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Discussion Starter #1
I have an opportunity to move up from an R6 to a new 1999 DUC ST4 that is holdover stock at the dealer. I realize it is 6 years old but is only has 2 miles on it so other than tech upgrades on the newer models, it's really brand new. MSRP in 1999 was $14,500. The dealer is now asking $7995.

I'm looking for Ducati owners opinions.

I hear great reviews from owners about how fun they are to ride and how great they are to own, but I also hear how expensive and time consuming they are to maintain. My problem is that I don't know if the latter comments are coming from Ducati owners or just those who are jealous.

So my questions to Ducati owners are:
1. Are they really that expensive and time consuming to maintain/repair?
2. Would you recommend buying a Ducati to someone who is moderately mechanically inclined but doesn't want to sink a lot of money into maintenance?
 

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The problem with buying that bike is that it may be new , but it has been sitting for years.

The seals , timing belts , tires , suspension fluid etc are all aged and should be replaced .

Infact , remind the dealer that per Ducati , the full $1000 service is required every 12,000 miles OR 2 years whichever comes first.
The bike needs a service even though it is new.

Yes , Ducati ownership is more costly across the board then Jap 4 ownership ( local dealer rate is $90 per hour for Ducati labor ) , I can say that because I have owned over 20 Jap bikes plus 2 Ducati's and currently own 2 2005 bikes , one Italian and one Japanese.

There is a smaller dealer network for Ducati which usually means long drives for GOOD service , longer wait for parts , and more per hour for repairs.
I have to drive 4-6 hours for good service , and I do.

Answer to question #1 = YES
Answer to question #2 = No (unless you learn to do the services yourself)

For $8000 , I would skip the 99 ST4 and get an 05 ZX6R or if you REALLY want a Ducati look for a used 03-04 749. :cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for all the info. I've reviewed the process for adjusting the valves every 6000 miles and I think it is well within my abilities.

That service interval info is very much appreciated. If I decide to go forward with the purchase, it will certainly hinge on the fact they they have, or will, perform the 12000 mile sevice at no charge.

The problem with the 749 and any other sport bike (including my r6) is that I've sat on every sportbike imaginable and I'm just too tall to be comfortable on them. Even the Busa. I'm 6'4", 36" inseam, and my knees just will not fit into the tank pockets unless I'm right up on the tank and that makes it very uncomfortable for a passenger which is an important part of the hobby for me. I think a sport tourer might fit my needs better anyway. The ST4 is the first sporty bike I have sat on that fits me very well.

Any other options for tall guys like me out there?
 
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