Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, several weeks back I bit the bullet and bought an '04 Strada. Let me first say that this is probably the best all around motorcycle that I've ever driven, so please, anything I say after this, please keep that in mind.

I've gotta sell it. I bought the bike as my only ride, to serve as my daily steed and to also take trips on with the lady - highway work 250-350 mile days tops.

She is a wonderful woman and I love her, but she was weaned as pillion on my Guzzi tourer that I've sold. The Strada has been a really unpleasant shock for her. She doesn't like sitting up that high. She hates the forward slant on the pillion. She doesn't like being kind of "alone" back there with me leaning slightly over the bars and her being away from me and kind of blowing in the wind, she's up considerably higher than me and because I'm forward a bit, she gets a lot more wind than usual. I guess you could basically say that she likes a kind of cruiser or more standard pillion arrangement. We've looked at custom seats and I even bought a top box for her to lean against but that hasn't solved many of the problems mentioned above, nor could a custom seat either. I've just basically decided to sell the bike and get something that both she and I can ride comfortably together (it's not comfortable or pleasant for me either when she's on there and I know she's scared and not relaxed).

Would the GT amend some of this and would it be a good choice based on my riding mentioned above? On our short list is a Bonneville and, please don't throw any tomatoes, a Harley XL1200 Sportster. I could go back to the Guzzi but dealer support is terrible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,545 Posts
I thought about trading my FZ1 for an SC but gave up the idea for the following reasons. First, tube tires are a real hassle when you have a flat out on the road, especially when you are far away from home. Plugging a tubeless tire is much easier. Second, non-adjustable Marzocchi forks just plain suck. Third and last, I do not want a Sachs shock. If I were to own an SC I'd have to replace all of the aforementioned at a cost of many thousands of dollars. It amazes me that Ducati sells these bikes for so much money and give you so little substance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
Schedule a GT test ride with your wife. Seriously, it's the only way you'll have any clue it'll work. There are folks on the board here who love riding two-up with the GT, I'm not one of them. I loved my GT but not for two-up rides of more than a few miles. Personally, my thinking is the Multi is a much better ride for two, but I do understand your personal issues with that seating position. I've also spent a decent amount of time on a Bonnie and, again, my personal opinion, it can't compare with the GT in any way.

For the kind of riding you're describing, I'd look at the R 1200R or maybe a Tiger, but the time I recently spent on a new Tiger was disappointing. But, one last time, these are my personal preferences. Hopefully, some of the GT owners who ride two up a lot will chime in. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
I thought about trading my FZ1 for an SC but gave up the idea for the following reasons. First, tube tires are a real hassle when you have a flat out on the road, especially when you are far away from home. Plugging a tubeless tire is much easier. Second, non-adjustable Marzocchi forks just plain suck. Third and last, I do not want a Sachs shock. If I were to own an SC I'd have to replace all of the aforementioned at a cost of many thousands of dollars. It amazes me that Ducati sells these bikes for so much money and give you so little substance.
Right on most counts, bruce19. We don't get our money's worth with the Sport Classics, PS excluded, but we buy them anyway. Ducati has successfully tapped into the nostalgia craze of the babyboomers. These bikes remind many of us what motorcycles used to be like when we were younger. Then after purchasing one many of us correct the bike's most glaring shortcomings and are then happy with them. I do think the Sachs shock isn't too bad for general riding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,822 Posts
The GT rear seat is not very good for most people. It does not have the problems she is having with the MS, but the stylish curve of the rear of the seat does not support the cheeks very well, especially if she has substantial cheeks. A custom workover of the seat might solve this, but the pan just doesn't exist out there in the corners. The Comfort seat is better for the passenger, but still suffers somewhat from the same issue. Because they don't rely strictly on foam, someone like Russell could probably make a very comfortable seat for the GT, for both rider and passenger, but I'd hate to think what it would look like.

As far as I know, nobody makes sport-bikes, or even pseudo sport-bikes, with really good passenger seats, especially ones that are at the same level with the rider. It simply isn't in fashion anymore. I certainly understand that's why you're looking at retros like the GT and the Bonnie.

The Bonnie may be a good solution. I don't know that seat well, but it looks promising. Likewise the Scrambler. Otherwise, BMW is probably your best bet. They seem to be the only maker who thinks you're going to put anything other than a teenage girl on the back of your bike (until you get up into the big touring bikes). This is true even for Harley. None of the Harleys have near as good passenger seating as BMW until you get up in to the Electra-Glide type machines.

As far as the other comments:

I don't agree that "non-adjustable Marzocchi forks just plain suck," but ours certainly do. They managed to make some Monsters with similar forks that didn't suck. I don't know why they weren't able to do it for us.

Tubeless tires are definitely the wiser choice in a commute bike.

The Tiger requires some serious inseam length, especially when you have a passenger on it. If you have that kind of inseam, then a BMW GS is a fantastic choice but lots more money.

The other advantage BMW has here is that, even though BMW isn't famous for super comfortable seats, at least they give you plenty of seating area, and, since BMW riders tend to be really picky about good seating (for both rider and passenger), there are TONS of aftermarket seating options available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
My girlfriend and I think the GT is great for light duty touring. But maybe that's just because of what we're accustomed to. Prior to the GT we did all day rides on my old Kawasaki Z1000. The passenger seat that on that thing was a tiny perch with no leg room. In comparison, the GT is Cadillac.

I have the comfort seat now, but she never complained about the stock one. She does like the saddle bags because they make her feel "hooked" in. The forks suck as delivered (something you'll notice more than your wife), but race tech springs with proper weight oil don't cost a lot and make a huge improvement. I upgraded the shocks on mine as well.

I haven't had any tank issues (thank God), but many have. Ducati seams to be willing to replace them even out of warranty though.

Stock, the bike gets around 50 miles a gallon, highway. However, once you install Termis and the DP ECU the mileage drops significantly. But the range is still long enough that by the time we need gas, we could use a break anyway.

Tubeless wheels are certainly better for touring. I went with the Alpinas which get rid of the tubes, shave some pounds, and keep the spoked look, but they are pricy. You can get take off aluminum wheels for a lot less, or seal the stock wheels yourself for next to nothing.

All in all, I'm very happy with my GT. It's not the best tourer. It's not the best sport bike. It's not the best commuter. It's not the best at anything, but it does everything well. If I could afford to have multiple bikes, I'd have no need for the GT. However, I can only have one, to commute to work, to take to the track, or to ride across the country, and this one meets all of my needs with style and swagger very uncommon in "practical" motorcycles. It's good looking, light weight, has a gem of an engine, draws attention everywhere it goes, and is as reliable as it gets for a Duc. You'll probably have to spend a little to work the kinks out, like the suspension, but you really don't have to break the bank. Search around here and you'll find several inexpensive, high payoff mods.

After the Multi I don't think you'd be satisfied with a Bonneville or Sportster. The Bonny just doesnt have the guts and while the Sporty has a great engine, it's overweight and not nearly as athletic.

My $0.02. Take a test ride and see what you think. Good luck on your decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,545 Posts
Right on most counts, bruce19. We don't get our money's worth with the Sport Classics, PS excluded, but we buy them anyway. Ducati has successfully tapped into the nostalgia craze of the babyboomers. These bikes remind many of us what motorcycles used to be like when we were younger. Then after purchasing one many of us correct the bike's most glaring shortcomings and are then happy with them. I do think the Sachs shock isn't too bad for general riding.
Just to clarify, I'd love to own a SC if Ducati improved it in the ways I suggested. I, too, love the look and the sense of "what motorcycles used to be." And, the DS motor is one I've always lusted for. My own opinion about the Sachs shock is that, while you may be right about general riding, two up for any distance will highlight it's inadequacies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,545 Posts
FWIW, I owned an '04 Triumph Sprint RS for several years. It was the best all around bike I've ever owned. It was used as a sport-tourer and IMHO it leaned to the sport side. The triple motor was amazingly versatile. All my BMW and ST4 riding buddies were impressed with the Sprint. My gf and I rode from CT to OH for a rally and she was comfortable for a couple hours at a time on the stock seat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
what bike

Well, a few things.

First, fantastic advice from everyone, yay or nay, very appreciated and much help.

Second, I do love that engine in the GT/Multi (1000DS). I know going to an XL Harley, even the XL being "lighter" than a typical Harley, or even a Bonnie is going to be a bit of an adjustment. Still not sure if it's one I want to make, but it is one that I'm willing to entertain since getting performance and pillion comfort rarely reside in the same universe. And, Harley's huge aftermarket pillion and luggage choices, I must admit, is attractive in its own way.

Third, this HAS to be my one bike. If I had more money, I'd have more bikes and probably wouldn't even be asking this question right now, I'd be keeping the Multi for me and we'd probably be rocking on a Road King or K1200GT (if they weren't so damned ugly -hate fully faired bikes).

Fourth (why am I numbering these :D I dunno), she and I both know the value of Beemers; yet, we both kinda hate the flying wing look of the more tour oriented ones. The f800gs seemed to sit well on both of us when we perched on one at the dealership. With the Tiger, and somewhat with the GS, I fear we would be back to a little bit too much of the issue with the Strada, that is, pillion too high up for her comfort and so forth.

I know modern Ducs are fantastically reliable and the company is pretty awesome all around, but I don't get why they haven't properly addressed or fixed the tank problem - it's quite obviously an "issue". No word on whether '09 touring GTs have any measure done to correct this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
test rides and tank issues

Forgot to mention these last two on the last post.

We would absolutely love to take the bike for a test ride; however, it seems damn near impossible since the dealer doesn't have one here (Louisville KY) and I don't know anyone who has one for sale in a 200 mile radius. But with the unfortunate purchase of the Multi, we have bound and declared that we'll never buy another bike without getting a ride on the model prior to purchase.

Lastly, I just spoke with my Duc dealer and he "claims" they have solved the tank issue with the newer models, claiming it was, and I'm not sure I heard this correctly, it was a "venting" problem. Hmm.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
as with all advice, you always have to look at it from the perspective of the person giving it...

my gt was my first street bike (long-time dirt biker) and the first bike my then-girlfriend/now-wife ever sat on. i looked at a lot of bikes and was also focused on a "one-bike solution" and the gt did it all for me.

neither of us have ever ridden beemers or toured on american iron, so they both may very well be wonderfull and better - i just fell in love with the style, sound, well... everything about ducatis. when i did test rides on a multi, st3, sport 1k, monster and gt, i actually had the salesman ride me around pillion so i could compare how she was going to feel on the bike. the gt was (for me) the best of the bunch.

from day 1 she loved it, maybe because she doesn't have the "substantial cheeks" that the major refers to (no offense, maj ;)) but we've done several big trips (big for us) and lots of little ones and it has worked out well for us.

who knows - maybe if we took a designated tourer on a trip we'd come back wanting one...

ps: the bikes i had narrowed my list down to were the guzzi griso, the gt and the sprint st. the guzzi was just too heavy and i didn't dig the bulky/wide engine, the sprint had too much plastic/fairing/etc. for me, but both are very nice rides!
 

Attachments

·
Resident Raggamuffin
Joined
·
9,712 Posts
BP, have you tried different windscreens on the Multistrada? I know it won't necessarily fix the rear seat height issue, but it might alleviate some of the airstream problem. i think you said you tried the comfort passenger seat, i don't have much more to offer there other than having a custom seat made to her liking. again, that doesn't fix the height issue, but could make it more bearable. anyhow, as for the GT1000, i own one, and i'm not certain how it would ever make a great longer haul sport cruiser but i will say this: you can upgrade the suspension on these motorcycles without spending a lot of money. i chose WORKS here in California to make me a set of custom made billet rear shocks (dual-rate springs) and did the popular race tech springs/oil fork mod. those two changes have made a noticeable improvement in the ride which would especially help in your case (two-up riding). it's too bad that your wife/passenger doesn't like the MTS, i consider it the absolute best all-purpose (sans real dirt) motorcycle i've ever ridden.

best success with the research and whatever motorcycle you might choose.

regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,677 Posts
As bruce19 said, if you go with the GT you'll have to change a bunch of gear on it... and it's costly. I've owned my S1K for almost 2 years now and I'm finally close to have it done the way I think it should have come stock.

We all have different reasons for getting the bike we want. judging from your (and your wife's comments), I'd say go with a beamer...

If I were you I'd get an R1200R, roughly $1K more than the GT.

Try to stay away from the triumph and the Harley if you can...
good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
Any BMW, sport tourer with a corbin seat is hard to beat. I put 30,000 miles on a 04 K1200GT in one year. About 10-12K two up with no seat or wind complaints from my lady. Im sure there are other bikes that can say the same, thats just one of them. Good Luck. Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
May I make a suggestion? Kawasaki ZRX1200.

Retro styling, plenty comfortable, handles well, and ,man, that engine...around 115 hp and 80+ lbs stock, but you can build it into a real beast. A guy I know (who also has 999) has one built with nos putting out 'busa numbers and it looks deceptively stock. The ultimate sleeper, for embarrassing squids while still looking innocuous to law enforcement and insurance agents.

It has true all day ergos, for pilot and passenger. The rear seat is stepped, but not as much as the the Multi's. Bullet proof engine. Plenty of aftermarket parts, including hard bags and top boxes. Extremely versatile. And you can pick up a gently used specimen for a song. Unlike other used and abused Japanese sport bikes, these were purchased mainly by nostalgic older riders (not unlike the SCs), and therefore tend to have been better cared for. There are plenty of other UJMs that are just as handy (Bandit, VFR, FZ1), but this one actually has character. Based on the bikes you'e considering, something I believe you value.

Here's a review:
http://www.motorcycledaily.com/26march01kawasaki2001zxr1200r.html

Another option is getting a late '90s Triumph Thunderbird, lowering the bars and putting a decent suspension on it. A local rider has one cafe'd out (similar to the last pic) with a 3 into 3 exhaust that sounds sick. It's like a bonneville but with a 100 hp, 1st gen speed III engine. His has over 88 thousand miles and is still running strong.

There are a lot of other options too. These are just a couple that I considered before deciding on the GT.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top