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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

First post here.

I'm a re-entry rider, have had a BMW R1150R ABS for the past 3 years, about 21,000 miles. I commute daily on my bike here in LA, everyday, unless its raining in the morning. I also take the occasional ride up Angeles Crest to Nucomb's Ranch, though less lately.

About a year ago I realized that ProItalia Glendale , a big Ducati / MV Agusta dealer, is only 3 miles or so from my house. I've dropped by a time or two, and last Wednesday, in celebration of beating a 110 mph ticket (don't ask, I know it was idiotic, and I have slowed down to sanity the last 9 months), I stopped by ProItalia to look around.

The S4RS really caught my eye. The S4R, with its twin configuration, its torque, its standard riding position, is actually similar in many ways to my RR. Of course, compared to the S4RS, my RR is a tractor - not the beauty, not light, kind of like a more sedate sedan compared to a sports car. So I have been thinking I could keep my BMW for trips, and use the Ducati for commuting & the weekend ride thing. I test rode the Ducati, and here are my impressions:

Well, first off, I like normal switch gear. BMWs have some weird configuration of paddles for turn signals & cancelling & horn. Don't ask. Normal is better. But real stuff, the Ducati is light, nimble, sounds great (even stock) (BMW boxers don't sound all that great no matter what you do), the Ducati had flawless fueling, fun roll ons, very controlled power delivery, at 48 I'm not looking for unintentional wheelies, but the ability to loft the front when wanted would not be bad. The Ducati felt "smaller" than the BMW to me, but that may be a weight issue. The Ohlins did a great job of smoothing out the bumps. The brakes felt great, but then my bike has ABS and I am used to just hammering the front brake. On a personal level I have to decide if I'm ready to forgo the safety blanket of ABS.

The Ducati is a thing of beauty. Very few bikes look as good to me, maybe the MV Augusta Brutali, but I can't handle a 4 cylinder (it would be jail or the cemetery for me).

The bad stuff - the wind screen flops all around, the gas tank seems a bit on the small size, the mirrors vibrate pretty bad (and any fix for that could not preclude land splitting). Also, no heated grips (is that asking too much?).

So my question is, how are fixes for the screen, mirrors. Also, what issues are there. How much does a chain/sprocket set cost (remember I have a shaft). How much are the services.

I may still take a ride on a BMW R1200S. Thats actually fairly similar. Anyway, any input would be appreciated.
 

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Poorducrider sells fairing stays for $35.00, includes shipping. Very nice, clean product...really does the trick to stiffen up the fairing.

Chain and sprockets, I got 20,000 plus on my ST4's chain and front sprocket. I don't exactly recall the cost but around $150 or less if you do some shopping on the Net for the chain. My rear sprocket looked fine so I have not changed it yet. You will, of course, need to maintain your chain...lube every 300 miles. Something you are not used to having to do. You will need to buy a rear stand if you want to make that job easy (I don't know if your BMW has a center stand but the S*Rs do not and there are not available from Ducati...well not at least when I checked when I first got the S2R).

Mirrors: The stockers are ugly...many replace them. I put Rizomas on mine and they do not vibrate at all...they are tiny though and you don't get a real big picture of what is behind you but they work and they look good.

You can save yourself some cash on service if you do as much as you feel you can handle prior to taking it to your dealer. I also find (from reading this list) that various dealers hourly labor charge vary greatly...so that would enter in. The service charges on my 4 valver run about $400 for a 6000 mile service and closer to $600 for a 12,000. I won't mess with a valve adjustment on my 4 valve and have yet to attempt one on any Desmo Duck I own but there are many guys on this list who do their own. If you like to wrench and are willing to put out for some special tools and a shim kit, you'll save a good chunk off of your service costs. Personally I do the following on the ST4 to save on service: Oil change, fairing removal, brake and clutch fluid replacement and chain adjustment. I let the Dealer do the rest and pay the amounts I mentioned above.

Good luck on your choice.
 

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I went the opposite direction with the mirrors and just put some heavier bar ends on the bike, vibration in mirrors and grips much reduced. I'm looking at eventually adding a BMW as my second bike (for when the weather gets really nasty), so the ability to do maintenance on both bikes myself is very important. I went with the 2V motor because of the simple design and ease of maintenance; if a BMW joins the duck I'll be going the same direction and either get a boxer or one of the new 800s when the go on sale (waiting to see the 800GS model).

As far as heated grips, there are many options, but none appeal to me right now. I'd say that BMW has the market cornered on good heated grips.

Ken
 

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take off the windscreen and buy some heavier gloves [cheeky]

i live in socal and have CRG Lanesplitter bar-end mirrors. they work great, look 1000 times better than the stock garbage and if you're nervous about clipping a car, fold em in.

that I4 Brutale is really no more jail/cemetary inducing that a 130hp S4RS. you're right to prefer the Duc :angel: but if you love the MV don't talk yourself out of it based on that.

service is service. it's pricey. but i can't imagine it's super cheap on a BMW either.

btw, you don't commute on the BMW to santa monica do you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info. I still can't get the Ducati out of my head. Thats a good thing, right?

ProItalia in Glendale does not have the 2 valve oil cooled 1000 (I'm drawing a blank as to the name, sorry) and I would look at that, but in reality might be too close performance wise to a BMW boxer. Something about twins appeals to me more than 4 cyl's. I think I like the torque. For that same reason I would probably stick to a minimum 1000 cc bike as my R1150R was an equivalent amount of torque, even if its down on HP (its about 80 HP 75lbs torque, although that may be a bit optimistic).

I'll have to look and see how the Ducati looks without a screen. That is an idea. I like knowing that mods are out there in case they are needed.

My commute is too short, and not to Santa Monica. Its only 15 miles RT, the 210 / 2 / 134 between La Canada & Glendale, and then sometimes in the summer between Newport Beach & La Canada, thats 110 miles RT, down the 5, which includes alot of splitting. BTW, how subject to over heating are the air/oil cooled Ducatii, I assume the S4RS would be fine.

FYI, IMO a R1200GS would make a very good companion bike to a Monster. If you buy one built after about Sept 06 it should have the new non servo brake system, that is if you get ABS. This new brake system is worth looking into if you are in the market for any BMW.

Also, shaft drives have their pluses (low maint) and minuses (heavy, sucks another 5 percent power over chains, maybe, and when they do go out, fairly serious $$ and your not going to find one in a small town). Go read some BMW forums, the final drives as they are called are not bullet proof (but not as bad as the internet makes it sound either).
 
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