Ducatis are over-priced and not that good - discuss

V.Cool and V.Clever - 2.Red and 2.Expensive? - What say you?

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28/07/2008 at 03:18



                                                    (Photo courtesy of Ducati)
Dear anyone that's interested enough to read this snivelling effort at amateur bike journalism!... I'm writing a short feature (that I'm hoping Visordown will allow me to publish) on how the real World perceives Ducati bikes - This might seem an obvious question - they win GP's and sell well, but if only I had a fiver (blah de blah!) for every time I heard a Jap bike rider say - "Yeh, but they still stop in the rain!" or "Yer' need a bloody second mortgage to service one, never mind buy it - AND they aren't even that quick!" - I bet you've heard the same things being said - SO - Are they stunning, thunderous (fitted with Termis - of course!) road gods with the style and poise that nothing from the land of raw fish breakfast and piss weak tea can emulate (no offence to our Japanese brethren) or are they ponced up, overly red, poseur's bikes of which only the 1098 has a proper engine?

I'd really like to know your view, you can either write your stuff up on the "wall" or send me a message direct - or simply ignore me!

What do Ducatis do for you...?

Edited: 29/07/2008 at 18:40
16/08/2008 at 10:50
Owned Ducati's for years, eventually got fed up with them when ducati london stores went bust and swallowed a five hundred pound deposit which i had to get back through the receivers. So much for loyalty! They don't make anything I fancy now anyway and in love with my Daytona 675 now so fuck em.
17/08/2008 at 13:18

I think I want an 848. Test rode one and it ticks many boxes. However, interesting to see peoples thoughts on these quite costly machines.

Either the 848 or a used F4.

28/08/2008 at 09:50
danlovett wrote (see)

I think I want an 848. Test rode one and it ticks many boxes. However, interesting to see peoples thoughts on these quite costly machines.

Either the 848 or a used F4.

Great choices Dan - Both bikes are stunners, can't comment on the 848 in practical terms but I've owned a 750 Brutale for three years and ridden about 1500 miles on an F4 1000.  Both of the MVs are crazy fast for their capacity and of course exquisite to look at - paint finish is nice and build quality on a par with the modern Ducatis but if you think Dukes are costly for parts and servicing then check out the MVs - I shopped around and the best official dealer Ist major service I could get for my 750 Brutale was £480! Later an incident with the stand on my bike resulted in the need for a clutch lever blade (just the blade mind you) - £79.00 and a steering lock restrictor (not the lock just the thing to stop the bars hitting the tank) - £129.00 - Back wheel for a Brutale anyone? - my dealer wanted - £3000 - I love Ducatis me!

28/08/2008 at 10:34

Servicing takes the piss whatever the brand. I paid damn near six hundred quid for my viffer's sixteen thousand mile one.

How long you had the 675 Colin? I'm looking at getting a second bike (eventually) and the Daytona's on the short List.

05/11/2008 at 23:30
I have an SC1000S, 900ss and 1968 250MK3 single (all ducatis - owned 16 all up) and have always done my own servicing. My KX500 costs me loads more.
Edited: 06/11/2008 at 00:31
05/11/2008 at 23:45
Always pondered over the late 90's 900ss. They certainly look the biz.
05/11/2008 at 23:58
Owned the SS since new, 87,000km now on it. Only probs were gearchange return spring which I fixed myself and 3 fuses when the fuel filter needed replacing (loading up the fuel pump.) No rebuilds, the heads haven't even needed to come off. Uses no oil and plugs last 15000km+ so it's very healthy. I've done Sydney to Brisbane - 1200km in a day several times on it. Like all bikes, look after them properly - don't skimp and they'll last for ever.
Edited: 06/11/2008 at 00:30
06/11/2008 at 02:20

I find it odd that the owners of other makes continue to have an us and Ducati owners view.

 I belong to a couple of Ducati sites as well as others and this doesn't seem to get discussed much in reverse as very few started on bikes that are their current choice of manufacturer. I don't hate Jap bikes or their owners whatsoever - I started on them like almost everyone else (and still have several), I've had British too -  modern and classic and loved them to bits!

 Toyota Supra forums have a massive anti Porsche vibe too! Why? Is it the same thing? Ducati riders aren't 'better' than anyone else - that's just nonsense and any poser on any bike thinking that is a waste - there is ALWAYS someone better, smoother and faster out there than you and usually on a bike you would never suspect therefore I don't knock a model of bike until I've ridden it for myself. It's rare there is nothing I like about any bike.

 Get what makes you giddy and enjoy it but most importantly, don't purchase to impress others, because you'll look like what you are.

p.s. JohnBob, love your GPZ! Very tasty.

Edited: 06/11/2008 at 03:04
07/11/2008 at 15:28

Just thought I would add an opinion

I have just sold - with much reluctance three bikes one of which was a gorgeous 996 Bi posto

Now I only sold it due to pressure form "er indoors" that it was most of the time in the garage with me polishing it

That said I did do 6 track days on it and the occasionall ride to work - although it would now be completely tranced speed wise by my new bike (GSXR 1000 K6) it always made me smile when I rode it - the noise from the open termi's was absolutely amazing.

I had no reliabilty issues or any other problems (apart from aching back caused by the very focused riding position)

Yes servicing was expensive and yes I suppose Posuers do ride them but they are still a fantastic machine

Put it this way no one has even bothered to ask me what my new bike is - when I went to work on the Ducati people would ask you about it and turn their heads as you rode past - I even had a guy in a 100k + Ferrari put his thunb up to it at the lights - now that doesn't happen on a Suzuki does it!!!!!

10/11/2008 at 20:12

I've only ridden two Ducatis, a spec'd up 996 and a 1098S with full race system and chip. I thought the 996 was superb, until I rode the 1098. Wow, what a machine. I rode it back to back with a GSXR K7, a hundred miles on each, and for me the ducati won hands down.

But would I buy one?

Both the dukes were my brother's, and I know he is religious in the way he looks after his bikes. But the 996 had a fault with the alarm/immobiliser that wouldn't go away no matter what was tried, and the 1098 flattens it's battery within two weeks if not ridden.

I ride a ten year old TL1000s; it feels stronger everywhere than the 996 and, while not in the same league as the 1098, I know I can leave it out in the pissing rain for months on end and it will start first touch of the button.

I'm still a jap man.

10/11/2008 at 20:20

A TL!!!! Thats rarer now than the GPZ pictured above and there used to be loads of them! I haven't seen one in years! How's the rear damper?

 The battery going flat provides a viable excuse to the missus to get out on the bike!

Edited: 10/11/2008 at 20:54
11/05/2009 at 16:37
Ive been looking at Monsters, I really want one and my dads been saying how unreliable Ducatis are, surely they arent that bad ? Beautiful looking bikes though
12/05/2009 at 12:42

To be honest, the reliability thing is just a big turn off for me. Wouldn't even consider a used one because of this.

Regarding a new one; certainly possible, I love the looks and sound etc, but ultimately they're just way too expensive. The monster 696 looks good, sounds good, handles good, but it's nowhere near as good as a Hornet most of the time, for more money. It's also got a rather strange riding position that puts it halfway between a sports position and a streetbike position, and although this gives it a nice cafe racer edge, it actually makes it a bit useless; it can't be that good in the city with such low bars and if you're going to have low bars you might as well have a full on sportsbike. Again; for me there are too many sacrifices for that Ducati image/sound.

The GT1000 actually looked like a great bike; comfy, classic good looks, and reasonably priced. I'd choose that over a Bonneville if I wanted that sort of thing.

I saw a guy yesterday on a Sport 1000, and he'd gone the whole cafe racer way...1950s jacket, leather lined open face helmet, goggles...to be honest he just looked a bit silly. Just as someone dressed like they were going to a fancy dress party as an Edwardian would. An old man in a classic car...that's like someone enjoying reliving their youth, but when a young guy decides to permanently dress like it's 1955...I think that's a bit weird.

I read about a guy who had sunk £30k into a 748, and it was still slower and not really much better handling (way heavier to begin with, and still heavier after all the cash sunk into the weight savings) than the latest GSXR600.

£10k for an 848 is completely ridiculous. At this price, it has to be all about the image and sound...I can't see what they have got that makes it worth £4k more than a ZX6.

I've always seen them as bikes for the image conscious. I'm not saying they necessarily are, but that's how I've always seen them; as I can't see what else is making people suffer the shortfalls...same with BMW GSs.

27/05/2009 at 11:18
I service my Ducati myself, always have done, always will. They are well engineered so straightforward to work on. I have owned over the last few years a Gilera Nordwest, Monster 900 (bored to 944), Bimota DB2, 748, ST4 and currently a Multistrada 1000 S, only been stranded once (at Knockhill) on the monster with a cracked crankcase, it actually ran and held oil but felt a bit lumpy! The bikes are well designed, well built and endow the owner with a feeling of well being that can only come from owning something that has a heart. I have also owned various Japanese and British bikes and have always come back to Ducati after very short periods. Current Multistrada is the best bike for all roads that I have ever owned, fast enough for most of the time, sit back and tour 2 up, nuts onto the tank and ride it like a Supermoto when the road gets twisty. Gets through tyres though, 2200 miles on a scorpion sync rear, 4k on the front. I am not a wealthy man so owning these bikes is a passion for which I am prepared to make sacrifices. You should do it if you feel you need to, don't let anyone stop you. Form your own opinion. It's Italian, things might go wrong. On the other hand they might not. A friend rode my monster 12 miles 9 years ago, got home sold his ZRX 1100 bought a V11 sport, now on his 3rd and even sold his Golf and bought a 156 V6! See, once it gets you, you've had it really.
27/05/2009 at 11:34

Had a good look at the ST4 as an option against the Sprint ST but even when comparing Triumph costs (not the cheapest) I just couldn't justify the mammoth servicing bills that were facing me with a Ducati dealership. Those costs don't include VAT either! So for my 12k or so miles/annum on a bike I'd be coughing up in excess of £1100 on just servicing (assuming there were no problems!). I'm afraid that's ridiculous. 

Yes I could learn to do more but I want to ride bikes, not wank spanners around them. 

30/08/2009 at 18:03

ducati are too expensive.....now in particular, and a bike more attractive used than new because of this. I had a 1098s and also bought my 999r Fila, the 1098 was ex demo with 700 miles and 5 months old, the 999r was 5 years old with 385 miles and inpractically new condition at under half it price new, so well worth it. However the comment above re the looks etc the exotic bikes get is relevant, not because of show, but they are quite unique thoroughbreds.

The 1098 isn't all that really, and under engineered for the price compared to the astonishing RSV Mille Factory which at least comes wth carbon, unlike the Duke which you have to buy extra.

When i learned the crank bearing was the same as the monster, on the 's' mid range model on top of other reasons it got sold. The engine isn't that strong or tuneable. So you have to buy an 'r'. Which has no carbon anything like the older models like the 999r.

Ducati have continually raised the prices for less quality. The 999r and 749r got less carbon as time went on.

Servicing is silly prices, and because the product is unique, it is also mileage sensitive, meaning if you dare to use it the value plummets, and if you don't service it the value plummets, even if yu don't use it. This is what makes it stupid.

This problem is caused by anoraks who perceive they may be buying a crumbling mess is it has been serviced at home, or by miles alone. It happens with Ferarri, Porsche, M.B. etc and M.V. and so on.

Another problem is the trend started by Kawasaki with the 636 where the engines get a cc hike to keep the performance figures up, which is cheating. We cn all get a bit more power just doing that, but if you don't develop the engines core, that is all you will hav available. Ducati have cheated by throwing in pistons 100cc bigger, then claiming massive performance, and we all fell for it, now it is pluss 200cc, and we fall for it again.

Soon they will be harley size cylinders!

1000cc bikes need to be 1000cc bikes and Ducati have never produced for the road, a more powerfull 1000cc bike than the 999r which is why i bought one, and sold the cheat bike which was plummeting in value before a service was due and with low miles, as they keep chucking out replacement/additional models that the ducatisti all go running after.

They are fools to themselves, as their reaction reduces residuals. Ducati hold a small marketplace, and more 1098s were sold because Ducati suddenly said the servicing costs were halved. Partly due to the extended interval! Isn't it funny how nothing is signiicantly different in the engine yet they can announce this? We wouldn't accept this if the second hand one we were looking at was serviced at extended intervals. Manufacturers of cars are using this tactic to sell motors, and have been for several years, and it is a farce.

Ducati make nice bikes, most bikes these days are nice, although getting smaller and smaller, to the point that for me, they are too small. Bodywork is getting less and less too on sportsbikes, making them look more like the naked range with low bars.

Kawasaki now went back to 600cc and development, and Ducati should follow this, and use the technology they already have, and evolve the v4 into a road 1000, keeping up with everyone else, and earn their money of the product, not the old reputation.


19/10/2010 at 09:37
I've ridden the Hypermotard S and the 848 in torrential rain in Singapore several times without any problem. My eyes were the only casualty. Have a random immobiliser problem on the 848 (normally on a warm start (?)which requires the 5 digit pin but thats it. I store the pin in my phone, in case.and service costs are minor given bike prices here.  Ducati is simply a choice. And a rewarding choice. Variety is good.  I might try the big Kawasaki next. Or the Aprilia. Or the Street Triple. The bloody bucket list is full of bikes!!
19/10/2010 at 10:26

My first big bike was a Ducati Monster 750 I bought from a mate. It was old, slow and rattled like you wouldn't believe but this is largely down to the fact it was rarely serviced.

I regretted buying it purely because of the lack of care it had been given, otherwise it was a great bike. I wanted to servcie it and get it running right again but when a bike's worth £900 and a dealer wants £460 for a service it just isn't viable. I'm fairly handy mechanically and no doubt could have worked on it myself but I'm also bollock-lazy so I traded it in and got a Z1000.

Another mate's got an 848 and it's a stunning machine, I also love the Streetfighter but when all's said and done the purchase and service costs are prohibitive for many people.

Money no object I'd have the 848 and a 916 but they would sit alongside the Jap metal I'd also have for everyday running.

Each to his own but I find that Ducatis are a bit Marmite, you love 'em or hate 'em.

19/10/2010 at 20:36
I don't like em!!
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