Twins are supposed to be alike. They also create confusion wherever they go. And boy, were we confused. Take a long, hard look at these motorcycles - The Ducati Monster 796 and the Harley-Davidson XR1200X. These motorcycles embody the elemental characteristics of each manufacturer and are shining examples of what a V-twin means to people on either side of the Puddle. Both are American and Italian icons, as different as the Hoover Dam and Roman aqueducts, with equally illustrious histories. And both have hung on to the quirks that made them famous; quirks that are worlds apart and yet, equally brilliant. How is one to decide which one betters the other?
Just like the motorcycles, Joshua Crasto and I share some similarities - lives that revolve around motorcycles and consequently, a good number of broken bones. I suspect we’re V-twins at heart, too. And just like the motorcycles, we couldn’t be more different...er, let’s just leave it at that. But I needed to continue the tradition of Josh appearing in BSM at least once a year (God knows what possessed him to go fly planes), hence the the guest appearance.
Yes, a Monster 1100 would’ve been a better displacement-match for the XR. But the middleweight Monster is a more even match for the heavyweight XR in the power stakes. But this is about more than just power. It’s about the way these two motorcycles feel. It’s desmodromic versus pushrod, simple frame versus exotic trelllis. And as with such cases, it’s never simple.