Ever since Mike Hailwood won the Isle of Man "Superbike" TT race on a Ducati in 1978, I've lusted after a Ducati. (Yeh...it's possible to lust for 30 years without viagra)
The only thing that stopped me buying a Ducati this year when I returned to motorcycling (apart from price) is the lingering doubts that I have about the quality and reliability of the brand, hence my "safe" purchase of an FZ6. Lately, however, I'm being persuaded that Ducati seems to be taking QA seriously, and the bikes now have a certain "well put together" appearance to them.
Has Ducati's quality improved to the point where they can be compared to other leading bike manufacturer's quality? I know that nothing compares to Japanese quality when it comes to bikes or cars (BMW doesn't fool me..), but how "bad" can a Ducati possibly be?
The model that I'm interested in is the Monster...I'm a bit disappointed in what they've done to the 08 model, but oh well.
Having been in the car business for most of my working life, I'm always suspicious of companies that have fabulous brochures and accessory catalogues that tend make an inferior product look better than it really is.
Although I'm a licensed auto tech and no stranger to maintaining bikes, I really don't want to be "maintaining" a new bike every time I return from a ride. Memories (and nightmares) of riding Triumphs and BSA's for 15 years still linger....
So, I guess my question is: Would a Ducati Monster 695 scratch that "itch" that I've had for 30 years, or will it break my heart and my bank balance?