How Do I Live Without You (Ducati)?
Letting go of something I’ve loved so much is a mountain insurmountable. As LeAnn Rimes sang (or Trisha Yearwood depending on your preference), “How do I live without you?”.
Since I purchased a 2021 Suzuki Vstrom 650XT Adventure bike, affectionately named, Pig, I’m having a difficult time justifying owning both my Dirt Pony (2015 Scrambler Icon 803) and the Pig. As evidenced by the legion of loyal Vstrom owners, this 650 adv bike is truly special. Only a week or so into ownership I can attest to why its praises continue to be extolled by so many . . . It is everything they say it is and MORE!!
Even with all my ($$pricey) adventurey upgrades and mods to Pony, the Pig outperforms the Pony in nearly every respect. Except these . . .
- The Pony has more . . . well . . . ponies!
- The Pony is a Ducati!
- The Pony was my first bike.
Other than point #1, which objectively contributes more power and low-end torque to the picture, the other 2 points are quite subjective but are probably what keeps me the most emotionally (and subsequently physically and financially) attached to the Pony.
Just when my analytical, practical brain takes over (following a ride on the Pig) and tells me I should sell the Pony, save money, and get over it, I fire the Pony’s beastly growling heart to life and the roar of that engine alone sows seeds of doubt again. I climb aboard the familiar saddle, kick the little bugger into a gallop and experience the intense pleasure one only knows from riding Ducati. You see, Ducati really is different! You don’t simply “ride” this motorcycle, you “experience” it. In order to fully grasp it’s pleasure-giving qualities you dance with it… as in full-on ballroom style dancing. The act of manipulating the clutch, gear shift, throttle, and brakes becomes finely tuned choreography which serves to enhance the immense pleasure as you learn the bike’s tension limits. After years of dancing together, you become as one unit, no longer thinking about mechanics, but just being… gracefully sweeping the paved and dirt perfomance “stages” like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing their way through scenes in a grand movie musical. As nimble as the Pig is (freakishly so!) it doesn’t dance with me.
And then there’s this…(least practical but most emotionally blackmailing), the Pony was my first motorcycle. I waited almost 9 months after ordering it in 2014 for it to arrive in the US as I was one of the first people in the world to clamor behind its unveiling. The wait was akin to a gestation period in which I spent countless hours studying anything I could find on the internet from the European riders and US press who got their hands on it before me. Since the first slap on the ass, together we have traveled nearly 54k miles enduring many trials and adventures. To compound the pain, the bike is not currently failing in any way . . . it’s still going strong!! I cannot tear myself away from the fond memories and intense joy I feel when simply looking at my proud little Pony. As capable as the Pig is (Adv/touring deluxe!), it doesn’t have soul.
How does one kick a faithful steed aside for an arguably lesser mount in a minority of highly subjective respects?
If anyone out there has been faced with the same dilemma (and I know you have… looking at you guitarists!), PLEASE give me advice. Be brutal with all sides of the argument and help me make a sensible decision I can live with.