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I'm wanting to buy my first Ducati, and wondering what everyone's opinion is about them being a reliable daily rider. Looking at either a hypermotard or 1098/1198. How reliable are they day to day? Regular main tench cost and intervals? Factory problems? Thanks for any help you can offer guys.


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I would go for the Hyper? Would be more comfortable & better for your licence. ;)

Aircooling, less bodywork & a two-valve motor makes for easier servicing re: belts & shims - the two valve motors are a single cam head with 4 shims per head rather than the twin cam heads of the 1098, 8 shims per head.

They need a lot of looking after but some people, me included - like that! :D

Get a good one & you will have smiles for miles... :)
 

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norcal, I use my ST3 as a commuter pretty much daily when the weather is nice. I've had no problems. My only wish is that I lived further from work!

Will this be your sole means of transport? City driving? Do you do your own maintenance? Buying new or used? The reason I ask is that the bikes tend to be geared a bit high...city driving can be a bit tough (the ST3 really isn't happy until she's doing 20–25 mph, there's quite a bit of clutch play in stop and go traffic).

Maintenance costs tend to be higher with Ducatis than other brands (particularly the Japanese brands). I do my own service and have other means of transportation (so if I'm stumped I don't have to stress out about getting somewhere). If you buy new, you would probably take the bike back to the dealer for the first couple services...before you buy, ask the service department for the service costs of the particular model you're interested in. This will give some heads up as to the cost of ownership (if you choose to go the dealer service route). If you buy used and opt for doing you own service, there are plenty of parts suppliers that offer the routine service parts (belts, shims, oil and air filters, etc.) that will help keep the costs down.

If the bike makes you happy...buy it. Ducatis have lots of character that you'll probably enjoy! Just my 2 cents worth. :)
 

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Both are basically reliable. The Hypermotard is going to be easier to ride at low speeds and in urban, suburban settings. The air cooled engines, have a noticeably lower center of gravity than the water cooled motors.

Ducatis tend to be maintenance intensive. Shorter valve adjustment intervals means if you do 20k a year, you're going to be doing a couple of valve clearance checks, one or two sets of belts and maybe some valve adjustments. Most Japanese bikes call for 15K-20K valve adjustment checks.

While anyone can learn to do a desmo valve adjustment check and adjustment, as with all things, experience helps, so part of the answer on whether a Ducati will make a good daily rider depends on who does Ducati service in your area, how good are they at it, and equally important how good is their service parts inventory. Ducati got rid of their North American parts warehouse years ago, so parts come directly from Italy, which means it generally takes a few day to a week to get stuff. A good service shop, not only knows what parts beyond basic service parts to stock, but invests in having them on hand. For a daily driver with a shorter service interval, making sure decent service is available with a good parts inventory is important.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
norcal, I use my ST3 as a commuter pretty much daily when the weather is nice. I've had no problems. My only wish is that I lived further from work!

Will this be your sole means of transport? City driving? Do you do your own maintenance? Buying new or used? The reason I ask is that the bikes tend to be geared a bit high...city driving can be a bit tough (the ST3 really isn't happy until she's doing 20–25 mph, there's quite a bit of clutch play in stop and go traffic).

Maintenance costs tend to be higher with Ducatis than other brands (particularly the Japanese brands). I do my own service and have other means of transportation (so if I'm stumped I don't have to stress out about getting somewhere). If you buy new, you would probably take the bike back to the dealer for the first couple services...before you buy, ask the service department for the service costs of the particular model you're interested in. This will give some heads up as to the cost of ownership (if you choose to go the dealer service route). If you buy used and opt for doing you own service, there are plenty of parts suppliers that offer the routine service parts (belts, shims, oil and air filters, etc.) that will help keep the costs down.

If the bike makes you happy...buy it. Ducatis have lots of character that you'll probably enjoy! Just my 2 cents worth. :)
No it won't be my only means of transportation. I have a truck also. Just trying to save some gas on the school commute I'm anticipating this fall. I'd be doing city and highway/ back roads riding. I'm working in Yosemite park this summer and would like to have it to do some riding there. Most likely buying used. And currently don't know how to do the maintenance or what would need to be maintained but I'm a quick learner. I'd like the hyper for longer trips. But also just love the looks of the 10/1198 and the whole street bike thing. Local dealers that I know of are good times Ducati in Sacramento. Not sure of any others or how good that shop is.


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Sounds like a "perfect" commute to me! Definitely can see the reason for getting a bike that handles great. I'm sure you'll be happy with either!

If you're modestly mechanically inclined...you should have no problems with maintenance. There are lots of web-based resources to guide you (especially this forum).

Good luck!
 

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A 2 valve Ducati like a Hyper is ideal for commuting.
Learn to do the shims and belts yourself and maintenance costs are relatively cheap.
 

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Bon Vivant
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I'm wanting to buy my first Ducati, and wondering what everyone's opinion is about them being a reliable daily rider. Looking at either a hypermotard or 1098/1198. How reliable are they day to day? Regular main tench cost and intervals? Factory problems? Thanks for any help you can offer guys.
No, it's not a daily rider - buy a Honda if you need a commuter.
 

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Having a Duc as a daily rider is doable, but not practical-when compared to the longer maintenance intervals of say... the I4s, or bikes with less...industrial....top ends.
 

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No, it's not a daily rider - buy a Honda if you need a commuter.
2V Ducs are definitely daily riders. I've done it for 15 yrs. now. But, you do have to do the maintenance and it will cost more. Then again, if you are in a place where you might do 5K mi. a year (weather and all that) belts and valves will be done every two years. Not so bad really.
 

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I yam what I yam
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...Local dealers that I know of are good times Ducati in Sacramento. Not sure of any others or how good that shop is.
I don't know anything about Good Times Ducati, but don't overlook Hansen's BMW & Ducati. They're in Phoenix (south of Medford) Oregon. They have a great crew there, I think it's closer than Sacramento for you too. :)
 

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Bon Vivant
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2V Ducs are definitely daily riders. I've done it for 15 yrs. now. But, you do have to do the maintenance and it will cost more. Then again, if you are in a place where you might do 5K mi. a year (weather and all that) belts and valves will be done every two years. Not so bad really.
I just hate seeing Ducatis treated like this and I see it all the time.
I guess I just have more respect for them then other people do, but god man if this is how you're gonna treat a bike get something that nobody gives a shit about...

 

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I just hate seeing Ducatis treated like this and I see it all the time.
I guess I just have more respect for them then other people do, but god man if this is how you're gonna treat a bike get something that nobody gives a shit about...

It's the little gold wing thing that bothers you isn't it?
 

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I don't see what's wrong with this bike :)

Unless it's a collector item, they are made to be riden. Preferably hard!

Detailing is not for me, i prefer riding.
 

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Mr Leakered
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I don't see what's wrong with this bike :)

Unless it's a collector item, they are made to be riden. Preferably hard!

Detailing is not for me, i prefer riding.
+1 It is just a collection of parts. The connection gives it soul. It doesn't have soul if it is sitting around.

Have a good one.
 

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Ha! That's cleaner than my ST:
That just looks like you got caught in a storm on the way home from work. If you want to see real dirt and grime, you should see my bikes. I almost never wash them. To give you an idea, this is the front of my old Harley. Harleys are supposed to be spotless and shiney, aren't they?

 
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