Author Topic: Ducati Adventure Tour New Zealand November 2019  (Read 4082 times)

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Offline JohnnyH950   nz

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Offline JohnnyH950

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Ducati Adventure Tour New Zealand November 2019
on: December 08, 2019, 07:49:27 am
December 08, 2019, 07:49:27 am
Hi Multi Maniacs
I have to share the most amazing riding experience I had recently with a fantastic group of people who formed the inaugural New Zealand Ducati Adventure Tour. If you are a part of this forum it would be fair to guess that, (like me) you are probably more than a little obsessed with your 950 Multistrada. And perhaps like me you break out into a sweat at the thought of getting it dirty or (heaven forbid) scratching it.

So it was with some trepidation that I signed up for this tour.  I had not ridden my 950 off road before - just some gravel  back roads. However,  as the tour was going to be on my "back door step" and run by a local business Beatnik that hires out 950 Multis and Desert Sleds I couldn't resist the temptation. Mike from Beatnik is a hell of a good guy and he and the team put on a brilliant ride. Although "ride" doesn't do it justice.  It was definitely an experience. He gave us a mind blowing experience organising four days of mostly gravel roads, with some rocky roads and even landslides to ride over. These are known as "technical sections" - (read "You've got to be kidding me!" sections).  There were also dozens of stream crossings to negotiate which were great fun.

I could not believe how the 950 Multi handled the terrain. Not only did the Multi's make it through the rough stuff, it was a tonne of fun doing it! They just tractored through everything and stayed shiny side up the whole time.

As I hadn't ridden my bike over anything more challenging than a speed hump at the local supermarket I thought it would be a great idea to do the training day. And it was a great idea. We spent hours talking technique, riding through streams, over river beds, through sand and muddy tracks. By the end of the day I had started to get an idea of what my 950 was capable of -  and what I was capable of, as my experience with big bikes off road was minimal.

The first day of riding was about 200 kms of gravel road riding through the Molesworth Station which begins near the top of the South Island. It took us from Blenheim which is at sea level to a mountain resort called Hanmer Springs. There we stayed at the beautiful Braemar Lodge. It was kind of surreal spending all day covered in dust riding through spectacular scenery and arriving at a luxurious lodge (complete with Ducati flags outside the front door -  yes Mikes team had thought of everything!) with a beautiful three course meal to follow.  But this is what it was about. As Simon the Marketing and Sales operations Manager for Ducati Australia and New Zealand said -  this is the core DNA of Ducati - Style, Sophistication and Performance. Like I said, this was more than a ride -  it was an experience.

The following morning we set off through Jollies Pass on the Rainbow Station Route. It is called a route rather than a road for a reason - because it was quite "technical" in parts. The route had been washed out in parts and we had to ride over scree and rocks to get through. A group of KTM riders had been through the week before and we figured if they could get through on KTMS then we could get through on Multi's and Sleds! No sweat. The Sleds by the way made very light work of the rough stuff. They are great for off road. That said I am still never parting from my Multi!

Towards the end of the day after we had got through pretty much all of the "technical" stuff,  I made a silly mistake. I injured my back while turning my bike around in some thick gravel with the bike in neutral. I tried to stop it tipping but it was too far gone and my back went with a bang aggravating an old injury. That was the end of the ride for me. I was helped into the Landrover Discovery support vehicle and taken out.

It was a dumb mistake but one easily made. We had discussed it as a group before we set off and at the training day before the ride. If your bike starts to fall let it go. There are always  two or three  guys near by to help you pick it up. Its also a timely warning for those who want to do a bit of off road riding - better to take a friend or two. You can pick your bike up by yourself with the right technique but it will knacker you.

Letting the bike fall is the best decision you can make. And thats why God invented Barkbusters anyway. All I have is a scratch on my Barkbusters -  and a sore back which is taking a little while to recover. It seemed crazy though that I had spent the day riding over rock falls and through streams and blasting along gravel roads, only to hurt myself turning the bike around doing zero kilometres per hour. If the bike was going and in first gear I'm pretty sure it would not have happened.

The rest of the guys had another two days of excellent riding around more spectacular gravel roads and I caught up with them at the farewell dinner at the beautiful Marlborough Lodge. It is the people who make an event like this. Everyone turned up excited to be there and keen to help each other when needed. There was plenty of laughter and friendly banter around the dinner table each night. The dinners were great and the accommodation excellent. Great organisation all round from the Beatnik team.

On reflection, you have got to feel a bit spoilt being a Ducati Multistrada 950 owner. I think they are stunning all rounder bikes. The Ducati brand is head and shoulders over the others I think - style, sophistication and performance.

Would I do it again? Definitely!! I gather plans are already being formed for another tour next year here in NZ and I am keen. I have already been granted leave by my wife. I can seriously recommend this experience. So start saving your pennies and check your passports! There will be some bikes for hire - Multis and Desert Sleds or you can bring your own. If you do bring your own then I definitely recommend getting the Enduro pack put on your bike. After all we went through all I have is a scratch on my Barkbuster's. The Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres did the business too on the seal and in the gravel and rocks. Like the 950, they are great all rounders. And being tubeless they are easy to repair - not that it was an issue for us on the tour as we had a mechanic following along in the Discovery.

I could not believe how the 950 Multi handled the terrain. Not only did the Multi's make it through the rough stuff, it was a tonne of fun doing it! They just tractored through everything and stayed shiny side up the whole time.

I can also highly recommend the Ducati Atacama riding kit. It is the dogs bollocks! Three layers to cover all year round conditions and great ventilation. NZ mountains (and probably most mountains) are famous for giving you four seasons in one day.  I wasn't going to buy a set of Atacama gear, but I was so glad I did.  I was going to wear my road touring gear which would have done but I would have been a hell of a lot less comfortable too. Ducati gave us a great discount on their products for the tour.

If you cant wait until next years tour, then contact Mike from Beatnik in Blenheim, New Zealand if you fancy some epic riding down under and he can set you up with a hire bike. We have some spectacular sealed roads as well in the area if you don't fancy the gravel roads or rough stuff (or cant bear to get a 950 dirty).

Contact me before you come and I will try and make some time to ride with you.





























Offline neilb   gb

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Offline neilb

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Re: Ducati Adventure Tour New Zealand November 2019
Reply #1 on: December 08, 2019, 04:27:16 pm
December 08, 2019, 04:27:16 pm
Sounds an absolutely fantastic experience, Johnny. Iíve been thinking of touring New Zealand next year, probably Nov/Dec time for four weeks. Iíve got it in mind to ship my bike out using this company  http://www.newzealandmotorcycleadventures.co.uk/  They take care of all the necessary paperwork and admin. Iíve yet to look into hiring a bike and comparing costs, but it would be nice to do it on my bike, set up for me. Who knows, we might meet up in a yearís time  :002:

  • Offline Beitsta   ie

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    Offline Beitsta

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    Re: Ducati Adventure Tour New Zealand November 2019
    Reply #2 on: December 08, 2019, 06:25:41 pm
    December 08, 2019, 06:25:41 pm
    Fantastic report Johnny - it was like reading it in RIDE or BIKE magazine - well done! :460:
    Beitsta

  • Offline YoungF   gb

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    Offline YoungF

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    Re: Ducati Adventure Tour New Zealand November 2019
    Reply #3 on: December 08, 2019, 08:08:45 pm
    December 08, 2019, 08:08:45 pm
    A terrific report and photos Johnny, it looks amazing.
    NZ is on my bucket list so great info.
    Thanks for posting  :028:

  • Offline ajy1w   us

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    Offline ajy1w

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    Re: Ducati Adventure Tour New Zealand November 2019
    Reply #4 on: December 09, 2019, 02:23:24 am
    December 09, 2019, 02:23:24 am
    Hi John,
    Great write up, great read, great photos.  I have been following Simon on my instgram so it was cool to put you two together.   Thank you for sharing.  Experiences like this bring life to the forum.   May even push a few 950 multi's to venture farther off the pavement and if not will certainly add some Bravado to owner atitude. 
    Ducati should be all over this and setting these adventure tours up in all the markets.  Have not seen this yet in my area.  Very dissapointed today at the New York International Motorcycle Show No DUCATI.   Thats a 1st, guess USA market for Ducati is weak.
    Anyway your post made my day.
    Excellent
    Thank you
    Al
    Life behind bars enjoy the ride

    Offline JohnnyH950   nz

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    Offline JohnnyH950

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    Re: Ducati Adventure Tour New Zealand November 2019
    Reply #5 on: December 09, 2019, 03:19:35 am
    December 09, 2019, 03:19:35 am
    Hi Al
    I think our tour will be a bit of a shock to Ducati when they see what can be done with the Multis and the brand. I am disappointed to hear Ducati was not represented at the show. I wonder why not? Ducati need to be more out there. They make fantastic bikes as we know. Multistradas are under represented in NZ. They are a perfect bike for some of our not so perfect roads. And other countries are the same I am sure.
    Cheers
    John

  • Offline ajy1w   us

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    Offline ajy1w

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    Re: Ducati Adventure Tour New Zealand November 2019
    Reply #6 on: December 09, 2019, 10:35:26 pm
    December 09, 2019, 10:35:26 pm
    Hi John,
    Sorry to hear about the tragedy in NZ, hope all is fine by you. 
    Once again the photos are great, NZ on my list now. 
    Yes the 950 when set up with the Enduro extras is a very worthy machine with confident off road abilities.   
    Capital Rider is a motorcycle training group in Columbia.  They do serious off road training courses and tours.  They have been mostly BMW, but they recently added 950S to their rides.
    So I asked them to give some feed back on the 950s in the dirt.
    This is his response. 

    "We have been BMW users for many years and we are a company specializing in training and tours.  We live on the motorcycles everyday, and after a hard off road test,
     this Ducati (950s) is far superior to the R1200GS BMW.  You must understand our evaluation is focused on the best performance of two worlds, road and off road." 
     :047: :046: :152: :062:

    Enjoy All

    Life behind bars enjoy the ride

    Offline JohnnyH950   nz

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    Offline JohnnyH950

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    Re: Ducati Adventure Tour New Zealand November 2019
    Reply #7 on: December 09, 2019, 11:35:07 pm
    December 09, 2019, 11:35:07 pm
    Hi
    Thanks for your thoughts on the tragedy. White Island is a long way from us but it has always been on my bucket list to visit.

    I enjoyed the feedback on the 950S
     :047:
    Love it!
    John
    Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 11:40:08 pm by JohnnyH950

  • Offline bmw_al   gb

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    Offline bmw_al

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    Re: Ducati Adventure Tour New Zealand November 2019
    Reply #8 on: December 10, 2019, 08:59:19 pm
    December 10, 2019, 08:59:19 pm
    Hi Johnny H - this sounds and looks amazing.  I used to live in NZ from 74 - 85 as a youngling then again 06 - 09 when slightly older...I would LOVE to come and tour in NZ - particularly the South Island, where I only really travelled on business.  For you I would be a JAFA.....West Auckland, so even worse a "Westie".  I'll dig out my NZ passport and give this one some serious thought.....

    Offline JohnnyH950   nz

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    Offline JohnnyH950

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    Re: Ducati Adventure Tour New Zealand November 2019
    Reply #9 on: December 10, 2019, 11:40:49 pm
    December 10, 2019, 11:40:49 pm
    Hi

    Sorry I thought I had replied earlier.

    I can forgive you for having been a Jafa - and a Westie as well. You have obviously seen the light and moved away!

    Look forward to meeting you if you can make it.

    Cheers
    Johnny