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Just wanted to turn the tides a little...swim upstream as it were. My experiences are very different from so many here.

I bought my '04 749s from BCM in February of last year. I was living outside of Watertown, N.Y. at the time and drove 7+ hours each way specifically to buy from BCM. I used to wrench on a Pro Thunder AMA team (Chassis and Suspension) and knew Bruce and Susie and the gang at BCM from those days. Did the trip again at 1000 miles for it's first service (in the back of my truck - I'm a wimp). I now live back in good old Arizona and have a shade over 12k miles on the bike. (Time to make an appointment with Tom Hull!)

I don't wash it a lot. I had a Sil Moto full system and a Power Commander on it, but went back to the stock exhaust because I like midrange. Had rear-sets on it but went back to the stockers. Just like the feel better. Kept the reverse shifting, though - I'm an old racer and old racer habits are hard to break.
Put the stock screen back on - I just thought the Zero Gravity Double Bubble I put on it looked too...GSXR.
Been through the stock Pilot Sports and have a fresh set of Pilot Powers ready to replace the worn out set on the bike now. Great Tires!
I run Klotz synthetic oil (on BCM's recommendation) and Ducati filters and use the stock breather set up. I about ready to put brake pads in it.

The only aftermarket parts on the bike are the Helibars (Love Them!!) and the ebay CF rear hugger to keep crap off the shock. I could care less about pose-factor or what racers use. A race bike is a far cry from a street bike. The only thing I want to change is to swap in some 8.5k fork springs. Oh, I'd love the thunder of a pipe, but the hole in the midrange that all pipes cause is not worth it on a streetbike. Not to me. And Ducati slip-ons...well, call me cheap, but I just can't justify the prices for what you get.

I have had ZERO problems with the bike. No dead batteries, no locked brakes, no over heating, no...nothing. Oh, sure, it stalls once in a while but I've mostly cured that to the point where it dosen't bother me at all, and I think I'll have Mr. Hull help me degree the cams while we change belts. That should help a lot. I also need to clean out the clutch pack and steel wool the steel plates. I don't run a vented or open cover.

I read all these horror stories about people having all sorts of problems with their bikes...and I wonder. I wonder how much of it is dealer set-up before I ever rode it. I wonder how much of it is incompetent mechanics messing up peoples bikes. I also wonder how much of it is people who shouldn't be allowed in the tool section at Sears. I've read between the lines of quite a few posts here and think that's more prevelant than many would think.

Or perhaps I'm just damn lucky. I don't baby my bike (Only one track day so far), but I am a wise rider, and can certainly ride fast. The trick is, I know how not to beat on the equipment while doing so.

I told Bruce when I bought the bike that this one's gonna get a lot of bugs stuck in the radiator. He laughed and said, "Great! We don't have many customers who just flat ride these bikes".

I plan on a long relationship with my trusty '04 749s. I enjoy riding bikes way more than wrenching on them. I plan on a lot of miles and a lot of bugs in the radiator. And I don't plan on having any major issues.
 

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Thats true about crap mechanics. I was horrified what was happening at my local Honda dealer when I dropped by there one day. Ever wonder what part of a bike makes a nice tool box holder once all the fairings are off? There nothing like paying a mechanic $800 to professionally fu#k up your bike.

As was mentioned before, people only hear Ducati horror stories because they are HORROR stories and only the exception. Remember, a few years ago Kawasaki had to recall all of its UK imported ZX10Rs because they had defective and cracked rims. Yet that hardly caused a ripple.

Great post otherwise. I ride a 05 749 and its the most beautiful thing on two wheels.
 

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Thanx Chuck!! Having been a mechanic for 24yrs. now, I just cringe and walk away when I hear people who should not be allowed to purchase tools start to talk shop with me, and I agree a lot of people bring their problems on themselves.

As a mechanic I have also seen what a piece of s##t the bike feels like when someone re-engineers it with the racers catalogue.

Good stuff!! Leave it stock!! Run it hard and often!! Find a good mechanic!! If you are not a good mechanic Do not buy someone else's nightmare, That could prove to be very expensive. And give a very bad Ducati ownership experience!
 

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I bought my 04 749 from a local dealership. I got it for a great price. I also told them that I would take the bike without any type of dealer set-up. The bike went straight to BCM. I had them look it over. I had a stalling problem that was attributed to faulty dealer set-up. BCM took care of it. The bike has been running strong ever since.
 

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My experience with my 2004 Dark is great. It hasnt had a single problem since day 1 and has never failed to perform. I have modified it extensively to suit my riding style and needs,but,since I dont want to have any problems I let professionals do all the work. Makes no sense to 'save a hundred bucks' and then screw up the bike. I am 101% percent satisfied with the Ducati,and the service I have gotten from all parties involved. In fact, I have been so satisfied with the Ducati 'brand' I bought a 996, and apart from replacing a crapped out 5 year old stock battery,it hasnt had any problems either.I ride each bike every other day,and it is my firm belief that keeping the bikes constantly ridden and properly mechanically maintained is the most important thing. Riding once a week and then pushing a 'cold' bike to the limit is gonna just ruin it,in my opinion. I have owned just about every brand of bike over the years, and the Ducatis have been the most hassle-free,instant gratification bikes I have ever owned.
 

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After 21K miles, the only real problem was a twitchy front master cylinder, changed under warranty, and a bad battery. I've had a very positive experience with my 749. Still running strong. She’s all stock except some cosmetics and a 520 conversion with a +3 rear.
 

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XLNT post

I find Chuck's experiences & thoughts have the ring of truth to them. They are much like mine.

My 2004 749 has been a hassle free joy. The only fault is an occasional stalling at idle- but it is so rare that I often forget it ever happens- though I must remember to ask the Ducati mechanic next service time.

The philosophy-
“Proper Care of a Ducati = frequent spirited riding & proper servicing by Ducati specialist”
is so straight-forward & simple it may deceive some into disregarding it.
 

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12K on my 996 and only "problem" (if you can even call it that) has been a somewhat premature end to the clutch pack. Easy to change and virtually everything else has been hassle free. Had to pull over on a ride one day and immediately my riding buddies started hassling me about unreliable Italians. At which point, I showed them that the only reason I had to pull over was because a piece of crap, $0.49 license plate reflector screw vibrated loose and it was probably made in Taiwan. Nothing but love for Ducatis here!
 

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Sweet thread people! I was never shure if My buddy with a unpacked termi was babying it when we road. I kept the exhaust stock and about 2K miles on it I feel I'm not missing anything. I can rep-roar with the best of them and seem to pullway from my bud through mid (were I do most of my riding). I am still very green but find myself leaning toward the words of wisdom rather squid-ology.
My friend has now lost back pressure and finding his PC changing or readjusting to suit the extra flow. Don't know if that made to much sense! I recommend a baffle!?!?!?
 
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