So having had a numpty pull out on me on the Pan which nearly wrote it off the Pan was now clean, tidy and up together.  Hilary was tired of riding pillion particularly with her left knee not agreeing with being on bikes.  I asked her if she was likely to continue and essentially the answer was ‘no’.  I explained that if that was so I was going to get a sportier bike.

The NEC was on about that time which coincided with manufacturers not wanting to turn up that year.  Dohh!  However I had a good mooch around but nothing much was floating my boat until I sat on a Ducati 848 which surprisingly fitted me like a glove and they were detailed beautifully.  At that time Honda was making spikey looking bikes and the other manufacturers followed suit making in my view ugly machines.

I arranged a test ride with Snells of Alton and immediately fell in love with it’s handling (I don’t care what the press says about the handling.  It works).

So a white 848 was purchased with a deal of a complete set of clothing (I’m wearing the gear apart from the boots in the header picture above).  I’d have bought one anyway 😉 .

I kept the white one for a number of years up until the point that I discovered that they were abandoning this series for the Panigale bikes.  With this in mind they were selling off the 848s but upgraded to the Corse SE EVO with a nice paint job and a number of trick bits on.  The paint job is apparently the colours they used to disguise the Panigale development bikes.

The upgrades as I remember them are: Quick Shifter, traction control, 330mm front discs with better calipers to match, 1098 throttle bodies, hp uped by 6 to 140hp, steering damper, a beautiful brushed alloy fuel tank which is 2.5lts bigger than the plastic tank but the same size outside, passenger seat cowl (seat provided along with rear pegs but they never fit them unless asked on Ducati’s) and an Ohlins rear shock.  All this making it an even nicer bike to ride.