The longest running argument in motorcycling is: What is the best bike in the world? I’m going to settle this once and for all – it’s the Ducati 600SS. Why? Because it’s mine.
I bought my Ducati about seven years ago as a basket case that was nowhere near being usable but it was all there – ish. Over the years I had parts made, fixed and shipped from all over the world to get it back to the condition it's in at the minute. I know it isn’t concourse, it’s not even close in all honesty, but it is usable. It's massively underpowered - it only made 47bhp on the dyno the other week!
It’s not a bike I bought from a hipster website while twiddling my moustache. It isn’t a bike that I have slapped a ‘Built not bought’ stickers on in the hope of some ill placed respect from my two wheeled brethren – it’s mine.
My DNA is all over that bike, literally! From the skin off my knuckles to the sweat off my brow. If the body of that bike was found dead in a field, there would be no question as to who the perpetrator was.
But finally, and here’s the clincher: I had the opportunity to take part in a trackday at Cadwell the other month. The perfect chance to shake down a newly rebuilt bike you would think. “What are you going to do it on,” my dad asked, “the Ducati?” No chance, I was too scared of dropping it, undoing all the hard work. I did it on the Yamaha Tracer 700 long-term bike I have. But there’s the point, I still did it. I was happy for my own fragile bag of bones, blood and DNA to go skipping through the gravel at Park Corner, but no way, not my Ducati.
Does that mean I value my Ducati more than I value myself?
So, there we have it, once and for all the best bike of all time is…the one that you like the most! The one that you worked on the most, rode the most or crashed the most. The one you did the most miles on with your mates but ultimately, the one that got under your skin the most. The best bike in the world isn’t the fastest, sharpest, comfiest or best value.
Remember; motorcycles are amazing, anyone who doesn’t agree has clearly never ridden one.