What does “Globetrotter 90” mean? Two words, a million interpretations.
Is it hard to explain the emotions that can lead to a trip around the world, but it’s also difficult to express how much work, sweat, passion and dedication are connected to that number. Why? The story of Ducati counts 90 years, but 90 are also the degrees between the two cylinders of the Testastretta DVT, the engine that equips the latest born of the factory: the Multistrada Enduro. But how’s all this referred to me?
It was April when a friend of mine (met during my last stay in Chile) sent me this link: www.ducati.it/globetrotter_90.do. I couldn’t believe that Ducati itself was really looking for travelers to ride its new bike aroud the world. I could just apply immediately and then I turned off the computer, letting my mind wandering into endless deserts, mountain passes and remote asphalt, all accompanied by a loud pipe sound. A joy for the irrational part of my mind, but a torture for it’s rational one, that knew that a huge amount of people would participate to the selections.
Ducati. World Tour. I was seventeen year old when I saw live for the first time a 748 SPS on a stage. I was stunned. I had never seen anything like that before. And from that moment I decided that I would have become a biker! I had Ducati posters on the walls of my college room, I’ve been studying dynamics and mechanics and, after Superbike races on television and live, and after experiencing more than half the world during my motorbike trip, I finally received the most exciting e-mail of my life: “It is with great pleasure That We inform you that you have been selected as one of the 14 shortlisted finalists. Should you will be chosen, you will become one of the official Globetrotters 90th riding a Multistrada 1200 Enduro Ducati to celebrate the 90th Anniversary.”
It was an uncontrollable emotion! After spending few seconds staring at the monitor, I started contacting and meting friends to borrow helmet, gloves, boots and the trousers for riding, ‘cause as all my gears are with my bike, parked in Argentina. I was speechless!
So now, after few days it’s time to reach Tuscany to participate in the selection! Excited, but focused, it’s an absolute surprise discovering that the total amount of applications were more than 3300! At the meeting I finally meet thirteen motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world: Australia, Brazil, Britain, Spain, Colombia, Chile, India, Malaysia… unbelievable, I am surrounded by travelers from nearly everywhere! And the excitement increases when I find out that I am the only Italian one!
The location is fantastic and we are stunned by a huge line of Multistrada Enduros: we all look like babies in a toy store! The more I talk with my colleagues, the more I am surprised of the speed and ease we all start familiarizing, seems that the passion for the bike can help beating racism!!! The next day we move to Nipozzano’castle, greeted by some really nice Ducati staff headed by legendary Beppe Gualini, charismatic and exceptional rider! We immediately felt like living in a parallel reality, made of pure passion for two wheels! But before being able to start the engines, we have to wear sports shoes and shorts, get a map and a compass for the first test: orienteering! Up and down the hills, climbing and sweating among vineyards and dirt roads, looking for ten waypoints marked on the map. After an hour of running I’ve scored only three points, and unfortunately in a couple of occasions I was sure to be on the right spot, but the flag did not appear to my eyes. But that’s fine anyway.
It’s now time to focus on the next test, so: boots and helmet, it’s time to warm up the engines! The Multistrada Enduro emits a very easy to describe sound: it is a real roar! With this music all the group starts slaloming and braking exercises: Beppe wants to test our ability to ride the beautiful creature we have under the bottom, but especially he wants to know if we are able to bring her back home! And then we move to a simple, but very pleasant, dirt track where we proceed all together, while the rain tries to cool down our hot spirits. The bike that I am riding impresses me for its agility and the quality of the suspension. The engine is really powerful, but the enduro mapping and the revolutionary DVT distribution system ensure a smooth ride. The 19″ front rim does its job and I don’t regret not having the canonical (for an enduro motorbike) 21″, thanks to a superb weight distribution. That’s why many other manufacturers are worried about this little masterpiece of engineering!
Soakin wet we head back to the castle to dry up for a good lunch, them moving on for the mechanical test: we have to remove wheels, repair tires, replace breaking pads and performe simple maintenance work. Those who observe us want to see our ability to pluck out of a possible unpleasant situation, preferably without creating any additional damage. Simple, but fun, exercises: for this purpose I team up with Steve, a super easygoing Australian to whom I feel connected due to my couple of years spent among the Aussie red sand.
The pressure among us decreases when we finally shoot some photos and a short clip for the official website of Ducati, then we rest surrounded by tasteful recipes and some amazing wines. The group has just been wonderful today: all united as a team, respecting and encouraging each other. I have to say: before meeting them I thought I was about to find some aggressive competitors, but instead I have met some true and sincere friends from all over the world. Priceless.
My experience ends with a huge shower, while the room becomes a warehouse of wet clothes hung out to dry. My facial expression still shows a solid smile while I still feel many, many emotions running free under my skin.
After all these amazing hourse, I want to express a giant “Thank you!” to my new friends: you’ve been my family for a whole day. Thanks also to the staff of the organizers who made me feel proud of their trust. But above all, thank you Ducati for creating such a source of emotion, by combining two wheels, a frame and a volcanic engine! World’s biggest motorcycle manufacturers freak out every time a new Ducati model is released, caractherized by revolutionary solutions, incomparable design and unique and distinctive character. And, if there are thousands of fans, in every corner of the globe, who would do anything to travelling the world on a Ducati, the reasons must be many, and really solid!
As for me, I can say I am satisfied and proud of the opportunity given to me: I really gave my best and there is not a single thing I would change about those hours! The outcome of this selection will be revealed in the next few days and I cannot stop keeping my fingers crossed: not so easy to tie my shoes and use a fork!
I am now talking to you guy, you reading these exciting pages of this website: if I got so far is thanks to your help and your contribution. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, please keep your fingers crossed with me… I’ll need it!
A desmodromic hug, Massi.