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I see quite a bit exchanging hands on http://www.criagslist.org/mcy

I like these bikes too, but I, too, am scared to take the plunge into Ducatidom. If I understand correctly, the two-valvers (Desmoduo) are easier to maintain than the fours (Desmoquattro).

It depends upon how much you ride, how much you like to wrench or put up with paying for maintenance, etc. An $800 valve job every 6k is nothing to me, since I only put on ~3k/year, but if you ride 20k/year, that $400/year for me turns into $1200/year. Be aware of any inconsistencies in manufacturing pre-TPG years--I may be wrong, but I've heard that one bike--same year/model--may need constant maintenance while another is as tight as a Honda.

Cycle World lists some differences between models regarding reliability, but you should be able to find better resources out there by spending a lot of time with Mr. Google.

and, First post!
 

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i have personally had a hand in destroying a couple of them. last year i completely wadded my 1994 900 ss sp serial number 2 in turn 2 at pacific raceway. It has been rebuilt and if you want to go to seattle it's now on the street and for sale. i have also raced one 748 and a 750 monster. I have no use for ducatis as privateer race bikes. i now believe i was a fool for running them.

i rode to laguna from idaho on an st2 in 2001 and that was ok.

overall i like the 4 valve superbikes to ride on the track, i just don't like paying to keep them up.

the 2 valve 900 cc ducs like the 900 cr work pretty well, sound great and if you keep your expectations low and have a japanese bike as a backup you'll be happy.

regards

ed
 

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It is a very attractive bike but you definitely need to ride one before you decide you want to buy one.



I got to ride one over the Cherahola skyway a few years ago. At the time I was super excited to have a chance to ride such a sweet bike. (I had an SV650 at the time)



Overall it was pretty disappointing. The suspension was nice, as it was set up pretty close to correct for my weight. The bike was fun. But the riding position sucked, the engine was about the same as the SV650 but with a narrower powerband, and it was just fairly underwhelming.



Regardless of the maintenance, performance, looks, whatever, there was one thing that made me very happy to get back on my pedestrian SV. That bike has the most painful seat/tank arrangement of anything I've ever swung a leg over. It was just not designed to work with the male anatomy. I've never ridden anything like it before or since... any time you got off the throttle or got on the brakes it was painful.



Oh but it sounded glorious when you downshifted.
 

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>



Erm...if BMW motorcycles represent sewing machine-like precision to you, then you'll be absolutely thrilled w/ a 900SS. Just don't ride a Japanese bike, and you'll remain blissfully unaware of actual precision. :)



Seriously, I've ridden several 21st century BMWs, and every one of them feels crude to me compared to, say, my best pal's FJR1300. the transmissions don't shift as well, the brakes feel wooden and remote, and they're slow (new K bike notwithstanding).



Try a 900...I think you'll like it. A Ducati isn't crude, it's just got character :)
 

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I know a few individuals that have both Ducs and BMWs including myself. They are both great machines but satisfy their owners needs differently. BMWs are very confidence inspiring "technical" instruments built for the real world, Ducs are alive with "passion"... Hence the need for multiple bikes. (Not to confuse the issue, I find my Moto-Guzzi sort of bridges the divide.) As to reliability, my newer Ducs have been bulletproof.
 

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I assume you're talking about the newer ('99 and later) 900SS if you're complaining about the seating position. The '98 and older 900s (SS and CR) aren't bad at all...with a Corbin seat. As for saying that your SV650 engine's is the equal of a 900 two-valve: you need to have your seat-of-the-pants dyno adjusted because it's a bit off. A stock older (carbed, pre1999) 900 two-valve engine makes more power (4-10 hp depending upon dynos) and torque (8-10 ft-lbs) than a new SV and it makes both figures at lower RPM. It also beats the SV throughout the rev range for both hp and ft-lbs). The difference is even more stark if you look at the earlier SV 650s that put out 5 or so less hp than the newest version. The SVs rev out a little higher and Dyno results actually indicate that they are the "peakier" of the two.



I've ridden both (actually the 900 was in a monster) and the difference was obvious to me. The SV revs faster, but doesn't pull as hard.



I almost bought the SV, but I bought a 1999 M750 instead. The littler Monster (barely) lost the hp battle to the 1999 SV, but has a broader torque curve and slightly higher peak torque figure. The difference between these two bikes is failrl imperceptible. The SV will keep winding a little higher, but below 8,000 rpm, the engines feel very similar. I liked both bikes, but I preferred the Monster.



I'm still not sure what "character" is, but my little Monster has it. I bought it lightly used (900 miles) in 2001 with one year of warranty left. My purchase price ended up within $500 of a new SV at the time. That was close enough to allow me to buy the bike I preferred. I have 13,000 trouble free miles on the bike. The only problem was a leaking gas tank that was replaced under warranty during my first year of ownership. I paid under $500 for my 6,000 mile service (metro-Detroit). I paid almost $700 for the more extensive 12,000 mile service (metro-DC).



In all, I would highly recommend Ducati ownership. As someone else said, if you're putting more than 3-5,000 miles per year on your bike, the service intervals will add up, but if you're only going to ride the bike 5,000 or less, it's not too bad. I've walked to work most of my career, so I've never put any commuting miles on. If you need to commute, buy an old dp bike and save the Duc for the weekend. You can probably get an old 900CR and a five year old DR400s for the price of a new 600. I know which I'd prefer...













 

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The older Ducs, like the 900CR are simply not as good as the new ones. TPG allowed Ducati to make many upgrades. (Such as case hardening the valve stems, which prevented the half-circle clips from causing the valve stems to mushroom.)



The CR was the low end version, which is not to say that it isn't nice, but it is nowhere near the bike the current 900SS is. But if you're used to BMW handling, you are going to be in for a big surprise on any Ducati. Shop around on the price for a CR.



Francis
 

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Re: Valve's settle down with miles

I don't have a 900, but I do have an ST (OK, it's not a sportbike, but it is still a great bike). Some of the ST guys put on serious miles (15,000 a year or more), and they report that the valve adjustment hysteria is overblown. After the first 15,000 miles, they usually don't have to adjust the valves for a LONG time. However, it is critical to replace the cam belts every 2 years, regardless of miles.

As I said, I don't know about the 900 or the Cagiva-era bikes, but I'm very pleased with my Ducati. They are actually quite robust machines (while the recent BMWs have been getting a lot of complaints from high mileage riders about serious mechanical issues), and in recent years have really improved their attention to detail.
 

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I believe you are wrong. With the older 900SS's, the CR designation stood for Cafe Racer, hence the half-fairing. I think 98 was the last year they had that designation. I believe everything else was identical unless you had one of the early Superlight or SP models.
 

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You are correct... The CR, especially the 95+ (please verify years) came with non-rebuildable (not just non-adjustable) Marzochi forks... I would steer any friend away from buying a CR, especially if it has the Marzochi forks. For nearly the same price you can get a new generation 900 or 750...
 

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Yeah, but the older (pre-1999) 900SS Ducatis look SOOO much better. The new ones may be more reliable, faster, etc., but they look absolutely horrendous in comparison. All those grotesque slats and folds in the tank and fairing make them look like plastic japanimation bikes, and I would never buy one. Pierre Terblanche screws up almost everything he touches...
 

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I've owned a 1996 900SS CR for two years now, and couldn't be happier. I've added flat-slide carbs, Termi pipes, and a few other things, and the bike runs, looks, and sounds beautiful.



There's nothing like firing it up next to a pack of GSXR-600 squids - the air-cooled big-jug bark horribly emasculates every single one of them.



Enjoy it!
 
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