I own both a 2006 KTM Superduke and a 2005 Ducati 749R with Leo Vince race pipe. Been riding for about 12 years, couple of track days under my belt - far from an expert but an ok rider. I am soooo much faster on the Superduke. The 749R is gob smackingly beautiful and the handling is fantastic. However, probably due to my age and creaky joints I cant fling it around fast enough to hang with Duke - benchmark is a buddy of mine on a K1200S who rides like a demon and he just cant get away from me in the twisty stuff when I'm on the KTM. If I was a better rider, I guess I would be able to get the 749 in exactly the right RPM range, but there you go.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?
Ducati is not that expensive to maintain, very reliable. KTM I feel is just bullet proof. Checked out the Tuono when I looked at the Superduke and never regretted my decision for a second. Hope this helps!