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      25.06.2011 12:48
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      2 Comments

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      More charisma than a Honda

      We have had 2 of these bikes, so feel qualified in writing the first review. If you want an orthodox sports tourer then frankly, this bike isn't for you. However, I was able to commute reliably with this model and travel across Europe without the historical reliability issues which Ducatis come with. It is comfortable for two people, with a good control screen showing fuel levels, distance and functions in use. However it is let down by poor electrics which mean any accessories fitted e.g. alarm, heated grips, will drain the battery within 24 hours, if not on trickle charge. Panniers, though expensive, are easy to use but could do with being a bit bigger.

      As an experienced rider, I struggled to take this bike to it's full potential, but never felt like the bike was riding me. It has the power and acceleration to get you out of bother, but is sedate enough to let you amble down the road taking in the view. Urban riding was restricted by a relatively short steering lock and low speed handling would suit a mid to experienced rider. Especially in the wet, where the 944cc could cause bottom puckering moments on greasy roundabouts!

      As an example of this bike's handling and stability, I had a rear tyre blow out at a speed the police may be interested in, whilst overtaking a lorry and at no time did I feel quite like reviewing my life history. Though undoubtedly scary, the bike reacted well to my calm controls. A similar experience on a Yamaha ended with a long skid on my bottom, the whole time expecting to adorn a radiator grille of a 40 ton Scania!

      Fuel economy was average during mixed riding at about 45mpg. Servicing is possible by yourself but certain aspects do require a trade trained mechanic and specialist tools. Never had any major issues, other than the battery, and so long as you have decent tyres this bike will take any corner at 60mph or above, depending on the rider of course.

      You can tell that this bike is from 916 stock, and with the de-tuned 944 engine certainly retains the legendary performance of its older brother. If you want an Italian sports bike with the staying power of a PAN European then you won't be disappointed. But do expect the occasional breakdown. I was lucky. Having said that ours broke down at Alton Towers (the electrics) which provided an excellent excuse for another go on The Nemesis while we waited for the man and his truck!

      Overall, this bike offers immense handling, shout in your helmet with joy fun and the ability to take you the distance. But make sure you have recovery!

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