The Ducati Riding Experience
Ducati has always been a lifestyle brand that is known for its superb performance that fires the passion of its drivers. Luckily, the brand that has established its roots in the Philippines, and has recently upped their stake with its partnership with the Ayala Automotive Group.
Ducati boasts of having the 2nd largest official motorcyclist brand worldwide with 26,000 registered owners. This impressive showing was what led to the creation of the World Ducati Week that is the like the Mecca of Ducati enthusiasts.
As part of their continuing customer support, Ducati brought the Ducati Riding Experience (DRE) roadshow to the Philippines. Held last September, each of the three installments had 30 riders participating in each leg. Dubbed as the “Academy of Passion,” the Ducati Riding Experience is part of the brand’s social responsibility through safety program. Being fortunate to have been invited to join the third installment of the DRE Philippines, I was able to experience first hand how the brand conducts its world-class learning series.
On the day of the event, participants were welcomed by Ducati’s friendly staff, who introduced us to the Ducati-trained and certified riding instructors who would serve as our mentors for the day. After everyone filled up the necessary paperwork, we were led to the lecture room where the theoretical part of the lessons was to be held. Here we were presented with the course outline, which included a brief history of the brand; their member support; modules on motorcycle controls and basic operation of their machines; and most importantly, obstacle avoidance. The DRE has been in existence for the past 14 years, and their experience is evident in the manner they teach you to ride properly and safely.
What differentiates the DRE from the other riding courses I have attended is that other riding courses start you off with smaller motorbikes, graduating to bigger bikes as you progress. With the DRE, even if you have zero motorcycle riding experience, they prepare you to ride one of the most popular high displacement customizable street bikes in the market -- the Ducati Scrambler.
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an experienced rider because there are valuable lessons that can be learned to keep your skills current. Things like “covering” the brake and clutch levers with two fingers at all times to increase reaction time, and correctly positioning the balls of your feet on the footpegs for better control of the motorbike are examples of important things that are vital to practice in your everyday riding.
Apart from the obstacle avoidance drill, one other interesting skill you will learn is how to deal with emergency braking on loose surfaces while relying and placing blind trust on the Ducati’s outstanding ABS braking system. I was absolutely surprised that the Scrambler’s front end did not wash out under the stress of heavy braking on the transition of concrete to a sandy surface. A great testament to the brake safety system that Ducati has installed on their bikes.
It was interesting to note how Ducati is so confident in their program that the bikes don’t even have sliders installed. Though there were a couple of minor tip overs during the course, the bikes surprisingly survived with just minor scratches. Overall, the Ducati Riding Experience is a fun way to learn new things or refresh your riding skills and is a great way to enhance your motorcycling knowledge. At the end of the day, you get to go home feeling more confident with your riding skills and you get to make new friends.
For more information about the DRE, check out their page at www.ducati.com.ph
*All photos from the Ducati Philippines Facebook page.