Motorcycles and the effect they can have on you is a tough thing to explain, if you have not felt motorcycling yourself, you never might truly understand why there cannot be anything even remotely as great as heading out on your motorcycle and be truly free. Thus, whenever we get a chance to talk to people about motorcycle’ and their rides, naturally we get excited enough to listen to their story like we used to listen to our favourite fairy tale back in the good old times. Add to the fact that, travelling and motorcycles combined is probably the fastest and the awesome-est way to become a storyteller and a pretty one at that. So when we found out that someone up north of Norway took a Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent through the gorgeous scenery of the country just to take the delivery of his bike, we knew that this is our sort of guy and his story will be the sort of story we would love to listen to and love to write about it for you.
This is the story of Jerrard, who hails from Tasmania, Australia and his love for motorcycles, especially Ducati’s and his fabulous journey to get and then to ride a bike that he had fallen in love with so desperately that he could not wait to get his hands on it, and that happened in Norway! But more on that later. Jerrard, grew up in Tasmania, Australia and had his first tryst with owning a motorcycle at the age of 18 years in the form of Ducati 600 Pantah in 1983 an Italian exotic that was temperamental as they are always. As each first love story goes, Jerrard went on to love every bit of owning the Pantah and his love affair for the Italian brand got instilled in the deepest parts of his heart. Jerrard had become so attached to his Pantah and Ducati that even after a scary and wild crash that got him a broken pelvis along with a collection of other injuries, all Jerrard could think of was to check out of the hospital while still recovering, just to be able to start rebuilding his “old girl”, all this still being on crutches and massive amounts of pain killers to keep his sanity.
As Jerrard grew older, he knew that he has to get him another motorcycle and for sure it ‘had’ to be a Ducati only, so in 1989 a Ducati 750 Sport came to glorify his garage and his life, making him wake up to two gorgeous Italian girls every morning, and how could you not be envious about that! Interestingly, one fine day while working on his 750 Sport, Jerrard found a plate on the bike that revealed, to his surprise, that his 750 Sport was a Ducati Factory full option with Ohlins, floating disc and many other fancy pieces, which surprisingly he had never really paid attention to before. Years went by as Jerrard and his two lady loves spend time together until the next part of his story began. Jerrard had to move to Norway for an unknown amount of time, which meant he had to make a tough decision of letting go of one of his Ducati’s to finance his move. After much deliberating, the 750 was put on the market and within an hour another Ducati enthusiast became a happy man. The Pantah to this day is in crates, stored at Jerrad’s brother in-laws farm.
This is where the story of Jerrard’s falling in love and later getting his hands on his own Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent takes place and yes, the bike has a name given to her as well, she is called Pearl. Jerrard says that living in Northern Norway, one can only ride a bike for maybe 6 months of the year due to the massive amounts of snow the region receives making a decision to buy a motorbike a tough one to come by and it was really not an option when he first arrived there. However, once bitten by the bug of motorcycling you really have no choice then to give into it and when you have had tasted the flavor of probably one of the most exotic and addictive brands out there, Ducati, it is hard to stay away from a motorcycle snow or no snow (or Jon Snow, apologies, had to use the GOT reference). Thus whatever little savings Jerrard had, they translated into an old 1993 Honda 600 Transalp, known to him as JaJa, and is the perfect weapon for riding around that part of Norway. On the Honda, Jerrard had travelled through Scandanavia one year, then Europe the next and even this year another adventure further into Europe, just him, her and a tent plus nirvana of an higher class. The old Transalp never misses a beat. Still, Ducati blood was still pumping inside Jerrad and it could only mean one thing, he needed to cure his condition. This meant that in December 2015, while jumping across many Ducati forums and websites, Jerrard stumbled across an article regarding the new Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent, and in that exact moment, for Jerrard that Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent was the most beautiful Ducati he had ever seen.
Sadly there are no Ducati dealers this far North of Norway meaning that Jerrard had to start calling each one of the only three dealerships in the whole country. Interestingly, he was told that nobody else has shown interest in the new Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent and the only way for him to see one of these beauties in the flesh was to order one. Ignoring this minor set back and also really, really wanting to see one up close and personal, Jerrard knew what had to be done and the booking was made. By this time Jerrard is over 40 years of age, and for him buying the Ducati sportbike range wasn’t really an option for him now plus Norway has a speed limited to 80 kmph, meaning in any case he would have never got out of second gear.
And if you thought, why a Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent, then for your question Jerrard would say “And did I mention how beautiful I thought this new Italia Independent looked? I just had to have one. Old school looks, café racer style, stunning colours and not a lot of electric wizardry. This bike suited my every need and it was me back to owning what I had first started my road riding experience on thirty odd years ago, a Ducati.”
The only Ducati dealer who looked interest to unit Jerrard with his love, the Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent was Patrik Holmberg at Eker Performance, Fredrikstad. He also gave Jerrard a very satisfying deal, before, during and after the sale of the Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent. Jerrard ordered his Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent on January 25th, 2016. With the deposit paid, the painful waiting game began. So much was his excitement that to this day Jerrard feels sorry for Patrik, he told him the bike would arrive maybe in Mid- April and Jerrard says, “honestly, I can safely say that this poor sales guy had at least twenty emails, forty text messages and numerous phone calls from me. I was keen!” We understand you Jerrard, totally!
For Jerrard the day when his own Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent which he lovingly has named Pearl came to Norway is a day which Jerrard will never forget. By this time the bike arrived, it was the end of April and in the meantime Jerrard had already sent some extra goodies down to Patrik to bolt on to the new girl on the block. Excited was an understatement! What is awesome with the work Jerrard does (what he does for living is top secret, you will have to ask us this question in the comments section specifically to know the answer) is that he works for seven days on and then he is free for seven days straight. This meant that the timing was perfect to set his plan in motion.
The plan was to start Friday morning, take a two hour flight down to Oslo, and jump on a train for another two hours to get to Eker Performance, Fredrikstad. Into the office for the signing of the sales contract and all the other paperwork which honestly Jerrard could not care less about at this stage, all he wanted was to get to see the bike. And Low and behold, and with a tear in his eye, at last, here was Pearl, up close and personal. He says, “I was speechless, including the fact that this was the first ever brand new bike I had ever owned; I could not speak for some time. Patrik then showed me what was needed to know about everything, quite thoroughly I must add and still in the back of my mind, I kept thinking, why does he just keep talking, I want to get on this beauty and ride”.
Part of the deal with Patrik was a first free service, so the plan was to ride a 1000 kilometer loop from Eker Performance and back. Getting quite late into the afternoon, Jerrard jumped on board and cruised up to Ringsaker, just North of Oslo for the first night, around 250 kilometres just to get settled in with the workings of the bike. On the second day he woke up to see a stunning day greeting him ahead, warm and sunny, “now this is what motor-biking is all about” he said to himself. From Ringsaker Jerrard headed North towards Røros, an amazing part of Norway which he had already experienced on the Transalp, but today he was on a Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent, and what a magical experience they had together for the 550 kilometer trip over mountains and beside majestic fjords.
Durig his planning, one thing that Jerrad had forgotten to consider was, early May in Norway is just the ending of winter which meant snow, cruising along a “B” road, he read a sign indicating that a certain road over a mountain pass is now safe to travel. This was his turnoff I thought, however he thought this may get interesting. Jerrard says, “There is something very special about Norwegian mountains, I love them either walking or riding, but not when there is two metres of snow walls on each side of the road, and adding to this the temperature drop from eighteen degrees celcius down to maybe four. I was dressed for eighteen and I had around one hundred kilometres of this type of riding ahead, sweet!”
In the end the day became quite a special one with hot coffee at little road side shops as other bikers stopping and asking about Pearl. The rather satisfying day ending with Jerrard and Pearl stopped at Trysil for the night. And here is when things again were really not that well planned. In his haste to purchase travel tickets to Fredrikstad and return, and motels for the nights away Jerrard had not checked the map to see how far he needed to travel the last day, turned out it was around 300 kilometres. Jerrards train from Fredrikstad going to Oslo airport left at 9.30 in the morning! A usually wizard at planning Jeerad in his excitement had skipped a few important bits this time, it’s OK Jerrard, love can make us do all sorts of things that we don’t usually do.
This still ‘issue’ with planning meant Jerrard woke up at 4.30 am when the temperature was hovering around 2 degrees, and then he set off around 5.00am. Jerrard talks about that particular part of the country, “Now in this part of Norway, Elk or moose are known to frequent the roads, so an early dew covered grass type of morning should suit these beasts perfectly, bugger. I have ridden all over Norway and never laid eyes on an Elk until this morning, typical really. Doing slightly over the speed limit to try and catch the early train, enjoying my time around a sweet sweeping corner, I met mother Elk standing by the side of the road. The things that go through your mind when these kinds of scenarios arise are, well, amusing I guess? Luckily for me, mother Elk stood patiently for me to glide on by, but the racing heart was still felt at least fifty kilometres further up the road”.
If that was not all, next for Jerrard was a huge dead deer in the passing lane, you know when the gut feeling says “not now”, well, this is exactly that sort of moment and if he had not followed it, he isn’t sure what damage or outcome would have been, however, from that moment onwards they both travelled safely. Arriving at Eker Performance at around 9.00am after finding a coffee stop on the way, Jerrard said goodbyes to Pearl. Total distance travelled 1084 kilometres and time for her first service. Since the most viable option was to get his Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent or Pearl, that is, through freight up to Tromsø where he lived in Norway after the service was completed. This meant Patrik again got many emails and messages asking for any updates. Two weeks later, a guy from Lars Holm Shipping in Tromsø calls and said he has just unloaded a Ducati, Jerrard’s Pearl, his Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent.
It was raining hard that day, but as Jerrard unbolted the shipping crate, the smile became wider by the second, here he was, reunited with Pearl again and it was time to introduce her to the North and welcome her home beside JaJa, the Transalp. It was a very wet ride home but that smile never left Jerrad’s face.
It is seldom we come across such beautiful stories of the relation between man and their motorcycles and we thoroughly enjoyed bringing Jerrard’s story to you. Do let us know what you think of it in the comments section below and spread the word among the passionate souls you know too. In case you want to know about the Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent click here and Ride Safe!