As a long-time ADV inmate and Ducati lover, I could not resist being drawn to this thread. You did a terrific job of drawing me in with your initial pre-departure posts, AntiHero. Since I was seliing my 1098 and contemplating a courtship with her younger sister, I dipped in from time to time, hoping to read more about your experiences with the bike. Your 1199R review tipped me over the edge, so thanks very much for that. I put a lot more stock in the views of someone who's spent over 15,000 miles on a comparable bike than in anything the pros have written. I also really enjoyed your photos and will definitely pick up a copy of your coffee table book to drool over while I wait for my R to arrive.
What I have to say now is definitely going to rub some people the wrong way and I want to preface it by saying that it is not intended in any way as a criticism of your ride report (except that I really would have liked to read more of your impressions of the bike)....
I've now read the thread from beginning to end - almost 2000 posts. And the reader posts really left me wondering when the ADV community turned into such a small minded, whining, and resentful bunch of pussies. I'm sure AntiHero is a nice guy, but there are hundreds of reports here and on HUBB that recount more remarkable adventures. The political and social commentary so many of you seem to have found profound is largely sophomoric -- certainly nothing to compare with Hunter S. Thompson, Robert Pirsig, or even Melissa Holbrook Pierson. I found AntiHero's commentary on the CosPlay crowd quite the most interesting section,having once been seated between two fully-got-up participants on a cross-country flight. And while I agree with one other reader that AntiHero could have shown more empathy for his subjects, I also get that he's not out to emulate Bruce Chatwin. Yes, he took the Panigale on a few fire roads, but I know people who have ridden their Ducatis over the Transfagarasan and Transalpina before they were paved. There's nothing here approaching the ballsyness of, say Nick Sanders or at least a dozen other super bike adventurers. So I just don't get the fawning reaction of so many readers.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the report and don't wish to take anything away from AntiHero -- who of course cannot be held responsible for his fans -- some of you guys should really get out more often, read a little bit, get some perspective on the world, and overcome your pent up frustrations and petty resentment.
2013 Ducati 1199 R
2012 KTM 500 EXC
2005 KTM 640 Adventure
Φίλα μου τον κώλο.