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DUCATI thread...

Discussion in 'Motorcycles & Boats' started by LAfun2, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    6,106
    California
    Full Name:
    Ryan
    I have been itching to own a Ducati for the last 5-6 years. I always wanted the 748/996 body style, and was waiting for the new 749/999 to see how the design change was going to be. I did not want to buy a 748 and automatically have an old style right away.

    Well the 749/999 do not appeal to me at all, and I think they are hideous. I want to finally make my purchase this year and pick up the 748 that has been in my dreams for many years.

    I wonder if it is a smart decision for me. I mean there are plenty of bikes that are faster in that class, with the new gixxer 750 (I have two other suzuki 750s), the r6, f4i. I guess I am struggling with my decision, because I look at some people who lust after a countach when they were young, and buy it now, and to them its cool, but it is far and away from the true super cars today (please no flame for my countach comment, just an example).

    So when I pick up the 748 later this year (sept/october), will I be looking at an outdated bike, that is not very fast by todays standards, and will let me down? Like dreaming about a model than finding out she is terrible in bed, and was better in the fantasy.

    I have never owned a twin, and never anything italian. I am willing to put up with the high maintenance and the *****iness as I find those things charming (maybe because I am fed up with my soul less Japanese auto/bikes)...

    I don't know where this thread is going..but over spring break I almost bought one while I was at Berts this week in Azusa and they had a brand new 2002 yellow 748, exactly what I am looking for (though I want to buy in Octoberish), and it had 1 mile!!!! I almost bought it, but they were asking 12K.

    Or should I just save more $$, and never realize the dream?

    I know that with ferraris, it is better to have a house, debt free, and buy one when you are 40 or financially stable. However with bikes, I am not sure I will be riding when I am 40-45. I think bike years are 16-35, and I want to take advantage of that.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    :)
     
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  3. Zack

    Zack Formula 3

    Dec 18, 2003
    1,695
    Nicosia, Cyprus/Cali
    Full Name:
    Zacharias
    I have had numerous Japanese sportbikes. They are awesome, but they have come and gone. My Ducati has stayed. Nothing can beat it for handling, panache, sheer coolness. I can't stand the new design either.

    It has been very reliable too. Go for it.
     
  4. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    I've owned a couple Ducati's (750ss and 900ss), and have ridden most models (haven't ridden the new line, however.) Anyway, the 748's are nice but an '02 is not worth 12k regardless of milage. 748R's (w/ CA tags) are going for 10k, and the new 749's and 999's are going for 2-3k under sticker. The 748 is said to handle slightly better than the 916, 996 and 998 on account of less reciprocating mass; dunno, I'm not good enough to tell.The cost of owership? For someone who rides (i.e., like myself: 14k miles/yr.) I guess it could be "expensive." The 6k service on my 750ss ran me ~ $400something (I'd have to check my invoice) and the 12k was ~ $800, but I had the forks bled on the 12k and the bike needed shims, etc. That's in addition to the two oil changes in b/w those services, so I guess you'd have to count on an operating expense of $1,4oo to keep a duc healthy. This will be more on the 4v bikes, but not much more, since once they're in there, it's just a matter of compounding parts cost.Tires, etc really depend on how you ride, and how sticky of a tire you must have -- like any other bike. You almost can't live on a 748/916 w/out bar risers. The 749/999's are said to be more livable.
    Whether or not you're buying an obsolete piece of machinery is up to the value you assign riding the bike you want. To me, no other bike sounds, looks or "feels" like a Duc, and so to me, they're "worth it" to me. Other will argue about sheer #'s, but that's their perogative. To some people, any Ducati is overpriced, but I don't agree.
     
  5. mrdigital

    mrdigital Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    515
    Nashville
    I have a 2002 S4 Monster.It has the 916 motor in a monster frame.
    Unless you are doing track days or carving canyons that would be a great bike for you.They have plenty of power and are comfortable to ride
     
  6. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    I've always loved the 916/748 style bikes, although I currently own an older desmoquattro. As far as whether you are buying an "obsolete" bike, it depends on how you define it. Comparing it to a current Japanese supersport, the 748 will not only be slower and heavier, but the twin will also make it feel slow as well. If it is handling, it will be very close even with the weight penalty. Frankie Chili was on the podium with a 998 earlier this year even with a field of 999's, so they still apparently still handle pretty well. Rather than buy a new leftover (even with the incentives Ducati has now), think about buying used, especially if you're not sure. Early 748's are only about $7k and it should be easy to find one that has been properly cared for. Or, a 916 is only about $8-9k, and a 996 is around $10k. As with a Ferrari, make sure that they have had maintenance performed and the rocker arms have been checked, there have been problems in the past with the chrome plating flaking off and needing resurfacing (about $600 to redo the rockers, BTW). There are a lot of them for sale, I think many people buy them for poser value, then get tired of their ergonomics and the hassles of maintaining them.
    Not to be a snob, but the Japanese superbikes to me seem disposable. Their performance is amazing, but 10 years from now I want to look out in my garage and think how lucky I am to own my bikes, as I've done for the last 8 years with my 851. It isn't really about current value, but more about how "special" it is to you personally. There aren't many Jap bikes that draw a crowd or illicit positive comments like the 748/916. Get ready for some attention everytime yous stop for gas.
     
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  8. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
    5,058
    I have the 996 and the MV F4, i have them for the Italian style realy, i ride my GSXR1300 busa the most. have you looked at the MV becourse prices have come down to around £6000 becourse of the new F4 1000 comming on the market. They ARE the most sexyist bike around and are works of art although only 750. Now is a good time to buy cheep.
     
  9. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    lafun:

    With the 748 line, you had 4 models: 748 (mono & biposto); 748S; 748R; and the track only 748RS. The 748base & 748S both have the same engine, but the S has a few trick carbon bits, some trick front forks & the marchesini 5 spokes. Also, in '00 (or was it '01) the S only came bi posto, but in most other years it was only mono. The 748R has a different clutch , different cams, shower injectors (like the WSB's), lighter flywheel, termi race exh., diff airbox, etc. Essentialy, it was a detuned 748RS in street guise, and could be made road legal -- however, the R's had no warranty.Again, about whether or not youre wisely spending your money buying a Ducati v. a Japanese bike, well ... you're not. The ducati will cost you more on maintenance, you're getting a lower horsepower bike, it's not as fast in a straight line as most I-4 600cc bikes, etc etc etc .However, I've never been able to be "comfortable" on anything but a ducati -- every other bike i've ridden (rc51, 600f4i, r6, etc. etc ) has been bulky, wide and made me feel like I was riding atop a school bus compared to a Ducati. With a Ducati, you're not getting the best bang/buck, but I believe youre getting one of the most finely crafted motorcycles on the planet. It sounds to me that maybe you're having trouble resolving the Ducati's worth as a whole v. a sum of it's parts -- in the case of the Ducati, it's worth as a whole far exceeds the worth of the sum of its parts. But, and to reitterate, it's something you have to valuate for yourself. You need to go sit on some bikes, maybe ride a few and see if it's for you. For me, I didn't really fall in love with Ducatis until I had ridden a 916 w/ slip-ons... after that, I was done. Sold all my vintage stuff, and made the switch. Tried some jap bikes, and none of them felt right ... ever. However, no matter which Duc I had at the time, all of my r6, cbr riding friends never missed an opportunity to ask for a test ride, and none missed the extra power/speed of their bikes.
    For more info. you should check out :
    http://clubdesmo.com/
    and,
    http://www.cowin-tech.com/ducati/
    Spend some time perusing the classifieds to get an idea where the market is for the bikes you're looking at.
    good luck,
    hubert
     
  10. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    lafun: I was 18 when I bought my 1st Duc, and got a test ride -- then again, I also had an envelope full of cash with me. @ 18 , I didn't really mind the seat position, but with the last bike, I had some wrist pain. With whichever bike you get, get the bar risers. You'll need them. When people lament the Ducs riding position, it's b/c the Ducs have more rake than most jap bikes, and that leads to the wrist aches I've alluded to. If you ride to the shop on your bike, and sit on a 748, and go back and sit on your inline4 bike, you'll see what I'm saying. Good luck with your search, and feel free to email/PM if you need any more info on shops, etc.
    hubert
     
  11. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    proitalia is a good shop. If they're near you, I'd use them. Good techs.
    I don't have any experience w/ Bert's. I'm in San Diego, CA.
     
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  13. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
    5,058
    A few pics of me MV. Yes new they are expensive it cost around £13000 new,but second hand they cost from £6000, some with very few miles on.Like i said this is becourse of the new F4 1000,i have put down my deposit. They handle superbley and not forgetting there ferrari derived engine.And they are bang up to date on technology even though they are now 4 years old, the design is still the same today.Apart from the 750 engine they have rave reviews.And as i once said probably the only bike looks wise that can stand next to a ferrari.
     
  14. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
    5,058
    I did mean used.....£13000ish new......£6000ish used (second hand)
     
  15. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
    Honorary

    Dec 5, 2001
    6,485
    Grandview NY
    Full Name:
    Herr Prof.
    I started riding, as Hubert and some others here know, just 2 years ago, at the age of 47, and bought a 750 Monster as my first bike. I love the look of the 748, but i'm not built for it (6'1", 230lbs) and the thing has got to be ******* painful on the wrists and lower back for any length of time. I bought my bike new, from BCM in New Hampshire, who have alot of construction experience with race bikes; the only bike they sell is Ducati. There must be dealers like them on the west coast; i know BCM offer customer bikes they have sold and serviced, so you are not buying a pig in a poke.
    I assume you have some riding experience. I didn't, and the Monster was perfect; it handles well, its relatively light, and its not complete torture to ride. I am also amazed at the relative bargain Ducatis are, at least compared to Harley's, where 20k buys you the opportunity to spend 15k more, to get the good bits and pieces. Granted, the GXXrs and other Japanese bikes offer more performance for the money, but the Ducati is a timeless compromise between great design and performance, sort of in the same vein as Ferrari.

    The newer Ducatis have grown on me, as well. They are clearly more user friendly, at least if you get the adjustable seat/pegs version available on the 7.
    I also liked the look of their new "repro" bikes, but i don't know if they have committed to actual manufacture. Likewise, that upgraded s4 Monster is alot of bike, but do you really need that much? (The owner of BCM who has alot of racing experience and who is a large dude 6'5'', claims to like the small twins, just revving the **** out of them constantly). Good luck.
     
  16. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    74,351
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Bubba
    #13 BigTex, Mar 29, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  17. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    7,731
    CA
    Full Name:
    Jerry
    If I waited to have a house debt free in So Cal, I would never own a Ferrari! :)
     
  18. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

    Dec 23, 2003
    1,671
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Full Name:
    Al-Al Cool J
    Yeah, for real, that would work for a pup tent! Housing is high all over but you guys in Kalifornia really are taking it up the tubi aren't you? My condolences. Come to Georgia, I'll build you a nice house, for $500,000 you would live like a Gates, same home would cost you $1-1.3 million in Kalifornia.
     
  19. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    6,106
    California
    Full Name:
    Ryan

    If I am moving out of Cali, I am taking my Ducati (after I get it) and moving to Austin TX :D

    Cheap real estate, good schools, and I hear nice place to live. Will visit 2nd week of may to see how it really is.
     
  20. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    If you're worried about the physical size of the 916/996 versus the 748, they are exactly the same size. Without the stickers you would have a difficult time telling them apart. There is also only about a 10hp difference between the "big" bikes and the 748.

    As far as a PPI, if you buy from a factory dealer, especially one which has serviced that particular bike, you are probably fine. As long as the valves are adjusted every 6000 miles, the belts changed every 12k, those are the two biggies. Regulators/rectifiers and cush drives are also weak links. Again, flaking rockers has been an issue in the past, but regular checking of the valve clearance helps diagnose that early.

    I believe the early 916 used a P8 ecu, while later ones and the 748 used a 1.6M ecu. I don't think that there is that much difference between the two as far as reliability, the 1.6M is noticably smaller.

    You said that mono or biposto doesn't matter. If you don't like the white numberplate backgrounds, go ahead and get a biposto. Ducati incorporated the second seat and pegs very well. Having the back seat is always nice when a member of the opposite sex asks "when are you going to take me for a ride?" Trust me, it will happen if you own one of these.

    I personally wouldn't rule out an earlier ('97-99) 748, the core bike was changed very little over time, aside from some suspension ugrades. The '97 biposto 748 would be my favorite because it is the cheapest, one of the rarest, and has the older style graphics that I prefer. My dealer at the time explained that Ducati built 40 bipostos by mistake for the US that year. They offered to retrofit them to mono for free to the owners upon delivery. If you don't like the wheels, you could always have them powdercoated black or white, or buy the 5 spokers on Ebay, the upgrade wouldn't cost that much (probably less than the premium for a 748S). Second choice would be a '98 748L, only a hundred of these silver bikes were produced for the Nieman Marcus catalog.
     
  21. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    My parents live in Austin. Not so sure about cheap real estate, but I guess it is all relative. The moon would probably be cheaper than San Fran or nice areas of Southern CA. It gets really, really, hot for about six months in Austin, when it is 108 I don't think I'd have the Ducati out.

    Check out this link to compare the cost of living for cities in the US.
    http://houseandhome.msn.com/move/moveoverview.aspx

    Comparing the cost of housing between my town and Newport Beach, my house would be worth $2.5mil! in NB. Of course, I'm about 1000 miles from the nearest ocean, so I guess that explains some of the premium...
     
  22. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    7,731
    CA
    Full Name:
    Jerry
    Taking it in the Tubi - LOL!

    I guess it depends how you look at it - I've made more on houses in the last few years than I did working!
     
  23. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    If you're worried about the physical size of the 916/996 versus the 748, they are exactly the same size. Without the stickers you would have a difficult time telling them apart. There is also only about a 10hp difference between the "big" bikes and the 748.

    As far as a PPI, if you buy from a factory dealer, especially one which has serviced that particular bike, you are probably fine. As long as the valves are adjusted every 6000 miles, the belts changed every 12k, those are the two biggies. Regulators/rectifiers and cush drives are also weak links. Again, flaking rockers has been an issue in the past, but regular checking of the valve clearance helps diagnose that early.

    I believe the early 916 used a P8 ecu, while later ones and the 748 used a 1.6M ecu. I don't think that there is that much difference between the two as far as reliability, the 1.6M is noticably smaller.

    You said that mono or biposto doesn't matter. If you don't like the white numberplate backgrounds, go ahead and get a biposto. Ducati incorporated the second seat and pegs very well. Having the back seat is always nice when a member of the opposite sex asks "when are you going to take me for a ride?" Trust me, it will happen if you own one of these.

    I personally wouldn't rule out an earlier ('97-99) 748, the core bike was changed very little over time, aside from some suspension ugrades. The '97 biposto 748 would be my favorite because it is the cheapest, one of the rarest, and has the older style graphics that I prefer. My dealer at the time explained that Ducati built 40 bipostos by mistake for the US that year. They offered to retrofit them to mono for free to the owners upon delivery. If you don't like the wheels, you could always have them powdercoated black or white, or buy the 5 spokers on Ebay, the upgrade wouldn't cost that much (probably less than the premium for a 748S). Second choice would be a '98 748L, only a hundred of these silver bikes were produced for the Nieman Marcus catalog.
     
  24. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2003
    16,498
    Savannah
    Full Name:
    I NEED A JOB
    this is a great thread.... i have had a few beater jap bikes, started out on a ninja 500 and worked my way up. i have been able to ride a few Ducs, and i was / am hooked. 748 is / was like 375 pounds i think???? they were plenty fast for me, and i had ALOT to learn still. i have not been on a bike in 6 years or so, every year around this time i get that itch!!!! i wanted / lusted after a yellow 748. it is to me THE ONE to have. i say go for it now while you are young, new / used whatever is better for you. enjoy it while you can. i have come so, so close to getting another bike since i moved out of the city....... now the damn deer scare me to death since there are SO FREAKING MANY!!!!! i've had a great time reading this thread, thanks to all. keep the shiny side up!!!!!! michael
     
  25. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    17,673
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    Pete
  26. ralfabco

    ralfabco Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 1, 2002
    23,521
    banana republic of america
    Full Name:
    Israel Beiteinu
    The Duck will crush your nuts. LOL They also run out of breath on the top
    end. Beautiful looking bike. Yes the new ones are ugly. Amazing how
    they screwed up the design. Mine was quite reliable. 748 Yellow Mono.


    Yes the Japanese bikes are great for one summer. After the summer you
    are riding an old bike.
     
  27. Prowler

    Prowler Karting

    Jan 10, 2004
    149
    Glendale,Arizona
    Full Name:
    Matt
    don't forget...if you are expecting the 748 to be equal in power as a suzuki 750...yuo will be disappointed.even they are equal in cc's they are not in power output.if you have never ridden a twin they are kinda different to get used to.they are fun,but you will have to adjust your riding style to suit.my roomate had one and i rode it a few times(prolly 400-500 miles total) and i was not impressed at all...however,after he moved and found a real dealer that knew what they were doing,they got the bugs worked out of the carbs.even though...i was not impressed with it.nice bike...just not for me.i have since rode another one since,and it was alot better to ride.i have also done some time on a tlr...that was a hoot(but it doesn't have the 'hey look at me').

    the maint on the duc's is another thing i don't like too much.i had a 93 zx-11 and it needed valve clearances every 6000 miles...$300 or so a pop.i put 78,000 miles on that bike.the r1's that came to me after that were alot better with the first valve adjustment at 26,000 miles.also the new crop of jap bikes weigh in about 375 dry.seat height might be an issue though.

    i was considering a 2001-2002 998 instead of the 04 r1,but i liketo ride and i'm not convinced 100% that the reliability factor is there for the ducs.

    if i was in your shoes(with law school looming int he future),i would get something a little more practical right now and save the extra cash for rainy days emergencies and such.....when you become a lawyer you can always pick up a duc for weekend duty and still live your dream.i have a nice 1983 honda cb1100f(my dreambike) sitting pretty in storage......
     
  28. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

    Oct 11, 2001
    1,735
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Full Name:
    richard
    When I lived in Pacifica and worked in Mountain View I commuted most days on a '95 Ducati 900sssp. Great bike, even as a commuter, especially on the 280 which moves at a nice pace. The only bummer was the gas tank which with the 40 mile one way trip required me to pretty much fill up everyday. Weekends were spent exploring the mountain roads. Of course I crashed the thing twice and am waiting until my wife stops worrying about me before I buy another. (a guy has to pick his battles). I kept the vintage Triumphs for a while longer but eventually sold them too.

    But I really liked the Ducati!
     

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