Pure InfoDesign Personal: Ducati

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Ducati 65 T

My Ducati M900 blog

The of this page is to pass on I’ve learned in the course of a Y2K Ducati Monster 900 i.e. to or current owners. When I was the bike on the net I had some unanswered so I figure it is worthwhile to others to them publicly here.

the bike

My last bike was a BMW R90/6, and, not too surprisingly, a lot has since the mid-70’s. This is a bike. I bought it used, 5700 Miles, so of course it its 6000 mile service soon after I got it. I bought it for fun, and for getting to work in San Francisco.

Obviously it is more that I strictly need to with, but in the interests of full I thought I’d let you know how it is used. Given the number of parked downtown, I’d a guess that most really do a lot of mundane riding, not at Sears Point. It bugs me most bike reviews on racing and don’t tell you like how often does it service, how well does it in traffic, etc.

I had considered bikes, specifically the Suzuki and the Honda VFR. But the sound of Ducati exhaust just got me. So it a rational decision, and I’ve a lot of guff from friends for an expensive piece of Italian

I don’t really care it is not always a rational world, is it? I the M750, but it seemed a little for me.

As for accessories, I bought a Kryptonite a cover, and an Arai Quantum/f Happy with all three Still looking for a good and boots that don’t me look like I’m out for a Stormtrooper part in the next epic.

Is that so hard?


the bike has some bits, and some that are cheesy. An example of the latter is how the and brake system reservoirs are to the handlebars. They use something looks like it was from an old set.

But the bodywork and brakes are So it is inconsistent. Brakes — are My old Beemer you just prayed if you wanted to stop fast. The Duc hauls down.

Mirrors give a splendid view of forearms — pretty useless, so I’ve been a lot of head-swiveling. Gearing — inexplicable choices here first gear is so tall it often lugs at stoplights and at uphill corners, and at 80 MPH the engine is going 4000 RPMs in top I think I know why people with the sprockets — for an bike it seems to be geared too (at least for the US), especially as it is as a city bike.

Motor — is flat The torque is almost scary, and been taking it slow I get used to it. And of course there’s the which for me puts a grin on my that’s still there an after being at work. A of other points to know the motor: it needs an adequate before you start riding. If you are at a used bike and it is cold, be of that.

Also, sometimes you see a condensation in the oil window, which me to pass on one bike. I’ve learned that this is not uncommon, and isn’t really a bad Also, until the bike is and tipped upright, it looks there is no oil in the motor.

This is but normal. The Cool Factor People just love the — it looks great and is People react to things in ways, for example I have expensive and wonderful old fountain but the one they ooh and aah about is a new Rotring cost 20 bucks.

It just cool, so there you are. motorcycles do not evoke rational in people (owners or bystanders). — The manual: well I I can say it is better than the transliterated-from-Italian to my Rancilio Silvia espresso but that’s not saying much. could also have a couple of pounds by producing an version.

The information on what at each service level is confusing.

Cost of Ownership

things that I couldn’t before I bought the bike: It an oil change every 3000 and there is a 6000 mile interval for the rest of the stuff. It an initial service at 600 miles be amazed at the owners I talked to didn’t know the service for the bikes they were I haven’t had the oil change yet, but the 6K took 5 hours at the local and the shop rate is $65/hour.

Did I that owning a Ducati is not a decision? You can see what I’ve so far in the Maintenance Costs page.

— it gets about miles on a tankful in the city, and 170-180 on the highway. Fill up with premium; hell, only 4 gallons. (Remember to at the guy in the SUV pumping in 35 gallons.)

I have put a full spreadsheet of my (necessary) costs .

Status Report

I got a from a reader asking my experiences have been I last posted. He asked how the compares to his 1977 BMW RS. So here is I said.

The ’77 RS is a wonderful no doubt, but I have to say the newer (take your pick) a lot of advantages over old Beemers. The thing about the BMW was it did everything well. Now bikes are so specialized hard to find one that happily take you to work morning, be fun to ride along a road, and be comfy enough to from SF to LA.

I’ve pretty much up on reading motorcycle magazines as cater to the racer wannabes to the of the rest of the riding public who want something that’s not to be a pain to live with. OK, off the now.

Well, I tried a few bikes and while there anything I couldn’t live (as I said, they’re all much than my old R90/6) it was the Ducati that gave me the biggest that lasted the longest. Now as you can from my rant above, not the racer type, so YMMV, but the Duc is faster and (I believe more has much better brakes what I was used to. And it doesn’t oil all over my left foot.

The bikes I looked at were the the Duc M750, a BMW K75, and Honda VFR 750 and The Suzuki I couldn’t get a ride on, so had to go by but it seemed like a nice Not as nice to look at, but cheaper and quite reliable.

I’ve the Suzuki TL1000s is good but I worried about the ergonomics. The Duc 750 a little underpowered to me after the but then I’m about so for a lighter rider it might better. The K75 was just too bland, and the height seemed way too up there to be in the city.

The VFR was an excellent bike, and if I buy a second bike for touring, definitely get one. Unfortunately the price is fairly high, and the factor low. (No non-bike ever says, Gee, you got a Cool!) The CBR 600F just scared me. I got off as fast as I could.

The that the teenager selling it had no where the oil went and the dipstick was dry well … the deal.

So left the M900. I tried to with the guy, but committed the error of falling in love the bike, so I paid $8700 for a model. Have I regretted it? Not a Do I wish the Ducati could be at some things?

Sure. long distance comfort due to a pretty grim seat. for 100 mile rides it is great.

The isn’t too terrible as they classify it a sport bike (go and the mileage is about 37-42/gal. It an oil change every 3000 and major service at 6000 intervals, which involves the desmodromic valves. Shop are about on the BMW level, although of service and parts is more than for BMWs.

Part prices are about at BMW too. Figure about for the major service and $100 for service, although that is in the cost bay area. For anyone who has a BMW, the cost of ownership come as a surprise. If your bike was a Honda Rebel 250 I’d say give it a think you buy a Ducati.

So far I’ve put about miles on the bike since I it in July, and it has been quite As much as my old BMW? I honestly say.

I figure less so, but is entirely subjective, and in the end, not I’m going to worry I don’t think it will be so as to be a pain in the ….

As for the unquantifiable, I to say owning one is a blast from the of attention. I actually had a 20-something come up and ask if she could sit on the bike. Now an old married guy with a spare so I thought this was pretty It also elicits nods of among my son’s teenage which is even more since parents are generally to be the antithesis of cool.

Lastly, I smile when I’m and that big twin makes wonderful booming noise with the high pitched whine. So what is all that I honestly have no idea, but not asking for my money back.

keeping the Ducati.


not a change to the bike, but it works and looks reasonable. From it is the contoured 15L bag. I forget I paid, but it was around $100.

I get the 20L if it was available.

Sargent Seat

I to change the stock seat for a seat after hearing things on the Ducati Monster and having a couple of sore-… mile days. (Small here: if you have a Monster or are about buying one, do a favor and subscribe to the List. helpful people without the Attitude that’s sadly so in motorcycling.)

Pictures of the seat it to stock are available.

Quality of My first impression is that it to be better built structurally the stock seat. The under-seat is better, especially the area the tank. The stock seat the cover in place with on the Sargent the area has a special fabric, kind of like where the seat contacts the The edging and corners are cleaner on the seat; the Sargent looks a bit on the tight edges.

The quality of the stitching is good and the holder under the seat a fair amount of stuff. It hold the manual however, is probably OK. As for the pathetic Ducati kit (I used to own a BMW, so call me do yourself a favor and put some tools in the new space.

There are hooks that fold out to a bungee net.

Installation: Oh, if all accessories installed this Just unlock your old and pop on the new. On older bikes I you have to transfer the locking but that should be easy.

The fit is and snug. The area by the tank is a thicker than stock, so the aren’t as clean, but it is not too bad.

I ordered the plainest seat I no contrasting colors or Italian I like the look of the stock it looks harmonious with the of the bike design, it was just the that was an issue. The Sargent a little chunkier, less

Rather than slope up it is of a flat seat with an vertical rise. Whether the are enough to offset the rest of the virtues is up to you.

Comfort: done one 100+ mile day on the and it definitely is more comfortable in the haul. It is much flatter stock, which means the is distributed over a wider and being flat you can shift more. The stock seat to keep you close to the tank and more sporty; the Sargent is than stock and because you can around, if you plant your at the back of the seat you’ll more of a reach to the bars.

isn’t an issue for me (I’m 10) but if you are a smaller rider the combination of seat width and longer to the bars might make a less comfortable seat stock. (The increased makes streetlight straddling a harder.) Of course you can request a seat foam treatment might alleviate this. I’ve owned this for 10 months now and I still like it for the and still think it doesn’t as good as stock.

I find I use all of the front to back room, but the is really great on longer My ideal would be to get a custom from Sargent — someday.

Termignoni pipes and fender eliminator

Lots has written about aftermarket so I’ll just add what unexpected to me. The fender eliminator is cosmetic, but I figured, what the I was back there anyway.

Sound: Wow, these are pipes! When you first it up, it is really like rumbling Reminds me of when I was in college and crank the bass up on some tune and try and get that thump in the vibration.

You definintely feel that if near these pipes at Once underway they to sound great, but different. The reminds me of a very powerful race boat (like a boat) about a quarter away. Terrific sound! is no way to be inconspicuous with these

When you go through a small people stop what doing and turn to see what’s the noise. Little kids in wave. I think that even guys in mini-vans over to the turn-outs more on the twisty parts of the road.

guys yakking on cell in their SUVs are never to move, so forget about now. Update . I still the pipes and consider them one of the upgrades I’ve made. downshifting is a fact of life

As are earplugs for long trips. I do paying the $40 or so and getting the squeeze-silicone-in-your-ear They work great and are

Performance: I have to rant that most stuff about motorcycles and performance is to me. How something makes 4 HP more at rpm just is meaningless because not a racer. I look for how easy it is to get from a light, or pass a of cars.

By those standards, the are quite good, even I have not modified the ECU or changed the air When the stock pipes on, getting away from a involved a lot of clutch-slipping to be smooth, now the seems to have a little grunt down low, so the is less necessary, and the takeoff smoother. I still have a rear sprocket on order to fix once and for all.

Appearance: The look great, what can I say. And the fender eliminator was a to put on and also looks great. of the pipes and fender eliminator .

Tank swap fender

A little secret of the Ducati is that if you drop it in a parking lot at you’ll get a big ‘ol golf ding in the side of the tank. In to causing thoughts of …, is a very expensive mistake, and not all uncommon. Ducati probably a tidy chunk of change on tanks, as they go for upwards of a copy new.

So the answer as far as I was was to get the dinged one repaired. But I didn’t to be without the bike, so a bought a tank off a guy locally, had it repaired and and had the local dealer install it. is a lot of plumbing inside the fuel tanks, and it was in for the 12K service anyway.) At the same time I bought a performance carbon fiber to replace the yellow stock These are hideously expensive, and unjustifiable, other than the that I didn’t want the to look patched together (I from yellow to red with the painting, since I always a red bike, but the yellow one was what was

The Monster generally doesn’t adjustable forks (unless you lucky and got an S model), and the rear is just adequate. On one of the charity clinics that happen around here my rear was pronounced … by the tech. It wasn’t rebounding the way it should.

So I do it right, and get an Ohlins shock. Wow wow wow. This is the most change yet to the bike. The back end (in the words of Mike Myers) buttah.

Only problem is the end feels like it is filled rocks. So off to my local mechanic to get the upgraded to RaceTech valves, etc. and have the whole set up for my porky weight instead of emaciated average Italian The combination of the two working together is Really — if you find feeling like the bike is around corners, or bumpy make you nervous, this one alone will give you a boost in confidence.

You might find yourself seeking out the goat trail.

I had the misfortune of a friend and good rider, Nelson, have a violet as he crossed a cattle guard

45 mph. He was going straight, dry no traffic. All of a sudden his bike is about and he’s face on the asphalt, heading for a ditch. this I decided a decent dampener was a bargain I got an Extreme model from Motowheels.

I set it and forget it.

I upgraded the brakes my old rotors had become warped a number of track days. The Monster rotors were with snowflake superbike and EBC brake pads. Man, you pull on the levers with things it is like the Hand of God is you.


Ducati 65 T
Ducati 65 T
Ducati 65 T


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