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Forum index -   Wanna buy: Devon & Cornwall Ducati weekend 17/18th May 2003 - a rev
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Granty
MTS: Not specified

   

Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Dartmoor UK

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 10:28 am Reply with quote

OK, so here goes. Some of you might not like this, but I'm gonna call it just as I saw it!

Over the last two days the Ducati and Riders (an English dealership) support trailers have been parked up at the Bottleneck Inn car park in Devon, together with a crew of Ducatisti and the full range of Ducati demonstrator machines. It should have been desmo heaven, except that the weather was a typically foul Dartmoor mix of rain, agricultural run-off and strong winds.

Now you have to remember that this is the south-west of Britain and we are familiar with conditions like these, so I turned up to get my first look at a Multistrade having travelled along a combination of mud strewn and saturated A & B roads to find that the demonstrator was looking decidedly second-hand already, and it is only a couple of weeks out of the crate!

The left handlebar grip was detached from the bar and merely spun around the shaft giving the rider no firm grip or control with the left hand. The only way to gain any feeling of security was to ride with fingertips gripping the clutch lever.

The indicator lenses in the mirror fronts were full of condensation, and further inspection showed a reservoir of rain water in the left hand pod, so it would only be a matter of time until the electrics shorted out I guess.

There were some loose electrical connector blocks & wires flapping around inside the front right fairing by the headstock, and there was a very exposed connector hanging down close to the left side rear wheel above the swingarm.

The exhaust is so quiet you actually can't hear it above the mechanical engine noise that sounds just like a bag of spanners in a cement mixer, and of course the weather. Oh yes, the weather! The road muck and rain had conspired to make the bike looked like a pile of crap, there was gunge in every nook & cranny and the lack of a hugger had spread all the rear wheel fling over the shock & linkage, and ....well just about everwhere actually.

I expect this bike will sell well in dry & warm countries, but the major headache of trying to keep one clean and operational in a predominently wet climate will have a serious effect on sales elsewhere.

I'd still like one, but not until Ducati can produce one that will stand up to everyday use without falling apart. The issue of cleaning would be a pain in the arse and I'd just have to trust that a jet wash would not be detrimental to the exposed electrics. When I questioned the Ducati technicians on site over the weekend one of them had the cheek to say that things like the connectors and hadlebar grip were "Ducati character" whilst issues such as the indicator lenses full of water would be "sorted" at the first service!!!

I was astonished, this sort of approach to customer care should have been weeded out of the organisation years ago.

The Multistrada is a great looking bike that handles well, of that there is no doubt. However on the basis of my brief encounter I suspect it is too fragile for use in my local environment as a sole means of transport. Kept for sunny days and weekend blasts it'll probably be fine. So I might get one just for that if Ducati address issues of quality control.

Right then I'm off to find somewhere to hide until the Ducatisti cool off a bit.

TTFN
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Jantah
Site Admin
MTS: 03 1000 DS (Red)

   

Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 749
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 2:20 pm Reply with quote

Granty wrote:

The left handlebar grip was detached from the bar and merely spun around the shaft giving the rider no firm grip or control with the left hand. The only way to gain any feeling of security was to ride with fingertips gripping the clutch lever.

The indicator lenses in the mirror fronts were full of condensation, and further inspection showed a reservoir of rain water in the left hand pod, so it would only be a matter of time until the electrics shorted out I guess.


Well, like I said in an earlier post, not a problem with the overall design or component quality, just badly put together and probably easy to fix. Having said that, a loose handlebar grip is downright dangerous and than using that bike as a demonstrator is just plain stupid.

Putting it al down to "character" is a bit cheap. Ducati should realise that they have improved a lot, but that they are still not op to oriental standards (which is a moving target, by the way). The only reason they get away with it is because of idiots like me who are willing to buy an aircooled 2 valve twin for the price that will also get you, for instance, a Fazer 1000 or R6 with some money to spare.

So why do I put up with it? Consider this: my TDM has a better chassis, better brakes, better comfort and better performance than my old Pantah. But, after 80.000 kms. it still fails to touch me like the old Pantah after the first ride. That is character, and it has nothing to do with poor build quality. It is why I can accept it.
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Granty
MTS: Not specified

   

Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Dartmoor UK

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 3:32 pm Reply with quote

It's a crazy thing, almost like love but not as sensible!

I'll probably turn into a pauper and make lots of friends with breakdown truck drivers, I'll probably regret the decision as much as I enjoy the good times too.

Ho hum.
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schroell
MTS: Not specified

   

Joined: 11 May 2003
Posts: 38
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 5:47 pm Reply with quote

but as I am driving Ducati for some time now I can confirm that this is a heart bike, one that you want to have because it gives you the kick. It is definitely not a bike to win Paris Dakar and I would never start a tour further 100 km without knowing where the next dealer with spear parts is located. It is a bike you have to cherish and not one for the day-by-day use. You need a garage and a lot of sun. They made enormous progress on this one. If I remember the lights of my 916, I think I would have seen better with a candle. The shock absorber problem in the rear is a known issue and can be adjusted by putting more initial compression on it. Definitely it is not a bike, which likes the wet, as to many connectors are unprotected. I even wonder whether I dear giving it a I high pressure shower or not as I fear water is infiltrating every where. I like mine and don't regret having bought one. I am a so-called Sunday driver (with 15.000 km a year) and only use the bike to have fun, not for every day use.

_________________
duc, duc, duc....wroooouuummmm
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Jantah
Site Admin
MTS: 03 1000 DS (Red)

   

Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 749
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 6:18 pm Reply with quote

Granty wrote:
... the mechanical engine noise that sounds just like a bag of spanners in a cement mixer...


I just remebered why this is: that is the dry clutch in its steel basket. If you listen *real* good, you'll hear the same on every GP bike. Part of the reason they stick to this is the connection to racing, a vital part of the Ducati history.
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Granty
MTS: Not specified

   

Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Dartmoor UK

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 12:35 pm Reply with quote

Thanks to Schroell & Jantah for the responses. The trouble is folks I'm in even greater turmoil now!

Schroell won't even consider a journey of 100km without knowing where the nearest Ducati spares and workshop might be. The bikes don't like wet weather and are for Sunday use only, and don't risk using a pressure washer - gulp!! Crying or Very sad

Well that just about describes my average day, living in the middle of a large upland Moor with higher than average precipitation and many kms from work and any urban settlements I easily expect to cover 150 - 200 km every journey, most of those trips will be nowhere near the only Ducati dealer in the South West of England which is about 112 km from my home.

Jantah said that it is probably the dry clutch that makes such a racket, but I thought of that on the demonstration and revved the bike with the clutch lever pulled in and it made no difference to the mechanical clatter. I suppose that I'm just not used to the sound of air-cooled engines any more, & Ducati probably make too much money from selling Termignoni systems to engineer-in an attractive exhaust note as standard

I see that there is a carbon rear wheel hugger available as an extra, & I think this would be a necessity for use in Britain, but I don't think it is right to expect riders in wet climates to pay extra for what should be standard equipment in these countries. After-all we don't expect to buy windscreen wipers as optional extras on cars in temperate climates do we?
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schroell
MTS: Not specified

   

Joined: 11 May 2003
Posts: 38
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 6:30 pm Reply with quote

OK I try to regain your confidence … I made 1000km now with my Multistrada and gave here a high pressure wash, everything is still fine, nothing broke, no trouble at all and the only time my dealer saw the bike bake was for the 1000km check. Ducati gives 2 years guarantee without any km limitation and offers “Ducati owner club” with free towing and replacement “mobility guarantee”. They made a lot of progress since the 916 from 1996. I think you can got for it and relay on the bike. The thing with the clutch is really normal and is part of the Ducati sound.

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duc, duc, duc....wroooouuummmm
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Jantah
Site Admin
MTS: 03 1000 DS (Red)

   

Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 749
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 5:40 pm Reply with quote

Granty wrote:
Jantah said that it is probably the dry clutch that makes such a racket, but I thought of that on the demonstration and revved the bike with the clutch lever pulled in and it made no difference to the mechanical clatter.


Yes, that's the clutch allright. It's the plates being thrown back and forth in the basket. Great for scaring the living daylights out of innocent bystanders. The rattling sound should stop when you release the clutch and put some tension on the transmission because the plates are then pressed firmly against the basket.

Oh, and about the electrics. It is virtually impossible to short circuit a 12V system with water. The only risk when the connectors get wet is that they get corroded and cause bad connections when the bike gets older.
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Granty
MTS: Not specified

   

Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Dartmoor UK

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 6:44 am Reply with quote

I'm begining to feel a lot more confident Smile
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karlr
MTS: Not specified

   

Joined: 12 Dec 2003
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 5:50 pm Reply with quote

buy a beemer u don't deserve a ducati
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DaveO
MTS: Not specified

   

Joined: 26 Nov 2003
Posts: 155
Location: Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:25 pm Reply with quote

Granty,

You are absolutely right, in everything you say, however much our friends in the forum may try to persuade you otherwise, or sooth your misgivings.

I've bought one - p/exed a perfectly good VFR800, and as much as I think the MTS appeals, and indeed performs, I'm still not 100% convinced I've done the right thing.

In the year 2003, there is absolutely no excuse what so ever, for a manufacturer to expect the customer to carry out development testing or put up with plain second rate engineering or quality - particularly when paying a premium for the privilege. (eg Brakes - really serious, and instrument pod problems.)

My previous PASO 750 was, despite the comments of the press at the time, better engineered than the MTS. There were no exposed and flimsy electrical connections, and the fasteners were certainly better finished than the cheap cadmium plated things on the MTS.

One might excuse the electrical connector position on the rear subframe, if there were no alternative position - but this simply is not the case. The connector could easily have been positioned near to the rear cylinder head, in a much more protected place. (I might even do this myself).

The lack of a hugger, and centre stand as standard, is just a cynical money making ploy. Without the hugger, the bike is unfit for UK roads and weather.

So why did I buy it? I suppose I am as vulnerable as the next, to the lure and appeal of interesting and characterful bikes. (And I mean character in the more positive sense) I have already made some changes to suit my own style, which are satisfying to do, and am looking forward to next spring, when I can get out on longer runs, and really see if the bike stands up to real world use - the riding experience so far is really good, and I hope the longer term experience is as good.

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DRO
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misterpink
MTS: 06 1000 DS (Black)

   

Joined: 29 Oct 2003
Posts: 158
Location: london

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 12:17 pm Reply with quote

have had a couple of ducati's in the past and a cagiva elefant too and guess what? each one i had for between 2 and 4 years, doing a minimum of 6,000mls a year including commuting and trackdays and i never had a problem!?? now i know lots of people who own ducati's and sure there are things that crop up - can't deny that. at the beginning of this year i bought a Honda CBR600RR - great bike, but guess what? it wasn't put together that well, the design compromised the everyday usability and maintenance and on the black ones the tank (cover) scratched as soon as you looked at it. not even Honda are perfect. i think most ducati owners like them because there is something "unique" about them, like triumphs and harleys really, they are not mass-produced or designed for the masses
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don pussehl
MTS: Not specified

   

Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 12:49 pm Reply with quote

There is definately something to be learned here.....you never get a chance to make a second first impression!!!!! I have run into demo bikes with 19 lbs of air in the front tire and so on . Information from forums like this one are sure helpful both in learning about the product and for learning about the perceptions of new owners and prospective owners. That said I comission yachts for a living and the electrical connectors are far and above anything that I get to use on a boat designed for constant salt water. Have a great holiday season....got out for a ride! Don
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