My boyfriend is looking for a new motorbike so the other day we donned our leathers and headed out to test drive the Ducati Monster and the Triumph Street Triple… oh yes, I am swiftly becoming a ‘biker chick!’
He forewarned me that he wanted a formal retrospective analysis of each ride and a pronouncement of my preferred chariot… in other words he wanted to know which my favourite was and I was intending to take the assignment seriously.
So we mounted up and headed into the proverbial sunset. Had I not been clinging on at the back for dear life I would have had my notebook out taking notes on comfort, thrill and emotional response.
Perhaps inevitably the only parallels I could draw were wine related! Both bikes had big reputations but that is where the similarity ended. The Ducati was Bordeaux; a ballsy classic like Pauillac from 09. It was powerful and rich with a broad back and a throaty roar. At traffic lights people stopped and stared, just as they would if a bottle of Lafite appeared at the neighbouring table in a restaurant. The Ducati salesman would have been right at home in the Place de Bordeaux; brash, image driven, disbelieving that anyone could consider another bike. It was impressive, fast and showy but somehow it lacked the finesse and romance that I was searching for.
The Triumph was completely different. It was Burgundy; agile, swift and thrilling. It flew under the radar, not getting the stares at the traffic lights, but it was a seamless performance. Like great Burgundy it connected with something deep inside, especially when it accelerated. The salesman was down to earth and quiet, he let the bike do the talking – a Burgundian through and through.
Now this wasn’t quite the answer my boyfriend was expecting, but luckily his taste in bikes is similar to mine in wine. The Triumph triumphed.