Week of 31 October 2011

I didn’t get much feedback on the mention of Marco’s death on the blog, which is sad to see. In Italy, it was almost a State funeral and was shown on national television. I wish motorcycling was as important here. Perhaps that’s why Italy makes such great bikes — their passion for the sport.

The Fall Rally is this Sat. I haven’t received much interest in the event, so other than the ride, it will be low-key affair. If you plan on dropping by, pls let me know or I’ll cut out after lunch to knock out some chores.

Papa dropped off his S2R for a valve job. Ah, a nice simple 2-valve job. I wish life was always that simple. Of course, I should shut up until such notions until AFTER I finish the valves.

I’m all caught up on orders for the most part, and back into the swing of things after 2 more weeks of Military duty. That should be it for my time in uniform this year. I have some things in the works for next year though, including volunteering for a stint.

We’re loving the cool Fall temps here in the Panhandle. Sales in Oceania and the Sunbelt are up. Their Summer and our winter are conducive to keeping bikes on the road.

Knucklehead of the year goes to Customer X, who returned one of my billet flywheels because he didn’t like that it was anodized gold. The picture on the website depicted a silver-colored flywheel. I guess he planned on showing off the flywheel by tearing off the alternator cover to show passers by. Brilliant.

My poll on Facebook didn’t indicate much interest in people buying new Ducatis in the near future. Only one person indicated such interest – Dink of D&D… he buys A LOT of Ducatis as a dealer. Good one Dink. :)

Enjoy your workweek.


Week of 24 October 2011 – Farewell Marco


I was going to have a light-hearted talk about my trip to a local dealership yesterday, but this morning’s events in Malaysia changed all that. My heart goes out to Marco Simoncelli’s family and loved ones. I also can’t imagine how Colin Edwards and Vale Rossi feel. We all know we’re a small community of riders in the midst of non-riding throngs, but it’s still amazing how fast bad news travels among our peers. Sic stirred up a lot of controversy this year, but I’ve heralded his demeanor and aggression. It is such a shame he didn’t get to realize his full potential, but he went out doing what he loved and did it his way.

I made a jaunt over to the local Euro bike dealer yesterday to look at some of their wares. It was my first opportunity to look at the MTS1200 and Diavel. They had one of the Pikes Peak edition MTS’s on the floor and it was GORGEOUS.  I really liked it. It was priced about the same as the R1200GSA I was looking at. I’m still gun shy over the electronics on the MTS after witnessing the glitchy electrics on my MTS1000 (even though it is far simpler than the MTS1200). I was on the multistrada site this week looking over the list of glitches, and the ones on the MTS1000 are comparable to the MTS1200. However, spending 20K for a do everything bike I suppose is pretty good, and is cheaper than purchasing 3-4 single-purpose bikes. I left with my wallet closed though. Good boy. I’m thinking more and more about just using the MTS1000 as my touring rig next year. I wish somebody had tried to fix the fuel level sensor setup on it, but there are worse things that can/do go wrong.



Week of 17 October 2011

Greetings from Tampa. I had a busy week last week, as fall wrenching chores must have hit Ducati owners. I got out all the orders out before leaving town on Saturday. I forgot that it was Biketoberfest in Daytona, and ran into the throngs of bikers on the outskirts of Daytona while visiting an Army buddy.

The vacancy created by the sale of the ST4 will be filled by the MV 910s Brutale by the end of the month. It’s on it’s way via a shipper I contracted last week. In the meantime, I found somebody willing to make a few +1″ sidestands for the MVs. Usually my Ducatis lean way over because I raise the rear end, but the MVs lean way over in stock form. The Brutale is bone stock, so I’m doing my usual mods. I hope to ride it in Nov, but I’ll be in seminar-prep mode when I get back.

I followed the racing action last weekend, but didn’t get to see any of it. What a great year for Ducati in WSB. It probably doesn’t make up for the disappointment in MotoGP, but oh well. In MotoGP, I was glad to see Colin do so well, but I’m guessing he would have been two placed further back if the factory Yamahas were in the race.

Daryl is handling the shipping for me the next two weeks in between his other jobs. I’m reordering things behind the scenes as the need arises. Meanwhile, Jess is house-sitting for me, piling the mail/packages and keeping the critters alive. Wish I could put them on battery tenders like my bikes. It would make animal care much simpler.

I’ve received emails from others who are paring down their collection. Simplifying is a good thing, but the non-rider claim question of “how many bikes can you ride at one time” missed the point. Every bike is a different ride. It’s not like the difference between driving my Avalanche and my Jeep. They’re two completely different drives, but neither is as fun as riding any bike.

I was very sorry to hear about the death in Indy racing. That 15 car pileup was horrific. Every once in awhile that seems to happen to remind us that racing is inherently dangerous. I heard racers blaming the racetrack . I don’t know if a higher wall would have made a difference with the way he struck it.

Congrats to Casey Stoner for his 2nd championship. I wonder what Rossi thought as he watched the race from the Ducati garage. I’m guessing a Yami or Honda looks pretty good about now.

TTYL – Tampastan LT

14 October, 2011—(John)



Fresh, cool, Fall air.

Feeling the need……..The need for Speed!

Cold front punched through Louisiana yesterday. Just woke up to severe clear and 49 degrees. Have the day off.

Gotta fire up the Monster and ride three and a half hours to Natchez, Mississippi and have lunch at Fat Mama’s. Then ride back another three and a half hours.

One last test run of my Monster before I ride her to Luckenbach, Texas on October 21st for the “Harvest Classic” European bike rally. That will be six hours each way.

Get on your bikes and ride, people. Just do it.

Keep riding my friends.

John Phelps

That’s my plan for today.

Week of 10 October 2011

Local Riding –  I did an impromptu Blackwater run last Thursday. Former club-member Daryl Stephens expressed an interest in the Bumblebee ST4, so I flogged it in Blackwater to see if I could break it. It withstood my efforts, so I handed it over to Daryl Thursday afternoon. Another Ducati leaves the fold.

I was out of town Fr-Sun and have another stint of duties that will take me out of town this weekend, so I’m planning another ride on Friday. I have the M1100s prepped for the ride.

I was up in the mountains this past weekend, but not for riding. I enjoyed the North GA wine country and relaxed in a cabin, in between going for some runs and hikes. There were bikes galore up there. My passenger was strapped in while I hauled the Avalanche around the mountain curves. Either a lot of sportbikers can’t ride twisties well, or I drive aggressively in the Avalanche. I was usually on the tails of riders as they tackled the twisties. I should have had a promotion that if you could pass a silver Avalanche with a Desmo Times sticker in the rear window I’d hand out a free t-shirt.

DT news – My one-day sale is on for today. Again, to get the 10% discount, put “Checa” in the customer comment box. I’ll apply the discount on my end when I process the order. No alibis. This discount it to reward my frequent customers and readers of the Daily Desmo. There will probably be stockouts, so be patient. I’ll email if there will be a lengthy delay on any items.

I’ve sold 5 bikes this year, and have, on the surface pared down my collection a bit. But my latest sale of the ST4 was offset by a purchase. To keep my lone MV F4-1000r company I purchased an ’08 spec Brutale 910s. I’ve always meant to start a side business supporting MV owners in their wrenching endeavors. I don’t have plans to write a maintenance manual, but rather sell some minor parts like oil filters, wellnuts, air filters, etc. I’ll sell Arrow exhausts as well to support the brand.

TTYL From Tampa – LT evo SP

Week of 3 October 2011

Local Riding –  I rode the 853 for 250 miles on Saturday. The bike handles great, but the performance isn’t up to snuff. The fuel map is smooth, but it feels so underpowered that something is amiss. I need to get her on a dyno to see if it’s a lean issue. I have to carry very high corner speed because it has absolutely no grunt coming out of a corner. Oh well, at least it ran well. I fixed a few adjustment-related issues upon returning to the Ark. On Sunday I gave the S2R800 a good ride. The S2R has the least horsepower in my stable, but is perhaps the easiest to ride fast through tight twisties. The Hyper is better in the twisties, but it isn’t a high-speed bike. The only downfall on the S2R is the gearing. You run out of revs riding it fast. It isn’t a gearing issue but rather a power issue.

I have the forks back on the MV. I’m going to try a different water pump mod to try to get more water flowing to fix the heat issue. Of course, with the cool temps here, it isn’t as much of an issue.

The good news on my riding front is that I found another gas station within a short distance from the house so no more ethanol sitting in my tanks. Brad asked me how I know there isn’t ethanol in the gas listed as no-ethanol. He’s right, but then how do you know that antibiotic isn’t just a placebo. Some things you have to take at face value.

Ducati Racing-Related: Congrats to Carlos Checa for giving Ducati its 300th and 301st WSB win and for his winning the title. So when was the last time a non-factory ride won the title? And can you really call it a non-factory effort with the level of support he had?

I won’t even comment on the MotoGP race other than mention that Spies did a great job of remounting and climbing back. Any discussion of Ducati’s MotoGP effort this year get’s sidetracked to “how about Checa in WSB”?  I like to put a positive spin on things by ignoring reality.

Fall Seminar – I already have 5 people signed up the the Level II seminar, so it’s a go.

Fall Rally – Steve Rome agreed to help me with the Rally. I could use a few other locals to help out.

DT news – In honor of Checa’s and Ducati’s WSB title win I’m going to have a one-day sale on Monday 10 Oct. 10% off most items. I’ll apply the discount on my end, so don’t spaz if the shopping cart doesn’t give a discount. You have to put the word “Checa” in the customer comment box. I’d do the sale this week, but I have plans for TH-Sun and can’t handle the inventory mess that usually follows a sale. I’ll honor any stockouts during the sale, but it’s only one day, so if you miss it, you miss it. I have more Army duty looming, so if you need stuff in Oct get it before the 14th.

TTYL – LT evo