Wray Rideout Italian Style

One of the advantages of being between contracts is having the freedom to take part in event days. This one was organised by Ducati with an opportunity to take a guided rideout on one of their fine Italian stallions. And so it was that we set out on a mild Spring Thursday for the Bridge House Farm Tearooms in Wray, Lancashire. Home of the Classic Bike Night, as some here well know.

It’s a 70 mile ride north for us to Wray. Ignoring the motorways, we headed up through Huddersfield, then Halifax in my case and, er Bradford in Rachel’s. Which is what happens when you lose sight of each other and your satnavs disagree about the best way to reach the destnation. A bit unfortunate but the important thing is, I arrived first. :grin:

The first half of the trip was mostly boring towns and rubbish roads littered with cameras. Once past Keighley things start to improve. Everyone who rides a motorcycle should explore North Yorkshire at least once in their life. Take a long weekend in the summer and thank me later.

It’s at this point I would have inserted some scenic pictures, or perhaps a nicely edited video from my new camera, freshly mounted on my MV. Unfortunately, while the bike and I made it to the tea rooms, the camera did not. :sob:

I had a Streetfighter V2 booked out at 3pm and the sun was shining as I waited in the The Paddock with my Angus burger.

The place wasn’t busy at this point, most people probably still being at work or just planning to make it in the evening when the crowds descend.

Scoffing the last of my cow-in-a-bap, I headed over to the mobile Ducati stand, sorted out the paperwork, and listened to what they called a ‘safety briefing’, which basically amounted to “no overtaking” and “don’t crash”. Fair enough and good advice, in that order. While there I also put in the best lap on MotoGP 23 PlayStation game they had running. Must find out if I got beaten - there’s a prize at stake, allegedly.

I chose the Streetfighter V2 because a) they didn’t have the V4S there, b) the Hypermotard was already booked out and c) I was curious to see what it was like compared to the 848 Streetfigher Rachel used to have. I will go back and try the V4S version at some point because if it’s as bonkers as the Panigale it does need a test ride…

A small aside - a few years ago I was chatting to a Ducati salesman outside their shop in Glasgow. I’d just taken a Supersport out for a spin while they were servicing my Multistrada. A chap pulled up on a Streetfighter V4S, also back from a test ride. The rider removed his helmet, grinned at the sales chap and said “fucking hell!”. I expect that probably sums the bike up nicely. :laughing:

Anyway, the V2 engine is a peach. Very smooth for a big V-twin with none of the 848’s chugging at low revs. I don’t find the wide bars and the leant forward riding position is my preference but that’s just me. It’s built to look, feel and indeed go like the clappers. I’m sure I’d get used to it.

I was third in our train, just the Hypermotard and our guide in front, both of whom made, shall we say, excellent progress on our 40 minute ride around the countryside. The Streetfighter could keep up, of course, but I was only just starting to get the feel for the handling towards the end. The result was that I liked the bike, but I liked the Street Triple just as much and that’s over five grand cheaper!

Wanting to get back in daylight, we geared up around 5.30pm. By this time many more bikes had arrived, spread all across the grass parking area, and they were still coming in.

I had a quick scout around for anything interesting.

The day’s motorcycle woes weren’t quite over with the loss of the camera. Not long after we left Wray behnd I went to change down a gear or two for a quick overtake and had one of those moments like when you think there’s another step but there isn’t. Glancing down I saw the gear level hanging loose, point a good 90 degrees in the wrong direction. Oh…
Could I make it all the way home in 6th gear by demonstrating extraordinary levels of forward planning skills and a bit of luck? Well, no, because I had to stop for petrol. A quick investigation revealed a missing bolt on the gear linkage. Not the end of the world but I had nothing to fix it with at the roadside and any useful shops would be closed. With a bit of cunning and the wire loop from a keyring I got the bike in to 4th, and that’s how it stayed for the rest of the journey.
That’ll teach me for riding past my MV on a saucy Ducati. Italian women, eh?


Nice to see that the ancient arts of unscheduled roadside maintenance are still alive.


Sounds like a good day out - what happened to your camera?

Saul “McGyver”… :rofl:


It was a modest hack but made a nice change to fix something that didn’t involve a computer. :grin:

I had it fided on a flat bit of fairing under the headlight. Either the bracket screwed to the camera came loose or it rattled out of the mount. I need to have another look tomorrow to check. When I arrived at the tea room it was gone.


Sounds like a really good day out. Apart from the lost camera and broken bike!

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I probably arrived after you left. Coming from Bradford, I have to sympathise with anyone forced to ride within 20 miles of the place :joy:

My ride was a pleasant 20 minute run through Lancashire coutryside with several other bikes I caght up with, crossing the River Lune and on passed Hornby Castle.

Extremely busy by the time I got there - couldn’t really get a picture to show the full scale.

Plenty of interesting stuff from Nortons to California Highway Patrol Kawasaki (CHiPS)

Wray also had it’s annual scarecrow festival - some interesting creations


Proper Italian temperament then. :laughing:


That was my first visit, hopefully not the last. It was filling up quite well when we left. On the rideout we rode through the village past all those scarecrows. There was an old Triumph there, too. A Tiger, I think. Could be wrong… I was going to wander back through and take some pics but ran out of time.

Yes, the blue one, looked like a Tiger.
Only my second visit but I like the fact it starts at 3.00 and goes on until 10.00.

Yeah, those times give everyone a chance to get there. It’s worth a visit. I’ll put it on our map if it isn’t there already.

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Sounds like an absolutely brilliant event I missed then :face_with_monocle:
@Octoberon theres a far better way round Bfd and kly btw!! I would have let you known if I knew you were playing out!

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I’ll tap you up for that if you’re at the meet-up today.