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Am I mad? (Ducati 916-998 & 999)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by Grrila, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Hi All,

    I'm facing a dilemna :unsure:

    I am currently fighting the inner tight arse in me and trying to decide whether or not I should trade my trusty, clean and relatively comfortable (with the exception of that butt numbing seat on highway runs) 2008 z750 for a super sport. Super sports in question is the Ducati 916-998 and even a 999 could sway me. I fell in love with the 916-998's when I was a teenager watching the second Matrix film with the awesome highway and truck scene. Any way love the shape and sound of these bikes, almost obsessed. Duc's are really waht got me interested in bikes in the first place.

    I am also partial to the 999's and I am aware people consider them to be one of the ugliest bikes Ducati ever produced but I reckon they look pretty good to be honest. Not as good as the previous series though.

    Anyway the put offs. It would be my first foray into a super sport so I have no idea on what I am expecting. Also how scary are servicing costs? I would be taking it to a mechanic but I don't do a lot of km's so it will be getting 6 monthly services if I don't reach the prescribed km's in time. Availability of parts still good for these bikes?

    A bit about myself. I'm just on 182cm, 84kg, 32 yo and relatively fit (cycle everyday, gym etc). I try and ride to Mt Glorious, Mt Mee or Green Mountain every weekend (try to doesn't always happen), I sometimes commute on a Friday but I suspect with the Duc I will be wary of parking it in my usual spot here and may end up just doing the cycling or public transport thing instead.

    I've done one track day on the z750 and intend on doing more. I should probably ad I am in no way anywhere near exceeding the boundary's of my z750 at the moment so the Duc is really going to be pose value on me (although I am trying to build those skills up (y) ).

    So in short... should I or shouldn't I? If I did pick one up what have I got to lose? Are there known cases of this era of super sports being absolute lemons or are they generally pretty good. How many k's is too many k's for these Duc's? I've noticed they are begining to be more difficult to find and even going up in price in some cases! 748's and 749's seem to be easier to find but not sure if I would be satisfied with them or not. Would they be much of a step up power wise from my z?

    Lastly should I just be sensible for my first super sport and just go a zx10r or zx6r? I'm really partial to the 2006 shape in orange (rare as hens teeth though).
  2. One of my friends was telling me about a 748R that he got new that didn't last a week before breaking.

    Having said that I still want one and maybe they have been sorted by now. I know that if I change from the ZX6 (I have the green 2006), anything that goes wrong is just going to be so much worse because the Ninja is so reliable and newer and fits well. The only reason to change is looks.

    You are best to ring your local Duc shop to ask about servicing costs because different states will have different hourly costs.
  3. Hi mate, I'm selling my 916 but instead of blowing smoke up ya bum to sell it to you. Talk to. Bevan at Eurotwins near Albion, Brisbane . Legend and only guy who has worked on my bike. If you would like me to pm, txt or email his number if you don't find it let me know.
    You prob have your bike already. :)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. The hysteria about Ducatis is just incredible. I owned a 916 for a number of years, still one of my favourite bikes. If you can find one with full service history, then you'd be fine.
    Servicing is expensive for the major services, about every second 5000km service. As said above, talk to a Ducati mechanic, or try one of the dedicated Ducati forums (http://www.ducatimonsterforum.org/index.php?topic=42737.105).
    It is just an incredible bike. I did things on that bike that I couldn't have expected to be able to do; it is that balanced, and well handling.
    Worst case scenario you get one, sell it and loose a little money, but you'll always have the experience and memories.
  5. +1
    Bevan is the man to talk to (and get your Ducati serviced at). I've owned a few Ducati's and think there amazing. They may not have as much top end power as the newer Japanese liter bikes, but the joy is the ample torque - no better way to pull out of a corner. These bikes also handle like a dream.
    My suggestion - the 998 bikes have the same motor as the 999 which are less prone to problems than the 748/916/996 bikes. Also the more Ohlins, the better.
  6. Are you mad, maybe? But in terms of buying 916/998/999 do your home work, get the bike checked and you should be fine.

    Certainly they are more expensive than a UJM to service, but having said that a few years ago it cost a mate of mine $2500 for a major service on his ZRX1200 (that was with a new chain and sprocket set).

    Oh and I can tell you that a 999 is more economical than a Bandit 1200.
  7. #7 CraigA, Jan 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
    Should you or shouldn't you?
    I think you should because you have always wanted one, but be prepared.
    The riding position is extreme and it's not a do it all bike like your current ride, but a very narrow focused machine that you could end up having a love hate relationship with.
    That's the possible reality, but don't let it stop you from buying your dream bike. Just make sure you are going into this with your eyes wide open.
  8. Sit down, write up a big list of pros and cons and then think long and hard about the decision. Then take that piece of paper and burn it, and do what your heart tells you.
  9. Bevan is very reasonable with even major services and way cheaper than the top models now done at their dealers. Blow the expensive to service deal if you stick with Bevan. Also +1 with the ohlins ,added the ohlins to the rear and could tell the difference and added the risers to ease the wrists a bit too ,but I rode 300 km on it before the changes and it was still magic.
  10. Have you test-ridden one yet? It's a big decision to make without having even twisted the throttle....
  11. Be cautious with a test ride as well. If you only go for a ride in the city, you won't be impressed. These bikes cough and splutter, overheat and don't like congested traffic at all. You need to try one in its natural environment - out on a windy road where it can stretch its legs!
    • Like Like x 1
  12. I love these bikes, a 998 would be my choice. *drool*
  13. Marty on the Old Road on a 998: what a scary thought :LOL:.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Still haven't bought one yet and still enjoying the Z at the moment.

    I have been browsing bike sales for these bikes and one thing I have noticed is that the 1098's are now around the same price as the old 900's? In some cases cheaper wtf? So that puts an interesting spin on things. Are the 900's now seen as collectibles? If so then I guess it's a pretty safe investment? I'm torn now as the 1098 appears to be much better value. Will the 1098's be seen as a classic in the future?

    I haven't sat on one yet but I've sat on a 848 and panigale and found the ergos quite nice. Strangely I was told the s1000rr are one of the more comfortable super sports to sit on but actually found it surprisingly heavy on my wrists. I do a fair bit of road cycling as well so thought this was pretty strange!

    So how do the above bikes compare in ergo's to the 900's? Are the 900's more aggressive, less aggressive or about the same?
  15. Damn i have been asking myself the same question ever since watching the Fast Bikes "Dream Twins" segment....gee those guys nearly crash as much as me!

    the sound those bikes make is pure bliss & i would love a bike with balls down low after riding a 600 for 2.5 years,

    i reckon go for it, maybe buy a cheap 2nd bike to commute on though
  16. Haha the thought of me riding old road on anything is scarey. I've been there once since Mav's memorial... I'm still on good behavior license too which is a big part of it. Trying to forget about road riding and focus on racing/trackdays/dirt.
  17. the Z750 is a bit porky. going to a cbr600rr or zx6r might give you more bang for your buck. I'm thinking a fireblade myself.
  18. I've previously owned a 1997 748 Bi-Posto. (from 1999, 6700kms to 2007, 34,000kms).
    Riding position is pretty extreme, more than any other supersport I've ridden.
    The clutch! That clutch!!! Heavy, not fun in metro stop/start. Apart from tradition I can't see the benefits of the dry clutch (all the rage in MotoGP).
    The engine - its a twin. The 748 redlines (no redline on tacho) at 11,500rpm. A twin on the racetrack or spirited roadriding is like wreastling a gorilla, the engine dominates your riding experience, good or bad that's what it is - you gotta watch your downchanges at high revs, it'll tell you when you're doing badly (fit a slipper clutch, worth it's weight in mehr).
    Maintenance - I did most of my own, shop just did stuff like fit tyres. Desmo-valves on the old Desmoquattros (748, 916~998 ) have real narrow inspection/servicing openings on the head. You have at least 16x measurements to get right - because of this workshops rarely give Ducatis the attention they need, mine were out the first time I did them, but then never changed for 20,000kms afterwards.
    The single sided swingarm adjustment for chain slack can throw out your geometry, so you need to adjust the shock height accordingly.
    Suspension adjustment is pretty comprehensive & can almost make the bike unridable if you go too far the wrong way.
    Engine oil always gets really dirty, even every 5,000kms.
    I dropped my 748 twice, & it shattered like glass. I always carry spare levers under the seat.

    I would own another Ducati in a heartbeat, but it wont have a dry clutch & I personally don't like litre twins so it'll be the 696/848/796 I'll go for. Besides track days have lost their fizz for me, so it's just old man riding in the hills for me.
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  19. I was in the same frame of mind as you late last year. I had my heart set on either a 748R or a 996/998 (I owned a 748 SPS previously so kind knew what I was in for). Looking around for ages and close to settling on a beautiful 998 close by when an 1198 popped up at a damn good price. I jumped on the 1198 and love it to pieces.

    Having said that I do wish I had got the 998 and kept what I consider to be a part of motorcycle history. I think we all know these Italian machines are temperamental at times but they ooze charm and charisma as well as being an awesome ride. There is a lot of information and great communities online that will help.

    If the decision is made by the head then the Ducati will rarely if ever be at the top of the list. If made by the heart then you will be wearing a smile a mile wide every time it starts.

    If the heart wins look for a good example, service history etc and get very friendly with a good Ducati mechanic that can look over it prior to purchasing. These things are expensiv in their major services however a lot of people are comfortable doing most of the maintenance themselves. The labour is expensive on Ducati's (approx. $100/hour here in Qld) so make sure there is budget aside just in case: like I said think with the head and it wont win :)
  20. There's a genuine fogarty available in a dealer here in SA