If you could, I think it would be worth taking it to a mechanic knowledgable about Ducatis for a thorough look over. $6k is a lot for a bike with 23k miles. You could buy a brand new leftover 2003 SV1000 for that!
Ask the seller for receipts. If he / she does not have any then ask where the bike was maintained and ask them for a service history. Look at the receipts / service history and see if all maintenance was done on time and by an authorized mechanic.
Like was said above have a mechanic look at the bike, go with what they say.
If you are in doubt and are not ready to fork out bucks for valve adjustments etc then look elsewhere. Maybe a newer Japanese bike?
Also you didn't mention your bike riding experience and needs, what are you buying this bike for? From what I hear it's a great track bike but would make a lousy commuter bike.
Are you going to use it as your primary bike to ride to work, if so you might want to look elsewhere. If it's another bike to add to your collection and you are going to be riding it on the track or in the canyon's and the bike has a good service record then go for it.
Find one that's been well-maintained and buy it then. Don't listen to anyone who tells you to get something more practical. I'm serious.
Motorcycles are an impractical purchase for the most part. Get what you want. If you don't, you'll be sitting on that practical Honda or Suzuki at a stoplight and the Ducati will ride by with someone else on it and you'll feel sick that you didn't buy it.
I own a Ducati ST4 (916 motor) with 23k on it. It has been totally rock-solid. The clutch is about toast but the valves have needed little or no adjustment at every service interval.
Just do your research first and then buy. You'll love it.
As previously stated, condition is key. The mileage is a factor since parts wear out and require replacement. I like my 4-valve Ducs, but like Ferrari's - they cost more to maintain. If you have limited disposable income, there are better choices. Perhaps more importantly, the 748/916/996 generation superbikes are race focused and make traffic-ridden street riding a chore. However, if you are like me and spend more time looking at your Italian bikes then riding them, go for it!. ciao
If the owner has receipts from a valve adjsutment at a reputable shop in the last 6K miles I think you shouldn't worry too much about the engine. If he doesn't then I'd have
the valves checked and have 'em also look for flaking on the rocker arms
as for the $6K it all depends on how the bike is equipped... for a plain Jane 748 that's maybe high but for one that's been tricked out with Ohlins suspension and/or other goodies it could be a bargain
At best this bike is worth $5700. That's average retail from a bike shop. Private party sale would be best at keeping it around $5400 not including any performance upgrades. Remember that aftermarket upgrades (ie, exhaust) are worth half of the retail value. Mileage is high for a Duc. so that brings the price down as well. If the buyer and seller live in a market that allow them to have easy access to more than one Duc dealer have him meet you at a dealer he does not do business with and pay the shop rate for a thorough 1 hour inspection. After that go to the regular mechanic and ask for details. Good luck.
good choice the 748 is kind of a more fun street bike than 916. Probly be a motorcycle that will appreciate over time, too, they were really groundbreaking machines. I ever mention the perfect `69 GT500KR Shelby Mustang convertible i coulda bought in 1987 for $6900 if i woulda had $6900?
DEFINATELY ASK ABOUT THE ROCKER ARMS!!! This was a big problem for those bikes that caused a lot of headaches for a lot of people. If you're buying from the original owner he should know what you're talking about. The keyword you're looking to hear is "megacycled." On the other hand, if the bike has 23K on it and the rockers haven't taken a dump yet, odds are they'll be fine for a long time to come.
You might also want to inquire as to whether or not the owner has replaced the clutch slave cylinder with an aftermarket item. They were prone to leaking around that time. That said, my 2000 apparently had one of the "bad" slave cylinders and it's been fine for 30K miles now.
I'm not 100% sure but I think 24K will be the next scheduled maintenance, so keep that in mind when negotiating your price.
Like I mentioned before, I've got 30K on my Ducati and it has been absolutely rock solid the entire time. You obviously have been bitten by whatever it is about these bikes that makes them appeal to us, price/performance ratio be damned.
I bought a '99 748 with 3200 miles for $5500 about 8 months ago and the only issue I have run into is some cooling gremlins. Like everyone else said, maintenance is key, if the owner does not have receipts you should walk. As for the price... you can definently do better, take a look at eBay.
dog with bone. i don't think i smoked yet then? i tried to get my dad to buy it, he got Volare wagon instead. There must be a lesson in there somewhere...
i wonder if bikes will ever take off like cars did in terms of $$$? I saw one those mustangs on barretjackson the other day and it went for like 60K. Nobody would've predicted that in 1978. H-D was on the ropes then, too...
wonder how many 748s Ducati built? there can't be that many...
"Find one that's been well-maintained and buy it then. Don't listen to anyone who tells you to get something more practical. I'm serious.
Motorcycles are an impractical purchase for the most part. Get what you want. If you don't, you'll be sitting on that practical Honda or Suzuki at a stoplight and the Ducati will ride by with someone else on it and you'll feel sick that you didn't buy it."
I believe no truer words have ever been spoken at this site than these.
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