When I need a Ducati fix, my S4 does the trick. I have not seen the S4R in person, but I'm not keen on the styling, particulary the rear swing arm revealed in photos. If the S4R had the 998 testastretta motor, it would be a very compelling reason to own one. The Tuono is way cool and earns my vote. Your relationship with the dealer is also an important factor to consider.
It may be a bad time to bring this up Maarten, but I'm sure you have read plenty of comments from our knowledgeble MOrons on what general crap Harleys are. I guess you have one of those Twin Cams with the notorious cam bearing problems, along with the problem of being a general pile of shyt. I have defended Harleys in the past, being the owner of a couple, and admit I was wrong on all counts. They are crap. I feel very sorry you had purchased one, possibly due to my high opinion of them. I will certainly make things right and take the junk off your hands for half of what you paid for it. Yes, yes, I know it's a generous offer for a bike with so many problems and horrible reputation, but that's the kind of guy I am. I'm sure any MO genius would think this a fair deal. Just ask them. On a side note, Buy the Duc. It's a classic.
Go with what bike gives you the most passion. When you get off it do you look back at it? I still do with my Ninja (OK I am married with two girls with expensive tastes/needs and I am the sole provider so my choices are limited). But I still love my bike. Its definitely a tough choice. From reading about the Tuno it is basically a Millie in standard clothing so I would probably get that. Either way they are beautiful bikes. Wish I had your delimna.
I'm more inclined to get the Tuono, but that S4R makes a strong argument for itself. Is there any way you can ride them back to back one afternoon on the same stretch of road to get an idea of the pros and cons of each bike? Then you could make an informed decision. Whether you use logic or emotion to make that decision is up to you. These two are so close it really is a tough decision. Shyt, if you have the funds, buy them both!!
Huh?? Is the sun rising in the west? Has gravity reversed itself? The Cook man is talking about PASSION when choosing a motorcycle? First, he has agreed with me a couple times this week, and then this? I'm not scared of much, but THIS is scary!
I hope the decision isn't made for you - I visited my local Aprilia dealer just to see the Tuono. He told me he'd like to see one too, they were all sold or on waitlist. Maybe your area's better. I did see one at the cycle show in the Winter, sweet looking bike.
Having ridden the Tuono and Tuono R as well as the Monster s4 in a very spirited fashion on numerious occassions, my immediate reaction is: Get the Tuono. Having said that, I haven't sampled the Monster s4R yet and it does look to be closet to the Tuono from a performance standpoint, though I doubt the riding position is nearly as good as the Tuono, which is for all the world like a big dirtbike with rearsets.
After spending the past year (at MO) testing just about every bike available, I can say without reservation, that the Tuono is the most fun bike I've EVER thrown a leg over. Of course I'm an idiot and I tend to ride in a fairly aggressive manner, so my opinion is only truly valid, for those of you who ride aggressively or do long commutes.
The Tuono will cost you a LOT less than the Duc in maintenance costs. I've only ridden a standard Monster 900, so I can't speak to the motor's performance, but I much prefer the chassis of the Tuono, I can tell that already. I've also put in excess of 20,000 miles on a Mille in a year and can speak to its impressive reliability. I never had to do anything besides change oil, filter, chain, sprockets, and tires.
Don't listen to the guy who says the Monster sounds better. The Tuono sounds glorious with any number of aftermarket pipes, which isn't to say that the Monster doesn't, of course.
As for looks, I think the Tuono is better looking, too. I've had several women (one is my fiancee, admittedly) tell me that it was the sexiest bike they had ever seen, but who cares what it looks like when you are on it, right?
I imagine that the Duc is more frequently stolen, just because there are so many on the road, the parts market must be there. Aprilia's did seem pretty safe from theft, although that didn't stop a couple of joyriders taking my Mille and totalling it earlier this month. I wanted a Tuono anyway, so I guess I can't really complain.
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