Ben Laurie blathering

Yamaha R6 and Ducati 996

I just spent a week in Montreal, and rode there and back from Toronto with a friend. I was on an ’02 R6, the friend on a 996. The R6 was surprisingly comfortable for a sports bike, responsive and not twitchy (my friend said it was boringly easy to ride). I still can’t love the way fours behave, though – no power ’til about 7,500 rpm, then a rather sharp increase from there on up. Having to drop three gears to overtake is just annoying.

The 996 (which I rode for around 20 miles) was a totally different experience – loads of low-end torque, very solid feeling, a far less comfortable riding position (but now I know why they cut the tank out like that, the only support you get is from your knees!), a little strange at low speeds (I was, however, carrying a large amount of luggage at the time) and an astonishing amount of heat pumping out around your legs. Great for the winter, not so nice at 35C and high humidity!

Canada has some lovely roads if you have the time to find them. 18 down from Montreal was fun, in a lazy kind of way, and once we got up into cottage country (northeast of Toronto), the roads were fun and the views beautiful.

I’m definitely up for doing that again!

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