Hunter Thompson's Ducati 900 Supersport review

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Gonzo was a confirmed bike nut, RIP old friend.

or when I walk into a public restroom and hear crippled men whispering about the terrifying Kawasaki Triple…

I owned one and yes it damn near killed me.


Did Hunter S. Thompson do anything non-badass? Anything at all? Like, take a nap or just eat a turkey sandwich?


I think food is mentioned here once or twice…


The closing line of this piece will always get me

On my tombstone they will carve, “IT NEVER GOT FAST ENOUGH FOR ME.”

Sometimes when riding I think the same thing. For now, there are several neurons still firing deep in my gray matter that let me close the throttle.


I’m pretty sure for Hunter S Thompson the Dunhills counted as a vegetable. That is quite the daily routine. The snow cone is the cherry on top.


I love that he throws in a clove cigarette after midnight. Hunter was a closet high school goth kid.


The tiny triple (the 350S2) when put together properly with decent tyres was a nice little bike if you remembered it didn’t really have any brakes.
It would out-accelerate a 650 Triumph to about 60 and I had a BSA rider nearly kill himself trying to overtake me.
But now? Mere thought terrifies me.
My Ducati though…perfect little lady.

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It’s got the best one line bike review I’ve ever read:
“This motorcycle is simply too goddamn fast to ride at speed in any kind of normal road traffic unless you’re ready to go straight down the centerline with your nuts on fire and a silent scream in your throat.”

Starting price $9,950


Good line for a song, thanks…

I saw him speak at U of M in Ann Arbor decades ago. It was spectacular. He was paid something like $15 or $25K and all he did was walk up to the podium onstage and ask “Any questions?”


Nowadays first gear will thrust right through 75.


Actually as I recall one of the virtues of proper Ducatis (i.e. bevel drive desmo cam) was the smooth power delivery at all speeds. I remember being shown the torque curve of Hesketh’s IoM winner; it didn’t have a peak, it had a plateau which started at ridiculously low revs for a racing bike.
Ing. Taglioni, RIP.

Ducatis - fantastic machines, but too flipping small for me.

What’s the publication date of this thing? The bike in the picture looks like the Carenata version of the '90s Supersport. HST would have been in his 50s at that time.

I grew up a mile from Borgo Panigale, my uncle had an 851 and any friend of mine who ever learnt to drive bikes bought a Monster as soon as they could afford it. I never dared. On one side, if you buy anything that is not a Ducati, you will be bullied to no end; but learning to drive on a Ducati is like learning to fly on an F-14, a recipe to cut your lifespan very short.

Shame HST didn’t choose to go out in a blaze of glory on a smashed bike, it would have been fitting.

It was published in ‘Cycle World’ in 1995.

There’s an article about its commisioning in a more recent Cycle World.

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Cafe Racing is mainly a matter of taste. It is an atavistic mentality, a peculiar mix of low style, high speed, pure dumbness, and overweening commitment to the Cafe Life and all its dangerous pleasures… I am a Cafe Racer myself, on some days - and it is one of my finest addictions.

It also sounds like more macho white male bullshit. Coming from one of the most careless, self-destructive white American macho bullshitters this side of Hemingway. Thompson’s bravery in calling out a lot political mendacity was great, and the white masculine bravado was inextricable from that admirable side of him. What a relief it is that this kind of reckless, destructive white masculinity seems to be holding less sway among younger white guys than it used to.


Ha. Pretty brave opinion in this particular comment collection. Kudos on not being humorless and cranky, but providing thoughtful criticism.


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