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I like the Aprilia for everything: engine, performance, maintenance, handling, looks...but that range is crippling for a sport tourer. I can't believe that under 150 miles per 5+ gallons was all that could be produced.



And first post w00000000t!



Foxy

 

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Man, Aprilia just came out of nowhere with their new stuff! Keep it up!



I prefer the look of the Futura, and it sounds like I'd prefer the motor too. BUT less than 150 miles on a tank? Pretty much cripples it as a serious tourer if you ask me. Of course it gives you the opportunity to do more posing at gas stops!
 

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Want to really ride a great Sport-Tourer....Try the Triumph

I currently own a 2000 Triumph Sprint ST with just over 10,000 miles. In

most of the categories in this test it pretty much blows away both the

Ducati and the Futura. I originally chose it becaust the VFR didn't have

factory luggage, and the ST2 wasn't reliable enough. The bike has been

stone reliable for the past year. It's comfortable enough for 500 mile days, and with all the power and handling I can use. In addition, I get between 47-53 mpg. I can usually run 235-250 miles before the low fuel light comes on. While it certainly doesn't have the sexy styling of these two bikes, I personally think it's the cream of the crop for Sport-Touring with the emphasis on "Sport". Sorry for Aprilla...I think their entire line is a testament to what can be achieved by a relative newcomer, 120 miles to a tank eliminates it from my list. The Ducati, while beautiful, fast, and a babe magnet, is just too unreliable for my taste.
 

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Good job, MO, another good comparo... but now I want to see the big sport-tourer test - including the Ducati, the Aprillia, VTR800, Triumph, etc. You should ride them all coast-to-coast and judge them all on the grin-to-ass-pain ratio when you get to the Atlantic.



You might want to proofread the story again, though - what exactly is the 'minority effect' on overall handling? Professional journalists should also know the difference between "its" and "it's", or hire an editor who does. Now I'm being a bit anal... other than the grammar, good job.
 

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Hondachop -



We appreciate the accolades and that's a good idea for a test. Unfortunately, it'd likely be a tad bit shorter than coast-to-coast. Still a good group of bikes. Hmmm...



As for the editing, looks like we were a bit too anxious to get to 4th of July BBQs after dealing with ad server issues. We'll go ahead and get that straightened out (HackFu?) and feel free to e-mail any one of us at any time with (realistic) story ideas and/or feedback.



Happy 4th of July to everybody!



--Minime
 

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What about the ST4S??

Great job on the comparo, guys, but instead of using the has-been ST4, it's a shame you couldn't pitch the the Aprilia against the latest, greatest ST4, the S model. I bet its fully adjustable Ohlins rear suspension, gold titanium nitride front forks, lighter wheels and 996 engine would send the Aprilia to second place. And all this for a mere thousand bucks more than the ST4.
 

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Re: Want to really ride a great Sport-Tourer....Try the Triu

Hey Biker 911,

I currently own a 2000 ST2 with just over 10,000 miles, and can only say that I have had no reliability problems whatsoever. I ride my bike here in Switzerland everyday, all year, in any weather condition except serious snow, and the ST2 has always been a faithful companion.

For vacations I tend to go on long cruises around Europe, including days considerably exceeding 500 miles, through the Alps etc. and wouldn't change the ST2 for another. This after having owned a number of bikes over long perids of time, including a VFR800 and a Varadero. Although both of those may be slightly better than the Ducati in some areas, the overall package of the Ducati is precisely what I want in a bike.

Prior to switching to the ST2, I also had a chance to try the Sprint ST and the Sprint RS (my Ducati dealer also sells Triumphs), as well as the BMW 1100 S, and they are all great bikes. I just have fallen in love with the Ducati after experiencing the World Ducati Weekend 2000 at Misano last year, and have not looked back since.

I suppose all of us can never entirely agree, and so much the better. It is great to find such diversity in the ST category, and I am looking forward to testing the Futura this coming weekend. But change my Ducati, I don't think so!

So, if you think Ducatis still have reliability problems you might be surprised to find that they have considerably improved in this area over the years, and with a little extra care from the owner, I'm sure you will find them to be on level with the Triumphs.

Regards,

Henrik
 

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Since I am in the market for a new bike, I have checked out both.



The Futura seems like a nice bike, but the styling turns me off, the Ducati ST4 I really like, but I am wary of their maintenance, and I think that I would hold out for an ST4s instead. The Ducati to me is a very beautifull machine in every respect that I can measure.



Since the capabilities of all those bikes exceed anything I could and would do, their top performance is really not an issue with me, and I suspect a lot of other riders too. From a practical point in regards to on the street performance, looks, range, cost, etc there are other choices. I am thinking a Triumph Sprint would be a wiser buy, at least for me, and then there would be descent tank range too, but the Ducati sure looks sweet.



Nice report!
 

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Re: Want to really ride a great Sport-Tourer....Try the Triu

Biker 911 Go to - http://www.saltlakemotorsports.com/Rally2001.html to see how unreliable these bikes are. Check out the 2000 Rally Duc at the bottom also.

BTW Minime - "Then, only a year later, the Italian marque released the ST4 which upped the displacement and power output of their new sport-tourer." The ST4 has 916 cc's while the 2 has 944 cc's.
 

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One word....

FJR1300. Period. Both the Ducati and the Aprillia are nice bikes..quick, decent looks, etc., but the FJR...ah, not that's what we want. Now I realize that's comparing apples to oranges...well maybe not oranges...maybe red delicious apples to granny may apples (or whatever they are called..you know, the green bitter ones), but still, on a twisty road, I'll bet the FJR would'nt be too far behind. The FJR is a true sport-tourer in the U.S. sense of the word...fast (150+ mph), powerful (lastest word is 120ish rwhp), torquey (90+ ftlbs), good handling, good looking, hardbags, shaft-drive, adjustable screen, Japanese reliablity, tank range, etc. You can even wheelie the thing!! Yes, it's heavier (but not ST1100 heavy) and more "tour" than "sport," but you'd be much happier on a 500 mile trip to deals gap and back on the FJR than either the Duck or the Priller.

There is only one problem...no bike yet!!!! But, as M.O. surely knows by now (but refuses to say by the way), the FJR is most likely on the way next year. I've put down my deposit, and a spot in my garage next to my 2000 R1 is ready. Ahhhh, the perfect two-bike combo. My new helmets and gear are picked out and my first 300 mile route is mapped. Just waiting on you Yamaha.

Peace.

Carlton

The FJR Petition Dude

http://www.geocities.com/revin_rev/
 

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Congratulations on being (I think) the first to compare these two. Good read.



22MPG???? Wow has anyone else gotten that sort of result? Perhaps your RST is anomalous, 'cause that is incredibly bad.



Love the Aprilia's looks, though. The Ducati is, to my eyes at least, really dull looking.



I would like to second the motion above for a test including the VRF and Triumph. The VFR, particularly, as it is the Standard.



Oh, yeah, and please scan in the whole bloody tech stuff that you get in your press kits. The more geeky tech info the better.
 

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The Aprilia does everything just a bit better, but the Ducati is so much better looking and has more range. If you owned the Ducati and never rode the Futura would you ever notice the shortcomings? The Futura is UGLY. Everyone will notice that.
 

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Re: What about the ST4S??

With MO always screaming for latest and greatest it is a real shame the ST4S was ignored. Especially for MO's love of the 996 engine, TiN coated forks and speed.

What this test was, was Aprilia's latest and greatest Vs. Ducati's older and less powerful ST4 - its no wonder why Aprilia was deemed "superior".

MCN has already the ST4S road tested.

It can't be called a touring bike if its range sucks. My 929 has a better range than the Aprilia - maybe I should get some hard luggage for it.
 

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Good test, but I agree that there may have been a problem with this bike's state of tune, that it returned such poor mileage. Maybe MO could follow-up on this issue.



Also, no mention made of some obvious maintenance issues such as the ease of chain adjustment on the Aprillia by virtue of it's single-sided swingarm, and the 10k mile valve adjustment intervals vs. 6k miles for the Duc. Also, timing belts must be replaced every 6k miles on the Duc. Also regarding chains, the Ducati's adjustment mechanism is primitive. I know because I own an ST2, which, with some exceptions, I like alot.



BTW, these bikes are in a totally different category than the FJR1300, which will come in at *at least* 600 lbs.(probably much more) w/bags and gas and has a totally different, bolt upright riding position. Rightfully, it should only be compared to other bikes of this kind such as the BMW R11RT, Concours and ST1100.



While I'm on the subject, will someone please tell the "FJR petition dude" to quit whining. We've heard it one too many times. You've made your point at every possible opportunity (and site!). Now that you've got your deposit down, no amount of whining is going to get you that thing any quicker. The funny thing is, you've done such a job of convincing yourself that this thing is perfect, you're bound to be disppointed.

 

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Re: What about the ST4S??

Spikedlemon -

We didn't ignore the ST4S nor "chose" to run the standard ST4 against the Futura. Ducati North America knew our intentions with the comparo and provided us with a aport-tourer of their choice -- the ST4 you see in the comparo.
 

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I really happy to see another company produce a sport/tourer. The Futura is a great first effort, but art? Maybe the Elvis on black velvet kind. The Futura looks like something out of a bad 80s sci-fi movie. Even the BMW looks better. If you could take the mechanical package (after figuring out how to increase gas mileage) and wrap it in a better looking package, you might have something.



Also, the underseat exhaust intrigues me. Did you do any testing two up? Does the exhaust convey any heat to the passenger?
 
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