Me & My Bike | 2005 Ducati ST4s

Name: Andy Chase

Age: 43

Home: New York, NY

Occupation: Musician

"I’ve been obsessed with motorcycles since I was little, much to my parents’ dismay. When I realized they were never going to allow one within 1000 miles of our home in suburban Maryland, I did what any sensible kid would do in extreme circumstances: I sold my comic-book collection (probably worth thousands today!) and bought a used dirtbike which I hid behind the house. It was a 1981 Yamaha YZ80, yellow and black, had that worn-in smell of oil and gas, and I was instantly in love. I’d coast it down the hill behind our house until I was out of ear’s reach, then start it up and explore the surrounding countryside. I’ve been hooked on riding ever since.

"My brother eventually ratted me out to my father in a fit of revenge. Soon after, I moved away to New York City, started my first band and graduated to my first streetbike: a BMW F650GS enduro, which reminded me of a grown-up version of my old Yamaha. I’ve bought quite a few motorcycles since, including a Moto Guzzi Stone, which rides like a Harley. Sometimes it seems excessive owning—I call it collecting—multiple bikes, but I justify it by reasoning that I don’t own a car, and three or four bikes equals the cost of one car.

"After spending time in Europe and seeing how all the touring riders over there are on performance bikes outfitted for long-distance riding, I bought my first sport-touring bike: a 2005 Ducati ST4s. It’s become my favorite, and I have a tough time now getting inspired to ride any of my other bikes. The thing’s a blast to ride short distances through the craziness that is NYC, and it’s even more of a thrill to take on long trips. Over the years I’ve replaced the stock seat with a custom one made by Sargent and raised the handlebars with Cycle Cat bar risers, so I’m in a slightly more comfortable riding position. I also swapped out the stock levers for CRGs, which never make my left hand tired, plus put on better grips as well as a Throttlemeister cruise control, which saves my right hand on long-distance jaunts. It’s got carbon-fiber cans, too.

"After all the touring I’ve done with my bands Ivy and Brookville—by van and bus—I’ve discovered some incredible places in this country that I desperately want to revisit on my Ducati. Now, I just need the time, time, time..."MC

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