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I am in the process of changing rides. I am currently riding a HD Softail and have found a new passion in riding back roads on sport bikes. Didn't know what I was missing until this past summer. I am posting this on the Ducati MS because, whatever I get will be a Ducati. They just have something that pulls at my soul.
I am aware of all the physical differences between the two types of bikes above but have ridden both and like both. Haven't ridden the s4r on extended back road test like the SBK, but really did enjoy a reasonable ride on one around town.
The question really is, for back road riding and a couple track days a year, which do you all think is a better fit. I don't commute on the bike, only ride in town rarely. Just the usual week end blasts down curving back roads.
The price difference is about $4000, a lot yes, but not the deciding factor.
I appreciate any help in the decision process and know I can't go wrong really either way, just looking for outside opinions.
THANKS
 

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both are great.. but for me it would be the 999.......
 

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I've clocked a few thousand miles on both a SR4 and a 749s (baby 999) and heres a short summary of both (the good and the bad).

749s -
The Good:
- Smooth as silk
- Eats curves for breakfast
- insain fast
- confident biulding
- sounds good
- looks damn good while doing it (strongly debated)
- Good Safty features (Bright Red/Yellow _really_ stands out in trafic, people stare at you insted of run you over)
- keeps you out of the seat when your on the curves
- Incredibly refined feel

The Bad:
-Goes 10 feet before needing a refill (90-120miles between full tank and yellow light depending on how you ride)
- torture rack with automatic butt toaster biult in
- horribly uncomfortable when below 50mph.
- Bad in city trafic (butt toasting, wide turning circle, requires finness to turn sharply at near stop speeds)
- _zero_ storage space (I really mean none at all, not even for a pack of gum)
- Confident Biulding (might get you in trubble)
- Smooth (Might catch yourself exceeding the speed limit by magnitudes requireing scientific notation to write down in any meaningfull manner, A.K.A. feels like your doing 30mph when your really doing 130)
- Quiet stock exhost

Final Word:
Its a thinly disquized race bike, dont expect it to have any refinement beyond going fast. Its biult to go fast not to make you comfortable while doing it. Dont expect it to do anything more than go fast. If you want to go fast and dont care how its done (I.E. by lighting your ass on fire and breaking all your bones) buy this, its acctuly worth the pain. If you want to sunday drive get something else.

What its most like:
Owning your own steel rollercoaster

SR4 -
The Good:
- Lots of personality (Brutish , wants to eat people, querky, lots of feel and a good noise)
- quick turning at all speeds
- reaonably comfortable at all speeds
- Fun in the city and on the curves
- Doesnt Mind Stop and Go
- Storage Space (enough for a pack of gum)
- Feels like its going fast all the time and on edge even when its not
- Wheelie machine

The Bad:
- Lots of personality (Brutish, querky, throttle is sticky [cant be fixed apparently an issue biult into the engin and there all like that], breaks are either on or off nothing inbetween, gear box clunky, feels like its on edge all the time and that you could go flying off into oncomming trafic at any moment even though your not going to)
- Semi-Quiet stock exhost
- Wants to eat people
- Occationaly wants to pretend to be a unicycle

Final Word:
All the bad qualitys are good qualities and vice versa, your either going to love it or hate it, get a demo ride if you can before you buy. This bike offers a hair raiseing exhilierating experience without the necessity to break all the trafic laws in the process. This bike is an experience in of itself.

What its most like:
Owning your own wooden roller coaster
 

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Check out the ST series and the Multistrada. Both have great back roads performance plus the benefit of hard bags so you can sample more back roads farther away from home. A superbike is great, but how often will you really get to use all that performance?
 

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Yea I've ridden an ST2 and ST4s, there a very nice happy middle ground between the 749 and SR4, but vastly more practical, but otherwise not lacking in any way from the two (good handeling good torque smooth, good personality, a bit of querkyness (for fun), a little warm on the butt when standing still but not to an insain degree, happy riding pretty much anyplace, but a good secure feeling ride, biulds confidence but not to an insain degree). Took the bags off raised the pipes and then took the ST2 and ST4 to a track day once both did very well. If you want something thats got a bit of personality, good comfort, good on the twisties and in the city, is practical, yet still got a lot of performance the ST series is great. They may not be quite as flashy though but there good machines, heck of a lot more fun than a BMW touruer thats for sure!

Having ridden the SR4, the 749, and ST4s back to back is a really weird experience. When going from SR4 to 749 you kind of wonder how they could have possibly come from the same company. You acctuly have major issues shifting/stoping/steering/starting off because its _so_ diffrent. You quite litteraly get on and are confused as to how to sit on it "wheres that footpeg, why do my arms have to go in such a weird place, why the hell is my ass over here?"
Going from the SR4 to the ST4 makes sense and isnt an issue, going from the 749 to the ST4 isnt a major issue. It really is the bike that melds them together as a family and stops your head from exploding trying to figure out how the could come out of the same factory.
 
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