I was in heaven. I'd managed to source the Denali D4 lights I so wanted, and discovered that more goodies for the Multistrada for testing were also inbound. To wit, the Scottoiler - review soon - was also mounted and rolling, and the Ducati felt absolutely great to ride. Precise, enthusiastic, comfortable and when the mood took you, impossibly good.
So naturally, the Uber/Ola Wagon R, driven by Mr Murphy, was waiting for me. I stood up on pegs to get through a pothole. 40kmph or less in first gear, I think. And he swerved towards me to avoid another pothole and in the process swiped my handlebar towards the footpath. And naturally, he drove off without stopping to even apologise. Oh well. I managed to get home and that's where the story begins.
I have to compliment Ducati on having a great little system even though the communications could be easier. For example, the "I've crashed the bike" is always followed by, "Are you okay? What help can I get you?" The bit that confused me was the offer to send a "custodial person from grab" to help you load the bike. Eh? After a long, circular conversation, I understood that they meant to send a chap from Gorb, a food-delivery service to ensure the bike was loaded on the Ducati pick-up vehicle securely so that I could leave and be attended at the hospital or whatever. This is a great idea - luckily, I didn't need this kind of help. To their credit, the Sakeeb-Akeeb truck (see pic) came on the dot as promised and they loaded the bike without fuss and took it away.
The beauty of comprehensive, zero-depreciation insurance is that it is hassle-free in terms of process and coverage. Ducati did take almost a full month a bit to procure parts and have it back on the road, but I contributed to the delay by almost 10 days too. As it stands, the bike is back on the road, running nicely and HDFC Ergo is still to process the broken parts disposal - there's a couple of lightly damaged things, like the mirror, which I would like to retrieve and store. All told, I am happy with the repair speed as well as quality, and I guess I would have liked Ducati Service to keep me informed of progress more pro-actively but that aside, they've been very good.
How did I delay the repair process? Since all the bodywork was off for repairs and two-three body panels were brand new, I asked Zubin Design in Mumbai to take the panels and give it a coat of ceramic lacquer. Right when the hermetically sealed paint booth was under annual maintenance. Sigh.
This hard, super-glossy coat felt necessary to me. The Ducati uses water-based paints as is the eco-norm and on plastic panels, they're quite fragile. The hard clear coat is very hard to scratch, and I'm really enjoying how glossy and shiny the Ducati now looks. It isn't cheap though - Rs 20,000 would be the cost of just the lacquer on a motorcycle the size of the Ducati, and if you wanted the stripes done - I got Feroci's stripes finally done in paint rather than vinyl - you would add another Rs 10,000-15,000 odd to the process. Not cheap. But a month and a bit later, the gloss of the lacquer is still a surprise, and my habitual urge to ride before I fully clean the Ducati seems to have produced no scratches whatsoever. Which, for me, is a victory.
The Pirellis are nearly at the end of their lives, I acquire hard luggage and we get the Ducati's first half-service done.
Date acquired: Feb 2017
Total mileage: 6,200km
Last report at: 6,006km
Fuel: 13 litres
Economy: 13kmpl city, 16kmpl highway