It had been a pretty hectic week—I’d already delayed this trip to LA for a week, and then I missed my flight.

It’s nearly 475 miles from the Duncan Quinn Los Angeles store to Union Square in San Francisco. Well, at least if you go the fun route.

But there was a light shining at the end of the tunnel: a seaside ride up the Pacific Coast on a Ducati Panigale.

It’s nearly 475 miles from the Duncan Quinn Los Angeles store to Union Square in San Francisco.

Well, at least if you go the fun route: Route 5 to Bakersfield, 58 West, a quick blip up the 101 to 46 West, then up glorious Route 1 to Monterey before a final blast up 101 into ’Frisco.

That’s a lot of time to spend in a full-on race suit in the cold and rain. But the reward is a smile from ear to ear and about 12 hours of peace, focus and serenity while communing with the god of adrenaline.

No matter how many times I insert myself into the hot seat on one of these things, it always brings about a certain calm, and a certain apprehension—coupled with focus and a tingle in the family jewels.

The Ducati always brings about a certain calm and a certain apprehension—coupled with a certain tingle.

My ride was a top-of-the line Ducati Panigale S with ABS and all the trimmings.

Nearly 200 BHP on tap. Practically slick tires. And a tuned aftermarket Termignoni exhaust system so raucous, even earplugs can’t protect your aural system.

Basically, a balls-to-the-wall racer, with streetlights.

In the wrong hands, this missile can have your license revoked in first gear. But in the right ones, she can get from A to B with almost time-machine-like speed.

In the wrong hands, this missile can have your license revoked in first gear.

Especially if you’ve got two lunatics in a hopped-up Nissan GT-R and an M3 to act as your radar detector in the small hours of the morning from Bakersfield to LA.

You think your way around corners more than steer around them. Simply look where you want to go, and she’ll get you there as if on rails.

Of all the bikes I’ve tested in the last few years, this beast felt the most glued to the road.

The combination of unbelievable torque, huge power, incredible brakes

As if it weighed a few tons, not a few hundred pounds.

The combination of unbelievable torque, huge power, incredible brakes and a totally planted front wheel makes for a rare beast.

And I’d be happy taking her out anytime she has time…

-D.Q.

CONTRIBUTORS

-Duncan Quinn