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Old 13th February 2017, 23:50   #31
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My oh my, mate you certainly can write! What superb eloquent posts.
Many congratulations on this italian beauty.
Hope to meet one day for a ride together !
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Old 4th March 2017, 13:05   #32
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Cool The First Service

While waiting for the delivery of my bike after booking, I had it all planned out. I would ride to office every day, which is about 20 KM round trip – 250 KM in two weeks. Then on Sundays I would ride to Vapi, Igatpuri, Mulshi etc - 300-350 KM round trips. So, 700 there. On the way to first service I will take some detour, maybe go to Worli from Thane via Virar or something and I will have my bike done with the break in by the day 15th. I also figured that the opening day ride on my way back from showroom, I would push for a century and that will take care of the shortfall if I had to skip taking the bike to office for one or two days.

The showroom people rode about 40KM for RTO work, warehouse to showroom transport etc. With that first boundary on my odo, I started opened with about 70 KM on delivery day. That was a Sunday. I followed up with quick singles to clock 150 more in next four days. On Friday I half bunked office and went to Kasara and on the next Sunday went for a trip to Talasari. While coming back from Talasari, I went to visit my in-laws in western suburbs. In any other situation, I won’t go there unless beaten to an inch of my life by my wife. First Week - about 500 done and I felt that was a solid power play.

And then life caught up. I arrived at the workshop for my first service on the 3rd day of 7th week and meekly asked if they would allow me in with 991 on the odo. They asked me to buck up and check out the sea bridge at Haji Ali and come back with the score on the cards. It has to be 1000.

I am kind of unfamiliar with worli side roads, so they sent a technician guy as pillion along with me. After reaching back, the pillion guy jumped down and asked, "do you have hernia mediclaim?".

Kind of spun my head. I am not a person who can't handle a wisecrack or two even if I don't get it. But the blazing hot 60 KM city ride with "full riding gear" got me. Not being able to figure out a quick comeback, I smiled a little. The super skinny pillionaire climbed atop a diavel parked by the side, pushed his tiny behind towards the sky and thrust his dry belly on the tank in a really funny manner. By now he had the attention of the full bogey band. He shouted - "Uncle aisa baithta hai". Everyone nodded in absolute agreement.
I love this place.

The first service is as such a simple procedure. They change the oil, oil filter, clean the chain, wash the bike and let you go.
No, not really! Let me tell you what happened in the next four hours.
Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-jack.jpg

They put the bike on a hydraulic platform and raised it about a feet and half from the ground. The head guy of the place came over and walked around the bike and inspected it from all sides. He looked at me and asked what bike did I have before this. I said “Juna Bullet 350”, expecting the admiration I am generally accustomed to. He kept his expression kind of blank and asked, "Bullet me pair kidhar rakhte hain, break pey? Rear Disc aisa kala kaisa ho gaya?"

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-inspection.jpg

This was the first time ever in life that I got taken twice in ten minutes. I got fooled by his apparently serious looks.

However, I remained silent this time. He pointed towards the rear disc and told me that it has become black as I have been keeping my toe on the break instead of the foot peg. But he said that its not that bad with a typical "don't worry, all idiots are like this" smile. This smile is a characteristic phenomenon of this dude. I got the pleasure of being on the receiving end of that smile several times in next few hours.

He looked around a little more and fortunately did not seem to find any more of my riding signatures on the bike. He asked couple of guys to begin. They promptly put a tray under the bike, opened the drain plug and began.

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-tray-place.jpg

Another guy carried in a set of bottles which are the mandatory consumables for first service.

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-consumables.jpg

I pulled the head guy aside and showed him the assorted set of accessories (the frame slider, radiator grill, fork protector, paddock bobbin and a gps tracker) I needed installed. He said he will ask his guys to install those and also ask them to show me how to perform "small small" things like installing paddock bobbin myself. He mentioned that my proclaimed bullet ownership led him to believe that I know how to build a Bullet from iron ore with bare hands, and here he was, teaching me how to install a bobbin. And he gave me the special smile, lots of it.

At this juncture, primarily to add pepper to the rubbing salt, he pointed out that the bike comes with a tool kit. He further went on and said that this tool kit contains allen keys. Before I could say I knew that, he went on to explain the main difference between normal spanner and allen key using a few finger gestures. These gestures were performed with the most innocent intent, but these gestures upped the game on standard "you got your headlight on" signalling system by several notches.

The technicians carried on with their work. They have a Bluetooth enabled bike scanner device. They plugged it into the bike and ran some ducati service software on a laptop.

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-bluetooth-scanner-module.jpg

As such, the bike has been really smooth with no complaints so far. So, I left them at it and took my profusely sweating body and damaged ego into the air-conditioned waiting room. I sat there for a while and simply let the sweat and insult evaporate off.

After chilling down a little on the lounge sofa, I walked around the lounge and checked out the accessories on display. Pretty much everything was like a lakh and above. For example, a Tata ace can be bought cheaper than a set of panniers, tank bag and rear seat bags.

So, I decided to buy a spray bottle set of bike cleaners. It came with four spray bottles of different types of cleanings aerosols and a pack of cleaning cloths. That was about 4000.

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After a while, a guy came in to the lounge area and sat beside me on the sofa. He asked me if I wanted some tea coffee to help my inner peace while he explains me a really fat book of accessory options. I needed to feel a little bit connected to the normal earth where Colin was still 50 bucks and a cleaning cloth comes free from old underwear. I opted for tea.

I guess he got an idea about my views on product pricing by then and began with a small piece of cloth which should be used for removing insect dead bodies from headlight glass after a Sunday ride. I told him that society security guy cleans my bike and he won’t be able to use that cloth. It will be beyond him to use this cloth or any cloth only to remove insects and leave all other dirt undisturbed. The cloth was the only item which could be bought for three figures. Still, I thought my cleaning guy wont appreciate it if the cloth price is more than his month's cleaning fee. That cloth is for single use. You can get insects off the bike with it, but you couldn’t get the insects off the cloth.

He got his cue from my resigned body language. The tea came in by now and he put the book on the table. He asked me if I have any problems in riding for which he could suggest some “useful” accessories. I told him that mirrors are useless and the handlebars vibrate a lot. I said that I was open to an idea of buying a set of reasonably priced bar end mirrors. I also mentioned my reasoning limit is capped at Rs. 9,999 + VAT, even if the sticker on the accessory says “for POTUS use only” or, if it is made by melting pure gold in a carbon fiber bowl and stirred by titanium ladle.

His eyes lit up and he quickly took me to a page showing handlebar weights. These are for damping the vibrations. He showed me the options - basically same things in red and black. While I looked, he kept his finger on the price also followed his finger and checked out the price before really reading anything on that page. It was about 3,800. I really like it when two people understand each other. I took the red ones.

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He told me to not buy bar end mirrors as they are delicate and vibrate a lot. Mirrors are more useful in city riding at slow speeds, and given the handlebar vibrations at low speed, they wouldn't be able show any clear view. He said adjusting the existing mirrors a little would give me a slightly better view. Also on a Ducati rear view mirror is not really required or anything. All it really does is to save 100 or 200 Rupees every now and then.

After this, he left me be and I sat around for a while. By now they began the accessory installation. I went out in the workshop area and checked things out for a while. Installation of Frame slider seemed to be a complicated affair. They placed a small size jack under the engine and supported it from below before opening frame bolts. The engine being a part of the frame, it's kind of complicated to remove frame bolts.

I saw that they had an elaborate hanging arrangement also. This is needed if they have to take out the engine. They have to separately hang three parts of the bike and then only start dissembling the engine from the frame. It becomes quite a mechanism when several of these cranes and some hanging belts from the ceiling is used for that kind of a job. Unfortunately, they did not have any bike of this kind dissembled.

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-crane.jpg

Installing the handlebar weights was simple enough. But after install I saw that the gap between the red bar end plug type thing and the black color rubber grip is a little uneven. So I asked him to slide the clutch side grip a little to the right. He used a compressed air nozzle to do this. It was a nice thing to watch.


Radiator grill installing was a straight forward but detailed procedure. The fastening system with myriad of allen bolts is pretty confusing. But I was really happy to see that the guys knew their way around, and in my opinion had swift and precise hands. If you have ever watched a sloppy guy work on a bike you would know what I mean. These guys are younger and are not artistic like "decorated" bullet mechanics - say mucchad anna of mulund or azgar bhai of mira road, but they are at least comforting to watch.
You could watch a Duca Bike Clutch cover install video on YouTube to see how complicated the ducati nut bolt system is. Working these swiftly is not a simple job. On this aspect, I will give these guys full credit. I felt that company has given their skill training all due attention and has done a good job of it. The toolset collection was also impressive.

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-toolset.jpg

Their electrician helped me get the GPS tracker installed and mounted properly. He was pretty good and the only person in that band who can be termed as “a man of few words”.

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-gps-installed.jpg

They gave me a rather elaborate lesson on chain cleaning and lubricating. I told the guy I have bought a paddock stand already. This got me the first look of approval of the day, around 5 PM. It will be really good for the bike if I can manage to get myself to do this every now and then.

After that, I left and a new day began.



//Special Note - Photos are lousy and there are a lot of (unintentional) factual inconsistencies. Please read this for entertainment purpose only and do not make any real life decision based on what I wrote above.

Last edited by sen2009 : 4th March 2017 at 13:09.
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Old 8th March 2017, 10:34   #33
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Default Re: Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report

Congratulations Sen on the Monster. I saw one of your pics in this thread on the FB page of Revolt helmets. Can you please give a brief review on the Revolt helmet. It would help me in finalising the helmet buy.

Thanks in advance.

KK
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Old 8th March 2017, 13:18   #34
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Default Re: The First Service

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Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
However, I remained silent this time. He pointed towards the rear disc and told me that it has become black as I have been keeping my toe on the break instead of the foot peg. But he said that its not that bad with a typical "don't worry, all idiots are like this" smile. This smile is a characteristic phenomenon of this dude. I got the pleasure of being on the receiving end of that smile several times in next few hours.
The funniest "First Service Report" ever. Mostly it will be like they turned this bolt - that bolt - some liquid fell off and that sorts! This is plain hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.

PS: Mind sharing the service cost? Can totally understand if you dont want to.
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Old 8th March 2017, 15:47   #35
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Default Re: Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report

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Originally Posted by KK_HakunaMatata View Post
Congratulations Sen on the Monster. I saw one of your pics in this thread on the FB page of Revolt helmets. Can you please give a brief review on the Revolt helmet. It would help me in finalizing the helmet buy.

Thanks in advance.

KK
I have been using the revolt helmet for a while now. Following are my observations -

Good -
1. A nice looking helmet which has DoT certification
2. Real VFM price at 6000
3. It is light and quite comfortable.
4. Buying Experience was very good. I went to buy with the owner of the brand (he is my friend from before). He is well respected by the dealership and they helped me find the right fit and spent quite some time to select a color scheme which matches my bike.
5. It has a colored sunglass type thing inside which can be pulled down. It's not much use for me now as I wear specs. But later when I get contact lenses, this also will be a good feature.
6. I have not yet mustered the courage to ride very fast. My max speed has been 120 and the helmet did not cause any aerodynamic issue till that speed.
7. It has a vent which if opened lets a little air flow in. But it must be closed before 80 kmph speed else some wind noise will get created inside the helmet. That noise is kind of funny and very disturbing.


I haven't really found anything to dislike about it yet. One particular gripe is that the face of the helmet does not open. hence I have to take off my glasses every time I need to remove or wear the helmet. Despite my several requests, the store people did not allow me to buy something like that. They insisted that for safety at high speed it has to be the fixed jaw type.

So, that is the review. But please bear in mind that the owner of the Revolt brand is my friend and hence I may have some bias.

Quote:
Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post
The funniest "First Service Report" ever. Mostly it will be like they turned this bolt - that bolt - some liquid fell off and that sorts! This is plain hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.

PS: Mind sharing the service cost? Can totally understand if you dont want to.
Thanks for your kind words. I am typically not a person who can understand things in great technical details. I normally use my time to generally hang out with people, check out other people's bikes and in general have a good time.

Please see the service bill copy here below. This is all I have spent.
Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-img_20170308_153507.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 9th March 2017 at 17:48. Reason: Mention of high speed edited
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Old 8th March 2017, 22:19   #36
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Please see the service bill copy here below. This is all I have spent.
Most of it is purchased items and accessories. The actual service cost (labour + oil + filter ) is ~INR 7300 , which isn't a steep bit more than Triumphs which have a ~6000 minimum.

I suppose the claimed very high service costs are for the more premium Ducatis upward of 1.5 million gandhis.
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Old 10th March 2017, 13:52   #37
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That will be the the case I too believe. Monster is really the most value for money entry level ducati motorcycle. They might have kept service costs low for first time owners, lest they run away and never upgrade to the real high-end stuff like panigale, diavel etc.
However, this was first service which is nothing but an oil change. From 2nd service they have a full 20 category desmodromic service. That I think will be much costlier than this.

From the accessory pricing level, one can guess that Ducatisti is an expensive lifestyle. :-)

Last edited by sen2009 : 10th March 2017 at 13:54.
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Old 17th March 2017, 22:06   #38
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Default Re: Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report

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Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
5. It has a colored sunglass type thing inside which can be pulled down. It's not much use for me now as I wear specs.
Hi
It is called an internal sun visor.

Last edited by Rehaan : 21st March 2017 at 17:46. Reason: Fixing quote tags :)
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Old 23rd March 2017, 08:27   #39
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What an enjoyable read!

Sorry, I'm not a bike type and normally don't check out these super bike threads.
I see moderator friends with these monsters and they always give me a look like - 'this guy doesn't know what he's missing'.
But that's OK, I've missed out too many good things in life and I'm still alive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
Got to check out if Rudra Da (Rudra Sen) is in town these days. For him of course the proximity restrictions will be relaxed further.
I spend roughly half a month (sometimes little more) in Mumbai. Till the end of this month I'll be in Mumbai.
We can possibly meet depending on your schedules. Message me your number and I'll connect.
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Old 23rd March 2017, 09:52   #40
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What an enjoyable read!

Sorry, I'm not a bike type and normally don't check out these super bike threads.
I see moderator friends with these monsters and they always give me a look like - 'this guy doesn't know what he's missing'.
But that's OK, I've missed out too many good things in life and I'm still alive.
I spend roughly half a month (sometimes little more) in Mumbai. Till the end of this month I'll be in Mumbai.
We can possibly meet depending on your schedules. Message me your number and I'll connect.
What an awesome beginning to an otherwise dull morning of a Thursday!
I will send you my number and also call a few times. Maybe I could come down to Bombay on a Sunday morning. Weekdays are also fine.

About that thing on missing out on too many good things, I would not bother about that if I was half as "too good" in a one things as you. It will really be an honor for the motorcycle to appear on your lense. So it will be for me. Looking forward.
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Old 23rd March 2017, 14:13   #41
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Dull boring Thursday and colleagues giving that weird look as to why I'm smiling and giggling looking at my lappy; Thank you bro.
Guess I should take time and read first two pages too Have fun.
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Old 23rd March 2017, 14:13   #42
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Thanks for such an honest write up. Loved it!
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Old 23rd March 2017, 14:59   #43
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Hilarious, well written first service report. I wish I had writing skills like this. Thanks for making a dull Thursday really good!

The workshop does look well equipped. It's interesting to note that they let you access to the workshop surroundings while your bike was being serviced. I was a bit surprised that the service costs for a bike is much more than a regular car. I'll admit that I am not into bikes much though. For the costs they are charging, they should have really skilled folks working on the bikes. Does the manufacturer offer extended warranties too?
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Old 23rd March 2017, 15:56   #44
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Man you seriously can write well. You should write more, might be a nice travelogue or something like that because you have a witty and funny way of putting down words. This is the first bike related thread I have opened on our forum (i have been surfing on our forum since almost 4/5 yrs now) and it was so much fun. Keep writing bro.
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Old 23rd March 2017, 16:28   #45
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Default Fight for its rightful place in the pecking order

Three weeks have gone by since my entry into the "fun zone" after a cautious 1000 KM and a sunny ego bruising afternoon. The bike has become significantly smoother after the first service. I have executed a cease and desist order on "Urban Mode" ever since and have permanently entered Touring mode, even if I am just revving the bike in parking (I do that a lot, for the kids in the building and the hot girls in the office, no other reason at all ).

First few days were too hectic and I could not ride much except for office commute. I was looking forward to a Sunday morning ride to Surat. It's about 250-280 KM and a nice opportunity to really breathe for a while when sitting on the bike.

It is a well-known fact among people in the know that Bullets never leak oil. It's just that the common wagen owning volks don't really know that Bullets drip oil to mark their territory. It is due to the fact that a Bullet is a beast, an alive beast and treats its surroundings with acute consciousness. People just spread bad word without any clue about how an "alive machine" is supposed to behave.

Given that the Monster has unequivocally dominated entire society parking area since the moment it rolled in, I wasn't really worried about it owning or needing to define its territory.
So, I was quite pleasantly surprised to see one fine morning that the monster, which I always thought was too sophisticated to indulge in this kind of behavior, has also started to respond to the silent macho of the Bullet standing next to it. I always thought it to be too snooty to get into this kind of pissy fight with a lowly 18HP Machine. I stood corrected and realized that a Monster is not a monster just for namesake, and it's not really big on subtlety of any kind. The furious T-rex tied down under that sexy red gown isn't gonna hesitate to devour whatever post-Jurassic evolution has spat out, that gown won't stain with red.

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-fork-leaking.jpg

Anyway, this was the Saturday just before the proposed Sunday Surat ride. I promptly took some photos of the leak and emailed them to the head of Ducati service centre. He called back in 5 minutes and said that this seemed to be a leak from the front fork, right side. He said that he would need to fetch oil seal to repair it, which could take a few days to source. In the meanwhile, he asked to keep the bike parked.

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-alloy-stained.jpg


I had to skip the Surat ride with a heavy heart. I still woke up at 4 AM, kept checking WhatsApp and monitored the groups progress all the way while watching unrealistic people unleash fire on youtube. At the behest of riding group leaders I had bought a set of really funky looking knee guard made of green and glass. I bought those for becoming a "fully geared up" person, no matter if I couldn't operate any automotive gears wearing that. Its mere presence on my legs make it 10 times more likely that I will fail to make crucial control adjustments when they will be most needed. The real downer was that this contraption too missed its day in court.

The same night, Ducati service head called me and confirmed that he could source the seal from another Indian dealer and I won't have to wait for import. I got it scheduled for mid of next week. He also said that it will be done under warranty, so I needn't bother about anything else. I just hope that all superbike brands in India start looking out for gems like this man to lead their support efforts. He is just unreal for what we have come to expect for service heads at superbike service centres.

[ A special note for this awesome person named Amit Shetye. He heads the Mumbai service unit for Ducati infinity. I understand that he is getting some heat from senior people at Italy and India HQ of Ducati. They have taken my review of "First Service" a bit too seriously. A big shout out to all of them - Amit is arguably the best guy ever seen in the Mumbai Superbike Service Scene. My article was meant to be humorous and isn't really true to every fact. This is stated clearly at the end of the article. And at the beginning of this thread. And several other places in most of my posts on the thread. It is my nature to enter into casual banter with people who work on my machines. This is my way of showing respect to the artists Ducati has recruited to service their motorcycles in Mumbai. Amit deserves every bit of my appreciation. And while we are at it, Altaf also is a really cool guy, so is Dinesh and everyone else.
Also, for Ducati infinity as a whole, I must say that the whole team starting from Sydney and Niharika at sales to the aforementioned people at service are really sincere about their customers and always go the extra mile to serve them properly. Much appreciated.]



Anyway, I had to keep my bike parked for a few days till the leak is sorted out. It is a hard thing to do. All I could do with the bike was to wipe it. While that was fun for a while, it brought up two problems. One, it made me even more restless that I couldn't take the bike out and second, it leaves micro-abrasions on the paint due to my amateur attempts at polishing.

Of late, I have been hearing a lot about some kind of ceramic based coating for automobiles. This is supposed to form some sort of very hard thin film on the paint and provide full protection from micro scratches during everyday wash and wipe. This is important for me as I am too lazy to learn how to wash the bike properly. I inquired around in a few WhatsApp groups and got referred to a place in Thane. The place is called MaxShine, it's quite a prominent outlet bang next to cafe coffee day, opposite side of viviana mall. I was given the reference by my revolt helmet friend, so I went ahead without much worry or cross shopping.

The chief of this place, Mr. Mangesh seemed like a knowledgeable and sincere person. He explained the coating in much detail, most of which went tangent to me. He spoke about a seven layer process involving some product named MaxProtect UNCR which really brings the pigments out like nothing else. I always thought that pigments were bad stuff and must be removed using products with names like Maxportect, looks like they are actually good for bikes. The ceramic quartz thingy forms a glass-like coating on the paint. This is really hard and will not give way to general wiping etc. It seemed to be a really nice thing and also gives an awesome finish and glow to the bike. The only problem in all this goodness was that it costed Rs. 12,000/-, yes Twelve Thousand Rupees. Six new pink notes it would take. I felt rich just by hearing it. This is really good thing about Ducati. I have bought the bike via the poor man's EMI route but the bike makes me feel a million dollar in everything that's got anything to do with it.

I dropped the bike to MaxSine on a Thursday. On Friday morning after that seven layer thing(s) were applied to Mr. Mangesh's satisfaction, it was looking like this.

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-final-touchup.jpg

I would say, worth it. These photos are bad quality, but viewed in person the shine has reached a new level. The color which fell wee bit dull from the time when I first saw it in Bhiwandi godown, came back up to its maximum glory.

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-cowl.jpg
Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-tank.jpg
Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-top-view.jpg

After collecting the bike from Maxshine, I went and dropped it at Worli service centre. This time they were under quite a rush. That, of course, did not prevent me from exchanging a few "pleasantries" with the guys there. I reminded them that my bike has completed a really expensive parlour job just an hour back, they must wash their hands with Dettol before they touch my bike, even for cleaning the chain of grease and muck. Given the reaction to my first service related banter, I am thinking if I should cut my frivolity down a little. Probably not.

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-dadar.jpg

I picked it up the Saturday evening and this time too, I had to skip exchanging "pleasantries" in detail. There was a big ride planned for the coming Sunday where lot many bikers were expected to participate. Many of them needed small tinkering work on their bikes, so service guys were busy. I came home riding through a densely packed Eastern Express highway. Monster cuts through the traffic like hot knife in butter. If traffic moves at 50+, one can ride smoothly and hop through the gaps at ease. The heating has reduced significantly after first service, also because my riding smoothness has increased with practice. The front forks were completely dry after riding about 40 kilometers to Thane.

Red Ducati Monster 821 - Initial ownership report-worli.jpg


The ride was for the next morning. So I slept early to remain fully fresh during the challenging ride to the twisty treacherous mountain roads of Lonavala. It was a less than 100 KM ride with three regrouping points along the way. I was totally full of enthusiasm and anticipation.
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