Went for some test rides at the weekend with Nova Ducati Ringwood, it's part of a national campaign to get bum's on seats, see the website for details. A quick word about the bike shop, they were so cool and 'unsalesmanlike', just turn up and pick-up the keys for a 20min follow the leader type session. I rode a MultiStrada 1000DS (04 model) and a 749 Superbike (also 04), with my review you should consider I normally ride a Kawasaki ZX6R and so that is what I will be using as a comparison. First up is the 749 (20k + on road): God damn this bike is small and thin, sitting on it I could get me feet on the ground with my legs still bent and I'm just under 6ft. Have a bit of trouble starting the beast because you have to hit the starter within 15secs of turning it on (don't ask me why). As I pull out into the Ringwood traffic I feel pretty much in control straight away and it's a very easy bike to ride. I did find the handling a little strange but I'd probably get used to it and they are known for handling better the more you push them (pref on a race track). Some people have said they're too hard for the roads on standard settings but I thought it was fine, unlike the seat pad which is rock hard and v-small. Vibs do play a part on these Dukes and it was enough to shake the mirrors silly but as far as the engine goes it's pretty impressive stuff, it will pull high gears without chugging and you can rev it quite happily. The fuel injection seems well sorted and the motor is not prone to stalling although I did managed it once which the bike detected and kindly restarted itself! The hydraulic clutch is a very stiff and makes it a real pain in traffic, the riding position was more extreme than I'm used to but not too bad. The gearbox is great BTW, easily up to Jap standards also worthy of a mention is the brakes. The back brake didn't do anything (a common Ducati problem) but the front brake was something else, I thought my braided 6-pots were good but the 749's are in another league. Just two fingers with hardly any pressure and it feels like your about to lock-up the front wheel and this deceleration is accompanied by a lovely sound of pads on disk'.who needs radial stoppers? So in summary although these are awesome looking bikes I would not consider buying one for the road, they're just too track focused for me which makes them a serious pain in day to day riding. MultiStrada (18k + on road): The MultiStrada uses the same air cooled dual-spark 2 value lump that powers both the Monster and the SuperSports. Although it is more 'primitive' than one it the 749 I think it's probably better for the road because it has loads of torque and will mono off the throttle in first gear without any effort (great fun). You have to watch the rev-limiter though because it cuts in very early and stops the bike dead. First thing I would do if I brought one would be to chuck the standard exhaust system (2 friggin cats!) in the bin which would not only free-up some power but would also save 20kgs and sound much much better. The MultiStrada also has an hydraulic clutch but I can't remember it hurting my forearm like the 749 did so it must be easier to use. It's very comfortable bike to ride and it also gives you a good feeling sitting high up, obviously the front suspension takes a bit of a dive on the brakes but it wasn't too bad, the brakes were not up to 749 standards but they were perfectly acceptable. The handling seemed great (I wasn't pushing it hard), and with the wide bars you really feel like you've got lots of control. Although it is a heavy bugger (200kgs) it doesn't feel it to ride, in fact if felt lighter than my ZX6. In summary a great usable bike, fun, nice bit of torque and you can even put hard luggage on it and take it touring. The only downside is that they are not that attractive from the front, but you won't care when you're riding it. Getting back on my ZX6 after the MuliStrada and my first thought was 'why are my bars so close together?'