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Old 05-17-2012, 04:01 AM   #16
Moronic OP
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I can't believe how on-topic these replies have been, given I am asking about such intangible and elusive qualities.

Lots of really helpful stuff here, guys, thank you very much.

Obviously, I need to get out and ride a modern Guzzi. But a typical dealer test-ride is not going to answer my questions in a reliable way.

I am impressed with the support for the Guzzi harmonics, a bit perturbed by the fainter praise for the dynamics.

Rocker, the choice might look weird but it makes sense to me. Explained partly by the possibility that the lower price in Oz of the Guzzi might allow me to keep my S4Rs Duc.

As for my preferences output wise: I do love the 8V Duc motor for its headroom, that sense that there is always more go, if I need it.

But I am also aware I very rarely do need it, preferring to short-shift and torque along in tall gears.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:54 AM   #17
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Guzzis have to be ridden to understand. The numbers don't make sense, but the bikes just work. My first and only Guzzi is a Griso. The same frame as the Stelvio. It's a 4V version (not 8V), but the basics are there-
Torque is king, 6 speed gear box has close ratios with 80mph around 5k RPM, 90deg V-twin has great primary balance with just enough vibes going on to know you are on a twin (my fav eng orientation).

handle? The bike is long and heavy when comparied to the 'strada. My Griso is OK to flog around the corners, but won't win any races. I had to drop the forks to the bottom line and mess with the settings to get it to stop 'wallowing' through corners. Now it is very stable and predictable, but it's still heavy for bikes of this ilk. (My previous 'local' bikes were Buells, so my expectations are a little high) Suspenders are very good and fully adjustable. Brakes are very good.

Cons- heavy, slight dealer network, value drops like a stone (then flatlines), aftermarket is either not there or expensive
Pros- built like tanks, shaft drive, easy to work on, rare, sound fantastic with Mistral pipes, 8 gallons of 'round the world' greatness, more 'adventury', get to say 'rare hand built Italian motorcycle' or 'second oldest MFG behind Harley' at gas station.

Ducs are sport bikes. The 'strada is a superbike motor in a sport bike/touring frame. It's an amazing chunck of tech that combines light weight and high horsepower. I would compare this more to a Motus than a NTX. It's costly, but you get the best Ducati has to offer in a very comfortable (for ducs) package. Everyone I talk to can't touch it's potential. Not a bike I would flog down a gravel road as it has a bunch of fragile plastic bits (at least it looks that way when you stand there).

Cons- more money, higher cost to maintain, harder to maintain at home, bags are plastic
Pros- light, fast, more dealers, can make squids cry in their helmets, get to say 150hp at the gas station

I'm considering my next ride and which bikes in the stable I will boot when I pull the trigger. Right now I'm thinking NTX and sell the Griso and FJR. I've thought about the Duc many times (and more now that Motus is too much $$), but it's just not calling me like the NTX does. I'm not going to kid myself that this will go far off road (keep the KTM), but it sounds like a great touring platform.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:16 AM   #18
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These are great replies...but personally I would have thought a closer comparison would be the Guzzis vs. the BMW R-bikes. Air-cooled twins, German vs. Italian.

To me, Ducatis and Guzzis are apples and oranges.

Now, if you want to discuss Aprilia vs. Ducati. Well, there's a line of discussion!
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:03 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by page62 View Post
These are great replies...but personally I would have thought a closer comparison would be the Guzzis vs. the BMW R-bikes. Air-cooled twins, German vs. Italian.
I've never been able to discuss BMW vs anything to any BMW owner I know. Not quite as bad as HD owners, but close.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:11 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by kirb View Post
I've never been able to discuss BMW vs anything to any BMW owner I know. Not quite as bad as HD owners, but close.
Amen, Kirb.

It always turns into a slapfight or a dick measuring contest.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:39 PM   #21
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Now, if you want to discuss Aprilia vs. Ducati. Well, there's a line of discussion!
Not really.

Aprilia is not on my radar. I'd be on Ducatis if there were no Guzzis.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:51 PM   #23
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Stelvio to futura, ducs are a distant third to geese and apes
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:39 PM   #24
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The more open the road is, I prefer the Guzzi. The more there are bends and curves, I prefer the Duc.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:05 AM   #25
Moronic OP
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Originally Posted by sfarson View Post
The more open the road is, I prefer the Guzzi. The more there are bends and curves, I prefer the Duc.
Beautifully expressed, and thank you.

Not that it really helps ...

(Well, it helps my understanding a great deal; my decision, not so much.)
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:50 AM   #26
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The more open the road is, I prefer the Guzzi. The more there are bends and curves, I prefer the Duc.
Steve is so right, and points to the reason why I sold my Stelvio and returned to a Multistrada. I spend most all of my weekends riding the canyon roads of the Angeles Crest where the Multi absolutely shines, and does just fine on the open road. Still, I desperately want to have a Stelvio back in the garage for the more lazy Sunday cruise, I miss the Guzzi style and motor that much, but I realize that it's just a want and won't truly fill a need. Oh well, I've done crazier........
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:39 AM   #27
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Obviously Guzzi has far more character than a Ducati. Of course it's a lot more of that "old uncle Fred, who says "pull my finger" then farts at the dinner table", but still, they're way cool too. They even kind of lumber along when accelerating, like uncle Fred running after lighting an M-80. There is no mistaking that engine set up and I'm not sure anything quite has the same kind of "Thump! - Thump!" to it when running. Even the starter set up is a bit wonky sounding, almost as unique as a mid-60s Chrysler 383 cranking over.

Sure the Ducati has the horsepower and svelt Italian race lines, but the Goose is just too cool to describe.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:15 PM   #28
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^ that's a good description. Having owned a number of Ducatis, I'd say a few of the drawbacks are the hit-and-miss systems that you will inevitably need to fix. Voltage regulators in 90s Ducs, Clutch masters if you like more modulation, etc. The one that just jumped out at me this week after spending the last two weeks on BMWs is the HEAVY centering that a Ducati steering feels. It does take a zip code to turn it around, but the double edged sword is that it's heavy steering when riding at low speeds, but also rock solid stable when whinging through fast corners.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:41 PM   #29
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I have one of each, even though they are the Odd Thomas' of both groups I enjoy them both for what they are, fun bikes. Though I admit I fit the Duc much better 30 years ago when my wife bought it for me.
My Duc


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Old 05-18-2012, 08:30 PM   #30
stevie88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirb View Post
I've never been able to discuss BMW vs anything to any BMW owner I know. Not quite as bad as HD owners, but close.
Ahh hemmm, I have two krauts and two Italians. I love my GSA and I've had plenty of BMW's but the Italians give me wood.
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