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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The ducati bug has bitten me hard, but I'm also looking at other options too.

Here's some background info.

I'm 21, I have been riding on the road (legally) since I was 16. I started out on a '76 Kawasaki KZ400, and then a Honda CB360, and then to a Honda CB550. I had to sell the CB550, as I got laid off from a job, and had to pay college tuition, so I didnt have to damage my savings account.

I recently got a new job, making a decent amount of change, so now I can afford something nice. So I'm thinking, why not a Ducati?

Put it this way, I'm not a street squirrel, I don't care about pulling wheelies at 120mph, nor do I zip in and out of traffic on the freeway at warp speed.

So here is what I am thinking. Ducati 748/916/996, Honda RC51, or an 06-07 GSXR600(I like the feel and look) or possibly an 06 R6

I have yet to ride a 748, but my friend has a nice one, and he said he will let me kick the tires a little on it to see how it feels.

I suppose I'm just looking for a little bit of input, not really trying to start a Vs. thread here, just thought some of you may have some input on the aforementioned bikes


Also, I realize this forum may be a little bias, but I figure you Ducatisti would be cooler to talk to, lol
 

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My first bike was a Suzuki GT250. My second bike was a CB550. In '78 I took my '77 Suzuki GS 750 on my first trip from CT to CA. Eventually I "graduated" to a BMW R100RS. Then, back in '98 I bought a new '97 SS/SP. Since then I've had a '96 SS/SP (highly modified), an '04 Triumph Sprint RS, an '02 998, an '07 FZ1, and now an '02 998S Bayliss and an '05 SS1000DS. A few of these I've ridden cross-country in addition to lots of commuting and camping trips in New England. I mention all of this to let you know that I've had many miles ridden and a variety of bikes owned. What I've learned is this: you have to ask yourself the question "How do I think I'll use this bike?" If you know the answer to that question I'd be happy to offer my insights.

(I should mention that my son is the Service Mgr. at a Yamaha/Suzuki dealer where I once worked test riding newly built bikes. He rides an '03 R6.)
 

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You seem really mature for your age. I'm sure any Ducati you get will be in good hands. It's just a matter of you finding a good deal on one. Any of the ones you cited would make you very happy, provided you can do some of the maintenance yourself.
 

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in my opinion you could approach this in 2 different ways.
Emotional - buy what stirs your soul and makes you smile before every ride.
Rational - make a list of things you want AND don't want on a bike and you should arrive at the bike you are going to buy. Ducs generally require more maintenance and you will get a lot of people telling you that their bikes are faster than yours.
I have nothing against Japanese or British or German sport bikes, but to me Ducs stir my soul and makes me smile before every ride. I can afford the maintenance and don't mind the quirks (roasted legs and committed position).
 

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I take it you are looking for something used?

Otherwise, I would recomend the 848 and if you are looking at Jap., why not the Daytona 675?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My first bike was a Suzuki GT250. My second bike was a CB550. In '78 I took my '77 Suzuki GS 750 on my first trip from CT to CA. Eventually I "graduated" to a BMW R100RS. Then, back in '98 I bought a new '97 SS/SP. Since then I've had a '96 SS/SP (highly modified), an '04 Triumph Sprint RS, an '02 998, an '07 FZ1, and now an '02 998S Bayliss and an '05 SS1000DS. A few of these I've ridden cross-country in addition to lots of commuting and camping trips in New England. I mention all of this to let you know that I've had many miles ridden and a variety of bikes owned. What I've learned is this: you have to ask yourself the question "How do I think I'll use this bike?" If you know the answer to that question I'd be happy to offer my insights.

(I should mention that my son is the Service Mgr. at a Yamaha/Suzuki dealer where I once worked test riding newly built bikes. He rides an '03 R6.)


Well, mostly it will be for fun.

I don't have a TON of money, and I am not really near a racetrack, so it will be a street bike for sure.

I'm not really too concerned with all-out straight line speed, as all of the bikes I am looking at have more than enough power.

What I do enjoy most while riding, is a sprited run down a twisty road, so obviously something that handles, which all that I listed seem to do very well from the reviews I've read, and from people I have talked to.

I like the ducati's character, the sound of a nice twin.
I also like the high revving inline four of the gsxr and R6, and they seem to be extremely nimble nowadays.
 

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I take it you are looking for something used?

Otherwise, I would recomend the 848 and if you are looking at Jap., why not the Daytona 675?
I think buying new would be a problem for him because of his age. If he finances it, then he'll need a lot of insurance coverage as well, which will be expensive. If he buys used and does not finance it, then he can get away with just liability on the bike, which is not very expensive.
 

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I think buying new would be a problem for him because of his age. If he finances it, then he'll need a lot of insurance coverage as well, which will be expensive. If he buys used and does not finance it, then he can get away with just liability on the bike, which is not very expensive.
makes sense, however it would depend on where he lives. I have customers who are his age and with good credit, get great rates and resonable insurance.
 

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I don't have a TON of money,
The idea of owning a Ducati can be a bit of a dillusion until you actually buy one....and then reality hits you.

They are not cheap bikes to maintain, and you will need to maintain it if you don't want to be walking. In your situation, I would not recommend a 4V Ducati, and definitely not a Desmoquattro because of their affinity to have flaking chrome on the rockers, cracked coolant overflow tanks, and the overall higher maintainance costs and time involved in doing the maintenance. If I were you, and if you felt you really needed a Ducati, buy a 2V engined Duc. For the type of riding you will be doing, I'd also suggest a Monster or a Supersport.

If I were to own only one bike, my 748 definitely would NOT be the one I'd have.
 

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It took me 37 years before I bought my first Ducati. As long as you know about the expensive maintenance and parts, so you won't be hit with sticker shock, you should be good to go. One of the reasons I like Japanese bikes is that you generally don't have to work on them. And reliable as a rock. My Ducati has been reliable, after a few little detail issues when I first got it, I'm about to do a valve adjust (it's a 4 valve), we'll see how it goes.

Do you like working on your own stuff? If you don't, it's pretty expensive to have Ducs worked on. If you do, you're good to go.

I was looking at an RC-51 myself, and I still might get one. Good, strong bikes.

Good luck with your choice.
 

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Demon has a very valid point!!! Def. get something in the testestratta. 749 998 999 if you are going used Ducati. Depends on how much you want to spend. I know of a used 998 bip for around 7800
 

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Demon has a very valid point!!! Def. get something in the testestratta. 749 998 999 if you are going used Ducati. Depends on how much you want to spend. I know of a used 998 bip for around 7800
Or even a Supersport. The two valve engines are a piece of cake to work on compared to the 4 valve engines.
 

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Sorry, I forgot the #1 question I should have asked....

How many miles you plan on riding per year?

If you only plan on riding 2000 miles a year, don't sweat the cost of maintenance or having to get your valves checked and timing belts replaced, because it won't happen that often. If you are like me and will ride between 17k and 24k miles a year, you had better rethink a Ducati as an option. At 24k miles a year, and if you want to follow the suggested maintenance schedule, you'll do four services in a single year.....at a cost high enough to probably buy a really nice used Japanese liter bike that is only a few years old.....and you'll want one of those to ride while the Duc is in the shop being serviced. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am no stranger to a wrench, valve adjustment, re-honing cylinders and such. The three bikes I have owned prior, I bought them as basketcases for $200 and rebuilt them over about 7-9 months, and then I would flip them for profit.

On my Honda 550, I put 1000miles on a year, but also keep in mind, I liked that bike, but it wasn't exciting enough for me to want to ride. It was more like "sure, I guess I'll take it out for a bit"

As far as service goes, get me a shop manual, and the right tools, and I'm all set, not to mention, if I get hung up, I know of a ducati forum.....:cool:

lol dirkwright Thanks for saying I'm mature for my age, I'm not entirely mature, but I like to think I am well written/spoken.

My buddy told me about the flaking rockers on his 748, little stuff like that really doesn't bother me too much, as I know I could afford the parts and do the replacement myself, or with a little of his help as he did his already.

The Triumph 675 triple is a beautiful machine, I would love to own one, but I havent seen any used in my price range ($6000) I plan on paying cash, to keep my insurance costs low.

I do like working on my own stuff, I think theres a sense of pride when you work on your own equipment, that and it can be relaxing at times, sometimes not...lol.
 

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Get the bike you want to own the most. The one that excites you before you even start it up. If you do that, than whatever problems that may arise will not be a big deal because you like the bike. Repairs and breakdowns are part of anything, but driving something that puts a hell of a smile on your face is "priceless". If its a Ducati, Suzuki, whatever. Get the one you really want to get.
 

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My buddy told me about the flaking rockers on his 748, little stuff like that really doesn't bother me too much, as I know I could afford the parts and do the replacement myself, or with a little of his help as he did his already.
"Little" stuff, huh? There are 16 rockers that can potentially go bad, and even at $94 per replate (about the going price), you are looking at the possbility of having to shell out $1600 just in rockers. If you wanted to go with replacement OEM (who knows why?), they are around $200-$260 each. I just replaced all eight openers with replated ones at $700+. If you do not catch the chrome in time, the bare metal on the rockers can destroy the cams, chrome flakes can take out a cam bearing, and the seized bearing results in a broken belt, piston slapping the valves, and a whole slew of other potential costs. "Little" things can get quite costly and in a hurry.....Heck, you'd hate to have a TPS (throttle position sensor) go bad on a Duc. The tiny little electrical device is $420 for my 748, and the the timing belts on my 748 are around $150 per set (note - the 2002 748 has different heads and different belts than the '97-'01 748 and the 916/996 bikes).

I'm just looking out for you with your "I don't have a TON of money" comment. Sure, even if you can work on your bikes yourself (I do), you have to realize that the Ducati is by no means inexpensive. I recently saw a 996 with an asking price of $3200. It's a very nice, inviting, and tempting cost, but....you never know what the cost will be after you get it. With a used Desmoquattro, the very first thing I'd do after buying it is tear it apart, check the valves and rockers, and install new belts. Heck, I do that with any used Duc.

A local dealer had a customer who bought a used '98 where the seller claimed it had just been serviced and had the belts replaced. Less than 2000 miles later, it snapped an original belt and sent a piston into the valves. It's amazing how many Ducatis are sold with mileage on the odometers near the multiples of 6000. It's because the owner doesn't want to pay for the service, and they'll lie to you about having it done to get rid of the bike. The Monster I bought over a year ago was bought from the dealer and "serviced" at the dealer. I was shocked to see how bad off the valves were when I did them.....well, maybe I wasn't really shocked. ;)
 

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Well, mostly it will be for fun.

I don't have a TON of money, and I am not really near a racetrack, so it will be a street bike for sure.

I'm not really too concerned with all-out straight line speed, as all of the bikes I am looking at have more than enough power.

What I do enjoy most while riding, is a sprited run down a twisty road, so obviously something that handles, which all that I listed seem to do very well from the reviews I've read, and from people I have talked to.

I like the ducati's character, the sound of a nice twin.
I also like the high revving inline four of the gsxr and R6, and they seem to be extremely nimble nowadays.
My primary concern about a Japanese sport-bike (assuming it's used) is that so many of them are bought by squids and abused. I happen to really like twins so for me it would be a Monster or SS. An air cooled Duc is easier/cheaper to maintain. You wouldn't go wrong with a Suzuki SV650 either btw. Whatever you do, I suggest getting a bike you can use on the streets. If, for example, you buy an R1 I can't imagine gettting anywhere near it's limits on the public roads.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My primary concern about a Japanese sport-bike (assuming it's used) is that so many of them are bought by squids and abused. I happen to really like twins so for me it would be a Monster or SS. An air cooled Duc is easier/cheaper to maintain. You wouldn't go wrong with a Suzuki SV650 either btw. Whatever you do, I suggest getting a bike you can use on the streets. If, for example, you buy an R1 I can't imagine gettting anywhere near it's limits on the public roads.

Yeah, that's what I always have kinda thought about the Japanese 4 cylinders, but they seem to be pretty bullet proof, and in the price range, I can find some with low miles.

I am aware that the 4 cylinder literbikes are capable of 90+mph in first gear, that is absolutley ridiculous in my opinion, lol.

My dad always says, no matter the engine size, the speed limit is still the same, hah. very true.
 

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My first Ducati is going to be the 848 in a month or so. Thats what I want. I think that would be a good choice, if money isn't that big of an issue.
 
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