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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 3:46 pm   #1 (permalink)
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Ducati Reliability?

Hey everyone. I have fallen in love with Ducati's, as I am sure most of you have. I am currently looking for a bike and was wondering about their reliability. Is there anything special that needs to be addressed. This is my only concern as this will be my main source of transportation. I have a car but would prefer riding the bike, so I can save money on gas.
Let me know of anything I should be aware of.

Thanks

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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 3:54 pm   #2 (permalink)
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the biggest problem Ive had with all the ducks Ive owned:

Whoever designed the rear brake needs to be shot - i swear every bike I have ever had you have to bleed the thing like once a month for it to even 1/2 ass work.

Outside of that - traditional vehicle issues that you see on most bikes. People may complain about valves a bit... given the 6k mile service intervals you may not see that large of a savings overall if you are using it for a daily commuter. Sure you will save on gas, but if you get a superbike you will most likley plow thorugh depreciation, tires, services, etc faster than you will in a car. Remember: 20k miles is nothing on a car @ 20k miles on a duck (or any bike) people tend to look at others so the depreciation is high (resale low) on high milage bikes. [im sure this will cause a stir]
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 3:55 pm   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome Ban1dit...now please learn to use the Search button and check the hall of wisdom
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 4:28 pm   #4 (permalink)
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Like everything else that is mechanical, If your good to the machine it will be good for you.

My rule of thumb for the valves are. The more you hit the rev limiter the more valve adjustments you'll have.

I own multiple Duc's, and the only trend I see is frequent clutch fluid changes, until you upgrade the slave cylinder.

I personally haven't had any rear brake issues. my 2 cents
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 4:50 pm   #5 (permalink)
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I'm going to advise you to get a nice air cooled two valve bike. Monster, MTS, Sport Classic, or a good condition low mile SS if you can find one, if it's going to be your main transport. Cheaper and easier to maintain, lots of torque for the street. The air cooled motors are anvils and will run and run. That said, I use my 749 pretty much every day. So I'm doing what you're doing with a 4valve bike, that's really not built for it, not comfortable enough for most people in the commuter role. I have almost 32,000 miles on my bike, commuting, some touring, back road scratching, saturday night trolling, and a couple of track days thrown in for good measure. Total failures, 1 bad front brake master cylinder replaced under warranty at 11,000 miles. 1 failed fuel pump assembly (broken wiring harness) at 27,000 miles. I've worn out too many sets of tires to remember, 1 clutch and 1 chain and sprocket set. I've had no failures that are typical "DUCATI" type failures as they could have happened to any bike. My Duc has more miles on the clock than most sport bikes of other makes I've seen. In fact my Katana "93, has less miles than my '03 Ducati. (And I've had more problems with it.)

To be honest I did have one problem that kept the bike down for a month and a half when I replaced the clutch. However, it was due to my own mistake in trying to go cheap that caused the problem. If I had done the proper replacement in the first place the problem would never have happened, not the bike's fault.

So, bounce around the site. Read the goods and the bads, decide then. Careful, these bikes are additive, even with all the weird quirks; they will get under your skin. Then you're stuck with them. You may have others, but there will always be a Ducati in your garage. (Go ask my wife, she has a special name for the 749, and I can't write it here in nice company... )
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 6:27 pm   #6 (permalink)
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greetings, and my 2 cents

hello ban1dit,

i agree with all the previous posts. if you take care of the bike, it should be fairly reliable. i haven't had any major issues and hopefully won't in the future. it's run every time i've wanted and has never left me stranded. knock on wood.

yes, you will save money on gas, but you're going to end up spending that savings + a whole lot more on the bike, and not just for scheduled/unscheduled servicing. there are a lot of aftermarket parts to buy, too many in fact.

i currently own a 2000 748 that i purchased 2 years ago. since then, i've put on about 6000 miles/year, mostly commuting (bike has about 13000 miles on it). last year, at the 6000 mile service, i did the work myself and didn't spend a whole lot of money. the biggest expense was the tires, about $400 for pirelli's.

currently, i have the bike apart for the 12000 mile service (i know i'm late, but i couldn't stop riding). so far, i've spent $300 on new tires (yes, they run out that fast; this year switched to michelins to hopefully get a little extra mileage out of them), about $450 on a new clutch basket and friction plates, and about $350 for new chain and front/rear sprockets. i've also spent about $200 buying new tools to do these things myself. so far, that's $1400 on parts and i haven't even started checking my valves. hopefully, everything is good there, but this can potentially cost a lot. i don't think i'm going to have to replace all these things every 2 years, but eventually, they will need to be replaced again.

in the long run, that ducati will cost you instead of you realizing any savings on gas. that's what a prius is for.

with that said, i'm happy that i bought the bike. i can't imagine owning any other bike (at least until i can rationalize owning more than one bike). and although i was cursing up a storm every time i whipped out my credit card to purchase a part, i can't wait to have it all back together to ride again.

i think it's a good idea that you're looking around this forum before purchasing, but don't let some of the posts scare you (especially mine). i didn't find this forum until after i purchased my bike, and i started reading all these threads about people needing help cause their bike wouldn't start, or they had flaking rockers, or plenty of other things that can go wrong. i thought i was going to be spending money every month fixing my bike. but as a lot of members have said, you'll see more posts about things going wrong than not. after all, nobody is going to post "rode to work today, no problems on the duc".
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 7:23 pm   #7 (permalink)
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Mine coulda been a Honda.

Ducatis Do have a serious appetite for carbon bling. You will constantly want to please her with more of it, too.
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 7:39 pm   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Cebrian View Post
I'm going to advise you to get a nice air cooled two valve bike. Monster, MTS, Sport Classic, or a good condition low mile SS if you can find one, if it's going to be your main transport. Cheaper and easier to maintain, lots of torque for the street. The air cooled motors are anvils and will run and run. That said, I use my 749 pretty much every day. So I'm doing what you're doing with a 4valve bike, that's really not built for it, not comfortable enough for most people in the commuter role. I have almost 32,000 miles on my bike, commuting, some touring, back road scratching, saturday night trolling, and a couple of track days thrown in for good measure. Total failures, 1 bad front brake master cylinder replaced under warranty at 11,000 miles. 1 failed fuel pump assembly (broken wiring harness) at 27,000 miles. I've worn out too many sets of tires to remember, 1 clutch and 1 chain and sprocket set. I've had no failures that are typical "DUCATI" type failures as they could have happened to any bike. My Duc has more miles on the clock than most sport bikes of other makes I've seen. In fact my Katana "93, has less miles than my '03 Ducati. (And I've had more problems with it.)

To be honest I did have one problem that kept the bike down for a month and a half when I replaced the clutch. However, it was due to my own mistake in trying to go cheap that caused the problem. If I had done the proper replacement in the first place the problem would never have happened, not the bike's fault.

So, bounce around the site. Read the goods and the bads, decide then. Careful, these bikes are additive, even with all the weird quirks; they will get under your skin. Then you're stuck with them. You may have others, but there will always be a Ducati in your garage. (Go ask my wife, she has a special name for the 749, and I can't write it here in nice company... )

+1 and the others as well. +2 on getting a 2v Ducati. They have excellent torque, plenty fast enough, much easier to service yourself (valves), bulletproof motors and they have the same basic parts as the SBKs; trellis frame, adjustable forks and many with Ohlins rear shock. I had an 01 SS and loved it, in fact the exhaust note was better than my 916. I had Remus Ti slip ons. When I finally got the suspension dialed in, I swear I was just as fast on it as I was on the 916. To me a Monster or Multistrada would be the best in the line as a commuter/ride bike. Its about the upright position, much better visual in traffic compared to the sportbike stance.
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 9:50 pm   #9 (permalink)
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I have 18,000 miles on my 748 and I've never been stranded, but it's had more nuisance type failures like, slave cylinder, two oil sending units, cam bearing failed, broken clutch pushrod, two fuel pump relays, worthless rear brake, and some still undiagnosed intermittent sensor issue related to a well warmed up bike. I'll soon find out if the dreaded flaking rocker problem has plagued my bike as well. Price and parts availablity can be disappointing depending on your expectation. To put that into perspective, my Kawasaki ZRX1200 has 44,000 miles and it has had absolutely no problems at all. All in all, I still love my Ducati though.
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 11:13 pm   #10 (permalink)
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The damn things are ALWAYS breaking down. We only get them cos they make the bitches wet.
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