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Hi. I'm new to the board, but my fascination with Ducatis has been around for a while. I was wondering about the 1999+ 750ss/800ss models. I'm looking for a bike mostly for the street (e.g., commuting, 200+ mile trips into the mountains, etc.). Might do a few track days/track schools, but they would be pretty limited in number. I won't be doing much two-up riding either.

I'm on my second bike, an FZR600, and have several thousand miles under my belt (not a newbie, but not an expert either). I don't need the latest technology, evidenced by the FZR, or the power of a liter bike. I would like something that can carve canyons but still handle in town traffic (and I would prefer that it be a Ducati).

Here are some of my questions:

1. Are the clutches as stiff as some say? Is the slow speed u-turn radius reasonable (for a sport bike)? How do these bikes "carry their weight" at slow speeds? Just trying to gauge metro area/traffic riding.

2. How comfortable are these bikes? My current bike is no sport tourer (in fact, it's a pretty aggressive position), but I can handle 200+ miles a day on it by using my lower body to reduce the weight on my wrists. But that bike is sort of my bottom line comfort-wise. I couldn't ride a bike that's less comfortable than the FZR. And I ain't getting younger.

3. I read on www.motorcycle.com that "countersteering is almost counter-productive" on the 750ss, that you have to body steer it through the twisties. Is that really true? And if so, is that just for the 750ss, or does the 800ss steer that way, too? My current ride will countersteer with ease in the twisties (without having to body steer), and I'd hate to go to something that takes a lot more effort.

4. Is the power difference between the 750ss and 800ss that significant (is it worth ponying up for a later model 800ss)? I know that I'm going to lose a bit of hp but probably gain some torque by giving up the FZR for one of these. I don't need to go faster in a straight line, but I don't want to go substantially slower. (I know that I could look at the 900ss/1000ss, but I'd rather have the lighter 750ss/800ss).

5. How is the seat height of these two models for someone 5'6"-5'7"?

That's probably longer than it needed to be. Sorry about that. Anyway, if anyone could put in their two cents, that would be great.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I noticed that when I switched to heli-bars (wider and more "flat") my 750 sport was easier to counter steer. My theory is that the stock bars are just so narrow and angled downward that it seems like counter steering doesn't work as well. Also the wet clutch in the 750 (I think the 800 is also wet?) is not stiff at all. It's about average.

g
 

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I'll try to answer a few of your questions. There is a little difference in power between the 750 and 800. Brad Black's website has some real world dyno pulls, and the 800 is a lot closer to the 900 as far as output. Add the closer ratio 6-speed gearbox, and the 800 starts to look pretty good.

You're going to want to add some Helibars. I'm about 5'9 and the reach to the OEM clip on's was a bit much. The Helibars helped a bunch.

If you're not in a rush, try to find a clean 03 800SS. The 04-06 800's have the down-graded suspension and 3-spoke boat anchor wheels.

This is just one person's opinion, but I own and ride an 05 800. I love it to pieces.
 

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I read on www.motorcycle.com that "countersteering is almost counter-productive" on the 750ss, that you have to body steer it through the twisties. Is that really true? And if so, is that just for the 750ss, or does the 800ss steer that way, too? My current ride will countersteer with ease in the twisties (without having to body steer), and I'd hate to go to something that takes a lot more effort.
I think we are just misunderstanding each other here but "countersteering" is not something you do on the twisties...."countersteering" is what you do when you put your body weight on the OPPOSITE side of the turn as in a very low speed parking lot type turn. So I'm not quite sure what you mean between countersteer and body steer. With that said however, this thing is a dream in the twisties. I've been trying for ever to get my wife to start hanging off the side of hers and she wont do it, but every time I look back, she's right there hanging with us. I've had the front end get a little wobbly but still a very stable, capable bike for what it is. This thing will go clean to the edge of the tires without even trying. Clutch, you'll get used to. Good thing it's hydraulic. Low speed never been a factor for me. Low speed steering on any sport bike is going to be alittel dicey much below 10mph. Comfort is too opinionated. I did 380 miles in one shot only stopping for gas once and for minimum time. My body and wrist felt fine but I thought my a$$ was gone. If I still rode this bike I'd get a sergeant seat. Power...it's a twin. It's no rocket ship and the current crop of 600 bikes out will smoke this thing in ANY category (except looks or sex appeal) but it's no slouch and that twin torque is just too much fun for me. My wife's about 5'6" and rides every day with no suspension mods. It does have a tall seat heighth though and on level ground her heels are barely off the pavement. I wouldn't say it's ever been a factor though. One other thing I don't like about the older 750's is the frame and wheels have a rougher coating or paint or something on them and they never look clean. Always looks dirty and faded to me. I hate that when you compare it to the newer 800/900/1000's. Good luck.

***desmonoob, didn't you read basic SS modifications part 1??? #1 modification for all SS owners...Get those tie wraps off that frame!!! Just kidding buddy. High-Mounts look friggin awesome. That's gonna be my next purchase for this bike.


 

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galaxy said:
"countersteering" is not something you do on the twisties
What!?

I ALWAYS counter-steer in the twisties.

Mind you, around here, there is nothing except twisties.

But, really, how can you come up with such a statement?

Tom
 

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We must just have a different idea of/definition of the term "countersteering"...I don't know what else to tell ya. That's how I come up with such a statement. Countersteering to me is when say...making a very sharp left hand, slow speed turn you lean your bike far over to the left, turn your wheel to the left, and shift your body weight to the right side of the bike to keep the bike from falling over. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong...sue me. I have never heard the term "countersteering" for what you do in the twisties, so please explain your definition of the term.
 

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I don't know how anybody can even concentrate on reading this thread, with galaxy posting those photos...[please post more]


But, galaxy, what tom is trying to say is this:

to initiate a fast turn in, apply a bit of forward pressure on the "turn side" bar. Ie: left turn, left bar input... this will cause the bike to tip off axis to the left very quickly. try it slowly a few times while going in a straight line and you'll know exactly what he's talking about, you probably do it all the time and don't even realize it.
 

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In other words....when in the full riding position, the young lady should begin the turn with a slight input to her right foot to position the bike, and then provide progressively greater inputs to the left foot to complete the turn.

In no time at all she will be bragging about how nicely she dragged her elbow through the turns.

Further pictures expected !

blade625CT said:
I don't know how anybody can even concentrate on reading this thread, with galaxy posting those photos...[please post more]


But, galaxy, what tom is trying to say is this:

to initiate a fast turn in, apply a bit of forward pressure on the "turn side" bar. Ie: left turn, left bar input... this will cause the bike to tip off axis to the left very quickly. try it slowly a few times while going in a straight line and you'll know exactly what he's talking about, you probably do it all the time and don't even realize it.
 
J

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all of the replies, folks. I would have responded sooner, but I spent the day trying to talk my wife into posing topless on my bike. Still working on that...

Anyway, galaxy, the concept of countersteering that I mentioned is as Tom and blade625CT described. Sounds like heli-bars will help the 750ss/800ss turn more readily in the twisties--thanks for the heads up gomura and DesmoNoob. How much do those generally cost?

Any more general thoughts about the 750ss/800ss? Btw, what is the typical gas mileage for these bikes?

And yeah, please post more pics, galaxy. They're invaluable to my, uh, research...
 

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1. I read that review about the 750SS on motocycleonline years ago. The author is full of sh**. The older SS bikes were slow steering (by sportbike standards), so people who don't know anything but want to pretend they do still complain about the slow steering on supersports. The truth is, the steering geometry on the post '98 bikes is much more in line with other sportbikes, and they are not particularly slow steering. And "countersteering", as the term is normally used, is the only way (practically) to initiate a turn on any motorcycle at any speed that matters. Anyone who says otherwise knows not of what they speak.

2. Skip the 750 and buy an 800 (or used 900) if you possibly can. They are worlds better. And this is coming from the owner of a 2000 750SSie, for reference. All the SS bikes are great fun, but the 750, honestly, needs some more snot to be truly entertaining.
 

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Ahhh yes...I completely agree with all that...but the definition I gave is what I was always taught was "countersteering". I figured pushing left to go right and vice versa was basic motorcycle riding. Don't get me wrong, I have NO confusions about that part. Didn't know the term countersteering was used for that. Semantics...my apologies. Maybe what I was thinking of was called counter balance or some crap like that. Oh well...water off a duc's back. Either way, this bike is not slow in the steering department. How about another photo to smoothe things over...



 

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ummm I was going to post something but I orget now....




oh yeah.. Galaxy.. get yourself a copy of Keith Codes Twist of the Wrist II, best money you will ever spend. I saw an instructor once give a great example of 'counter steering' Push the bar left.. bike will go left.. This bloke rode the bike straight, sat up hands off the bars then just slapped the right bar, the bike leant over, turned 90 degrees right then stood up again... freakiest thing you will ever see.. I'm not game to try that but it re0inforced the lesson.

One more thing.. If your wife rides in that position... I'd follow her anywhere.. but I can see why she has trouble getting her knee down, it's be facing the wrong way. (photo from page one..)

Mal
 

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Gas mileage on my 750 is around 46-50mpg with a 14t front sprocket (stock is 15). That's with a mix of 60/40 twisties/freeway. I think the 800 gets about the same with stock gearing... I'm guessing that the extra gear helps.

Yeah, go with the '03 800 if you can. I *really* enjoy my 750sport but my 650SV will definitely outrun it in a straight so if acceleration is an issue at all, forget the 750.

But I have to say that for me, the acceleration of the sport hasn't been an issue because there is so much to love about the Duc. It just wants to be pushed hard... I can't really explain it but it's more fun to "ring it out" than the SV even though the SV is quicker. The 750 is also much better on the freeway than the SV - much more stable. And at higher speeds, the two bikes feel about the same in terms of power.

G
 

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There must be quite a difference between the 750 and 800 then becasue I know the 800 will run off from an SV650. Don't get me wrong, I know the SV is a very capable bike and a lot of people put them on the track, but the 800 is a better bike...IMO. I also get around 50mpg average with +3 sproket in the rear. Funny thing about this bike too is it seems to get pretty consistent mileage no matter how you run it. That's a good thing.

Man, that guy in the video is my hero!!!
 

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galaxy said:
There must be quite a difference between the 750 and 800 then becasue I know the 800 will run off from an SV650.
Actually, I don't really get it either... Spec wise, the 750 and the SV are very close. The 750 might be a tiny bit heavier and while the SV is rated at 70hp, it's probably more like 65 at the rear wheel. The only thing I can think of that would make a difference is the gearing - the sv is a 6 speed and the 750 a 5.
 
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