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Old 07.10.2012, 18:38
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Question about Ducati Motorcycles

Question for the gearheads out there (you know who you are).

So here's the deal, I've had ton's of motorcycles over the years, but I've always kind of wanted a Ducati. Since the current plan is to only be here for a couple of years, I don't really want to break the bank on something I'll have to sell when we leave, but in looking on motoscout I've seen mid 1990's 748 and 918 bipostos with about 40k kilometers in the 4500-5000 CHF range.

Is this a reasonable price?
Are there any mechanical gotcha's that I should I look out for?
Not going to the track, so is small and nimble better, what's the advantage of stepping up to a 918?
I spend a lot of time in town, how much am I going to hate life in city traffic compared to a ZX7 or CBR?

In my head, I know that I can get a comparable Honda for half the price, and pretty much have zero maintenance, but in my heart, I'm already halfway to talking myself into a european bike.

Input appreciated!

Last edited by Desert Rat; 07.10.2012 at 19:17. Reason: meant motoscout, said immostreet, senior moment
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  #2  
Old 07.10.2012, 18:43
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

I'm pretty sure you can get similar deal on this forum for 30-40% less than what you quoted. Better to search here, often excellent deal pop out.
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  #3  
Old 07.10.2012, 18:44
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

Ducatis suck in town (I have three, ST2, SS1000DS, 999R), Guzzis are much better (I have two, both LMIVs)

748/916/996, main thing is that the chrome plating on the rockers can flake off, solution is to have them rechromed or new ones, but rechroming is cheaper. Also, the older ones (748/916) with single phase alternators like to fry the RR (been through a few with my ST2), solution is to relocate for better cooling. If toy want that style, I'd go for the 998, as it has the 916 styling with the better and easier to work on Teststretta motor.

Also, they are more of a pain to set the valve clearances rather than 2V models, or Testastretta 4V models (which I prefer even to the 2V, much easier to work on).

Price is reasonable.

Tom

Last edited by st2lemans; 07.10.2012 at 19:02.
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Old 07.10.2012, 18:56
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

There are other places you can look for ads as well. Good luck with your search.

Motoscout24

anibis.ch

petitesannonces.ch

(the latter two are more targeted to the suisse romande region).
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Old 07.10.2012, 20:43
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

Ok, I'm on my 2nd Ducati, so treat this report with the due bias...

I'm on my 2nd "modern" Ducati, and the only problems I've had with them have been dodgy fuel, a puncture and user error (I left my key next to my diavel, and inadvertently kept it booted up overnight, draining the battery). Oh, and the phantom sidestand problem.

Sidenote: A replacement clutch lever for a monster here is an eye-watering 185 chf. 85 chf would be almost reasonable, but 185 is just taking the Michael Fish. Beware Ducati original parts!

However, the older bikes are more sensitive to significant problems (as st2lemans points out), and the service intervals are shorter. And as st2lemans states, the valve job can be a bugger.

He's right about town too - you need to keep it above 3,000rpm for smooth progress, which is actually easy enough to do, once you're tuned in. Coming from inline 4's you should adapt ok, but it just seems contrary to what you think you should need to do.

Instead of the faired versions, have you considered the monsters? Still quick enough, but have a better steering lock, and a bit more nimble in town. And the older ones have more sensible gearing; the older track rockets have a *massive* first and second gear, so you'll be clutching it everywhere. And it's a heavy clutch (if you're a weak-wristed nancy boy like me).
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Old 07.10.2012, 20:56
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

What Tom doesn't know about bikes, i think you would have difficulty writting on the back of a small postage stamp; take his advice and have some fun !
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Old 07.10.2012, 20:57
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

Don't forget, even Valentino is getting rid of his.
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Old 07.10.2012, 21:01
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

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Don't forget, even Valentino is getting rid of his.
Only because he wasn't good enough to ride one...

Caveat: I'm a Rossi fan, so naturally I'm joking. And it puts me in a tricky position; admit that Ducati's are rubbish, or that my favourite rider is rubbish? Hmm...
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Old 07.10.2012, 21:03
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

Also, all mine are regeared.

ST2 15/42 OEM, 14/43 now.

SS 15/38 OEM, 15/43 now.

999 15/36 OEM, 15/43 now (which means that 6th is now shorter than OEM 5th).

If you spend a lot of time in town, a Monster or Hyper would definitely be a better choice than a Superbike (the smaller versions even better).

Tom
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Old 07.10.2012, 21:14
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

Tom's right of course, with one minor revision - some of the lower capacity monsters are a bit feeble IMO. The 620's don't so much accelerate as just make more noise when turning the throttle.

So go for *at least* a 695/696 which address this.

And if you ever find a Monster 400. Just torch it. If the owner protests, just say it was a mercy killing.
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Old 07.10.2012, 21:18
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

I was thinking more like a 796 (Monster or Hyper).

Besides, I often ride a Yamaha XV-250 around town!

Tom
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Old 07.10.2012, 21:18
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

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Also, all mine are regeared.

ST2 15/42 OEM, 14/43 now.

SS 15/38 OEM, 15/43 now.

999 15/36 OEM, 15/43 now (which means that 6th is now shorter than OEM 5th).

If you spend a lot of time in town, a Monster or Hyper would definitely be a better choice than a Superbike (the smaller versions even better).

Tom
Ironically, I might consider this in the future for my monster 1100 evo. At 80kph, I'm still in 5th...it's actually more sensitive than the Diavel was!
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Old 07.10.2012, 21:21
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

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Ironically, I might consider this in the future for my monster 1100 evo. At 80kph, I'm still in 5th...it's actually more sensitive than the Diavel was!
With the 999, at 80 I was still in 1st (still am with the Guzzi w/o sidecar, sidecar has 13" wheels so naturally lower gearing).

An alternative are the 1200 Morinis, good low end running (like a Guzzi) with good top end power (like a Ducati). You can slug along at low revs all day, or make it scream, and with a 1200, tons of torque all around.

Tom
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Old 07.10.2012, 21:26
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

I can vouch for the phantom kickstand issue from second hand experience.

And also for SB being a nancy boy, whatever that is (unless it has something to do with the similar sounding "lady boy", in which case I disavow all knowledge).
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Old 07.10.2012, 22:10
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

Also, check out www.ducati.ms for lot's of useful info about Ducatis. I don't hang around there as much as I used to, but it's a great forum.

Tom
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Old 07.10.2012, 23:13
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

Hey everybody,

Thanks for the insights. I'll let you know how it turns out
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Old 08.10.2012, 12:12
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

Hi all, I'm also thinking (dreaming?) of a first Ducati, and would really appreciate any comments on or common problems with the Sport Classics from the experts.

Thanks,
GenevaSculler
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Old 08.10.2012, 15:02
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

Don't have an SC, but same motor as my SS, no problems there.

What I HAVE heard of is tank expansion problems when using fuel with ethanol (seems not to be a problem here, though, at least until they start selling E10 over here), and RR problems due to bad cooling location. Also, the rims are tube-type and quite heavy, and the front calipers are 2-piston, not 4.

Check out the SC sub-forum on www.ducati.ms

Tom
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Old 08.10.2012, 23:17
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

Thanks Tom - good to know about the motor, and particularly the tank problems. I had heard about that (recently found ducati.ms which looks like an incredible resource) but was unsure about whether it was a problem in Switzerland or not.

I've seen that a lot of people seem to swap the wheels out for cast ones, so I guess there is some worthwhile weight savings to be made there. If/when I find the right bike I'll have to see how far the savings will stretch!

Thanks again,
Nick

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Don't have an SC, but same motor as my SS, no problems there.

What I HAVE heard of is tank expansion problems when using fuel with ethanol (seems not to be a problem here, though, at least until they start selling E10 over here), and RR problems due to bad cooling location. Also, the rims are tube-type and quite heavy, and the front calipers are 2-piston, not 4.

Check out the SC sub-forum on www.ducati.ms

Tom
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Old 08.10.2012, 23:26
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Re: Question about Ducati Motorcycles

Two of mine have BST CF wheels, the ST2 has Marchesini forged Magnesium!

(My Guzzi has cast Magnesium, 4kg savings on the rear, 3 on the front, but the OEM are real boat anchors)

Tom
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