What a tremendous invite. I'm too far away but sure wish I could drop in to say hello. Come on you left-coasters. Give 'em some support. Can't wait for the tests. I know you'll do a great job. Maybe we talked too bad about the 999's bad looks. Their loss. What a chance for Ducati to make everyone forget about looks and focus on GO.
Okay MOrons, Sean has put out the invite, and I'm considering taking the day off and riding to Buttonwillow. I'd be leaving early and returning early, as I have a commitment back in Los Angeles that evening.
I propose meeting up in Ojai and heading up the 33 to Buttonwillow. This route would be about 100 miles. 33 is wide-open, so we should be able to do that in 2 hours on one tank of gas.
brickl asks: "Why the hell would Ducati want to put the 999 out in the middle of a bunch of bikes that are 40rwhp up and 30lbs down on it?"
Aprilia is throwing their Mille, Honda their RC-51 and Triumph their 955i into the middle of that same group, all those bikes make similliar horespower with similiar weight to the Ducati 999.
This isn't simply an inline-4 shootout. Aside from the Ducati, every 2, 3 and 4 cylinder 1000cc supersport available in America is going to be in this test. I think the 999 would have fit right in. Granted, the Inline 4s will be the HP and probably also the lap-time kings, but there WILL be a street portion of the test. Furthermore, the racetrack we are using is very "twin friendly". Overall, I would think that the Ducati 999 would fare fairly well in this shootout, had Ducati chosen to participate in it. -Sean
We're doing much the same route the day before, for the street ride portion, on Thursday the 8th. However, I cannot extend an invitation to the MO readers for the street portion, because we need to concentrate on the bikes and the road, with a minimum of additional riders, noise, commotion, etc...
See you at Buttonwillow on the 9th! (or in a bar in the town of Buttonwillow on Thursday night, the 8th) -Sean