Chaz Davies gains his Motorcycle Licence on Monster 696
Chaz Davies like many motorcycle racers had spent many years riding bikes either on track or off road but had never taken the opportunity to ride on the road.
However this was something that Chaz had always wanted to do but never seemed to be able to fit into his busy racing schedule.
So Chaz found time between racing and testing, teaming up with Ducati UK and booking on the Ducati Learn to Ride Programme to gain the road licence he had always wanted. The Ducati rider training scheme is a collection of training schools that operate out of participating Ducati dealers. In this case it was 90-One Rider Education operating out of Ducati Coventry and it was here that Chaz along with his friend James would be put through a four day training course.
For many people the dream of riding a bike is ultimately to ride and own a Ducati, so to learn on a Ducati and in particular a Monster 696 is the perfect fit. For Chaz Davies a Ducati factory World Superbike rider it was the natural choice.
Chaz talked to Ducati UK about his experience learning to ride on a Monster.
"I never really admitted to not having a licence, but I spoke about it to Fast Bikes Magazine who would often say ‘Why don’t you come on a road test with us’ and I would say, “Yeh great but I don’t have a licence” and they would keep on at me to take it and I would go” yeh, yeh one day in the close season in the winter” But in the end I just decided to commit to it, because the longer it went on and let it drag on would mean I wouldn’t ever get it done. But now rather than just taking the test I now really want to ride on the road, in the summer go up into the hills a little bit and have some fun.
There was always the excuse of after a race weekend, being tired with all the travelling and wanting to do fun things, but it was a case of stuff it, let’s just get this done.
The learning to ride was more intense than I expected and I was more nervous than I expected to be. Although the riding part obviously came naturally, it was all the other stuff that took up a lot of my concentration, the life savers, the looks, all the other bits that go along with it that wasn’t second nature to me.
The Monster 696 was good, a nice easy bike to get along with and James, who I did the test with was a complete rookie and gave a bit more perspective to the test – but he found it very easy to ride as well. The training was excellent and Paul (Fowler) who taught us, always did it on the safe side and neither James or I were docked any marks for observation, in fact I got minuses for going to slow! But that was purely down to missing signs in a town I was unfamiliar with and I didn’t want to wind it up and then get a fail.
I would certainly recommend learning to ride on a Ducati, there was no stress involved and we really enjoyed the riding and riding the Ducati in particular, plus we had such good weather when we did it as well. It was a really enjoyable experience and I am glad I have got it, because once you have got it, you’ve got it for life. I don’t know why I hadn’t done my test sooner; It wasn’t a big deal once you got into it.
Now I have I got my licence, my weapon of choice would be a Diavel, one because I have heard such good things about it, everyone I speak to say what a good bike it is and secondly I’m riding a Panigale all the time when I am racing, I don’t really want to be in the cramped position. The riding position is more relaxed and I won’t feel the need to go fast, as soon as you put a racer in a drop position with clip-ons you are asking for it – I’d be losing the licence as quickly as I got it!"