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We're getting stationed to Naples, Italy, next summer. The military will ship a motorcycle with our move for free. I'm currently bike-less. I want to spend about $10k or less because it needs to be owned outright to ship, no liens. While I would love to buy a Ducati in Italy, it has to be US spec in order to bring it back after my 3 years are up (assuming it doesn't get stolen).

I have a dog and 2 kids, so multiple days exploring Europe on the bike aren't going to happen. However scooting around town (we'll be on the outskirts of Naples by the base), or running down to the Almafi Coast while the kids are in school isn't out of the question. Or getting a weekend day to explore.

I've never had a Ducati before. I started with Honda twins (Hawk GT 650 and VTR1000F Superhawk), then moved to KTM's (690SMC and 990SMT). Living in Miami, FL I couldn't even enjoy a Harley, so I'm bike-less. I am I V-twin junkie though.

I'm torn between a used Multistrada, Monster (821?), or a hypermotard, or a new scrambler. The Muliti would be the most useful with a fairing and luggage ability, but it just isn't sexy to me at all. Very much like my KTM 990SMT that did commuting duties for me a few years ago. I've always loved the looks of the monsters. The 821 seems to be the best fit for me. I've always been happy with about 100HP in a V-twin, no need for 150 the way I ride. The hyper looks pretty awesome too. Either of those and the luggage options to stash rain gear and a water bottle start to get slim.

Thoughts?
 

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It makes sense to me to buy Italian , as long as you have a convenient dealer somewhere close. I am partial to Monsters, but the Scramblers are nice too.
 

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There're 3 Ducati dealers in Naples. There's also 2 KTM dealers. I'm really partial to the KTM Duke 790, especially since I have owned 3 before and have a KTM flag in the garage. However, it's not Italian. While I love Austrian stuff, starting next year they're going to be building Duke's and other lower end bikes at a new factory in China. Arghh.

The issues I'm reading on the monster 821 are the passenger pegs hitting your feet. I have size 13's and ride with the balls of my feet on the pegs. Also the heat in traffic.

I need to look at the scramblers too.
 

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I went from Hawk GT to Ducati SS, TL1000S to 748 and Tuono (and 20+ bikes that are not twins or sporty)

I still have my first Hawk (since 1994!) Have had the Tuono for about 8 years now and recently added Multi 1000S (also BMW R1100S, but not a V twin, and many others, SuMo KTM, Husky Enduro, and so on )

For pure joy of riding my Tuono is the BEST I ever had, it's a Gen 1 Factory, which is 998cc Rotax engine, Ohlins suspension and carbon body. Those Gen1's are hard to find since some magazine voted it best bang for the buck. Gen2 slightly more power but has Canbus, slightly more quirky. V4 Tuono 1000 is a hoot, but it gets shit mileage, if you ask @Chuckracer he might tell you to sell a kidney and buy one... or not, I seem to remember him grinning a lot when we went to VT. @dadridesagain and @flynbulldog have 1100's I think... not sure if you can find that under 10k, but I would definitely look for one with Ohlins and forged wheels, makes all the difference.
 

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I was stationed in Europe a couple of times. Pretty sure it doesn't have to be US Spec to bring back, only a 4 stroke. I'd buy a used bike there and get something cool to bring back. Plenty of guys did that back in the day. If you happen upon a stupid cool 2 stroke, just Radar O'Reilly it and get it back that way. (Look it up if you don't know what I mean)

I'm sure you could find something really cool that fits your budget there. Ducati, or Aprilia or MotoGuzzi, Laverda....there's a bunch of cool Euro only bikes to choose from. I'd dare say if I could do it over again, I'd have shipped home all manner of bikes as parts.....sean
 
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Naples is a unique city, in many ways very different from the rest of Italy. Expect incredible food, friendly people and some of the worlds most congested and chaotic traffic... also expect rampant petty theft.

I would suggest the smaller the better, you will need to weave through city traffic before getting out of the city and it won’t be very comfortable on a large bike.

Enjoy! It is a fantastic city.


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"Iwannaduc, post: 7042960, member: 14976"Pretty sure it doesn't have to be US Spec to bring back, only a 4 stroke.
While I haven't kept up with all the changes over the years (decades, actually) since I was stationed in Germany, I would say that is almost certainly 100% incorrect. If the machine isn't a US market item (EPA and DOT specs), getting it in will take lots of faffing about ahead of time that could/should otherwise be used to ride the thing in Italy. The only thing I am faily certain about regarding non-US spec machines is the 25 year exemption.
 

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What about something like an S4R? A great one will save you $2k+ and it is basically the precursor to all the bikes you mentioned.
 

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While I haven't kept up with all the changes over the years (decades, actually) since I was stationed in Germany, I would say that is almost certainly 100% incorrect. If the machine isn't a US market item (EPA and DOT specs), getting it in will take lots of faffing about ahead of time that could/should otherwise be used to ride the thing in Italy. The only thing I am faily certain about regarding non-US spec machines is the 25 year exemption.
Anything 2000 ish and prior is not going to be an issue. DOT wise, lights is going to be about it. CA spec will be different but if you're military there are exemptions.There were no emissions equipment on bikes prior to that unless it was a CA spec bike. The only CA emissions spec equipment that was required prior to around 2002 was the evaporative emissions system.

Anything after that is where you will need a DOT compliance and EPA compliance decal from the manufacturer of origin. Plenty of info on that around the web. I just know plenty of service members returned from overseas with little gems of bikes only found overseas. Couldn't be too hard to get them home then.

It's been a very long time since I was stationed overseas too...but I still work for the Air Force and up until April of this year, I worked with the folks who moved and received household goods (where your bike would be crated) ....some things might have changed by now, everything does.

I still say, pick up a late 80s to mid 90s Bimota or something difficult to find here in the US even if you have to pull a Radar O'Reilly and mail it home one piece at a time. ? .....sean
 
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Naples is a unique city, in many ways very different from the rest of Italy. Expect incredible food, friendly people and some of the worlds most congested and chaotic traffic... also expect rampant petty theft.

I would suggest the smaller the better, you will need to weave through city traffic before getting out of the city and it won’t be very comfortable on a large bike.

Enjoy! It is a fantastic city.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
+ a million on the traffic - we were just there on a cruise stop in early November, which is the 'off' season'. Traffic is insane. Just getting to the Amalfi coast is a chore because Sorrento is so tight and crowded with traffic.

Scooters and smaller bikes zipping in and out of traffic (our tour van was rear-ended by one), cars pulling in and out - it's chaos. You're going to need some time to adjust to it, and, frankly, riding on 2 wheels in that place would be pretty intimidating.

Smaller is better for sure in this case. I can't imagine trying to pilot a Monster 1200 (or my ZX-14 or large ADV bike) through that traffic.
 
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