The Ducati Scrambler 800 and Deluxe Cafe

I couldn't help myself. Well actually, I did, because I am a curious wee creature and was keen to play with the Scrambler after seeing it at the 42nd Tokyo Motorcycle Show in March.

Ducati Scrambler Icon 800

Ducati Scrambler Icon 800

Billed from Ducati as 'much more than a bike, it's a universe of freedom and self expression' it's tooting it's horn for a sensory experience that touches (and holds the hands) of all the bases. A contemporary interpretation of the iconic Ducati model, it's a neat and tidy wee pop coloured package with the essence of what it's all about. Bwwrwwaarrp! Classic Duke sound, wide handlebars and a more refined and slick transmission definitely makes you feel like you're riding like a Boss. 

Much more than a tricked out cafe racer there are four different versions with a plethora of different components, clip on's and customisations that can be added gives you a wardrobe to play with. Styled with mixes of the 1970's, street and enduro influences, makes this a funky and sassy automobile. I love the spoke wheels (a little fiddly to clean but soo rad) and padded seat of the Classic, but am rather keen on the Urban Enduro which comes in a cool Wild Green. 

Great for riding around town it's a get to, cruise and be comfy and have some serious fun playing around kind of bike. I rode her up and over my favourite Paekakariki Hill (the mini Rimutaka's as it's known).. and then was having so much fun I kept on to Paraparaumu. Which was a long excuse in the sunshine to go back over the Paekak Hill again on the way back! 

She's your sassy hot chick friend who is as funky in her Lululemon as Lanvin and is all about what is happening right. now. in. your. grill. Hipster?- a little, but that ain't taking the shine of this ride.

Mucho Gracias to Motormart in Wellington for a superduper experience- get down and grab one in your favourite colour right. now.   :P

✿     ❀  ≧❂◡❂≦    ≧✯◡✯≦    ≧◉◡◉≦    ≧✯◡✯≦    ≧❂◡❂≦  ❀     ✿

Moena Moxham embossed and numbered prints are on display and for sale from the 27th September to 11th of October at Welly's much loved Deluxe Cafe. You can purchase through my online SHOP with postage to anywhere in the world free of charge (sorting those Xmas pressies early aren't you!)-- ooo dat's good!

TOKYO ROADTRIP! Rental819, Amagiso Ryokan and the Izu Skyline- KaapOOW!

An adventure of a lifetime... (ok, until next week)! Two days, one hot ass Ducati Monster 698, gung-ho attitude & experience and a road (and some off road lol). Ohh yeeeeeeaaaahh baby! Riding a motorbike around Japan was a driving force of me getting onto bikes in the first place, so this achievement has left me grinning like a little fluffy furball.

Rental 819 Hatogaya

Starting off with the best motorbike rental outlet in JAPAN- with over 100 shops, and English speaking staff, I rated them the best equipped and well suited to me as an English speaking foreigner wanting a two wheeled adventure. With super slick, new, high performance machines, competitive pricing and comprehensive insurance, lets have a big drum roll for the superstars at RENTAL819!!

My route- Day one: straight out west to Fuji and then down to the Amagiso Onsen nestled right under a corkscrew highway  Day two: down along the coast to Shimoda, up- to Mount Omuro, along the famous Izu & Hakone Skyline roads and then North and back to Tokyo + amazing stops along the way

My route- Day one: straight out west to Fuji and then down to the Amagiso Onsen nestled right under a corkscrew highway

Day two: down along the coast to Shimoda, up- to Mount Omuro, along the famous Izu & Hakone Skyline roads and then North and back to Tokyo + amazing stops along the way

HANDS DOWN SUPERB TO DEAL WITH. Special mention going out to Adrian, Yosuke & Kohsuke at Ikebukuro and the mechanic from Hatogaya who setup the GPS and Ducati :) They helped me put together a route on Garmin navigation, sort out the highway toll charges, get kitted out in spunky Dianese moto-gear, book a Ryokan and Onsen AND get a brand new 2015 Ducati Monster 698. 

I tossed up between the new Yamaha MT-09 and the new Ducati's, but settled on the Duke for a few reasons. Experience had taught me about getting into all sorts of little situations can be more cooly navigated when you are not having to fight your machine. On motorbike trips there are always adventures inside the adventure!! Gravelly side roads, multiple short notice u-turns, possible inclement weather, steep inclines and the fact that I was doing this solo, were all thoughts that helped me on my decision. Plus I was keen to try out the new Ducati's engineering.

Best place in the world to stop on a moto-afternoon tea

Best place in the world to stop on a moto-afternoon tea

Weather in April in Tokyo is a mixed bag. One day sunny and 23 deg, the next, 3 and snowing! I checked to see when the full moon was (I bet $$ on this trick and always book my snow or fishing adventures around this date as it brings clear skys and reliably settled weather) but alas it was a new moon. SO I stuck my finger in the air, waved it around a bit, missed the weekend and landed on the 23rd/ 24th.... and ca-boOOM- I was blessed with THE BEST you could get. Warm, sunny and ab-so-lutely-bloody-purrrrfect.

BONZAI!

English castle in the middle of Japan- why not?!

One loooong tunnel... long enough to stop and take a break and a photo!!

Triumph v Ducati

Miss Piggy, as I affectionately nicknamed her was one fun ride- as long as you kept moving! The Monster is nimble, light, grunty, LOUD (Oh this was SOOO FUN in quiet Japan), looks super sexy and had a never ending petrol tank. Interesting notes: down changing (esp 1st) was like slamming a hammer, no matter how sleekly you attempt and the HEAT from the engine was UNBELIEVABLE. I swear to God, I had to check multiple times my jeans hadn't burnt right off- to the point on the return trip, where I had entered this crazy 16km long, winding underground tunnel beneath Tokyo at 40 deg air temp, that I couldn't bear idling in the traffic jam so resorted to tearing up the left (never a good option) side emergency lane (under a meter wide) to get out of the damn thing. I found out later the Pannigale is even hotter?!- their slogan should be "Ducati- just keep 'em moving"...

If the bikes were girls on a night out- the Triumph would be a sleek, well groomed, sassy lady oozing sex appeal on just the right notes, where as the Ducati would be leopard print naughty fun, with a skirt just a little too short, a husky smokers voice, whisky on the rocks and the lady with the tricks at 4am. Both a bit of awesome; dynamo team- but for me TRIUMPH all the way. 

Arriving in the dark after a couple of hours of night switchback corners- which was ridiculously good, boot scraping fun to the most beautiful traditional Japanese hotel; Amagiso Ryokan. Three levels high, it snuggly wound it's way down the valley to a spectacular waterfall and hot springs. 

おはよう! Good Morning corkscrew highway!

Outdoor onsen with waterfall? YES PLEASE!

Looking back to Shimoda

Mt Fuji ^=^

Riding in Japan is magnificent. The road charges are expensive, and I advise you carry lots of change in a handy to access pocket- because your going to need it at the toll routes. Most windy runs have mirrors on the corners, which is pretty neat. The highways are superb, well policed and there are speed cameras (that shoot from the front...  ^=^ ......)... but with your wits about you and good decision making, you can have a blast! 

I pulled on all my skills and resources, absolutely can't even put in words how much fun I had, and HIGHLY recommend you come and play RIGHT HERE.  ^=^