The high speed Ducati pillion ride gave me the opportunity to really face my fear of superbikes. Having had a very near accident on a superbike when I was 16, I hadn’t been on one since.
When we arrived at Kyalami for our high speed Ducati experience we spent some time admiring all the different superbikes and enjoyed the track event has bystanders. I was mesmerized as I watched one of the superbike divas do a stunt show of high speed wheelies coupled with lots of skidding tires.
We then had to sign an indemnity form and make our way to the mCubed racing area to get kitted out for our Ducati superbike experience. The racing suits can be a little cumbersome to put on but very necessary for safety. This experience I found was all about trust because it really is quite dangerous. There are no seat belts as you know and the pillion (passenger) has to hold on and balance in unison with the professional racer.
When it was my turn I made my way to Clinton Pienaar, (Multiple Regional Champion) who briefed me on what to do and what to expect. He basically asked me to sit still, keep space between my body and his, hold on tight and to squeeze him with my elbows if I wanted to go slower…all fairly easy instructions but not so when you are terrified of what lies ahead. I got onto the back of the bike and reached around Clinton Pienaar to hold onto a handle that has been added as a modification to the superbike. I felt fairly comfortable and off we went.
Within seconds we were steaming around the track at out of body speeds. Along the straight sections of Kyalami we clocked speeds of 215 kms per hour! The most challenging sections would have to be cornering. It blows my mind to think of leaning to the side, almost touching the tarmac at such intense speeds. Really that was the ultimate out of body experience for me. I think I was screaming in silence and gritting my teeth. The experience was so fast and so intense that I was certain we were in the process of breaking the sound barrier. Honestly, I could feel the g-force against my face.
Some of the pillion passengers managed to enjoy the odd wheelie as well, they certainly have the nerve! I have never held on so hard in my life. The mind cannot comprehend what is happening and at the same time one can feel exhilaration and intense excitement from being in the danger zone.
This Ducati Pillion Ride includes 2 laps of Kyalami Race Track. I remember that by the 2nd half of the final lap I started to relax, enjoying the ride immensely. I hugged Clinton Pienaar so many times as we slowed to a complete stop; I think it was relief, a sense of achievement and thanking him for keeping me so safe.
These bike track days offer private rider training and allow superbike enthusiasts the opportunity to practice and ride their bikes in a safe and controlled environment.
The high speed Ducati Experience was very special for me personally as I now feel more empowered than ever to drive through my fears and enjoy the sense of achievement on the other side.
Experience the Ducati superbike that seems to be in motion even when stationary……..aggressive, powerful and invincible………………
Written and experienced in person by Odette Butcher, Chief Experience Officer, Celestial Gift Experiences.
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