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I'm loving the words on here. I too used to wonder why someone would spend more money for a "lesser" bike just because it was red and said "Ducati" on it. I used to live in New Zealand and I dreamed of owning a 900ss. A new one cost $20,000 NZ back then (1994). I was half way to my savings target and I ended up buying a well looked after one year old FZR1,000EXUP instead (that was also one of my dream bikes back then).

I did eventually get to test ride a 900ss. The v-twin torque, the beautiful sound, including the rattliness, its head turning looks and a certain feel good factor all etched itself permanently into my psyche. I was destined to own a Duc one day...

The 899 is my first Duc and she's a lot of bike for the money, considering earlier Ducs were pricey without the fancy electronics. A new 899 costs $25,000NZ. Considering the price of a new 900ss almost 20 years ago was 20k, that's a very small price increase over all those years of inflation. Definitely much more bike for the money in that respect.

As for the "soul" - oh yes! Only a Duc owner really knows :)
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