I agree with both of you guys that the cost of owning a Ducati is on the high side, but to each his own poison right?
All I know is when I ride with my friends with GSXRs, R1s, and even Harleys, it seems to be all attention is focused on my 916.
I know it's a bit of an ego trip, but hey, like I said, what do you buy these machines for, but looks and performance?
It might be edged out by faster bikes, but unless I get out on a race track, I definitely can't notice as I still keep up with the chaps on windy back roads.
And, get the looks from the girlies as I rev by.
Keep safe guys, and ride hard.
I have owned a 748 (14,000 miles), a 916SPS (26,000 miles) and currently a 996R (27,000 miles).
I simply cannot agree with the above comments; the Ducati's I've owned have performed faultlessly, and my current 996 is a gem.
The only breakdown I have had in over 60,000 miles is a regulator on the 748. I have been to the south of Europe countless times, done dozens of track days and thrashed them around the Ring, Wales and Scotland.
Perhaps the only valid reason I can think of for not owning one is they are crap in town (if you need to use a superbike in this way) and uncomfortable below 50mph - but that hasn't stopped me touring on them.
There are three simple secrets to having a reliable Ducati:
(1) Use them - don't leave them standing for months at a time. When I hear that 'my Ducati has never been ridden in the rain' I cry: you are doing it damage.
(2) Service them regularly.
(3) Let them warm up, don't thrash them in the first ten minutes of starting them, after that then thrash them :-)
If you treat them as described above, you will be rewarded with one of the finest twins ever built; iconically beautiful, and in my experience reliable. If however you prefer a screaming four and can't appreciate the Italian single mindedness of the 916 design, then don't bother. But in my experience, don't use reliability as an excuse not to own one.
I couldn't agree more with the above poster. let's face it, Japanese bikes are awesome... Power, reliability.. it's all there.. Well, NEARLY... Where's the SOUL?
On paper the 916 gets beat. Service costs, power, speed, weight (don't forget though Ducati quote wet weight, not dry weight like Japanese bikes) - but this is only part of the story.
The 916/996 is greater than the some of its parts. You can use all of its' power, all of the time. The information fed back to the rider is without rival, with incredible fueling accuracy and pick up, and of course that drive through corners. Everything happens with no fuss.
You have to re-educate yourself when riding a 916 because of the torque and the way it makes power. Unlike every Japanese bike I've ridden, there isn't the top end rush of say, a Blade; that's because the 916 is pulling hard straight from 3000 RPM. In comparison, nothing happens on a Japanese multi until about 7000 and you get 'lift off'. Therein lies the difference. On the Duke you are always in the power band.. Once you've learnt how to ride the thing (which doesn't just happen on a test ride), the Japanese bikes feel gutless down low, and frantic and peaky at the top.. They also have little rider engagement.. Damn it.. I shut the gas off just to hear the crackle and pop of those famous pipes on overrun!!!..
Yes a Duke is dearer, but look at the resale values. Many even appreciate in value... Only the very few, special Japanese bikes (RC30 perhaps? utterly unobtainable in its' day) ever do that.
The 916 is an utter icon that redefined everything, and its' importance simply cannot be overstated.. It is THE superbike of the 1990's, and virtually every negative remark thrown at it is from the jealous many who have never experienced the thrill and joy of ownership of the adoring few.
The above is correct. Since I'm an engineer and build engines as a hobby, I work on my own bikes so the maintenance cost for my Duc is low, but doing it through a mechanic would make it a fair bit dearer than a Japanese bike.
I found the thing with a Ducati is that they really make you pay the hard way if you don't maintain them properly. I have a heavy maintenance regime for all of my cars and bikes, and have never had a failure on my bike, but it does get checked very regularly and parts replaced, if they even seem they might be suspect. The cost of parts is pretty high.
As for the poser thing, I definitely don't have it for that, I prefer to ride where there are no other people. I think every spec of the 916 is exceeded in someway by other bikes, but not many bikes come together so well as the 916, which is one bike that is more than the sum of its parts.
One thing about a Ducati, especially the superbikes, is how easy they are to ride. Spend a little time working the controls and you have an instrument that responds to your thoughts.
I have a BMW for the long hauls, and the Ducati for the pleasure runs. The BMW is certainly easier to work on, but the Duc 916 isn't any harder than my 911s, and in most ways easier. Plus it has to be the sexiest mechanical device ever made, whether looking at it or once you're on it.