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redexces 10-18-2002 07:56 PM

Re: 2003 Ducati 999 Reader Feedback
Why is it that whenever a Euro bike maker (more specifically Italian) comes out with a "new" model, the universal knee jerk response is nearly always "ooh, ahhh" and then some slap at the Japanese for being boring copy cats. Very few seem to acknowledge or remember that it was the Japanese big 4 who were chiefly responsible for elevating the sport of motorcycling into the modern performance age we enjoy today starting in the late 60's and early 70's. Prior to this time, the choices were limited to stodgy American & Euro bikes that leaked, broke, and otherwise were mired in old world ways that rarely changed. Virtually every major advancement in motorcycle technology as we know it today was pioneered by the Japanese.

Remember motocross bikes before the Elsinore, RM, YZ, and KX were introduced? You had clunky CZ, Maico, Husky, Bultaco, etc that were competant but required all manner of spare parts to keep running. The Japanese introduced the monoshock linkage suspension, water cooling, disc brakes, high tech lightweight materials, ultra performance with reliability, dual purpose/enduro's, etc.

On the pavement side of the equation, they introduced the in-line 4 & 6, V4, boxer 4 & 6 to the masses, performance that decimated everything that came before them, electronic ignition, liquid cooling, disc brakes, aluminum alloy frames, fully faired sportbikes, longhaul touring rigs, etc, etc.

No "original thoughts"? The list of accomplishments and "original thoughts" are too numerous to list here. The next time you're tempted to mindlessly accuse the Japanese of being devoid of "original" thoughts, a little look back at recent history should convince you to do otherwise.

badinfluence 10-18-2002 08:36 PM

Re: 2003 Ducati 999 Reader Feedback
Its good to see some nice comments about the 999. By the comments in the print rags you'd think that everybody that writes in is a degreed designer. But then they may just print the most controversial.

I personally love the 999. Its different than the 916 series, so people will know you have the newest stuff. Also its about time that Ducati realized that not every bike they sell is ridden on a race track. This is where Honda has had the market for some time. Go fast, go far. I think many will give up 0.1 second or two on a race track they will never see to have a bike they can live with everyday. Ducati ought to sell a bunch of these things. Besides, the folks in the age group that can afford a $15,000+ bike don't have 21-year old backs anymore.

Now where'd I put my wallet?

12er 10-18-2002 09:03 PM

Re: 2003 Ducati 999 Reader Feedback
bmw has been doing it for some time, one of the main reasons I bought my k12rs. Finally a bike I could comfortably have fun on with my 6'6" 300lb, size 15 footed pro wrestler size frame. (trust me, you dont want to smell what I got cookin')

My brothers 996 was fun for about 10 minutes but after that I had no desire to ever try and mount that thing again. Once I shimmied my feet onto the pegs my heels hit me in the @ss, knees into my elbows and my head was about 4 inches passed the faring. First time I stabbed the brakes I understood why nobody else makes a tank that skinny. Being about as wide as a foot and no outward taper on the tank to stop a forward slide it proved extremely painfull. Add in the forward tilt of the seat and I was ready to sign my confession. "The stake is over there? Ok, I'll bring my lighter"

Once you blocked out the cramps, crushed manhood and saw through the tears it was a blast to ride though.

I would of loved to have been able to see myself on it though, guess the closest I can come would be a normal person on a YSR 50...

12er 10-18-2002 09:24 PM

Re: 2003 Ducati 999 Reader Feedback
Your limbs are about the perfect size for the bike, hence why you dont find it uncomfortable. Also add in a little padding around the middle and that actually holds you up on the tank (well it does me). Now add about 5 shoe sizes and about 4 inches to your legs and try again. Seems 5'10 and below is about the ideal frame for a 916/998. 6'+ its downright evil. My wrists arent a problem due to my ape like arms pretty much sitting me bolt upright. But folding your heal to you @ss and toe to your shin is a different story.

While I love being supersized I do envy the "average" human. There are only a handful of cars I can drive and none of them I would call comfortable. Take that back, the new 7 series fits like a glove. Now if I only had $80k...

12er 10-18-2002 09:36 PM

Re: 2003 Ducati 999 Reader Feedback
6 month wait for parts if something does go south... Keep that in mind if you are about to write a check. With the brand new model every part is on the assembly line and not in the stock room. My bro felt that sting buying one of the first 996's...

longride 10-19-2002 02:21 AM

Re: 2003 Ducati 999 Reader Feedback
Maybe you would understand better if you tried to stuff your size 10(example) foot in a size 9 shoe, or maybe walk 50 miles in a size 11 shoe. If the 916 fits you then you are comfortable, but I can assure you that at 6'4" and 235 lbs. I am NOT comfortable on a 916. I could ride it 600 miles, but they would have to pry me off the bike with a crow bar. Adjustable ergos would help many more become comfortable on such a bike.

Yikes 10-19-2002 02:33 AM

Re: 2003 Ducati 999 Reader Feedback
From the side the 999 is beautiful. The front itÂ’s bizzar. IÂ’m sure the nose will grow on me, my Hayabusa did. The tail is another matter: ItÂ’s FUGLY! Hell the entire exhaust outlet and signal assembly is Fugly. To top it off it appears as if it will be extremely difficult to change the exhaust system.

IÂ’m sure that the new adjustable ergos are wonderful. IÂ’m also just as sure that my 6Â’7" body will find riding the 999 an exercise in masochism.

pplassm 10-19-2002 04:29 AM

More variety
1997 YZF1000

1985 RZ350

1979 SR500

2000 KTM300EXC

1985 XR250

1982 XS650 Street Tracker

1979 XT500 Street Tracker

1990 CBR1000 Street Fighter

1975 CB400F

1979 RD400F

1973 Bultaco Pursang

1981 YZ465

1974 TY250

1975 TL250

Lots of mini-bikes.

I need a bigger garage.

seruzawa 10-19-2002 05:23 AM

Re: 2003 Ducati 999 Reader Feedback
While it's true that the Japanese rescued the motorcycle industry from the chronically unreliable 30's bikes that everyone else was selling in the 60's, it is incorrect to believe that originality had anything to do with it. Lack of innovation and creativity is a well-known deficiency of Japanese industry. Industrial espionage is heavily engaged in by the Japanese (as do many other nations).

You may be interested to know that one of the most common "modern" suspension systems, exemplified by Suzuki's mono-shock MX bikes of the 80's was developed by an American and literally stolen by Suzuki. The inventor sued Suzuki and finally gave up after many years because he simply couldn't afford to fight a multi-billion dollar corporation.

The Japanese forte' has been utilization and improvement of known technologies and the ability to mass-produce precision equipment. Japanese cameras are a well known example of their ability to produce top-notch precision equipment. Heck, they even make good beer. But originality has little part in it.

This failing of Japanese industry is acknowledged by the Japanese themselves. Note that they hire American and European design firms and engineers quite liberally to make up for this failing.

And anyhow, except for Electronic Ignition and EFI there is little actual "new" technology in motorcycles at all. Except maybe the govt mandated catalytic converters.

Buzglyd 10-19-2002 07:23 AM

Re: 2003 Ducati 999 Reader Feedback
I think KPaul changed his name....

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