The one thing I like about the ducati's is the exhaust sound. Very different and cool sounding. I have a buddy with an Aprila. Its in the shop all the time. Lots of little things....
I have a Yamaha FZ1 sport bike and couldnt be happier with it.
Ive ridden most Harley, an Aprilla, and a few other bikes and I dont think any of them can touch the better japanese bikes in terms of performance or handling. At least for my riding style
kaama, my " review" of teh arpilia was kind of nagetive. The duc woudl eb my choice any day over the aprilia.
As for Agusta's oh my are they sweet!!! They are just very pricey. Additionally i heard teh company is ahvign major financial troubles and nobody will laon them anymore money. Last i heard they stopped production on the sportbike becasue they can't get cash to pay for parts to finish the bikes already in production. That was afew months back so thigns may have gotten better. reguardles they a still a great looking bike, I can;t speak to thier performance becasue i havn't ridden one.
one more quick note. I love my jap bike. looks good, nice and fast, handles great. When i bougt it i chose between a 748 duc or the r6. The r6 was half the price so that closed the deal. But i do love those ducs!
Pardon me, while I whip this out!
Depends on what you plan to do with the bike, what your skill level is, and what "matters" to YOU.
A Duc 998 is a fast bike, with intuitive handling. Combined chassis feedback with a mass-centered approach for almost uncanny "flickability". On the track this translates into low lap times. On the street, it means that you can swerve around that pile of cow crap easier. It is an uncomfortable spine-cruncher, as are most all hardcore sportbikes.
True sportbikes excel on the racetrack. For the street, even for an accomplished rider, it is hard to beat a Jap 600 sporter. Especially if it is a race from the Mighty Mart to the house.
Open-class power, though, appeals to many (myself included), and a 1000cc 4-cyl sportbike certainly delivers power in a different manner than a 600 or even a 1000cc twin.
For street riding, though, a 1000cc twin gives huge broad bands of wheeliemaking torque. Some at lower engine speeds than others, but all at lower revs than a four.
A twin with pipes has a cool sound, and in fact, will draw less attention at full song than a four. If you go thru three gears at redline on a twin, you'll sound like you are only riding at medium-lawbreaking speeds even if you are scorching the road. On an inline four, you'll sound like you're trying to race to the death even when you are shortshifting at 9 grand (instead of 12). This can be an asset if your riding area is congested with homes (and ears).
Now, do you WANT to be folded up like a pretzel? That is what ALL sportbikes will do to you regardless of mfr. Ducati offers some SS machines with higher bars and more forward mouted pegs that will allow your spine to last a few years longer. Aprilia also offers a hardcore machine as well as a more "civilized" one. Japs follow suit with every conceivable combination (FZ1 is a sit up bike with a monster motor). A Busa is far more comfortable than a Gixxer. It is also faster in all straight line situations.
On the street, the faster bike is the one ridden by the most talented or most brain damaged rider. The bike itself rarely wins a streetrace thru the curves.
Suzuki offers a TL1000, and an SV1000. These are great bikes and are fairly inexpensive.
Aprilia has a more meager dealer network than Ducati and far less so than Jap bikes.
All brands and models have pros and cons, that are tied to your desires and requirements.
Tell us what you want to do with your bikes. What your priorities are as far as straightline and cornering performance issues, what access you have to authorized service in your riding areas. Then tell us which models you are seriously considering and we will try to assist from there.
(If I were buying a bike today, I would most likely buy a GSXR1000).
I see London, I see France...
i do not want a jap bike. i enjoy riding the v twins. the torque down low is great for everyday riding. i've seen the jap v twins and think they are nice, but i want something a bit flashier. the MV just looks sweet, but the 750 cc 4 cylinder in not as much my style as the v twins.
hey mike, great advice on the safety gear.
i have one harley and had a few others. i dig the v twin power band, but now i want something a bit faster.
Dont believe that inlines fours cant make low and midrange power until you drive a Busa. I'm making over 100hp by 5000rpm and peak at 168 at 9800rpm. I'm probably around 175hp at real speed with the ram air system working. Thats rear wheel hp with an aftermarket full exhaust and Power Commander (plug in box to remap your fuel injection). Power Commanders are available for most of the new fuel injectioned bikes. With the new Dynojet dyno's and the Power Commander 3, the computer reads your air/fuel ratio and adjusts your fueling accordingly. Pretty trick stuff. I love all bikes, there are no bad ones.
Anyone going to Smoke on the Water want to go for a bike ride I'll be there and make a believer outta ya.
The funnest streetbike I ever road was a Honda Super Hawk. That v-twin power is fun in a light bike. I just couldnt ride one of those after 6 back surgeries.
I really don't know too much about the Agusta's, but I have owned a Buell X1, and prior to that a Duc 900SS, and a Ninja 900. I left the Jap world for the V-twin side when I bought the Duc. I really liked the Duc, but maitenance was an issue. The Duc ran well and never failed me, but to be truthful, something was just, well... missing.
Then I found my Buell X1 in 2000 and I have never looked back. I have a '99 Buell X1 Limited Edition Race Stripe. It came with a 100hp 1200cc HD Sportster motorI think it dynoed last year in Laconia qwith about 88hp to the rear wheel. It also has alot of the same go fast goodies as the Duc, upside forks, 6 pot caliper on the nose, I got mine with the PM wheels instead of the Marchesini knockoffs that they offered. The bike handles awesome, give me a curvy road any day! Its not the fastest bike on the planet, but I grin from ear to ear every time I take her out. THe Buell is the VISA of motorcycles, accepted everywhere. You can ride with the Harley boys, and ride with sportbike crowd, and its American made! I am not too sure I would go buy one of the new Buells off of the showroom floor, but if you have a chance, take a spin on a Sporty powered Buell...
i've been eyballing the new buells as well. they've come a long way. i want a a new buell firebolt with the v rod engine in it.
If they EVER made a fully faired superbike type Buell with the V-Rod engine I would be one of the first in line to have one... STILL dreaming about that one! Too bad Willie G isn't listening!
I am not a big fan of the new Buell motors, but the chassis & suspension are world class.
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