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Old 06-19-2007, 07:18 PM   #1
digitsu
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Default Looking for a duc

Just got my oogata license (in japan you need a separate license for big bikes) and looking to get a new bike. I realize such open ended questions are bound to trail a mile of cruft, but I'm going to open myself up to it. I'm looking at the monster s2r, hypermotard, compared to the ktm superduke or the upcoming aprilia shiver. I'd like to hear what experienced duc riders have to say about the general characteristics of duc vs ktm's vs aprilia in terms of build quality, reliability of bikes, and maintenance costs. I have a friend who has a ktm 950SM and a smaller 450ex motocross bike, and swears by ktm reliability, but I don't like the plastiky feel fo the bike. Never seen an aprilia in the flesh, but I hear that they are all of top quality and finish. I know that Duc's carry the most 'sexy factor', but that aside, how to the manufacturers measure up?

any opinions?
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:05 AM   #2
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Wow. You live in Japan and want a European bike? That's different.
I love the Aprilia's, but the dealers are somewhat sketchy here. And I think the KTM is butt ugly, though I hear it's fun to ride.
I've had a 2005 Monster 800 for about a year now. I commute daily, hit the canyons on the weekends, and take a ridiculously long trip (OK, about 1k miles) once a month. This bike is perfect for that kind of all around performance. I find it comfy for the long haul (which is weird because it's more comfy than my previous bike - a Katana - the alleged budget sport tourer), reliable, and crazy good in the corners. And I don't think there's anything sexier. You need to stay on top of valve adjustments which can be costly if you don't do it yourself. But the reliabilty of the Ducs these days is solid and the maintenance is at least half of what it used to be. I'm an owner, so obviously I'm biased. Added bonus: there's a huge online community of Monster owners at the DML. Most of them are way past the point of no return when it comes to mods, so there's no shortage of information regarding just about anything you can think of doing on or to your bike.
Good luck!
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:30 PM   #3
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thanks zenjim, that helps!
Yes, I'm looking for european bikes because I think jap bikes are good for 4-bangers, but I'm looking for a twin for my next bike. I have a CB400SF Honda, and its great for commuting, but the smooth 4 cyclinder is a little lacking in inspiration and vibes. And if you gotta go twin, its gotta be european. (sorry HD fans)
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:49 PM   #4
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I'm leaning towards the monster, but avidly awaiting Nov when Ducati is supposed to unveil the next monster model with the hypermotards engine.

Gotta start test riding!
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Old 07-21-2007, 09:07 AM   #5
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I've owned two Ducatis. A 1998 ST2 and a 2003 Multistrada. The Aprilias are excellent bikes and you can't go wrong. The Shiver 750 is worth comparing to the Monster. I'd take two things into consideration (if you're buying new). First, are you in the city? I'm in Geneva, Switzerland. If I lived in Tokyo, I would not buy a 1000cc bike. You won't get out of second gear, Japan is HOT in the summer, and Ducatis will suffer through a hot, slow city, but they won't like it and neither will you. That leaves the Multistrada 620 (a excellent bike) and the Monsters. If, however, you're outside town, by all means get a bigger one. Second issue is height. I'm about 176cm and the Multistrada is a bit of a reach for me. Love the bike, but backing up is not as easy as my St2. Consider this. As for reliability, I think the days of Italian bikes falling apart are over (since 2003 or so). Moto Guzzi, Ducati and Aprilia are making serious bikes now. So good luck and enjoy.
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:07 AM   #6
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Don't forget that you can include the new BMW F800s on your list as well as the Buells. That new Rotax powered Buell looks very interesting. The BMWs may not be sporty enough for you but the Buell would be very differn't
Don't forget the Ducati reto bikes also. They look like a lot of fun but then I am old
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:24 AM   #7
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I'm not old and I'd give my left nut for one of those retro ducs.
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Old 07-21-2007, 03:35 PM   #8
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Yeah, I test rode the BMW F800. Very comfortable bike, excellent riding position, nice handling. Loved, loved the seat. But as usual with BMWs, it lacked the joy you find in Italian and to some extent American bikes.
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Old 07-22-2007, 02:19 PM   #9
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Re: KTM reliability, you might want to read this month's Motorcyclist. They have a long term KTM in their garage. Among they reported:

"The finicky CV carburetors came with lean jetting that's difficult to get exactly right. Water pumps...will wear out..between 15,000 and 20,000 miles. A drying fuel pump makes the bike feel like it's running out of gas. A noisy starter means the Bedix-bit is on the outs. Watch out for rusty spokes..."

"Aside from that, how did you like the parade, Mrs. Kennedy?"
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Old 07-22-2007, 08:31 PM   #10
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Well the BMWs I would say are Sport Touring bikes more than a true Sport bike. I haven't even gotten to see one of them yet but your description makes me want one.
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