Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been lusting after a ducati for longer than I can remember. Longer than I've ridden motorcycle anyway. This is the year I finally think I will able to pull the trigger on one- My wife even seems to be enthusiastic about it and she doesn't ride! I'm eyeing either a Monster 696 or a Scrambler but there is one thing that makes me nervous- I live over 2 hours away from any certified Ducati dealers/shops. Everyone around here rides a Japanese superbike or a Harley Davidson- which all have shops in town. Almost everyone I speak to in my town talks about ease of maintenance of the types of bikes they ride vs the "troublesome, high maintenance european bikes".

I would consider myself a more than competent amateur automotive tech. Nothing against people who rely on dealers/shops for maintenance or repair- my dad just brought me up to know my machines. I do all of my own work on my automobiles- replaced transmissions, starters, alternators, filters, flushes- aside from heavy duty or specialized jobs like drive train U-Joints or a helicoil. My current bike is a 2002 GSXR600 which I have maintained myself without much trouble. I can't imagine maintaining an Air Cooled, 2 valve per cylinder Monster 696 or Scrambler would be even equally as involved as the GSXR. I can't see why I couldn't do belts, chains, valves, brakes, bearings, etc. Are there specialized tools involved that are unique to Ducati's? Special knowledge or tricks? Or am I just getting spooked by people who aren't up to the task of doing their own maintenance work.
 

·
Just Visiting Your Planet
Joined
·
9,481 Posts
Don't get spooked. They're just mechanical devices.

Many people here on the site do a lot of their own maintenance. There are service manuals and videos on the web that walk people through lots of different procedures.

You may need a specialized tool once in a while, but you'd be surprised how many of us have come up with homespun tools and work-arounds that do the job just as well for a fraction of the price. And you can find most of that info right here on the forum.

If you're a half-way decent mechanic like you say, you should have no problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That's nice to hear. It was starting to seem like every time I spoke of Ducati someone (who never owned a Ducati or did their own maintenance) started going "Ooooh I hope you know what you're getting into!" or "You better make sure Rod's Rides can service Ducati's". It seemed to be a very popular opinion, but why? I do not know.
 

·
comrade moderator
Joined
·
26,799 Posts
That's all well and good until your computer starts throwing codes and you need an official Ducati dealer to plug in their special computer to figure out whats wrong and maybe fix it. This forum is full of those horror stories. It's not the oil changes and valve checks you need be concerned with. It's the electronics.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,134 Posts
I agree with both Yorik and Chuckracer. Nothing mysterious about the mechanical stuff. Same systems as the other bikes. Any modern ECU controlled bike can toss codes. Some are easy to decipher (with the help of the internet and this forum) some are more challenging. I say go for it...make your friends jealous with your Italian mistress!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,996 Posts
Stick with the air cooled 2 valve models and you shouldn't have any problems.

Lots less electrical stuff to worry about means more fun riding....!!:)
.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,385 Posts
I agree with what others said.

When I bought my first Ducati I had an hour drive to the dealer, when I went to work for that dealer we had customers who traveled cross country for service so I stopped complaining. If you would not make the drive to your dealer I suggest you buy an older less electronic bike or plan on buying some software.

The bikes you are looking at should be good Ducati's to work on but an older s2r or earlier would be easier. You should have no issues with basic maintenance on any 2-valve so if you are only worried about electronics buy a new one with a warranty. 2- valvers are as simple as it gets and do not need crazy maintenance or expensive parts to keep going. the only reason the Japanese bikes have lower maintenance is because no one does it. run them and and then sell them before the big service is due.

Jump in you will be fine. Pay more attention to getting a good one if buying used than shopping on price. get one that has been maintained and is in good shape and it should serve you well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Yea it seems like you'll be fine. I just did my first Desmo valve adjustment on a 900ss, fairly straight forward and easy. Like anything just pay attention, take your time, and check your work.

However I am a little concerned that you consider installing a helicoil a specialized job... haha >:)

Find a bike with maintenance records, and check out a few if possible.
 

·
comrade moderator
Joined
·
26,799 Posts
...if you are only worried about electronics buy a new one with a warranty.
That's great advice...as long as you have a dealer nearby. If you don't then you need the means to transport the bike to the dealer and the patience to drop it off and leave it, then make the return trip to collect it...and hope it's sorted. From what I'm reading on here there's a good chance you'll do that more than once. I'd keep the GSXR around, personally.

I'm one of those nut-cases who bought a new 749 from BCM...and took it back to them for the first service - and I'm 12 hours away! I didn't have a problem doing that, and I never had a problem with the bike, but the "service reminder" was on for the majority of the 23k miles I put on it.

Dealer 2 hours away? Hell, that's as good as next door!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,103 Posts
I have been lusting after a ducati for longer than I can remember. Longer than I've ridden motorcycle anyway. This is the year I finally think I will able to pull the trigger on one- My wife even seems to be enthusiastic about it and she doesn't ride! I'm eyeing either a Monster 696 or a Scrambler but there is one thing that makes me nervous- I live over 2 hours away from any certified Ducati dealers/shops. Everyone around here rides a Japanese superbike or a Harley Davidson- which all have shops in town. Almost everyone I speak to in my town talks about ease of maintenance of the types of bikes they ride vs the "troublesome, high maintenance european bikes".

I would consider myself a more than competent amateur automotive tech. Nothing against people who rely on dealers/shops for maintenance or repair- my dad just brought me up to know my machines. I do all of my own work on my automobiles- replaced transmissions, starters, alternators, filters, flushes- aside from heavy duty or specialized jobs like drive train U-Joints or a helicoil. My current bike is a 2002 GSXR600 which I have maintained myself without much trouble. I can't imagine maintaining an Air Cooled, 2 valve per cylinder Monster 696 or Scrambler would be even equally as involved as the GSXR. I can't see why I couldn't do belts, chains, valves, brakes, bearings, etc. Are there specialized tools involved that are unique to Ducati's? Special knowledge or tricks? Or am I just getting spooked by people who aren't up to the task of doing their own maintenance work.
I'm closer to 3 hours from my dealer/shop... and I've made the trip more often than I'd like in the year I've owned it, but nowhere near enough times to make me regret getting the bike. Yes European bikes are primadonna's but they also have a capability mix I didn't find in the Japanese offerings (adv/sport/touring market anyway).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
My GSXR has thrown codes before and it was pretty simple to fix on my own, but that is because I could find what they meant online. Mostly sensors that needed to replaced here or there. The bike was a beater when I got it so I wasn't afraid to sink some of my own tools into it. People seem pretty helpful on this site so I'm sure I could get advice if I had a bike surprise me with one.
Good to know that there are people loving Ducati's when they are much further away from dealers than me. I'm not worried about getting one with a warranty so much. Chances are I'll be grabbing an older one that has already had it's break in and first service at the very least.

I am the type of person to stay away from more involved electronics. Never had a bike with ABS or power modes before and would probably like not having to deal replacing coolant in a liquid cooled engine like my GSXR. The more relaxed seating position would be nice too. I know there are Japanese offerings like the Gladius. Even the new Yamaha XSR900 looks great, but they just would't scratch that Italian itch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
I'm going to guess that Lakeville is the place 2 hours away. My brother drives from the Cities to Winona every weekend and I ride that area of WI multiple times a year just for the day.

I'll be down there the weekend of May 20th for a ride. PM me if you'd like to join

Anywho good luck in your search
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,198 Posts
The service intervals are so long now, just how often do you need to do maintenance that requires special dealer owned tools.

I don't know many on non-touring bikes that ride 6000 miles per year. A visit to the dealer every third year isn't so bad.

These bikes are more reliable than they used to be. In the 90's we lived in fear of major mechanical problems.

Today, it's a different world with mechanical reliability assured. Glitches seem to be more electrical or electromechanical in nature with modern bikes in general.

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
The service intervals are so long now, just how often do you need to do maintenance that requires special dealer owned tools.

I don't know many on non-touring bikes that ride 6000 miles per year. A visit to the dealer every third year isn't so bad.

These bikes are more reliable than they used to be. In the 90's we lived in fear of major mechanical problems.

Today, it's a different world with mechanical reliability assured. Glitches seem to be more electrical or electromechanical in nature with modern bikes in general.

Bob
Very true statement. And the OP is looking at two models that don't have a huge need for much dealer contact.
 

·
comrade moderator
Joined
·
26,799 Posts
It's not the mechanical issues you need to be concerned with these days...it's the electrical and computer issues. For those you need a dealer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
It's not the mechanical issues you need to be concerned with these days...it's the electrical and computer issues. For those you need a dealer.
Chuck is right and you just have to decide if it's worth half a day getting your bike to your dealer if a problem arises. For me it would be worth it. I bought my first Duc 2 years ago and the nearest dealer is 6 hours away. But after lots of research and you tube videos I decided I would do my own maintenance and so far no problems doing oil changes, belts and valves on my 1999 ST4. MotoCorsa in Portland Oregon has made a deal with our Local Ducati club to have a bike shipped round trip for 400.00 with a local shipper. Ducati's can be expensive and I figure If I was really stumped that would be a option. This is a great forum and it"s one of the reasons I decided to get my dream bike if any problems arise. I would say go for it, I'm going to add a air-cooled, 2 valve bike this year to my stable and use my ST for my long rides, at least that's the story I'm feeding my wife.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Well if my first post is any indication, this is quite a helpful forum indeed! Thanks for all the input guys. Seems like now all I have to do is decide whether to go for the Monster or the Scrambler
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top