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Japanese Import Ducatis

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Paul W, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Hey all,

    Looking to get back onto a bike after a long, long absence, and I have started the search for a second hand Ducati Monster. Looking around the early 2000 models; M900 or preferably an S4 (under $12K). However my search isn't going that well; I am turning up mainly Japanese imports.

    Which leads to my question; how dodgy (or not) are Japanese import bikes?

    From what I understand they spend some (considerable?) time in lots, exposed to the weather, waiting for someone to buy a container load of them and put them on a boat. This shows on some of them with corrosion on various parts of the bike. You also don't get any service history with the bikes, which is a concern with a bike like the Ducati.
    They also don't appear to be that well priced....

    On the positive side; they are full of new fluids, tires, brake pads, and have been 'serviced' before being sold.

    Anyone have any insights, experiences, or words of caution? I have heard that grey imports are more expensive to repair (assuming the parts can be gotten) and insure; is this also correct?

  2. Treat them like any used bike
    all the parts are available as genuine.
    We are getting some in for sale mostly 400 for lams but we are very selective about what we chose and then the workshop pull them apart again to check them out.
    Service history is probably more of a concern with Ducatis as they keep their resale a bit better because of it but if the bike was never sold here as a new bike then that won't be an issue.
    Ducatis do respond well to service love so you can bring one back from near death very successfuly but you might need to nurse your wallet after :)
  3. I don't think I would buy one. I wouldn't buy one of the 400s and the bigger ones don't seem that cheap. Add the fact that the Japanese don't seem to maintain bikes and if they do touch them they do all sorts of weird stuff, I don't think it is worth it.

    I would buy a grey import, but not a Duck.
  4. Thanks for the replies guys.

    Anyone else?
  5. I'm not sure about the Japanese not maintaining bit -- they have a pretty damn strict bi-annual inspection system. Perhaps the ones that we get over here are the ones who's due for inspection and get shipped out prior to the deadline date? It definitely works that way for cars.

    But to add to the topic -- I'm not sure if this is true anymore, but it wasn't uncommon for the Japanese themselves to re-import their export models when it came to bigger bikes, because they (at least at the time) have strict power output limits depending the the engine capacity. They did this, because I guess for some models, regaining that lost power output was a bit of a biatch.
  6. My brother has a grey import 2001 Monster S4R. Only had 8xxxkms on it and he picked it up for under $10K.

    Hasn't had a problem yet.
  7. I imagine the kms are wound back just like the import cars.
  8. Actually, with the 2001 S4 they have a digital speedo; is it possible to roll these back?
  9. Check to see if an import makes any difference to insurance. I had an import car at one stage and found insurance harder to get and more than a non-import. No logic to it, other than the insurance companies make extra coin from it!