Ducati 749R (2003 - 2007)

Manufacturer
Category
Price
£13995
Available from
2003 to 2007
The 749R allows you to push harder than ever - a nearly perfect bike
Too focused for the road and that slipper clutch is just more trouble than it's worth
I’ve ridden every new 2004 bike and the 749R is the one I really want to ride again. I’d love to own one; it looks ace, handles great, has a mint motor and is good off track, too. I’d take a 749R over any 999 anytime

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Overall Review

This is a really special bike. It may not be superbike fast but it is great sportsbike. It would be good as a pure trackbike but can do B road fun too. Not really suitable a touring or motorways unless you like pain. You can buy one for half its original RRP and it could be a good investment. There are half as many 749R as there are Desmosedici RR (c. 750 v. 1,500) and they do not appear to be depreciating anymore. They need setting up for the rider but are very adjustable. Once you notice all the extra gear they have then the 749R looks like a bargain next to a new standard production Ducati like the 848. There is a good Ducati community and with a 749R you will be welcomed and assisted with its foibles. The servicing will be more expensive than most other bikes but not too much. The replacement parts could be a problem as the cumulative value of the special R parts is massive. Fully comp recommended! Otherwise it would be a rewarding ownership experience. I might keep mine forever.

Strengths

Looks beautiful (now that we have had time to get used to the shock 999/749 looks). Sounds fantastic with Termignoni pipes. It has fantastic equipment levels; carbon fibre fairings and fender(2004 model only), Ohlins adjustable suspension (front & rear) & steering damper, adjustable frame and seat, magnesium cylinder heads, titanium valves & conrods, 749cc engine specifically for R bikes, aluminium box section swingarm, monoposto seat, larger fuel tank, slipper clutch, Marchesini forged wheels and limited production number on the yoke. A very flash bike that handles as well as it should.

Weaknesses

They need setting up correctly and can be punishingly uncomfortable on the road. They are not 100% reliable and could not be used as an everyday bike easily (I tried). The dry clutch is grabby and the slipper unit is not great and can find neutrals. Some owners fit Sigma 6 ramp units. It would be very expensive to fix after any crash.

Rating Breakdown
Engine
Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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Overall Review

mine is the 2004 full carbon version, which I believe is now becoming a modern classic. Many people did not like the looks when launched, but to me, in the flesh, it is stunning, try comparing it close up with any Japanese sports bike, and the R wins hands down.It is so easy to ride, with good torque, you can be lazy and just bimble about...however, if you wind the throttle open and get past the 9000 rev point, it screams and shouts and makes you feel like a MotoGP god, and thats before you take a long fast corner! The extra capacity tank means that you could seriously tour ( if you really wanted ), but as an occasional use Sunday ride out bike, it is unparalleled. You know that you are riding something special as soon as you turn the key and hit the starter button....the self start routine and rev counter spinning round all add to the experience. I cannot imagine ever wanting another bike as much as I wanted the R, the modern Ducati's are all well and good, but I just want them in the same way. Obsessed? Yes, definitely. At around £7500 for a good secondhand R, what other modern bike can make you feel so passionate? I can't think of one, honestly.

Strengths

the R feels very special to own and to ride, its a real racebike,and looks and feels the real deal.Every component is top drawer. Ducati probably spent way too much on this bike and the original price probably lost them a fortune.It is not crazy fast, but the cornering ability and stability flatters the average rider ( me!). The very high revving motor makes you want to hold onto the lower gears and fill your ears with the best soundtrack ever. The brembos make stopping fast real easy, gearbox is surprisingly light, steering is sublime. Comfort for me at 6"3" is perfect...200 miles no problem

Weaknesses

slipper clutch sometimes selects false neutrals and it takes some getting used to. I have had no major problems with my R, but imagine that any engine problems will need a re-mortgage of the house. Regular servicing and cam belt changes a must as with most Ducati's.

Rating Breakdown
Engine
Brakes
Handling
Comfort
Build Quality
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