Good to see you back here -- hope you will be able to continue with the occassional contribution.
I'm with you so far on the 999 -- I have not seen it in person, so I'll reserve judgement, and if I had never seen a 916-series Ducati, I would probably think it pretty damn beatiful, but that it a tough act to follow. I also agree that when you consider paying somethink in excess of the average per capita income in the county in which I live, it should be something really special.
I examined the 999 last Saturday and was very pleasantly surprised. No, its not a 916/998, IT is an all-new FRESH design and should be considered as such. I recommend examining the 999 in person before making any hasty decision as to its styling. There are many nice touches that do not show up in the photos. The pilots view is awesome. While I am a great admirer of Tamburini's master work(s), Terblanche deserves credit for his designs given the management constraints of cutting manufacturing costs, assembly time, fewer parts, improving build quality and serviceability. Did I mention profitability and the ability to dominate WSBK?
I for one find the 999 to be a much better looking design than the 916 through 998 Ducatis, but then I have always found function to be a thing of beauty. What else would you expect from someone who rides a BMW R100 G/S? VWW
To me Ducati is about Passion. I have to say even though I think Ducatis are over hyped and overpriced, the pre 999 stuff made my heart pound whenever I saw one in the flesh. The 999 just doesn't to the same thing. At its price it should scream passion like a Ferrari. I haven't seen one in the flesh but....
El_Flaco I think there is a lot negative things going on in Seattle right now. The economy and traffic suck. Don't let the mood get you down. Go shoot your gun or see the Sonics (maybe young and good this year). Maybe the city is catching its breath from the 90s. Hopefully folks with energy are soon to take over i.e. baby boomers are tired and need to let the kids takeover. Seattle is still a beautiful place and has a lot going for it. No offense to Chicago but I went there a few weeks back. No thanks made me appreciate it here.
"Terblanche deserves credit for his designs given the management constraints of cutting manufacturing costs, assembly time, fewer parts, improving build quality and serviceability. "
Do you really think they are going to compete with Honda on these things? Passion man Ducati is about Passion.
"Did I mention profitability and the ability to dominate WSBK? " Unless the other Japanese makers come to play (Kawasaki has already said no) does it matter if Ducati dominates a field full of Ducatis, a lone RC51 and a lone Aprilia? No one wants to play in a field where the rules are fair they have taken their toys to MotoGP.
No this bike will have to sell on Passion. I don't think it has it.
I go to UW too! I thought that I had seen that SV650 around campus before, when it was in the article this summer...that was yours, right? It's cool that you write for the daily, though they certainly are cynical folk, I can see where that and the seattle greys could get ya down
I saw a 99 last week too and was very surprised at how much better it looked in person. The thing just doesn't photograph well and I hated it in pictures. Different story in person. The muffler is about the only thing that really stands out as gawking, the tail section is actually very cool, just overwhelmed by the ugly muffler. The front of the fairing and headlights don't look near as harsh in person either.
BTW, the dealer sent out an optimistic email stating "hurry down and see it as it won't be here very long." Well, I was there around noon the first day it was available and somebody called and said they were buying it and would pick it that afternoon. So it had a one day local viewing.
I'm sure you didn't like it in Chicago. You being in Seattle makes me appreciate Chicago even more for some odd reason. You needed to look me up. We could have hit all the biker spots and I would have let you ride my old Superglide. Damn, we could have had a good old time.
Personally, I think that if I wanted to live in the rarefied (or is it just thin low-on-oxygen) air of the white wine poser Italian bike crowd I would get one of those wicked looking new Benelli Toronados. Now there is one sweet looking rig. Oh heck. Screw the white wine crowd. I want a Toronado.
Its poser value over Ducatis is inestimable. You would have the snoots in their red leathers turning green. Or maybe get an MV Agusta. Heck, if you're going to spend that many $K to just go posing around city streets, may as well go all the way.
"Ducatis have become just so blase' don't you know, dear? And I do love that gold lame' scarf that sets off your Arai helmet so well. "
There should be a clause in any Ducati purchase contract that allows the manufacturer to confiscate any of Ducati's race-style bikes that spend too much time cruising on the boulevards.
"something that costs what some teachers make yearly"
Teachers aren't as underpaid as many like to think. It would be nigh unto impossible to find a public schoolteacher that makes $18,000. The national average salary for a public schoolteacher in the '00-'01 school year was a little over $42,000.
They must be smoking something funny over in Italy, because pics of the new Ferrari Enzo from certain angles (most notably the 3/4 angle) suck too, like the 999. But, I will probably find both to be stunning in the flesh.
I think that last statement would cut Ducati sales by 90%. How many Ferarri owners actually RACE their cars? The majority of Ferrari owners buy them for the poseur value.
I think it's the same with most Duc owners. That's just the way it is. There's nothing wrong with that--in fact, if you can get someone to give you twice the amount of money for your product simply because it has a better reputation and looks better, then I'd say you're doing pretty well.
That's the great thing about these bikes. They win on Sunday, and get sold on Monday. If you ask me why I would buy a 999, it wouldn't be because it is the best bike out there (which is a relative thing). I'd buy an R1 or a GSXR-1000, personally. I'd buy the 999 because it was the bike that so-and-so won the so-and-so championship on--because I'm a racing fan.
I want to feel like I'm Troy Bayliss rounding those curves, even though I'm not even close. I want to have the same bike that my racing hero does. I want to put on all the sponsor stickers and say to myself "I've got last year's Superbike championship bike in my garage". I want to sit in the garage and stare at it. I want to make my other motorcycle buddies jealous and hear them bash on the bike while I smirk on the inside. I want to show everybody how hard I've worked all these years by having something that is financially out of their reach.
Just because I don't actually race and ride around just for fun and not in an agressive manner, does that mean Ducati shouldn't take my money? no. I'm sorry if you feel like you've been branded because of the type of people that ride the same bike as you--that would be your problem, not anybody else's.
Make no mistake, these bikes are status symbols. That's part of Ducati's image just like its racing prowess is. It is the American way.
Of course, you can spend your money on anything you choose -- that is the American Way. Still, when I see a 996 that never gets out of second gear, has 1-1/2" of virgin rubber on each side of the tires, I just wanna cry. It is kinda like seeing a triple crown winning racehorse giving kiddie rides at the fair.
Of the Ferrari owners I know personally (a sample of 2), they DO drive their cars on the racetrack. Most of the Ducati owners I know, DO track days and riding schools where they can at least get a taste of the performance that is available.
Hey what is that bar in that strip mall in bonney lake where all the posers go to? I saw some nice Harleys there on one of my 150 mile rides on my Ninja. Yes South King County is a nice spot for folks like my in-laws. Red neck/hick country. You aren't married to your cousin are you? My brother-in-law is.
your right, so. king county IS a good place for ******* hicks, another reason I live in pierce county[LOL] I'm not married to my cousin, my wife is an Okie, Does that count?, Your probably talking about the New Peking lounge, Poser central for sure, Did you get your shots updated before you ventured out into the wilds? If you admit being out here, the Seattle Soviet Socialist Republic might quarantine you to Ballard for re-education, Have fun paying for Paul Allens sandbox. Are you going to the bike show in december?