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Shake down run

May 22, 2011

Hi, I am Swedephotog, the guy riding the red Ducati Paso in some of the pictures on this blog. My motorcycle riding this season has so far consisted of getting Elisa from the workshop, and going back and forth to Bilprovningen for the MOT. Please, also say hello to the Red Lady, or Signorina Pasolina, which is her real name. She is a Ducati Paso, registered as 1990 years model, but probably put together in the factory during 1988. This particular bike first went to the US to be sold, but as there was not enough interest in buying Pasos on the other side of the pond, the bike was reimported to Europe and sold as a 1990 years model in Sweden.

-Buongiorno! Sono Signorina Pasolina.

Finally it was time for the Red Lady to get out of the garage. Signorina Pasolina has been sitting there since last summer, not even getting a proper cleaning. Which of course meant that she didn´t just start after the hibernation during the winter months. She is after all an italian lady. The protest consisted of not making any sound whatsoever when pushing the starter button, even though the battery had been on charge for quite a while. Ok, there was a very silent click from some electronic device located under the seat. Apart from that, nothing. I even suspected the electrical starter to be broke and the changing of that very item last year was not incredibly fun. To reach all screws that holds the thing to the bike, you need to get the left engine cover off. To be able to do that you have to take away a part of the frame. As the bike is a Ducati Paso, before you do all that you of course have to get all the fairings off. And I tell you, there is a reason why I sometimes give the bike the nickname Ducati Calzone.

The battery was one bought from the swedish company Biltema. They are famous for selling things that are cheap, and that work sort of ok. However, the old truth of “you get what you pay for” applies to their range of stuff as well. After yet another charging session for the two year old battery, the bike did indeed move the electrical starter a tiny, tiny bit. Nowhere near turning the engine though. I decided to put some money down for a new battery, of a well known brand this time. Of course the battery made the engine turn, and of course the engine started after some fiddling with the choke and throttle.

During the winter la Signorina got treated with braided hose lines for the hydraulic clutch, and also got a brand new pack of clutch discs. The whole pack of discs was 3,4 mm. My usual source of information, the shop where I bought the bike in 2000, said the thickness should be 3,3 mm. Not much of a difference, but maybe something to watch out for. Hence the need for a shake down run.

After a bit of cleaning it was time for that test run today. Sun in the sky and summerish temperatures did help making it a joyful tour. It is strange how familiar a bike can feel even after months without riding. Same old power with exactly the same vibration that tells you how the engine is dealing with your choice of gears in a certain situation. Same stability when turning the throttle going through the bend. Same roar when downshifting and engine breaking. Yes, the bike seemed to work properly. I say seemed, cause my experience tells me that some flaws don´t show on the first ride. So far it looks good though. the clutch is much smother than the old worn out one. I have to pull the lever all they way to the handle bar, which was not necessary before as far as I remember it.

La Signorina parked by the Göta Kanal in Mem

My intention was to go one of our normal Sunday tours, down to Stegeborg via the little ferry over the bay Slätbaken. However a sign a few kilometers from the ferry said that it was not working. Hence a detour to Mem, which is a village also by Slätbaken and Göta Kanal. One day during the week motorcyclists are extra welcome there at the local caff´.

To sum it all up, it was a nice ride. More things to be fixed will surely appear, but then again that is part of the game when you ride italian motorcycles. I did a couple of weeks ago test ride a japanese allround bike, but soon realised that it hadn´t got any soul. When you ride an italian bike you will understand what I mean. In a way it was good going on that test ride, because that reminded me why I am so happy riding that Ducati Paso. It does indeed have soul.

Hope you will have nice rides on your bikes this summer!



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