twisty hills of Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche. I rode 300 miles of slab in the rain to Venice. I spent a day riding around urban traffic in Rome. The bike performed well in all conditions, but it just doesn't have the same comforts I am used to with the RT model. I do a lot of long distance riding and the GS doesn't have the wind protection the RT has so you get fatigued a lot faster on the GS. I found myself laying on the tank bag and crouching to stay out of the wind stream on the autostrada. I got tired after a 300 mile day and that normally doesn't happen to me. I think I will stick with the RT when the time comes for a new bike. I stopped at the Ducati World Headquarters in Bologna on my way up to Venice. I spent a couple hours walking around the museum and parts of the factory. I was surprised of the lack of security at the place. I just walked around and no one said anything to me. I even ate lunch in their cafeteria. A crowd of people gathered around my BMW in the parking lot and they were all looking over the bike. The parking lot was filled with Ducati bikes so I suppose a BMW is a novelty to them. I talked to one of the guys in the parking lot who designs parts and I asked him why I was able to walk around so freely and he told me that once you are through the gates, you can pretty much do whatever you want. Not sure about that. Anyway, I spent a few hours there and then made my way up to Veneto to visit with friends for a couple days. I spent a day riding around Rome on Friday which was a lot of fun. I was surprised how easily I was able to get around. I had the best meal of the week at a little place next door to the one-star hotel I was staying in near the train station. I took the train to the airport and that was it. I would like to live over there again one of these days, but I'll settle for the occasional trip to the timeshare.