Took out a GT1000 at the Ducati Demo day---here are my impressions after an hour's ride....I haven't ridden every bike in the world, and I don't claim this to be a road-test worthy of publishing...Just my subjective findings, I put together while the impression was fresh in my mind.
Love the retro styling of this bike, right down to the spoked wheels and '70s style Ducati typeface on the tank....My only quibble with the looks would be the huge gap between the top of the rear tire and bottom of the fender. Makes the bike look like it's tilted forward somewhat. This apparently bugs the hell out of some people.
Great ergonomics (seat/bars/pegs relationship very similar to my Bandit.). Very comfortable seat, which is to say that after an hour's ride, I wasn't thinking about my ass. Good "real-world" power level, good throttle response and predictable power delivery --no need to downshift unless you're really in a hurry. The exhaust note was disappointing....I like a quiet bike, but this sounded like a constipated fart can. A nice can would be a must, if I owned this bike. The Duc seemed to "fall into" turns at low speeds, but at anything over 20 km/h it was rock-solid and confidence-inspiring, at least at the speeds we rode at. Fantastic suspension over all kinds of surfaces. The bike barely shook it's head when going over grooved pavement. The ride was firm, but very compliant.......makes my Bandit seem baby-buggy like in comparison. (reminds me that I must adjust my shock & fork settings). Within about 10 minutes I felt right at home on the GT, as though I had been riding it for months.
Brakes are smooth and progressive. No surprises. Some vibration can be felt through the pegs and to a lesser extent the bars when accelerating through the gears but it is of a low-frequency
and quite tolerable. Smooths out nicely when at cruising speeds...Gas it in gear and the power throbs as opposed to the hum of a 4-cylinder. I also noticed the engine braking was much more pronounced that on a 4-cyl. bike.
I wouldn't call the tranny "silky-smooth", but with a solid nudge from the left foot, the gears engage uneventfully and without any problem.
The white faced gauges are attractive and clear, but the LCD displays for the odometer, etc. are nearly unreadable---maybe the contrast can be adjusted.
The small windshield is very effective at shielding the rider and when riding in crosswinds does not seem to cause any buffeting at all. For esthetic purposes I would remove it for daily riding and put it back on for trips. Looks like a 5-minute job.
Why isn't a center-stand standard on this bike instead of being a $500 option??
For the life of me, I couldn't see squat out of the right mirror no matter how I adjusted it.---maybe some bar-end mirrors would be in order.
Another gent took out the "sport" model ---basically the same bike but with solo seat, rear-set footpegs and low clip-on bars....Great if you like to support all your weight on your man-sack and your wrists---I could see him in my mirror, flexing & rotating his wrists. Afterwards he said it was one of the most uncomfortable bikes he'd ever ridden, and this coming from a sportbike rider, so you know he wasn't expecting GoldWing-like comfort levels.