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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings multi riders. I have had my eye on a new 1260 S touring for a few months now, the main thing keeping me from pulling the trigger is that there is no dealer support anywhere close to me. I live in North Dakota, and the closest Ducati dealer is in Winnipeg approximately 5 hours away, and that makes me a little nervous. So I am looking for others opinions on if you all would be comfortable with that unfortunate situation, and what the major drawbacks would be for it.
 

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I had a '15 1200S touring and I now have a '17 1200S touring. I live 235 miles from my dealer over 2 high mountain passes. I do a lot of my own work. Oil and filter changes. Coolant and brake fluid and brake pads. Also I do tire changes and chain and sprocket replacement. Each of my bikes required a trip to the dealer the first season for minor recall work (less than 2 hours). That meant a long day trip. This fall I took my '17 in for the 18,000 mile major service. I planned to stay over one night but ended up having to stay a second night. Summary: If you enjoy doing minor work and have the tools and knowledge to minor maintenance, being far from your dealer is not a deal killer. I also have a car that could pull a trailer if needed. When new, these bikes don't need much attention from the dealer. The Multistrada is the perfect bike for me so I can life the the inconvenience of being far from the dealer. If I had a sport Ducati or and older bike I would need a trailer or a van.
 

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Any independent Ducati shops in your area with a good reputation? If so, check with them and see what they can do with the newer bikes (e.g. maintenance indicator reset, etc.).

Otherwise, as noted above, you'll need a dealer at the least for software updates and warranty work.
 

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My dealer is 2.5 - 3 hours away. I’d be concerned if it was much farther because then even basic service is a 2 day trip... which gets expensive.
Though it probably depends on your expected mileage... at 13000 miles a year I’ve generally required about 3 trips a year for dealer service. (Do tires and chains myself... take it in for other stuff).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies! I've figured that I would definitely have to plan on doing most of the routine stuff myself, but wouldn't really be too comfortable beyond standard oil changes, with planning on at least an annual visit to a dealer. It's the unexpected issues that could pop up that have me concerned, like the bike going to limp mode, weird indications and all that.
As far as independent Ducati shops in the area...there is not. The only motorcycle shops in the immediate area are the Honda, Yamaha, and Harley dealers. About 100 miles away adds Suzuki, Kawasaki, and KTM. Seeing any European bike around here is a rarety, and usually limited to a handful of older BMWs.
Ultimately I think it's going to be a situation of getting what the heart wants, and then I'll either regret the situation or not. And should only be in the situation for a couple riding seasons as I plan to move to a more populated part of the country in a about 2 years.
Again, thanks for the replies
 

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Heh, good ol Wildwood Motorsports... I was posted to CFB Shilo in Manitoba from 08 until 2016, I'd rather do your 5 hour ride/drive to Winnipeg than the 2 hour straight (and I mean straight) across Manitoba. Riding was so poor in MB that we would cross the border into ND just to see what a curve looked like.

You're a brave man, buying an Italian bike with no local dealer ;) I thought it was bad having to go 90 minutes to get to mine.
 

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It's a Ducati... there WILL be little things that will annoy you if you can't take it in to get them sorted or do them yourself (and sometimes you can't because specialized equipment is needed). My bike has only gone into limp home mode once due to a throttle issue and that was the only repair it's required that's affected bike performance... but there have been recalls, firmware updates, scheduled maintenance, lost bolts, spongy clutch, self disassembling seat, hard starting when cold, etc...

During my 12,000 mile ride around the US I stopped 4 times at dealers (San Diego CA for tire & Oil Service, Eugene OR for problem with Cush drive, Seattle WA for firmware/service light reset and replacing some lost/vibed lose bolts, State College PA for Desmo Service. Also had a tire changed at a Yamaha dealer in Wyoming.

Some stuff you can get done at other shops (like tire changes if you buy the tool), but if I were you I'd plan on 2 trips a year (and that's assuming you don't crowd on the miles).

If the idea of 2 trips a year gives you heartburn then take that into consideration... better to wait until you're closer to a dealer than to end up hateing Duc's because yours is making your life difficult.
 

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Good points here. I do quite a bit of my own maintenance, tires,chain,sprockets,oil and filter changes and some other stuff on my 2010 Multi. I have 35,000 miles on it and to be truthful it is pretty rock solid. The only major issues are with the 15,000 mile service or demo service. that can take a while to do and plan on parting with $1000.00 to have it done.Question is, would I buy a Ducati if the closest dealer were 5 hours away. answer is, you bet, it's a good excuse for a long ride and hey, it is a Ducati, nothing quite like it.
 

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I have a dealer about an hour and a half in each direction. I’ve never been to either, even though my sister is friends with the owner. I do my own work and order parts on line.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My dealer is 2.5 - 3 hours away. I’d be concerned if it was much farther because then even basic service is a 2 day trip... which gets expensive.
Though it probably depends on your expected mileage... at 13000 miles a year I’ve generally required about 3 trips a year for dealer service. (Do tires and chains myself... take it in for other stuff).
Out of curiosity if you do the basic stuff yourself what are the 3 expected annual dealer visits for? Just random issues?
 

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Hi Mizzle199: An issue will be the "mandated" Ducati services; the first at only 1,000km for an oil change and general check then at 15,000km for the first valve check, again at 30,000km. If you are reasonably technically competent, fluid changes and brake services are pretty straight-forward but if you miss the mandated Ducati services, your warranty will be a problem. I bought a "new" 2017 Enduro a few months ago, old stock from a dealer. The main advantages are that the price was great, I have three years of Internet data on this model and based on this, I felt safe with the bike, and it's got all the goodies except auto shifting. Within the first couple of days of ownership, I was already due for the 1k km service but I only had to ride 30km to the nearest dealer. Good luck.
 

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Hi Mizzle199: An issue will be the "mandated" Ducati services; the first at only 1,000km for an oil change and general check then at 15,000km for the first valve check, again at 30,000km. If you are reasonably technically competent, fluid changes and brake services are pretty straight-forward but if you miss the mandated Ducati services, your warranty will be a problem. I bought a "new" 2017 Enduro a few months ago, old stock from a dealer. The main advantages are that the price was great, I have three years of Internet data on this model and based on this, I felt safe with the bike, and it's got all the goodies except auto shifting. Within the first couple of days of ownership, I was already due for the 1k km service but I only had to ride 30km to the nearest dealer. Good luck.
in the US at least, you cannot be mandated to have any scheduled service performed at the dealer. You only have to keep the records that the work was done.
 

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Out of curiosity if you do the basic stuff yourself what are the 3 expected annual dealer visits for? Just random issues?
9000 mile service (I take it in for both Desmo and Non-Desmo and since I run 12k a year I get to do 2 of them on some years) and in general there are other things that come up. This year the second was Fork service (and there were only two, but it's the first year that there have only been two).
 

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If the idea of 2 trips a year gives you heartburn then take that into consideration... better to wait until you're closer to a dealer than to end up hateing Duc's because yours is making your life difficult.
+1. There have been too many tales of woe with stuff going wrong that only a dealer could figure out or fix. I consider it to be an iffy proposition owning a Ducati even if I lived next to a dealership never mind one hours and hours away. No way man. God forbid the bike turns out to be a real lemon.
 

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+1. There have been too many tales of woe with stuff going wrong that only a dealer could figure out or fix. I consider it to be an iffy proposition owning a Ducati even if I lived next to a dealership never mind one hours and hours away. No way man. God forbid the bike turns out to be a real lemon.
Yeah, my '16 Multi hasn’t needed much warranty work, but what has needed was immediate and pretty hairy in terms of diagnostics and time spent in the shop. The most notable instance is when the semi-active forks shit the bed and only after several attempts at fixes did Ducati authorize a replacement of the relevant computer. No idea how I would have handled that if the dealer hadn’t been just down the street.
 

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in the US at least, you cannot be mandated to have any scheduled service performed at the dealer. You only have to keep the records that the work was done.
The USA/Canada warranty will only pay for parts if non Ducati shop is used; labour is not covered. If anything goes wrong with the work or parts installed by a non Ducati shop, they are not covered by the warranty. Technically Ducati may get away with no cover at all as the owner must "notify an authorized Ducati dealership of any apparent defects or problems within 10 days after the discovery and make the vehicle available for inspection and repairs at that authorized Ducati dealership's place of business". Usual stuff. It is correct to state that using a Ducati dealership is not "mandated" but if you choose to use any other shop while the bike is under warranty then everything will be at the discretion of Ducati and under the terms of the warranty, they are not obliged to pay for anything done by a non Ducati shop.
 

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The USA/Canada warranty will only pay for parts if non Ducati shop is used; labour is not covered. If anything goes wrong with the work or parts installed by a non Ducati shop, they are not covered by the warranty. Technically Ducati may get away with no cover at all as the owner must "notify an authorized Ducati dealership of any apparent defects or problems within 10 days after the discovery and make the vehicle available for inspection and repairs at that authorized Ducati dealership's place of business". Usual stuff. It is correct to state that using a Ducati dealership is not "mandated" but if you choose to use any other shop while the bike is under warranty then everything will be at the discretion of Ducati and under the terms of the warranty, they are not obliged to pay for anything done my a non Ducati shop.
I was only pointing out that an owner need not go to a dealer for the scheduled services to keep the warranty intact as long as records are kept and the services are performed at the right time/mileage. Now once a warrantable repair is needed, yeah, good luck getting that done and paid for without a dealer visit.

More importantly, at least two of my warranty claims required work that included the use of the diagnostic computers besides juat the swapping of parts. I don’t think there are many independent shops that have made that investment.
 

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Greetings multi riders. I have had my eye on a new 1260 S touring for a few months now, the main thing keeping me from pulling the trigger is that there is no dealer support anywhere close to me. I live in North Dakota, and the closest Ducati dealer is in Winnipeg approximately 5 hours away, and that makes me a little nervous. So I am looking for others opinions on if you all would be comfortable with that unfortunate situation, and what the major drawbacks would be for it.
  • The frequency that dealer trips are needed may depend on how many miles you do per year. Assuming that you can do oil changes and other minor stuff yourself the only trips you would have to make would be major services 18K miles and other repairs that it may need from failures. I drive about 8k miles a year and have averaged 1 trip to the dealer each year for other failures not counting major services. Most of my yearly trips to dealer have been for things that have failed but are not necessary to ride the motorcycle (heated grips, fork seals, fuel gauge sensors, warning lights on dash, and recalls) The first service at 5-6 hundred miles is just and oil change the next service at 9k miles is just an oil change so major service is at 18k. If you ride a lot of miles you might consider an extended warranty. I have saved a lot with my warranty because I ride a fair amount. Other people buy a new bike and only ride 2k miles in a year. Your new Ducati will come with a 2 year warranty but purchasing an extended warranty is cheaper when the bike is new vs 2 years old.
 

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You could do a simple oil change yourself, but there is no user interface to reset the oil change warning light. You'd either have to live with the stupid light, or buy something special to reset it. I've had at least 2 recall services done on my 2016. With no Duc service nearby, do yourself a favor and get a Japanese bike. They generally are more reliable, need less service, and are more easily serviced by owner. I'd get a Yamaha or Honda if I were in your place.
 

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Call Ducati and tell them they need to work on enlarging their dealer network outside the coasts. Not like they can just snap their fingers and fix it, but they need to know the demand is there. I mentioned it in a survey they sent me a few years back. A huge area of the northern plains and mountain west is completely void of Ducati service centers, it is a problem for this brand. How many people shy away from taking their Ducati on an epic trip to Beartooth/Lolo Pass/GNP/etc, because they would be epically ****ed if they had a breakdown in those areas, 600+ miles from a dealer?

There may not be the money for a full dealership, but at least let some independent become a fully authorized service center.
 
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