Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Monthly Message for March 2011

As I am writing this note, in late March, spring has broken out in East Central Missouri.  The temperatures are warming up, flowers are blooming, and rain is occasionally falling.  
The March Bike Night was held at on the 1st at the Triumph Grille. It was well attended, with some members riding in and others (me) driving their cars.  After a brief business meeting held during dinner, Mark Oldham from MotoEuropa gave a presentation on suspension settings.  The presentation was informative, useful, and well received.  Several of the attendees asked good questions and received thoughtful and helpful answers.

As for the business portion of the meeting, there were some important parts:
1. In order to emphasis that we are here to have fun and be motorcycle centric, we now have Bike Nights on the first Tuesday of the month, not meetings.  While riding one’s Ducati to the event is great, one’s attendance is more important than one’s conveyance.
2. It was reiterated that the standing day for rides is the first Saturday of each month.  The default rain date is one week later (the second Saturday of the month).
3. Our club is now an official club.
4. It was decided by a vote of the members that at the start of the monthly club ride, all dues paying members will put their names in a helmet, and we shall draw a name.  That individual will receive a tank of gas, not to exceed $10.00 at the first gas stop, paid from the club treasury.  No person can win the fill up 2 rides in a row.
5. The next Bike Night is Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 6:30PM at the Triumpe Grill.
6. The next group ride is Saturday, April 2, 2011.  Rain date is the 9th.
7. There are two types of memberships in the Gateway Ducati Owners Group:
a. Active members- those who have paid the $20.00 yearly dues
b. Inactive members- those who have signed up on the site, but have yet to pay dues.
8. Social media- Mark Shomaker, our Vice President, has volunteered to build a Facebook page for us.  Completion date is June 1, 2011
9. Andrew Quinn is planning the group excursion to MotoGP in Indy this year.  Please check with him if you wish to go.  Rooms at the official Ducati hotels are filling up fast.
10. At some point this year, we shall be having an event at Motorrad St. Louis.  Date to be determined soon.
As you can see, we accomplish a lot in a short amount of time at our business meetings.  For those that can, please come and enjoy the camaraderie.
The first group ride of the year was scheduled for March 5, but due to the extreme cold, nasty, ugly weather, the ride was postponed until the 12th.  Three brave souls (Vito, Raymond, and Fred) ventured out on one of the nicest spring days of the year.  Raymond required assistance from a Missouri State Trooper as he ran out of gas on his way to the ride.  The ride was originally scheduled to be a daylong ride to Bixby and back, but as this was the first ride of the year, wiser heads prevailed, and the distance and difficulty were scaled back to allow for muscle memory to be regained.  The ride was through Franklin and Jefferson counties.  At the first gas stop, Raymond So was the lucky one, winning the fill-up.  At the end of the ride, Vito and Raymond headed to MotoEuropa while Fred headed home.  All the riders returned safely- that is our definition of a successful outing.
On a personal note, my Multistrada’s challenge with valve guides continues.  The good news is that per various internet discussion groups, it is apparent that a run of Ducati 1000 engines suffers from the same problem as engine mileage passes 22,000.  This is not just a MTS problem, but shows up in other models.  This is a manufacturing defect.  The other good news is that by removing the heads, sending them to a good shop that is familiar with the problem and has experience, the problem can be solved.  The bad news is that it keeps me from riding for a bit and it will cost some money.  So, as of now, I am patiently awaiting the return of my ride.
Until next time, please ride safe!
Gary Kwawer
President and Chief Contact Person
Gateway Ducati Owners Group

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