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Old March 16th, 2016, 11:13 AM   #1
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Do you ride hard?

I've never really been one for going at a leisurely pace.. well, not until I moved away from fast cars and onto bikes anyway. Now I generally go pretty leisurely in my car (and can afford a nice enough car to enjoy the luxury of going leisurely in). I was fully into the racetrack in my car days. The Nurburgring was the cream of the crop.

HOWEVER.. I just seem to have transferred my desire to go hard at it from 4 wheels to 2.

Being an almost exclusive Honda driver/rider before getting the Duc, I'm used to nailing my machines hard and not thinking about their reliability or ability to handle a consistent firm hand/fast pace.

But after dropping to the 14T sprocket up front and the resulting change in pace I found myself wondering today 'can the Duc handle it long term..?'

I mean, they're not famed for their reliability, after all; and the build quality/tolerances certainly don't match what Honda can do. Don't get me wrong, I see exactly why so many love them and love mine dearly, but can't help but wonder how well they hold up to consistent hard riding.

Anyone owned a Duc (Hyper or other) long term/high miles and can comment?
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Old March 16th, 2016, 12:23 PM   #2
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At this point in time the differences between the mainstream manufacturers has diminished. There have been many notable problems with Honda motorcycles, as with each brand. For the most part, Ducati is made with proven old-school techniques, and a lot of very high quality components. Ducatis are made one at a time all year, like BMW and KTMs. Honda motorcycles are quickly made all at one annual production period.

Riding hard in London? Maybe between traffic jams.

Routine maintenance is always the key. In addition, corrosion remains a huge issue in the UK.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 03:43 PM   #3
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I almost exclusively ride mine hard, and aside from the minor issues (starter motor, leaking countershaft seal), I haven't had any issues. Doesn't burn oil. Still gets great fuel economy.

Will be interesting to see how the valves look though!
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Old March 16th, 2016, 03:46 PM   #4
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How many miles have you put on yours kuksul?
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Old March 16th, 2016, 04:51 PM   #5
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How many miles have you put on yours kuksul?
I've got almost 12k miles now.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 06:06 PM   #6
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At this point in time the differences between the mainstream manufacturers has diminished. There have been many notable problems with Honda motorcycles, as with each brand. For the most part, Ducati is made with proven old-school techniques, and a lot of very high quality components. Ducatis are made one at a time all year, like BMW and KTMs. Honda motorcycles are quickly made all at one annual production period.

Riding hard in London? Maybe between traffic jams.

Routine maintenance is always the key. In addition, corrosion remains a huge issue in the UK.
Well in the car industry they say "handmade" is another word for "the doors don't close right". I think there's a distinct difference between ducati and honda. though not as great as it once was.

But they charge premium prices and don't really offer premium customer service etc..

I love the bike - but I'm going off warranty and I'm knocking on wood. And I do question how far up the road they'll support the digital parts on the bike. By law I think it's 7 years, after that I can see them just dropping it. We'll see.
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Old March 17th, 2016, 05:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by appliance821 View Post
Well in the car industry they say "handmade" is another word for "the doors don't close right". I think there's a distinct difference between ducati and honda. though not as great as it once was.

But they charge premium prices and don't really offer premium customer service etc..

I love the bike - but I'm going off warranty and I'm knocking on wood. And I do question how far up the road they'll support the digital parts on the bike. By law I think it's 7 years, after that I can see them just dropping it. We'll see.
I think the math has been worked out to show that roughly 3k of each new ducati sold gets put towards their racing programs and heritage. As someone who watches MotoGP religiously, I don't necessary have a problem with that. Ducati is a much lower volume bike producer compared to the "Big 4".

As for the reliability, at least for the older air cooled twins, as long as valves and belts are done on time, along with oil changes, I see no reason to believe they aren't bulletproof. I've given my monster a few beatdowns on the track, and it has always ran beautifully. Maintenance is key.
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Old March 17th, 2016, 07:18 AM   #8
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Has anyone ever know a Ducati that's still going strong at say, 60k miles?
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Old March 17th, 2016, 07:24 AM   #9
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I think the math has been worked out to show that roughly 3k of each new ducati sold gets put towards their racing programs and heritage. As someone who watches MotoGP religiously, I don't necessary have a problem with that. Ducati is a much lower volume bike producer compared to the "Big 4".

As for the reliability, at least for the older air cooled twins, as long as valves and belts are done on time, along with oil changes, I see no reason to believe they aren't bulletproof. I've given my monster a few beatdowns on the track, and it has always ran beautifully. Maintenance is key.
Of course if every manufacturer charged for "heritage" the big 4 would be priced out of the market. Watching Moto GP the ducs are mostly "also rans" except in a few instances.

I suppose that's part of my point: If you're paying a premium that isn't for superior construction and engineering, it should be made up by superior customer service and care. In the modern world where everything is "good", that's where luxury is differentiated from non-luxury.

Also, "Heritage" is a two way street: an effective marketing tool for existing bikes, but a straight jacket for future development. The artificiality of the "heritage" narrative, is that ducati had bikes that were not desmo or V-Twins. The chosen narrative is the one that they think works for them.


Regarding lower volumes: It might be a selling point, but if they could sell more they would. They're not particularly strategically smart, and as long as they cling to complex valve systems and purely V-twins they're limiting their market. But even within those self imposed constraints, they can't consistently get it right - they're a bit greedy and it fogs their vision.

Look at the scrambler: nice, a fair value and a good seller, but where do people go from there? My guess is the Triumph dealership. Where's the upgrade path? And what's with the 62? You almost get the feeling they thought, "gee we sold a lot of scramblers , I guess we didn't charge enough lets see if we can make it up with the 62." Greedy and not so smart.


When I think smart and small scale, I think KTM. These are smart people.

But of course, if you do fork out the do re - they make some very nice machines.

Last edited by appliance821; March 17th, 2016 at 07:33 AM.
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Old March 17th, 2016, 03:55 PM   #10
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Has anyone ever know a Ducati that's still going strong at say, 60k miles?
Absolutely i put 60k on my monster before a car got it. I have a friend with over a 100k on his.
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