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Should I get a Ducati?

1193 Views 34 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  DaveNZ
8
Hello everyone :)

Question for ya's ...

So I passed the Riders Safety Course with flying colors, and would like to advance into the Intermediate cCourse when the time comes (500 miles of riding, I think the rule is?); which is done with your own bike, instead of one they provide. However, I don't have a lot of money, and I want I bike that I can proud to own, since I intend to keep it. I'm 40 years old (I look 27), and just got out the Marine Corps; so while I have the energy of a young guy who can't wait to go fast, I actually have the wisdom of an adult, and have no intention of being reckless with my first bike. I just want something I can enjoy riding, and to save money on gas, since I drive a Jeep Wrangler (JK), lol. Granted I'm looking at sport bikes, I plan on being very careful; I have a wife and 5yr old daughter to consider, so I'll be treating it more like a touring-bike than ever attempting to see it's limits.

That being said, I want a cool bike! :D
I like sexy things, and believe I have pretty good taste.
So I'm wondering what you guys recommend, because I have limited options where I'm from (central PA, also known as "Pennsyltucky"), and a limited budget. In other words, most of the bikes I see listed for sale around here, are either missing titles, have road-rash on them from being dropped, or they're nice but way over budget ...

So I've narrowed it down to two that don't seem so bad, and I'd like to know what you guys think. Mind you, I do care a lot about "community"; I've been a car guy my whole life and have been a member of the Toyota Supra/Lexus SC300 community for nearly 20yrs, so I'm the type who sticks to his pride so to speak. From what I gather (having heard from friends who ride, and general internet discussion on FB groups, etc.), Ducati has a pretty tight group. Is that true?

Deep down, I really want the Ducati, because A. I've always loved the 748 Monoposto, so even though that's out of my price range, owning any Ducati is the next best thing to having my actual dream bike ... And B. I know the reputation this brand has for producing excellent bikes. (And there might be a C. although I prolly shouldn't say it haha ... My neighbors one of those guys who thinks he knows everything about anything, but never has a positive thing to say when you ask him a question, "Awww you don't want that bike, because ...", or "Ohh, that car has this problem, which means you're gonna ..." or "Yeah, but shooting that gun is gonna cause this issue ..." and now he wants everybody to bow to his new Harley Davidson. :rolleyes:

So I kinda wanna get a Ducati even more now, because, uhh ... 馃が his Harley Davidson 馃槒

And I feel horrible even saying this, cus he's a good friend, but even his wife told mine (on the DL) "He's pissing me off with this damn Harley Davidson thing." lol.

But that's not gonna be the deciding factor. 馃槄
What I need to know is, which bike will I be able to appreciate for many years to come, and also not die on?

So my options are:
1991 Honda: CBR 600 F2
2001 Ducati: 750 Sport (why is there no fuel gauge on it?)

Whattya's think?









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Both would make fine rides. However, one will get you into quick trouble, whilst the other will teach you everything you need to know, about Ducati's - including if they are a brand for you, or not.

How do I know? I own a 2001 Honda CBR600F4i, and a 2002 Ducati 750 Sport.

The Honda is a simple, turn-key, capable motorcycle.

The Duc is a lot like owning a Douglas DC-3; there are a few things to consider, before going flying. First is Maintenance. Repeat after me: "Thou will keep the Cam Belts fresh, and properly tensioned." Second, keep the oil fresh (and, like a DC-3, if oil is not seeping, from somwhere, something is wrong). I use Spectro, and the engine loves it. Use Motul, and you will have oil, for your salad, in no time. Third, mystified complexity, and 6000-mile valve adjust recommendations are a bunch of hooey. The motor will easily, and safely, do 12000-18000 miles, before the valves might begin to complain they need attention. The fuel injection computer is quite primitive, and you have to let it warm-up, before riding. It is literally the coldest-blooded, fuel injected bike, on the planet (and, you cannot warm it up, on the side stand, as the motor will not run, with the side stand down. Thanks Ducati!). Plus, it is a simple bargain-basement Duc, with five-speed gear-box, wet clutch, non-adjustable fork, single front disc, and no fuel gauge. The latter is not really needed, as you can bank on getting about 200-miles, before you need to top off the tank. You do this by setting your trip-meter to zero, at every gas stop. Then, the closer you get to two-hundred miles, you will have a pretty accurate idea of how much gas is still in the tank. The bike also has a low-fuel light, however, the trip-meter is a better "Gauge" of things. Keep an eye on tank rust, as the tank is made of steel. The seating position is comfortable, as you can lean your stomach on the tank, which takes the weight off your wrists. I've done Los Angeles to San Francisco, in a day, so the bike can tour. With 62-horspower, on tap, you have enough to have fun, however, you will not win any drag races. Where you will be rewarded is on the twisties, and on the race track. Keep the rev's up (like a two-stroke), and you will be rewarded with a very fun ride. The only complaint I have is low-speed, parking lot stuff, as the fuel injection map is piss-poor, and low speed stuttering is a fact of life. Additionally, you can modify to taste. There's not a lot out there, however, there are some upgrades available. Seek this forum, for tips.

So, there you go.

Welcome to the forum, welcome to riding, and, hopefully, welcome to the Ducati Family.
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Well, I just bought an 06 Monster S2R 1000 w 5600 mi for 7k. I wanted a more upright riding position, the relative simplicity of a 2V eng and no fairings. Plus l like the swingarm. I should have bought one of these yrs ago, it really is the Ducati for me. Easy to work on, a torque monster, very light and it turns in well. And I can ride for more than an hour. Parts are still available and I can do most of the service myself. I have to replace some of the bling that was on the bike I don't want, but no big deal.
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Hondas are good.
A Ducati you should get. :D
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Well just scanning over your post---First the Ducati is going to be far more expensive to maintain. It's just a fact-even if you do your own services. The CBR looks in very good condition & if taken care of & treated right could last you a long time & would be less expensive to purchase & maintain. --I know this is a Ducati forum & I will get a ration of crap but--I just see it more of you want a good motorcycle but are on a budget--Nothing European is going to be cheap to purchase, --own,---service. --chose wisely & remember you can always purchase something else when the time & funds allow.
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I kinda agree with @rennsportmotorrad on this one, sort of. I love Ducati, they are just a different breed. And yes a tight knit community. But if that CBR is really that nice and you can keep it that nice, I havent seen an F2 that nice since like the early 2000s lol. Thats a bike I would buy and never get rid of.

Having said that. I LOVE my Ducati! If you have the desire and means to maintain it and want intimate knowledge of every inch of it. Then get the Ducati. Just like that hot girl down the street they are beautiful, exhilarating, and will make you feel like a mans man. They are also tough, temperamental, frustrating, and will break your heart some days. But those days they dont, you will never forget lol.

So on that vein my advice would be get the Duc. Learn how to work on it. Learn every inch of it. In a couple years you will be in a position to trade up to that 748 and wont be afraid to go after the good deals that havent been maintained for 10 years.
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For me, it would be the Ducati (not that one or that model) but if you want to feel good about your ride, and want to "out sound the harley" the Duc will do it. The Honda is nice, but man 600cc 4 cyclinder engines are boring on the road, nice on the track tho. You haven't said what type of roads you intend to ride, but if its from home to a caffe and back, get a fukin harley.
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If the Honda is truly as good a condition as it looks I would seriously consider the F2, very nice bike. Some of my reasoning is based on the F2 is a very rare bike to find in mint condition, most were rode hard and never saw maintenance or care. There are many people who try and recapture their youth and buying a 30 year old bike brings back some memories. The reason I mention this is a vintage 600 in mint shape should have good resale value so if you buy it and do not like it you can probably re-sell it for what you paid.

That said keep it stock and do not damage it to keep that value, start modding or let the bodywork get damaged and the value drops like a stone. It would be a good bike for a collection probably not for a daily driver. Expect some parts will be obsolete by now so check with mr honda to make sure you can buy things like a water pump, engine gaskets or bodywork.

Also get service history, most high mile inline 4 bikes I have through my shop are way past due to have the valves adjusted but owners are not willing to spend the money because the service often costs as much (or more than) the bike is worth. As you can guess the bike itself is good, it is mostly the prior owners and condition as well as intended use that makes the choice.

I have both bikes in my dyno so I will see if I can post the two up so you can get an idea of engine characteristics.
I can also fill in details on a 750 sport as I have worked on them since new.
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Next questions for the Op is.....

how mechanical are you?

As a Marine do you own a complete tool set or just a hammer and vice grips?

Do you tend to leave things stock or like to customize?

What type of riding will you be doing?

What type of roads?

How are you with doing maintenance on a schedule?

what is your budget?

Miles on each as well as cost?
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Okay forgive the crappy tail on the F2 run and due to the tail disregard the torque numbers on the F2 the rear torque peak of the F2 is [email protected]
also know the F2 has 31073 miles and the 750ss has 65684 miles

neither to the best of my knowledge has had major engine work done.

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Ducati 750 sport

Belts every 3 years, use oem or aftermarketboth work well.
valves every 6500 miles once the valves stop moving extend that to 10-12,000 miles. Usually happens after 20,000 miles.
suspension on both can be better but the ducati has better components to build from.
The rear suspension design of the honda is better imho but the ducati will work fine when set up.
A 750 ducati engine with basic maintenance is a great design and long lasting , it can be improved or swapped for more power later on if you wish.

Modification bug bit you?
With the Ducati you can pretty easily swap the engine to a 800,900,1000 or 1100 so you have future options if you like the bike but want more power.
Suspension mods are known, and plentiful creating a great handling bike.
Wheels can be an option for even better handling but rears are getting harder to find. upgrading from the 750's 4.50" to a 5.50" is easy.


Track riding?
Yes please, the 750ss with springs and tires makes a great track bike.

Parts?
oem most are still available and the used market parts for a fuel injected supersports so far is plentiful.



The twin vs 4 cylinder question only you can answer and it is about feel as well as sound. The twin with more torque has more pull off the line but if you keep the 600 revved high enough it out powers the ducati. Yes the 750ss has a 5 speed now but I have done 800 motor swaps where the rider gained a 6 speed as well as extra power and a slipper clutch. And know that 6th is not always needed when I built my own 750ss (carby) engine from a injected motor I had both a 6 speed and 5 speed gearbox on the shelf and chose the 5 speed as it worked well on 90% of the tracks I ride on and I liked the ratios.
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Ducati 750 sport

Belts every 3 years, use oem or aftermarketboth work well.
valves every 6500 miles once the valves stop moving extend that to 10-12,000 miles. Usually happens after 20,000 miles.
suspension on both can be better but the ducati has better components to build from.
The rear suspension design of the honda is better imho but the ducati will work fine when set up.
A 750 ducati engine with basic maintenance is a great design and long lasting , it can be improved or swapped for more power later on if you wish.

Modification bug bit you?
With the Ducati you can pretty easily swap the engine to a 800,900,1000 or 1100 so you have future options if you like the bike but want more power.
Suspension mods are known, and plentiful creating a great handling bike.
Wheels can be an option for even better handling but rears are getting harder to find. upgrading from the 750's 4.50" to a 5.50" is easy.


Track riding?
Yes please, the 750ss with springs and tires makes a great track bike.

Parts?
oem most are still available and the used market parts for a fuel injected supersports so far is plentiful.



The twin vs 4 cylinder question only you can answer and it is about feel as well as sound. The twin with more torque has more pull off the line but if you keep the 600 revved high enough it out powers the ducati. Yes the 750ss has a 5 speed now but I have done 800 motor swaps where the rider gained a 6 speed as well as extra power and a slipper clutch. And know that 6th is not always needed when I built my own 750ss (carby) engine from a injected motor I had both a 6 speed and 5 speed gearbox on the shelf and chose the 5 speed as it worked well on 90% of the tracks I ride on and I liked the ratios.
See my my write-up (previous post, up top), on my ownership of a 2002 750 Sport.
Yes I did and agree with your experiences

Know that it should not be the cold blooded beast you speak of, it should be quite average in that regard.
It should not be sputtering anywhere so there is something not right with yours, I will assume it is lean based on your warm up complaint.

Do they run well under 3500rpm? No
But I would not ride the cbr under 3500rpm either.

Sidestand running issue. Add a diode and tie it to the neutral light. Now it runs on the sidestand when the neutral light is lit and it is a cheap and easy mod.

Fuel gauge- very true . Outside of more modern or touring bikes no Ducati has a level gauge just a reserve light, a light you should NEVER rely on. Setting the trip meter is still your best bet.

And lastly....

"The Honda is a simple, turn-key, capable motorcycle. "

True it ONCE was but we are talking of a around 30 year old bike now and that allows time to creep in and cause problems for any brand. Add in "X" number of prior owners and you have a mixed bag of maintenance that may or may not have been done. If both were the same age and condition (maintenance done) I would say the honda would be less maintenance needed bike as well a bit better performance if both were the same age as the Duc like your F4i is. But comparing the F2 to the injected 750ss is similar to comparing the 750ssie and 750ss carby or a F2 and F4i they are simply different bikes.
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That F2 is clean and probably going to be very low maintenance. Having owned 2 of the older air-cooled Supersports, I would suggest getting the Honda or holding out for another Supersport that is a little younger or has more displacement and upgrades like the 1000SS or even a clean 900SS. The Duc is going to be more maintenance intensive than the Honda for sure. In my years of owning Japanese bikes, I found myself getting bored because I wanted to fiddle with them as well as ride them. The Ducati's naturally lead you to modifications, upgrades, personalizations, etc. The Duc becomes yours, not just because you bought it, but because you made it yours. That's probably my Ducati OCD talking, but it's true for me.

If you do buy that Duc or any other, I promise you will get a wealth of information and support from this forum to keep you riding.
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Both would make fine rides. However, one will get you into quick trouble, whilst the other will teach you everything you need to know, about Ducati's - including if they are a brand for you, or not.

How do I know? I own a 2001 Honda CBR600F4i, and a 2002 Ducati 750 Sport.

The Honda is a simple, turn-key, capable motorcycle.

The Duc is a lot like owning a Douglas DC-3.................
Lots of great advice here and above. Similar to this I owned an F2 and many Ducatis. I would NOT advise the Honda as a first bike. For me it was perhaps my 10th and I still got very close to trouble on it too many times (thats not including tracking it and racing it). Its not an age thing - I was 30 and old enough to know better. Power is addictive and it corrupts the soul. Besides, this example appears too good to drop/crash - and you WILL drop/crash a first bike. I repeat - WILL.
The responsible and healthy thing is to be a little patient. Get a cheap 300-600 ABCXYZ brand anything and figure it all out for 6-12 months, sell it for what you paid, and then get what you really want.
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That's a really clean Honda. I vote for the Ducati. :cool:
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Power is addictive and it corrupts the soul. Besides, this example appears too good to drop/crash - and you WILL drop/crash a first bike. I repeat - WILL.
The responsible and healthy thing is to be a little patient. Get a cheap 300-600 ABCXYZ brand anything
Words of wisdom. Like watching big pockets buying a production supercar, spins it out and buckles the frame, let alone waiting for years for parts sitting in the factory where it was built.

I don't care about a few hours worth of cone to parking lot riding. But a late model clapper to flog around for years. Buy that time repairing the lawn darting of learning to go fast, the baby steps are first to ride smoothly. Speed comes next.

I'd say yes to either bike, but both have NA (no longer available) on the shelf is it turns obsolete fast these days. The throwaway mentality. Learn the ropes first. Take up drag racing so you have a skillset of lever to head to throttle control.
A Ducati has personality. A Honda is easy. You choose. :)
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For me, it would be the Ducati (not that one or that model) but if you want to feel good about your ride, and want to "out sound the harley" the Duc will do it. The Honda is nice, but man 600cc 4 cyclinder engines are boring on the road, nice on the track tho. You haven't said what type of roads you intend to ride, but if its from home to a caffe and back, get a fukin harley.
Central PA has a lot of country roads. Around town is a major strip, but beyond that is all highway; however the opposite direction of the strip is where you'll find backroads that aren't so crowded, with low traffic, twisties, and occasional Amish buggies.
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Next questions for the Op is.....
How mechanical are you? Pretty good; I've been a car guy for the last 24yrs, and have taken engines apart, but I'm entirely new to bikes.

As a Marine do you own a complete tool set or just a hammer and vice grips? I have a decent amount of tools; not too many air-tools, but quite a few hand-tools - Ratchet Set, Pliers, Wrenches, Hammer, Mallet, Screwdrivers, Dremmel, Drill, Angle-Grinder, Air-Compressor, etc. Plus a bunch of Gunsmithing tools, since I'm an Armorer, lol.

Do you tend to leave things stock or like to customize? I love to customize, but if it's a special bike like I'm hearing, then I'd leave it as is ... BUT with that said, somebody just scooped it up today unfortunately, cus the listing is now marked "SOLD". 馃槬

What type of riding will you be doing? Dailying

What type of roads? Some highway, and some back-roads

How are you with doing maintenance on a schedule? I change my oil every 3000mi approx. and never reach 5000.

What is your budget? $3600

Miles on each as well as cost? Ducati (15,000mi) = $3600
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