For the next four days, I’ll be on the road, riding and writing another Broventure for you all to enjoy. The plan is for our trip to take us through Oregon, Washington, and Idaho — through some of the best mountain roads in the Pacific Northwest.
If you’ve been following the Asphalt & Rubber social media accounts, you may have seen that I’ve been putting together a slightly modded Ducati Hypermotard SP for this trip (skid plate, radiator guard, heated grips, luggage rack, and Pirelli Scorpion tires), as our route includes both twisty asphalt roads and mild/moderate off-road trails.
I’ve always been a fan of the new Hypermotard, and I’ve been curious to see how it goes as a smaller ADV option to the more “purpose-built” Ducati Multistrada 1200. I have no delusions however about the bike’s small fuel tank and fairly uncomfortable seat — sometimes you have to roll a hard six.
Speaking of the magic number, six of us in total will be going on the trip, half of the group I haven’t met before; but all of us seem to be connected in multiple ways, and everyone shares the same passion for bikes and getting out of Dodge, and onto the open road.
Though we all started our trip from the Portland, Oregon area, we arrived in different waves and groups at our first destination: The Dalles.
Quentin and I, a friend from Ducati I’ve known for quite some time, left Portland around 3pm, and followed a string of back roads to arrive at our destination. As we made our way around Mt. Hood, up and down the various elevations, we got beautiful mix of tall trees, farmland fields, arid desert, and finally dry valleys.
We mixed things up a little bit with some narrow logging roads, and a quick jaunt down some rough two-track dirt trails. For the quick jaunt off-road, I was impressed with the Hypermotard SP.
It wasn’t single-track gnar, but the trail had its fair share of gravel, ruts, and bumps. Going ahead, I’ve got to sort my duffel bag better on the bike, as it’s riding forward when I’m out of the saddle, and also I need to punch in new settings for “Wet” mode, which will serve as my enduro setup — thinking the “low” horsepower setting, “7” on the traction control, and race-ABS (no rear ABS).
We’ll see how all that works out on a proper off-road excursion, though today served as a good shakedown, as we both Quentin and I were on brand new machines. We perhaps let the road get the better of us, as we had too much fun blast through empty road, which caused us to limp thru the gas-less town of Dufur, and into The Dalles with only fumes in our tanks.
With Colin, Pete, and Ronnie arriving at the motel, just as Quentin and I finished checking in, we only had to wait for Arun (GM at MotoCorsa) to arrive. A quick look on Instagram found him drink-in-hand at the town saloon, where we had a dinner reservation.
Arun rode the TerraCorsa out for the trip, and all of us were looking forward to seeing the off-road Panigale in action yet again.
Unfortunately, circumstances meant Arun had to be back in Portland the next day to attend a friend’s funeral. With our group now five, it’s an early night. Tomorrow should be a full day of riding, though no one is complaining.
Day One by the Numbers:
- Miles ridden today: 143
- Bugs killed: ~487.53
- Number of Daft Punk songs served by Pandora: Too Many
- Miles on the F-Trip indicator: 27
Dinner Conversation Topics:
- Post-9/11 terrorism checkpoints
- Hunting season
- A consensus regarding waiving at riders on trikes
- The trials and tribulations of bringing a motorcycle engine as an airplane carry-on