Name: Arun Sharma
Home: Portland, Oregon
Occupation: GENERAL DIRECTOR, MotoCorsa
A few months ago, a customer crashed his new Panigale S. The damage wasn't major, so I bought it from him and made it into my track bike.
Every year I go with friends on an off-road adventure ride in southern Oregon. This year I was going to take a Multistrada, and I had it on the lift to install a set of Continental TKC 80 off-road tires. The Panigale was on the lift right next to it. One of my buddies stopped by, saw the two bikes side by side, and said, "You should put those TKC 80s on the Panigale and take that." I said, "Why, yes, I should."
We built the bike in a week. We raised the suspension to give some ride height and softened the settings for as much travel as we could get. I put on a bunch of crash protection from SpeedyMoto and fabbed up a skidplate—because I didn't want to screw up the $3,700 Termignoni exhaust—and the Ducati Performance comfort seat, which is critical. Then I hit it with some military-looking spray paint from Home Depot.
We rode from Portland to southeastern Oregon, around Steens Mountain, then crossed into Nevada for a bit. Three days, 1,200 miles, and I guarantee you we went places no Ducati sportbike has ever gone before. There was this massive rainstorm a couple days before we got there, and there was big mud everywhere. The Panigale was the only bike with knobbies, and there were some spots it went where the big adventure bikes couldn't even make it through!
Most people love the bike; some people really hate it. I just love the idea of challenging what you can do with a Ducati. There's this whole "nose-in-the-air" stigma surrounding Ducati owners, and I just like to show how that's not true. People who ride Ducatis love their motorcycles and ride them just as hard as the next guy.
Photo: Quentin Wilson