Rustic Road to Ruins Pt4.5 – Riding with a Miata

Well I’m finally back at it. Life as usual has been hectic. My wife is on day shift now, so she’s got a normal schedule which means my post-work rides are a bit more limited. Not too big a deal, cause she likes to go out on the bike with me.

Yesterday I was planning to take a ride out to my parents cabin an hour south of Lacrosse, WI. From my place it’s about a 3.5 hour drive. I figured I could leave early enough to get there, and be back home in time to make some dinner. The weather, my GPS, and my apparent lack of sense of direction had other plans.

I left my place at about 8:30am, got about 5 minutes down the road, only to have it start to rain quite heavily on me. I stopped in at my local skatepark where there is a shelter and tossed on the rain gear. I more or less couldn’t see jack until I was about 10 minutes North of Lake Geneva. I was planning to scoot as quick as I could to Janesville, WI, grab gas, and then take a new route West over to my parents place.

My brother called and said he left a bit behind me in his miata, so we’d try to meetup somewhere along the way. My route had me going through Dodgeville, WI, so I said lets meet there and rock on. Unfortunately my navigational systems were not working. I took a turn too soon in Janesville off of rte 14. I found myself who knows where, trying to follow God only knows what route, and with a bladder that had to be relieved of the gatorade & coffee it had ingested earlier.

I made a pitstop off some backroad and gave my brother a ring. I was watching my clock and realized there was no chance I’d make it out to my parents place and back home in time to make dinner, so we made the executive decision to stop in New Glarus, WI for some lunch. I worked my way along a few back roads to get myself to ummmm 59 or 69 or something like that, which heads North into New Glarus.

Things got real for me at this point. I came to where I’d make a right onto the main road. I saw 2 cars off a bit in the distance working their way towards me. I thought at first…..they’re far enough away, I can accelerate and it’d be no big deal. Then I thought….eh, my brother is a little behind me, and I’m in no hurry, lets just chill, let them go, and cruise behind them.

That choice was a ride saver. About a mile down the road 2 small deer decided to jump out right as the lead car came up on them. You couldn’t see them at first due to them being as small as they were and with how tall the grass was. The lead car nailed one of them sending it spinning down the road. The car behind the lead car more or less just drove around the lead car after they moved to the side of the road. I pulled over and talked to the woman. She was OK and relayed she was glad it was her that hit the deer and not me. Needless to say, I felt the same way.

The ride into New Glarus from there was only a couple miles, so in a way it felt good to be in the relative safety of a small town, and theoretically less wildlife. My brother and I grabbed some lunch, and worked on a route that would take us back home following some back roads.

I relayed to him that I found I am having troubles coming to grips with riding the Ducati on the street. The bike is no slouch, it is plenty fast and I’m wondering if that is the “problem”. As I roll through turns, the bike feels it is going incredibly slow. A quick glance at the speedo tells me it’s not, but it just feels that way. I find myself constantly worrying about the gravel in the roads, and with yesterdays weather, all the dark\wet spots (notably the locations where people decided to shoot their grass clippings into the street). I explained that I don’t have these thoughts or concerns when I’m on my KTM, even with full on knobbies. I can feel with the knobbies the tires rolling and beginning to slide. I don’t get that same feedback with street tires.

I’m sure it’s a combination of not having road raced in a long time, a high power street bike, and just still early in the season to be 100% comfortable with pushing a bit. Or maybe I should go back to a lower power street bike. This thing cruises so smoothly at highway speeds that its hard to dislike, yet I keep finding a way.

On the way back, we managed to end up on a Rust Road that I hadn’t nabbed yet. RR81. I honestly don’t remember what it was all like. More narrow and covered with trees, opening up at the end where it meets 39.

We took some Wisconsin Lettered Roads on home, with us testing a camera setup my brother has been working on for awhile. We managed to capture a pretty rad shot:

And with that, the sun seemed to creep out, giving us a real nice cruise home. After a 250+ mile day, I was back home by 4pm and was able to begin prepping dinner.


Edit – Footage from the camera while mounted on my brothers car.

Doocati For Sells

Some business reasons are prompting me to sell one of my machines to free some capital.  I purchased this bike last year and don’t want to sell it, but at times, there are more important things in life.  This time is one of them.  Here is the info on it:

2004 Multistrada 1000DS

34,xxx miles

Heads completely redone this past winter.  New Valves, Guides, re-shimmed, etc.  Millennium Technologies did the work.  They recut the seats to match the Kibblewhite Valves.  Kibblewhite Guides were used as well.  New Athena\OEM Seals were used throughout the top end rebuild.

Belts were replaced at the end of last season, and reused when I reassembled everything this past winter.

I inspected each cylinder bore, as well as pistons & rings.  Everything was well within spec.  If they were not, I would have replaced them.  The engine looked phenomenal on the inside.

Chain & Sprockets are new.  Sprockets are JT with the rear being a JT “quick release” hub.  Making sprocket changes quicker\easier.

The bike has an Arrow exhaust header.  Basically no more Catalytic converter.  The actual muffler part is still OEM.

I installed fresh rear brake pads as well this winter.  EBC HH pads, though apparently Ducati’s are known for mediocre rear brakes.

The bike has heated grips installed underneath some Pro-Grips.

I have also flashed the ECU with the Ducati Performance Map and have also disabled the Immobilizer.  The DP Map is phenomenal.  Fuel mileage suffers slightly, but the low speed throttle is so worth it.  I can flash the OEM Map back on if you want. I’ll give you all the tools to mess with everything as well.  There’s a couple harnesses, plugs, software, etc.  I’ve got it all and have it all documented for simplicity (I made sure to cover my basis….didn’t want to fry my ECU haha).

Outside of that, the bike is bone stock.  I love it.  I love riding it.  I love the power delivery.  The engine pulses make my insides melt with each increasing RPM.  The exhaust tone is pure symphony.  From 6,000-8500 rpm is just absolutely glorious.

The bike has complete Ducati Performance luggage.  I have all the keys for the luggage.  I have all the keys and original owners manual for the bike as well.  As noted above, I also have the software to flash the ECU as well as all the required cables & such.

I have a few custom tools that I built for the bike.  Tools for adjusting valves, loosening hardware, etc.

Not shown in most of the pics is the carbon fibre chin spoiler.  I didn’t like the look of it.  I still have it & it will be included with the sale.

That’s about all I can say on it at this point.  It’s not a perfect bike, but the key thing (heads\guides\valves) were all redone this past winter.  The tires probably have about 50% on them.  I was on the bubble of putting on some TKC80’s, but the bike is far more appropriate on the street (not that I haven’t hit a gravel road or two on it).

If you have any questions on it, let me know.  I just want to move the bike quick as noted above, I need the cashes more than I need this 2nd bike.

I was anxious a few weeks ago and took the bike out on a barely warm enough day:

Some of the tools I made during the rebuild:

(Left to right – Cam Pulley holder, Crank turning tool for adjusting valves, Cam holding screw to keep cam at TDC while adjusting\changing belts, Head Bolt Torquing tool, Opener valve holding tool, Cam Pulley Nut tool)

Motor during rebuild:

Head with new valves & guides:

It’s a sexy motor:

Your adventure awaits:


I’m in Northern Illinois.  Basically Southern Wisconsin.  Hour North of Chicago & an Hour South of Milwaukee.  Zip Code – 60081

Price: $4500 obo

Questions? Comments? Additional Pictures to follow (I know people want closeups….)



Rustic Road to Ruins pt2

Section 1: Southeast

I think Wisconsin is deceptive in its’ size. Or maybe I just think everything should be a closer distance to my home. I don’t know. What I do know is that getting home from my 3rd loop out to Rock County last night took me about an hour and a half to get home…….more on that later though.

I’ll start at the beginning. Loop 1

This was probably the easiest loop for me to get, as I’ve ridden so many of these roads specifically before. I was familiar with the roads, and to be honest, I’ve been on them so many times before, I kinda just wanted to get them knocked off my list. That said, I was out riding, so I was out enjoying. 

1st stop RR 43

This RR is just North of Bong State Recreational Area. I’ve camped there before, nice place. If you’re on an enduro bike, they may call the rangers on you think that you’re riding around on a dirtbike.  

2nd stop RR37

I didn’t feel like I was on a Rustic Road. Yeah it was rough & bumpy, but come on……the houses & pampered lawns had me kinda….ehh. It didn’t help that the further East you are in WI, the straighter the roads…..though there are a few exceptions.

3rd stop RR30

Go figure, both ends of this route don’t list the RR number on their sign. I assume the Wisconsin folk are drunk on cheese 

4th stop RR5

This was a nice slow road right by a little park. I stopped there for a quick Gatorade break.

5th stop RR85

This road follows a creek for a bit, had some minor elevation changes, but beyond that, not too much going on. Pretty smooth.

6th stop RR12

This road is right at the entrance to a subdivision, so a bit slow, but once past that, you’ve got some more decent riding coming up

7th stop RR11

This road kinda loops in with the next road……you could have some fun in this area, but it is only about 10 miles from the more populated Lake Geneva area

8th stop RR36

From here, I shot West on Highway 50 through downtown Lake Geneva, on to collect one last RR. I should have just skipped this one for the night. My brother had ribs & sausage on the smoker, but I figured I was there, why not get it. I got into Lake Geneva only to realize that there was some festival going on. Oodles of people. Not too big a deal, but I feel kinda bad with my dry clutch clackity clackity when sitting at a stop light. Ducati People Problems 

9th stop RR29

This is probably the windiest road of the day. Unfortunately it is right outside Lake Geneva, so kinda prime LEO area. The road winds through some $$$$$ houses\farms\etc. I wouldn’t mind a house here, but sweet word I can only imagine the taxes.

After that I ran myself over to my brothers to chat for a bit. Looking back now, I need to really start snapping some better pictures of stuff other than my bike. I’ll work on that. I get caught up in the moment of riding, and at the time, couldn’t care less about pictures, but we all need pictures 

Trip Odometer – 120 miles

Loop 2 to follow.