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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! first of all i've got to say that the monster is one the most gorgeous bikes i've ever seen... absolutely stunning to look at, plus it's got the sound i'd want for a motorcycle.

but, i'm a little worried about the quality of the ducs... nothing self experienced, but i have heard stories...

So my question is; is there a major difference in quality between the japanese bikes and the ducatis (monsters)? and if there is.. what? and why?

I am norwegian, so that's the reason for my rather poor english, if anybody wonders :)
 

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basic difference is...

Japanese bikes:
1. tune up intervals for valves are around 12,000 mi.
2. designed for the street then modified for racing applications
3. can't say on the manufacturing process but it might be automated
4. in-line 4 engine (1 rocker arm to open, and a spring to close - i believe - the valves)
5. torque settings are at high RPMs (real world application - lots of up/down shifting in canyon runs)

Ducatis:
1. tun up intervals are around 6,000 mi.
2. designed for racing applications then modified for street use
3. hand built (takes 1 person 45 min. to put 1 together).
4. L-twin or L-4 desmo action (2 rocker arms to open AND close the valves)
5. torque settings are at lower RPMs (real world application - less shifting in canyon runs)
6. engine braking (not breaking)... lots of it due to the design of the motor - less use of the brakes
 
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The reliability is fine - particularly the 2V models. There are several people on this board with more than 30,000 miles on their monsters, and have had almost no problems with them.

There have been some problem bikes too. Just like Japanese bikes and cars, some get built on monday morning and friday afternoon .. and just aren't put together very well. It's important to find a good dealer / mechanic to work on the bike for warranty work, should there be any.

This board is a great source of information for these bikes, and things to watch out for. Keep in mind though that people only post messages when they have problems, so it's hard to judge the reliability by reading the forum.
 

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Ciao,

matter of convinience, matter of what you are, not what others think you should be,

choose fast, still have time to ride whatever you choose.

Skier,
Ducati rider, HD rider, in the end, motorcycle rider.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I drive a Honda Civic now, and it has been a nightmare... i've had the car for about a year, and it has caused me so much trouble you just won't believe it. Even though the civics are usually known to run almost forever, that has not been the case with my car.

My previous car on the other hand (also a honda) was a dream! always started, no matter what the temperature was (it gets quite cold up here in the winter), and never caused me any trouble what so ever.

My point is that it's getting on my nerves to drive a vehicle that gets broken one way or another all the time. So reliability means a lot to me...

So i would really like to hear some of your experiences (good or bad) from you monster owners. Is the monster a reliable bike? or have you had trouble with it?
 

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Goddag kofalk, how is Norway this night ?

SO many monster during these 10 years.
SO many ways to treat them,
so I speak for myself as a user of 2003 1000 Sie Senna.

No problems in my 16000km.

But there is always a chance yo
 

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I think Ducati's are more durable then Jap supersport bikes. Those are starting to get kinda fragile due to the current obsession with weight reduction. So Ducs may have a few minor niggles but will last longer. That said my 1995 M900 runs like a dream with about 45K miles on it. They are also MUCH easier to work on then 4 cyl jap bikes. Every thing is sooooo easy to get to on a 2V. When I unclip and raise my gas tank, riders of Jap bike act like they've seen a ghost!! That is coooool they say. 2V Ducs are great. Can;t comment on the 4V as I've never owned one...but DAMN I want one!!

Mark
 
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Durability and reliability... Two different things. I see the ducatis as durable, but less reliable. Notice how few 20+ year old Japanese cars are around. I have had a few Honda cars that given flawless performance for many miles, but when they finally gave up they were gone. Throw away, not meant to be fixed. On the other hand I have also had a number of Volvos that were fussy from time to time, but were easy enough to keep going forever. They were made to be fixed.

Sorry to compare bikes and cars, but you see the same philosophies from the different parts of the world.
 

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Hi kofalk -
I understand your concern. You just can't expect the reliability of a Japanese bike from any other. I just can't figure out why, but that seems to be the reality of things. However, with proper care, anything should function the way it is supposed to. I think if it is maintained properly, a Ducati will run just fine. It may create headaches, but if your love for the Monster is great enough, it won't matter at all.
 

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Durability is very different from reliability. I meant that difference. But all the guys I ride with ride Jap bikes, they are not without their niggles especially if you tune them. Also my bike absolutely BLOWS Jap bikes away in fuel economy. went 351 km on a tank in a recent trip (16.5 l tank) and still had half a liter left when I finally found a gas station. In terms of reliability, I think reliability problems are overstated with Ducs. Ducati has MORE experience with fuel injection then Jap manufacturers. Also many Ducs share compenents and they are thus overbuilt. Ducati trannys are pretty damn bulletproof 'cos their cases are shared across most of thir bikes (from what I can see anyway) so a M900 tranny can deal with the torque of a 998!!! Jap bikes are great, but they change so often and are built so lightly.
 
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I remember "CHARACTER" is what the Ducati.com labeled as a primary difference between Nippon and Italian bikes (see DUCATI vs JAPANESE MOTORCYCLES, http://www.ducati.com/bikes/techcafe.jhtml?detail=article&value=miscellaneous&part=miscellaneous&artID=11)

The article is also good for other qualitative differences between the two, but, obviously, does not compare reliability ratings.

My personal sentiment on the issue is that, if you wanted to save money and be the most cost-effective, Ducatis are probably not the best choice. Just like how a [email protected] @ccord is probably the most all-around functional car for most people, you can most likely find a cheaper, more efficent alternative than the Monster (Prime example: Suz SV650).

But sometimes, humans get irrational and follow their emotions. In this sense, if your passion for Ducatis, and motorcycles in general, overcomes the increased possibility of maintenance issues, then by all means, go for it and don't look back! ;D
 

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i think everyone's in concensus regarding keeping it bike vs. bike and not dragging the cars into the discussion. cars are built under different specs and have different product goals. european cars are usually heavier than japanese cars, etc etc etc so it's like comparing apples to chicken.

anyways, as i had mentioned before (not sure if everyone saw what i wrote), the design goal for ducati has always been to design a track bike then to modify it for the street. both ducati and the japanese big 4 have different end goals in mind. you could say that generally speaking, the big 4 had sold quite a lot initially during the the japanese bike invasion of the 1970s mostly because of superior marketing campaigns.

however, ducati sold because of its performance but lacked a good marketing program. they were also quite expensive so they didn't sell as much as the big 4.

the number of bikes sold may have an indirect relationship to how reliable and how durable a motorcycle is. different owners will treat their machines differently. haven't seen many squids running around on ducatis abusing the power train, etc, bashing the forks from wheelie-ing it to death, etc etc etc. on the other hand, the big 4 are magnets for squids (for the most part - there are always exceptions).

squidly behavior that contributes to motorcycle thrashing will modify the reliability of a machine. needless to say, most ducati owners take pretty good care of their bikes. ducatis require more frequent maintenence intervals. the big 4 require less maintenence (sort of a "fire and forget" attitude).

in the end, because of the human factor involved (i.e. responsible ownership), I'd say that Ducatis are on the high end of the reliability spectrum.

among the percentage of ducatis on the roads, you'll see a goodly portion of older models as well as newer ones out there. on the other hand, you'll see many more newer japanese sport-bikes than older ones. once in a while, you'll see an old Goldwing, etc etc. now, are we talking about naked bikes or sport bikes (only because the japanese naked bike has not been around for very long with the exception of that purple-green-white big bore bike they use at the wheelie school).
 
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My apologies for the car reference... my example was admittedly a little abstract and could be misinterpreted - my only point was that, like with motorcycles, some cars are more expensive to service and maintain and may not be worth the cost to someone who's primary interest lay with cost-effecient transportation (e.g. cheap to fix and maintain). In other words, the maintenance of reliability may cost more in some than others.

Moreover, although I agree that individual owners may treat their bikes differently, and, possibly, that owners of Ducatis are more careful with the care and maintenance of their bikes, I think that the measure of reliability lay ultimately with the manufacturer. If I wanted to know how reliable something was I would want to test each model by riding each exactly the same under the same conditions. On the other hand, the squid's attraction to Japanese bikes might be a consequence of another factor, like cost-performance or lower ownership costs, and may test the durability of their bikes, but such statistic fails to adequately indicate the overall reliability of the machine itself. Rather the squid may diminish the reliability of the bike by neglecting service or by stressing the bike's integrity, but these human factors are so individualized that they should not be included when measuring the overall reliability of the machine.

I agree that Ducatis are most likely on the high end of the spectrum of reliability, although not for reasons derived from ownership patterns, nor sales figures. Rather, I believe the engineering, construction, and manufacturing of the bike itself may offer stronger indication towards increased reliability and durability of Ducatis. Similar to the reputation which is seemingly attached to many German-designed auto engines, it seems the Desmo engine has been constantly refined to a point of being "overengineered" and "overbuilt." Moreover, the inclusion of top of the line parts (e.g. Brembo brakes, Showa forks) further supports what Daffe quantified as the different goals of the two groups of manufacturers in his earlier posts.

Nonetheless, I believe anyone will agree that the cost of ownership of a Ducati is higher than most Japanese bikes - i.e. the cost for a dealer to service your bike, change oil, valve adjustments, etc. is higher than the norm. Furthermore, the hyperengineering of the bike may require more routine maintenance than the Japanese standard (like valve adjustments more often). But with this cost difference aside, and for the reasons stated in the preceding paragraphs, I generally conclude that Ducatis are more reliable, more durable, and better built than their Japanese counterparts.

Jiro: Squids are generally inexperienced, unprotected, reckless, (usually) young riders, most often seen riding high cc sportbikes and sliding on asphalt. For illustration: http://www.stlshockers.com/Videos/k...terview 5.wmv
 

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Urban Dictionary definition of squid.

btw - was thinking about this... lots of Big-4 owners complain about the astronomical insurance rates on their bikes... you'd think that the costs of maintenence (including insurance) would all even out in the end when comparing them to a ducati?
 

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lots of Big-4 owners complain about the astronomical insurance rates on their bikes... you'd think that the costs of maintenence (including insurance) would all even out in the end when comparing them to a ducati?
Well, you're technically correct, but I don't think you can compare sportbike quotes with Monsters. My insurer considers the 600/620 a standard, and everything higher a sportbike. Hence my low premiums.

However, there are companies that consider every Ducati in a single risk category. Clearly BS, but caveat emptor.
Rene Carlos
 
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