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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

So I've always loved Ducatis but the reliability and running cost in the past has put me off. So I was wondering what is it like to run/own one now. I'm looking at an 2014/2015 899 model with about 5000 miles on it.

I am particularly interested in the running costs/servicing etc and issues with the 899.

Any advice experiences greatly appreciated.
 

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watch out for those coolant leaks-especially the coolant pump that Ducatis own tech literature says is "designed to leak".

be aware of the soft front brake issues.

Lots of info on the internet on both and how successful or unsuccessful the fixes are.I have had 5 japanese sport bikes prior to the 899 and never had the issues that I have now with the 899.Im managing with it,for now.

Valve clearance checking/adjusting is a little expensive but understandable.that doesnt bother me.You can save up knowing its in the future.
 

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I’ve had mine since 2014 and I’ve put jut over 13,000 miles on it.

Other than standard maintenance, the only time my bike has gone into the shop was for a the charcoal canister hot start issue which was common on earlier bikes and later fixed, rear wheel bearings needed to be replaced. Not sure if that is better or worse than Japanese equivalent bikes... but I’m happy with it.

I still find every excuse I can to ride and have no desire for another bike.
 

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899

It's amazing, I'm on 30K miles and have had no issues that the bike can be blamed for (I had a small electrical problem but this was tracked down to the accessory wiring that had been done).

Totally reliable, 15K services are expensive, but nothing looks/sounds/rides like it. I've had mine serviced on the button by the dealer, and have enjoyed every mile.

If you can, get a quick demo., it doesn't take long to realise what a great bike it is. It still amuses me how much attention the bike gets.

RBW.
 

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^^^^^ yes!

Two things...
1) I agree on the attention comment. 5 years later my bike still gets many people walking around it and wanting to talk to me about it.

2) demo for sure. Likely it will just solidify your choice even more so but still worth doing.
 

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Take it from a noob that purchased a 2015 Panigale 899 1.5mo ago. The bike was in really good condition and had 7,400mi on it. I took it for a test ride the first time and it felt way too aggressive. It definitely has power, so I was feeling a little shook. Came back and my wife told me, “Actually go and test ride it. Spend 15min on it and just get a feel for it.” So, I did and my mind changed instantly. I got more comfortable with the ride position and I was able to get comfortable with the throttle.

Fast fwd to now. I upgraded the OEM clutch master cylinder to an Oberon. Stock clutch lever felt way too hard to hold onto on streets. And this aftermarket one has made it effortless. That was $125.

I had to do the 7,500 Desmo service. I contacted 2 local Ducati authorized service spots. The closest one charged me about $1k and didn’t really mention what would be done. Then, the 2nd one I happened to stumble upon. Longs story short, it was recommended and came to find out he shop had been in business for years. Almost a 5 star rating on yelp. Mechanic charged me $180 for the service and told me what was entailed. And even installed the aftermarket master cylinder as part of the service.

I commute 45mi one way to work and have taken the bike more frequently. Getting the proper gear is key to a more comfortable ride. And I have to agree with others, there have been no other repairs needed. I even asked about prior history of repairs and there was none, only service/maintenance done.

I still have far to go, but I’ve put on 1k miles on it already. It’s been a great bike this far

Cons:
1. Seems like a common issue but when you put Neutral, it doesn’t always show as such. It’ll say 1st gear.
2. I haven’t researched this, but bike will turn off after a minute if it’s in idle. Not sure if this is intentional, or not. Mechanic said he didn’t find any issue. So not sure if other owners can chime in on this.
3. Seat could be more comfy. Someone said front brake can be squishy, but I’ve experienced the opposite. It brakes hard, so you gotta be gentle. Anyways, when you have to break hard at a high speed, your nuts kind of fly into the tank and that **** hurts. Lol you can’t just pull over on the freeway and yell “OWWWW!!!!” while you grab em

Take the test ride. You more than likely will be cursed to WANT the bike.
 

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Here's my .02 -

My bike is a "race only" machine and it's been such since new in 2014. It was one of the earliest 899's in the country and was converted to race use from, literally, the first moment I owned it.

Racing is the hardest thing on any motorcycle (other than flat out abuse), but despite that and going into my 6th season racing it my bike has been nearly flawless.

Some of the early conversion choices eliminated some of the common issues above. - Charcoal canister was deleted as a part of the race conversion, so hot start has never been a problem and we deleted the ABS function as part of the race conversion and just used standard lines from master cylinders to calipers, so soft brakes was also eliminated.

The one problem I've had (user error) is that I binged a wheel speed sensor during a tire change once, and that caused havoc with the traction control. It took me a bit to find it and once I did we discovered that the sensor was sporadically telling the bike that the front wheel was going 2000 miles per hour.

Something to get used to is that this is a digital motorcycle - it requires sensors and things like that for it to work. The throttle is throttle by wire, there isn't a throttle cable. All that said, it still feels and rides like a motorcycle, they have the "feeling" of the electronics right and the bike doesn't feel like a video game.

I'd buy another one without hesitation, it's the best motorcycle I've ever owned.
 

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2. I haven’t researched this, but bike will turn off after a minute if it’s in idle. Not sure if this is intentional, or not. Mechanic said he didn’t find any issue. So not sure if other owners can chime in on this.
3. Seat could be more comfy. Someone said front brake can be squishy, but I’ve experienced the opposite. It brakes hard, so you gotta be gentle. Anyways, when you have to break hard at a high speed, your nuts kind of fly into the tank and that **** hurts. Lol you can’t just pull over on the freeway and yell “OWWWW!!!!” while you grab em

Take the test ride. You more than likely will be cursed to WANT the bike.
When you say idle, do you mean engine running idle or just ignition on ? Either way I don’t think it’s normal to have the bike shut off. As for the seat, I finally went to the dealer and got the DP comfort seat. Love it! Huge difference in seat grip + small/moderate difference in overall cushiness.
 

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I purchased my 899 used in 2016 with 2,400 ish miles on it, it now reads some 8,500+ miles. @Rybo had some influence in the purchase.

It has always started on the first try. I've ridden it in 10-12 track days. Maintenance has been just changing the brake/clutch fluid, oil and tires. I still have the original brake pads on it, which are now worn and need replacing.

Shortly after purchasing the bike I had it re-sprung for my weight and fork and shock upgraded with the Race Tech gold valves.

Later I added a slipper clutch after scaring myself a few time with poorly executed down-shifts on the track.

I also had a bit of squishy brake lever feel, but taking the calipers off and cleaning the pistons so they return and extend properly solved that issue.

I currently have a small leak at my rear head cover gasket which I'll be replacing before the riding season.

It always brings a smile to my face each time I ride it.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Love the video....I'm not a racer and have never been on a track, this is purely for fun and a toy. I currently have a Kawasaki Ninja 650 2018 but it doesn't excite me and that's why I thought ' only live once' and maybe this is the right time to finally get my dream bike.

Thanks for all the input, especially about the changes you have made...the suspension seems one of the main things to get done to suit your weight etc.
 

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Love the video....I'm not a racer and have never been on a track, this is purely for fun and a toy.
IMO a track day is not about going out and riding at your limit, it's about going out in a safe environment and practicing your skills. On a typical track day I might do 70 laps, that's 70 passes through each turn to practice trail braking to the apex and picking up the throttle, tip in and looking through the turn. We have an excellent class here in Utah called Advanced Rider Training (ART) ... even my wife on her Monster 696 has completed it twice.
 

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I just bought my second 899, I totalled my first one at almost 83,000 miles.

Only issues I had: if you replace the valve cover gaskets at the 15k service, they won't leak. Don't try to re-use them.

I had the front headgasket start leaking around 50k. Random ABS unit failure, don't recall mileage but it was up there.

Really, I only had the valves ADJUSTED around the 60k mark, and they were still in spec, just getting close to being out. I always had the valves checked every 15k.

I think they are fantastic bikes. Mine saw every season and weather condition imaginable, even heavy mud, salt, and snow!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Completely agree, I suppose for me I'm a little worried I'm might crash my bike :(

So being a female I'm 5'5 in height and I'm curious now seeing the seat height being 830mm, my kawasaki is 810mm and its perfect. Could I lower the suspension on the 899? I have sat on one but my feet weren't on the ground enough for me to feel confident.
 

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Completely agree, I suppose for me I'm a little worried I'm might crash my bike :(

So being a female I'm 5'5 in height and I'm curious now seeing the seat height being 830mm, my kawasaki is 810mm and its perfect. Could I lower the suspension on the 899? I have sat on one but my feet weren't on the ground enough for me to feel confident.
There are adjustable shock rods available, check out the brand Sato Racing. From one girl to another--I know the feeling, I had to lower my other bike (690 enduro) over 2" to be comfortable on it. My 899 is perfect height for me, though! Good luck!
 

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A lot has been said already, so I'll just add a couple of things that I noticed in other comment.

There was a mention of gear indicator showing "1" when it's in neutral - that's a bad gear position sensor, it's going. It looks like a fairly common issue, I replaced mine a bit ago.

The valve clearance check/adjustment is at every 15k miles, which costs between $1500 and $2000 typically at a dealer. You can do it yourself, of course, it's not that difficult, it's just a lot involved. Other regular maintenance is at every 7500 miles, the oil change and that bit, costs about $500 at a dealer.

OEM tires don't last all that long, I go through every 4-5000 miles. I recently got kind of fed up with Pirelli and went with Michelin, and far happier with it on the road.

Other fairly common issues - hot starting (just remove the EVAP canister), exhaust flapper servo motor (if you ride in rain, the cable will eventually seize, just remove the motor and cable), weeping oil from head gasket, the stock seat is a total rubbish if you want to put (a few) miles on, but there are aftermarket stuff available.

General reliability? It's good. 899 is my first Ducati, and I was really hesitant, but the bike has been rock solid. Is it as good as Japanese counterpart? I don't quite think so in the long run, like 30 years, but it's as good so far. The service is expensive, but you can save a bit by doing majority of it yourself, you know, like simple things like oil/fluid change.

And if it makes you feel more confident, there is a member here who had 899 with something crazy like 75k miles on it before it got totaled.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm completely sold on the Panigale, I have ridden the supersport s which was very good, but can't get the 899 out of my head and I'm still trying to find one to test ride which is proving very difficult as it's mostly private owners, very frustrating.

Thanks again for all the input...here's to finding one I can ride and soon.
 

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Honestly, it all depends on what you're looking for....Are you wanting it as a track bike and canyon carver? IF so, I think the 899 would be more than appropriate....The supersport S can do track days but not like the panigale. The supersport has one thing that separates it from the 899 and thats touring. If you decide to go touring on the bike and camping...it has options for panniers and just overall better for longer rides...I actually sat on one today and the higher handlebars and lower footpegs make it much more comfortable along with that lower seat. I was in the market to buy the 899 or the supersport....at the time I wanted a more track oriented bike but after a few track days, it becomes way too expensive..so, I got into touring and camping... I still got my panigale and I just use as my touring bike and track weapon...Rode from austin, tx to Florida and it wasnt terrible...The biggest reason I got the panigale was the supersport is super underpowered...like 35-40 hp underpowered....the quick shifter only comes with the S model and the front doesnt look as good as the panigale...The 899 is also double sided swingarm....IF you saw one member in this chat you created had to get their bearing replaced for the rear...well, that single sided swingarm bearing can only be replaced as a unit inside of the hub at a cost of $950.00....Bearings for the 899 are probably $40.00....i had to replace the bearings on my 848 and it was so expensive...I told myself that I would never buy a single sided swingarm bike...
 

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Completely agree, I suppose for me I'm a little worried I'm might crash my bike :(

So being a female I'm 5'5 in height and I'm curious now seeing the seat height being 830mm, my kawasaki is 810mm and its perfect. Could I lower the suspension on the 899? I have sat on one but my feet weren't on the ground enough for me to feel confident.
Put an 1199 seat on it you will reduce about 10mm in height at least anyone with an 1199 seat will gladly swap it, push the forks through the triple a couple of mm and soften the rear spring they are stiff.

So think about that when you ride one.
 
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