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For the past 11yrs, I've been riding Yamaha YZF600's, but I'm ready for a change. I've always liked the look of the Monsters and I love the sound of a Ducati twin...plus I get tired of seeing identical bikes everytime drive down the highway. However, I've been spoiled by the total reliability of my Yamahas. Other than oil changes and a new battery/set of tires once in a while, they were practically maintenance free.

I realize Ducatis have more frequent and expensive maintenance schedules, but that's not a problem for me. I'm not far from a dealer and the money isn't an issue. I'm wondering about real-world reliability...electrical gremlins, fluid leaks, frame cracks, bad bearings, etc.

If I buy a new S2R today, can I expect a trouble free bike for the next few years? Like I said above, scheduled maintenance is fine...it's the unscheduled issues that I'd like to avoid. I take good care of my bikes and I don't "ride it like I stole it" anymore. I don't plan on tinkering with it...other than a set of slip-ons...maybe. It will be a 6k - 8k mile per year weekend bike for rides around the lake and quick trips to the store. I have other options for track toys.

Thanks in advance for any insight or advice.
 

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My personal experience is that modern air-cooled ducatis are as reliable as anything else out there at the moment. Very well proven motors and chassis. Haven't heard of a cracked frame or swingarm on any post- '98 model. FI seems very reliable. Maybe a few voltage regulator problems still? Others may have some experience with that. A few have had some problems with the instruments - mostly wonky tachometers I think. But on balance I don't think these problems are more frequent than with Japanese brands. If I had the money for an S2R1000, I certainly would have no concerns about reliability. My 2000 SS750 has been anvil-reliable.

As for riding it like you stole it, feel free if the mood strikes. These bikes don't mind being thrashed. Tend to use up real tires kinda quick though if you let them.
 

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I have +37k on my '97 m750 and the only real issue I've had was a minor spark plug wire failure this past season, which caused that cylinder to misfire or not fire at all if I hit a bump hard enough. Otherwise, fresh oil every 2k and before every winter storage and spring season, clean up the K&N and valve checks on the intervals and that's about it. And the usual assortment of tires and batteries, obviously. It's not stock by any means, and it is generally ridden in anger more often then not. But every morning it kicks right to life and with the exception of changing a brakelight bulb on one ride, and a dead fuse one other time, I haven't encountered anything 'unreliable' worth mentioning. And to me, in 37k, those are expected failures and hardly qualify as unreliable.

Granted, my bike isn't a new one, but I would be pretty assured that a new S2R will treat you right, especially given your description of how you treat your bikes. And like YellowDuck says, they certainly don't mind being a vehicle of hooliganism, either. It might not be a bad idea to stretch its legs and clear the cobwebs out on occasion ... at least, that's how I justify my (mis)behavior. :p
 
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Thanks for the info guys. I appreciate it. I like to hear of high mileage Italian machines that don't need a ride-along mechanic.

This will be my first foray into the world of V-Twins and I look forward to the low-end torque that my 600cc I-fours have been lacking. I'm much less of a hooligan than I used to be, but I still like to raise the front wheel on occasion...just to extend the tread life, of course. :)
 

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Christon said:
Thanks for the info guys. I appreciate it. I like to hear of high mileage Italian machines that don't need a ride-along mechanic.

This will be my first foray into the world of V-Twins and I look forward to the low-end torque that my 600cc I-fours have been lacking. I'm much less of a hooligan than I used to be, but I still like to raise the front wheel on occasion...just to extend the tread life, of course. :)

If your YZF was the 600R and not the R6, then you are going to have oceans more torque and about the same peak power with the S2R1000. I predict that you will absolutely love it, especially if you do get in the mood to put the wheel skyward. Reportedly it requires nothing but throttle to do that in second, and with a rear sprocket change the same should be true in third.
 

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Christon said:
This will be my first foray into the world of V-Twins and I look forward to the low-end torque that my 600cc I-fours have been lacking.
Oh definitely. And you can pretty much expect the torque and HP to carry along at a nice reliable clip all the way through the rev range.

Throw a slip-on on there, and no I4 will ever compare in exhaust note, either. ;) There's just something perfectly cathartic about it.
 

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my S4R had a GS battery standard, which lasted about 2 years, i replaced it with a made in taiwan GS battery which lasted two weeks, as did the replacement for that. finally i coughed up for a japanese yuasa which has been trouble free. my point is the new stuff can come with crap batteries, when they die replace it with a yuasa (which will cost, but not as much as genuine) and you will have no problems.
 
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