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Discussion Starter #1
I went to the local shop re-opening celebration and they had test rides on lots of bikes. The waiting list on the 999 was just nuts, so I wrote that off, but I did get to try a 1000S, S4R and a Mulitstrada. (For reference my current ride is a '00 M900.)

The '04 1000S seemed like a nice bike, pretty smooth, nice suspension. The mirrors still blow, and I can't get used to a really quiet Ducati. Power seemed good, but not so different than my 900 in the short test ride we got. The riding position seemed much more forward than mine - are the new bars flatter? They feel like it.

The next ride was on the '04 S4R, and I was really looking forward to it. Again, when I started it up, it was sooooo quiet I wondered if it was really a Ducati. Same sucky mirrors, but the ergonomics seemed better than the 1000S - more like the 900 but a bit more lean. Again, the ride was short, so I had limited experience with the big motor, but I have to say at around-town speeds, or on the twisty section, I would have a hard time really using all that extra power - and frankly it just wasn't that apparent it was there unless I got really heavy-handed with the throttle. (Which is not my typical style.) I also expected it to feel heavy and slow to steer, but this was not the case - it felt light and responsive in the twisties.

The last up was the Multistrada. While I flat-foot fine on the various monsters, the MS had me on my tiptoes. OK, I can get used to that. The position really is quite upright, and while you can lean it over and go fast, it would take some getting used to doing that kind of riding while you're sitting straight up. My instinct is to lean forward, scoot up to the tank, but this position felt alien on the MS. The seat does allow you to slide forward, or you can go all the way back to the wide portion. The seat was pretty hard, but the shape would work well for long distance. I couldn't really say much about wind protection on the short ride, but the fairing didn't really get in the way.

After I was done I was thinking, "would I trade my bike for any these?" and the answer was no. I guess the closest analogy I can think of is when you've been in a long relationship and it has ended, and you're faced with the prospect of developing a history with a new person, learning their quirks and they learning yours, you sometimes find that prospect a bit exhausting. So it is with my bike - I have it the way I like it, everything fits, and when I ride it I'm not really thinking about the bike, but the road, the smells, the wonderful boom and clatter from beneath me. I suppose I could get used to any of these bikes, but I'd be starting at square one again, replacing mirrors and pipes, learning the clutch, brake and throttle behaviors, and generally trying to get back to where I am right now with my bike.

So the short of it is that I didn't end up buying anything, nor did I really want to. I'll just keep my old bike, and save up for that set of carbon wheels Jeff is pimping.... ;D ;D ;D
 

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Re: Test rode S4R, M1000s and Multistrada yesterda

;) Thanks for the breakdown, I own a M900 and was just wondering about those bikes for trade-in. I love my M9 but am pulled to the S4R because of the power, but I really don't need it.
 

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Re: Test rode S4R, M1000s and Multistrada yesterda

MM,

Thanks for the info, I was also there, walked out with a free case of that energy drink, my wife is soooo excited to see me hopped up on that.

they quoted me the red SR4 and I didnt want to pull the trigger, I am looking for a 2002 SR instead...

I didnt test drive because I didnt bring my helmet...DOH.

Thanks again for your thoughts

Diggler
 

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Re: Test rode S4R, M1000s and Multistrada yesterda

My next bike would be either a 1000S or a MS. The 1000S would be an upgrade, the MS a different (second?) bike. I wouldn't write the MS off without taking it on some supermoto worthy goat trails where the character would really show. I hope to do it soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Test rode S4R, M1000s and Multistrada yesterda

MM,

Thanks for the info, I was also there, walked out with a free case of that energy drink, my wife is soooo excited to see me hopped up on that.

they quoted me the red SR4 and I didnt want to pull the trigger, I am looking for a 2002 SR instead...

I didnt test drive because I didnt bring my helmet...DOH.

Thanks again for your thoughts

Diggler
Hah! I wondered who won that stuff! My energy drink will continue to be a double espresso; don't have a taste for that newfangled stuff. Sorry to hear you missed out on the rides - I really would have enjoyed a scoot on the 999, but as I said the wait was ridiculous. I did get to ride behind it, and with those Remus pipes it sounded glorious. At one point the guy riding it did a fat wheelie. Gave me goosebumps.

Instead of waiting for the 999 I decided to ride out Sir Francis Drake to Olema, then headed home to Mill Valley along the coast. Got kinda chilly in the redwoods on SFD, but once in the sunshine it was lovely - the best therapy ever invented IMO.

Glad to see another Marin co. dude on the list.
 

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Re: Test rode S4R, M1000s and Multistrada yesterda

I got a chance to take the S4R and the M1000s as well. I've never been on a 900, so I had a slightly different frame of referrence - boy did those two bikes feel different from my 750! I've decided that next summer will be the time for an upgrade and it will be one of those two or a Tuono. It was my first time riding with stock mirrors and now I understand just how sucky they are! Not only do they give you a view of nothing, they buzz and vibrate like crazy.

I agree with Michael that the extra power of the S4R is not all that important to me. Oddly enough, I thought the 1000s was *not* as far forward as my 750. I think I'll probably go for the 1000 next summer, although I did like the position and handling of the S4R slightly better. Hmm... decisions decisions... The best part is, I already have two people lined up to buy my 750!

Michael, you must have gone out SFD just ahead of me - I did almost the same route.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Test rode S4R, M1000s and Multistrada yesterda

Dang! I was looking around for you to see if you wanted to ride, but it looked like you'd gone. Ah well, next time...
 
G

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Re: Test rode S4R, M1000s and Multistrada yesterda

Every day I test ride an M1000! I like it more every time I ride it. Only prob is, it's going into winter, and my duck will NOT fly south! ;D
 

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Re: Test rode S4R, M1000s and Multistrada yesterda

Marty really liked the 999, with Remus pipes it makes all the difference. I too enjoyed the MS :)
 
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