Hi. My name is Scott Palmer and I live in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. My current pride and joy is a 2011 Ducati Hypermotard 796 which I bought brand new from motomart in August 2011.
Any great New Zealand rides that you recommend?
From Wellington a loop out through Karori (western suburb of Wellington) to Makara and then in to Johnsonville (north-western suburb of Wellington) is a fun short ride if you have a spare hour. Haywards Hill is about your only choice if you are on a half hour test ride from motomart.
If you have more time to burn the Rimutaka Hill on State Highway 2 is a very popular ride for bikers and it leads to the Wairarapa with its abundance of deserted country roads featuring smooth flowing corners, some tight twisty bits, the magnificent southern coast, the great road out to Castlepoint, plenty of wineries and pubs and so much more!
Elsewhere in the North Island (I haven’t ridden in the South Island yet) State Highway 22 from Tuakau through Waingaro to Te Uku is brilliant, the western coast of the Firth of Thames is a nice ride and the Coromandel Loop is a very popular day ride with Auckland and Waikato bikers.
I am yet to do the “Gentle Annie” between Taihape and Napier but it is on my list.
How long you been riding and will you ever stop?
I have been on the road since April 2009 when I bought my 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R. 18,000km, 16 months and only 1 oopsie later I traded it on my first Duke, a 2010 Ducati Monster 696+ at Bayride Motorcycles in Tauranga. 14,000km later I felt like a change so stepped sideways up to the Hypermotard.
I was brought up on a farm and worked on numerous farms through my schooling and University years so while I had never owned a bike I had spent a fair amount of time on 2 wheels off the road. I had been meaning to get my road licence for many years but since I finally got off my ass and did it there has been no looking back.
I sold my car to buy my first bike, expecting to want to buy a shitty old cage as a runabout when the winter months hit, but that never happened. I have no desire to own a car again any time soon and hope I am riding for the next 50+ years!
My bike is my every day ride, whether that is to and from work, as transport elsewhere, or just riding for the sake of riding. I work shift work so I have the pleasure of being able to ride 6 days out of 8 when most other people are at work. Love it.
What kind of mods have you done to your bike, and do you tinker yourself or prefer send it into the shop?
With the Monster being my first “real” bike I went all out with mods…genuine Ducati parts and therefore expensive, pretty mods – termi mufflers, tail tidy, touring seat, LED indicators, alarm and a pack rack. This time around I was rather conservative with the genuine Ducati carbon fibre rear tyre hugger being the biggest spend.
Oil cooler guard, red stripes on the wheel rims, fenda extenda, tank grip pads and tank protector rounded out the customisation. I do miss the distinctive rowdy rumble that the baffle-less Termi’s produced but it is nice to not have it just as much.
I’m no mechanic and I’m a little OCD so the shop does everything for me. I throw a bit of a lube on the chain and a bit of air in the tyres but that is about my lot.
Dealt with any awesome people, shops or websites for cool parts?
There are only 3 Ducati dealers in the North Island so the choice is pretty limited, luckily both the guys at Bayride and the guys at motomart are pretty good (I haven’t dealt with the 3rd dealer, Haldanes). Sure they want my money but they get the job done for me.
Luke, the Ducati technician at motomart, is a top bloke…I couldn’t speak more highly of him.
The oil cooler guard you have already blogged about is a nice piece of kit and buying it straight from the manufacturer on the other side of the world was a little unique.
Do you have any cleaning pros ‘n cons, secrets, tips ‘n tricks, products that sort of thing?
Not really to be honest. Because my bike is my everyday ride, rain hail or shine, that lives in a car park building with open sides when I am at home and outside near the ocean when I am at work, it doesn’t stay clean for long.
I like it to be spotless and shiny and I am quite OCD as mentioned above but I get by fine with a microfiber mit, wash n wax (in one) soap and a bit of tyre black on the tyre walls.
Is there anything on your current wish list for your ride?
It will need new rubber soon but other than that no, I do what I want to my bikes when I buy them and then don’t see the point in doing any more as their time in my ownership is limited
Ahh rubber. Got any particular brands or models that have worked really well or really poorly?
Not sure which new feet I will invest in…again I trust the shop. Something dual compound or similar as the middle goes flat first due to a combination of many kilometres of every day riding (around town and either on the gas or on the brakes) and me being a little bit of a pansy on the corners.
And last but not least, everyone has bike lust so if money was no object, what bike(s) would you buy today?
I am 100% committed to Ducati so that makes the choice somewhat easier. The Streetfighter has long-held a special place in my heart and talk of an 1198/1199 Streetfighter is quite exciting.
I love the look and technology of the 1199 Panigale but I know I can’t ride it how it is supposed to be ridden so it would be wasted on me. Back to reality. I don’t know what my next bike will be. Most likely a Streetfighter and given my ability, desire to retain my licence, etc probably the 848.
The Ducati 798 Desmosport R concept looks alright and talk of a 799 Panigale is exciting too. So many options…
Thanks for talking to me about your biking experiences mate, hopefully one day we will share a road and get to go clickety clack together, who knows!
Great to see where you live and ride – and the passion for Ducati clearly is strong, resulting with your professional photography, those shots are amazing.