How to tour on a Sportsbike…

I bought my Panigale 959 Special Edition a few months ago, with the full intention of taking it on a 2 week tour of Italy and Sicily, covering around 2k miles.

Firstly, to make it comfortable, I fitted a Sato Racing link to drop the seat height a smidge and let me build confidence.

I got the SW Motech Blaze pannier system, and a Telferizer ball mount for my Garmin. The panniers were at capacity for a fortnight trip, and a fitting SNAFU meant they made a bid for freedom, thankfully not at high speed. Ducati really need to offer more than a tank/tailbag for the Panigale as sometimes we want to go further than the local cafe.

Gear wise, my Icon Stealth Jacket was probably too heavy for Sicily, but too light for an Alpine pass, riding jeans were pointless, and my MotoGirl Kevlar leggings were the correct mix of protection and heat shield from the Panigale. The Daytona Ladystar boots were the solid, reliable footwear that were needed, and my X-Lite 803 Petrucci was comfortable and a strong level of protection.

Gloves wise, my Dainese summer gloves were the only option I could wear that would allow me to easily manage toll payments without having puffy hands.

The Sena30k however was a nightmare, without any consistent performance and a mind of its own. The Garmin Zumo 395 worked beautifully as long as it had charge, which was disappointing as I decided to not plug it directly into the bike.

Temperatures ranged from 11 degrees across the alpine pass to 39 in Sicily

The bike itself was a dream. Even in the most challenging of situations, it handled beautifully. I had a situation in Sicily where I ended up on a road that felt more like a Kickstart course, with a wall of prickly pears on one side, and a sheer drop on the other, and I managed to keep the bike shiny side up, even the jumping lizards didn’t throw me.

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