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I am looking to get my first motorcycle and am interested in receiving advice from the members here. I have never ridden a motorcycle before and plan to take a three day safety/training course in July. After taking the course I will have my license and be ready for riding. Assuming I enjoy riding as much as I expect I will, I want to purchase a Ducati - and the 800SS seems like the right motorcycle for me.

My question is whether or not I should purchase the 800SS as my first bike, or buy a used bike (such as a Ninja 500 or 600) and get experienced on the used bike before upgrading to the 800SS. The financial aspect of motorcycle ownership is not an issue for me. If I bought the 800SS and did not like it, selling the bike and taking a financial hit is not a big deal. I only mention that in case anyone's advice was to not purchase the 800SS as a first bike because of the financial issues of selling it.

Obviously, I am about as newbie as a 36 year old male could be when it comes to bikes. Any advice you want to give to a soon-to-be first time rider is appreciated. Thanks. Dave
 
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The 2005 ss800 is my first Ducati and 11000+ miles later, so far it has been a great ride. I have not done any upgrades YET (time will tell). My advice is to follow your heart, Get what u want. The horsepower and torque should not be a problem 4u, (77hp and under 60 or so on the torque) I think. The bottom line is as the Ducati sites say, the ss800 is a great intro to the world of Ducati. From there you can go in any direction. Hope u get you Duc
mIlKrAtE (ducman) :)
 

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I think an 800SS would be a reasonable choice for a new rider. The only knock against it, goes for _any_ Ducati for a new rider which is, if you drop it, they cost a lot more to fix than your typical baby-Ninja or other UJMs.
 

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I just turned 55 and that was pretty much my logic. My heart said Superbike, my head said Monster. So an 800 seemed to split the difference quite nicely. No report yet though as I just won an ebay auction and pick the bike up on Tuesday. D
 

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My first bike (your situation, minus 12 yrs) was (is) a 900ss and I don't regret it one bit. Never had any accidents, drops (except by OTHERS, arg), or bad stories except to say that it's not a real fun ride in the city. I have it up in Montreal right now and it's almost not worth taking out, it's such a pig in traffic until it warms up and even then, with summer time temps, I'm sweating in my leathers before you can say heatstroke.

BTW, it's a carb model.

YMMV
 

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Here are my two cents, the 800SS is a fine bike but as your first bike you might want to take off the body work until you have a few thousand miles on her. This way if you drop the bike it will not cost so much to repair. You could also consider a Monster 620/800 as they do not have body work and have a tighter steering lock which would be good for a starter bike. I have a 1995 SS and this is my 15 or 16 bike after 30 years of riding, I love the bike but mine at least would not make a very good first bike. It has a very limited steering lock and is a little snatchy having a built up engine and low gearing. The new ones are lots smoother so dont let that last bit scare you :) .


All this being said the cheapest route would be to buy a old Japanese 600 (99 or newer, Yamaha R6 for example) for a few thousand bucks see if you like the sport and get all of the bike dropping out of the way on something that wont kill you to fix before you buy a new Ducati. A used Ducati would not be bad either but will cost more to buy and fix.
 

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Get a starter bike to start on!!

Your first bike should be viewed purely as a learning tool. Don't get a Ducati - Ducati don't make practical entry level bikes. The closest would be a baby Monster but even that is wildly too expensive for a first bike.

Get a used, small displacement 'standard' bike. These are set up for a more neutral riding position, more compliant handling and ride and they are more comfortable, an important point while you're learning. Also, learning to wobble around on $8000 worth of hardware is nerve racking. Better you start on 1500 dollars worth of easily resellable UJM and not sweat it when you drop it.

The Supersport family is definitely not the best bike to start on. The ergos are too hard, the turning circle is newbie unfriendly and the fairing is just begging to kiss the pavement.

Get a little used Bandit, a Nighthawk or something like that.

Here are some other options - more than 50 bike suggestions...
http://home.earthlink.net/~thebradfords/startsmall.htm
 

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to bad you don't live in utah. I would sell you my 1998 kawasaki ninja 250 for $1500.00. Great starter bike. I think a lot depends on how comfortable you feel riding a bike. some people are just not meant to get on bikes and others need more time to become accustomed to them. I purchased my 250 after taking the MSF course. I can tell you that after 3 weeks of riding around town and along the river parkway, I was ready to move up to something more powerful. I would say a 750 or 800 would work. Remember that the supersports have low handle bars so the reach is a lot more than a typical street bike like those at the msf course. good luck.

steve
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the advice. I think my best route is to take out my learning on a used UJM (I am already throwing the cool Ducati lingo around) before moving up to the Ducati. Must....have....patience.
 

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Deddie - you mentioned way up when that cost wasn't a bugbear for you... if that's the case, then go for a 620 or 800 Monster. Get to love the Duc buzz, and then who knows, the SS might tick your box, or a xx9 or the new Desmoseidici...

The monster is easier to ride (upright), handles as well as the SS, has the same feel to the motor, and has a lot less plastic to snap when it falls over (which it will).

Doing this will also bring you in contact with the dealer and servicing, which will make later trade-ins or upgrades or whatever more appealing (or not)...

If you get some Yamzuwada 600 you'll learn all the wrong things about how bikes should feel. ;)

00.2c
 

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New Rider

This question gets asked like once a month, search the site/archives ...

If you really want a Ducati and don't mind spending the money buy a 500-800 cc Monster or Multistrada. If you don't drop it, it won't cost you that much more (unfortunately, most people drop their first bike and it's more likely if you have a more agressive riding position - SS and Superbikes).

You'll save some cash if you buy a UJM - use and perhaps abuse it a little - for 6 months to a year (the first edition of The Complete Idiots Guide to Motorcycling by Darwin Holmstrom has a good list of first bikes with candid comments - ie before the manufacturers threatened to sue him). Buy the best value you can find locally and ride it, a lot.

Then, later you can put that extra cash toward the Ducati you really want! And people won't stare at you as much, because you won't look like a Ducati rider who doesn't know what he's doing :crazy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HO1CYd6ghRw

Good luck and make sure you buy the best gear that you can, it protects the one thing you can't replace, YOU! (I'm partial to Dainese myself for the comfort and protection, but like anything that's well made - you pay for it)

Ciao
 

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I bought a 1000DS for my first streetbike, and I like it. I am already craving more power.
I think an 800 would be great, and you don't have to worry about upgrading right away.
Just take it slow until you get your feel, and stay away from high traffic situations at first.

Go get it!
 

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An 800SS would make a good first bike if thats what you want. I bought a '94 900SS as my first bike and spent three months before I was really confident on it but was glad I bought what I really wanted and not something else to fill the gap while still lusting for an SS. Once I had her tamed we work well together these days and all the power I desire.

Just watch 'em on the downchange.

Good luck
 
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