Belgian Ducatisti, Koen, wanted to take his limited edition Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE back to it's birthplace in Italy.
The bike has been his labour of love in recent times, so having perfected the work started by Ducati and Mr TerBlanche, it seemed only fitting to take his baby home to it's roots, and hook up with some fellow Sportclassici in Italy while he was visiting. He even won a prize!
Here are a his own words about the trip, and just a handful of the stunning photos he took.
First of all I wish to thank everybody for making this trip so great. All the people I met we're really nice and I will do everything possible to come back next year.
I started off with my bike on the trailer and a car ride to Switzerland (820km). Close to the San Bernard pass I dropped off the car and started my journey.
First of all I rode through the Swiss and Italian Alps and went to Cumiana to check the Fresco factory to order me an exhaust. From there I took the highway to Voghera to cross the Liguria area. This was great but with the narrow streets and tight bends it was hard work with the Paul Smart. I stopped after 560km in an eco aggriturismo. The next day I rode along the coast to Lucca and further into Greve In Chianti where I stopped for the night in another aggriturismo. On Friday I headed off to Sorano to meet the fellow sportclassic friends. In total I rode for 1050km.
The next 2 days we're spent with the people from Sportclassici.it which was really great. A great ride on Sunday, great food and drinks, ...
Saturday evening was topped off with the 2 prizes I won. This came to me as one big surprise because I didn't know there we're prizes to win. Being elected in Italy by Italians who know their sportclassic Ducati's means really a lot to me.
The two trophies already have a special place in my house !
So on Sunday I rode off very early to try to cover the most km's possible. I rode up to Bologna along the twisty roads and past Raticosa pass. A quick stop for a picture at the Borgo Panigale factory and off for a highway ride to Brescia. There I still had time to cover some miles and maybe get to the car by night fall. But I guessed wrong ...
Riding in the Alps sometimes is hazardous and a big thunderstorm hit me so I had to stop for cover. I was soaking wet and called the cops to help me out. They told me at the next exit there was a little hotel and luckily it was open 24/7.
So I stayed for the night and the next day hit for the car, but several mountain passes we're closed and in my still soaked clothes it was very cold. I had to take the train or make a 350km detour. Taking the train was the best solution and after that I thundered down the mountain valley to my car. Gassing it completely and scaring off the Swiss cows. I got back to the car at noon and the 800km car ride got me home at 11pm that day.
Some reflections after the trip ...
...In Italy there are 2 possibilities regarding blinkers on cars; 1. They are an option when buying a car 2. It is a national sport not to use them. You chose !
...Italian people are generally very friendly and helpful.
...The Tuscany the roads are absolutely amazing And I witnessed the dangerously low but great morning Tuscan sun. Watch out !!!
...When going on such a long bike trip always pack light, but pack warm stuff when crossing the Alps. Even in summer.
Next year I will try to come back for sure and meet all you lovely people and your great country roads again.