piglet 2010 seems to have his knickers in a twist. The vast majority of Ducati's I have ever seen get ridden, often and hard. However they also get looked after because they are cherished. I had a 996R, bought in 2003 for 11k, sold in 2009 for 9K having been used as a track bike in the intervening time. So I lost 2K in 7 years. Seen that on any Japs bikes recently? Failings. Replaced the starter motor and flywheel came loose once, that's it. Went to box hill the other week, 2 blokes on Desmosidici's, they looked pretty ridden to me. A number of other Ducati's all looked pretty used to me. So ducati detractors have used this arguement but it is less and less the case.
In recent years, there simply hasn't been any innovation from most Jap manufacturers. Ecomonic troubles, Sunami and the Yen. It is unfortunate. Don't forget they killed the European bike industry 20 years ago. So what is bad about a European comeback? The Europeans have come forward with ever new and interesting bikes. Look at the GSXR for example. Been made in 600, 750 and 1000 cc, each year power up, weight down, same shape, same ideas, same materials but what has really changed on them in the last 10 years. Dull.
As for WSB, Ducati entered the series with an advantageous format from the original rules, so what? Honda did the same in 83 in Motogp.In 2 strokes, v4's became the dominant format. In Motogp, in line 4's, in WSB V's whether 2 or 4. Honda seemed able to innovate. Initially they used a V4 for a number of years, then a V2 and now and inline 4, which just won race 2 in Assen. All these formats for them have been to their advantage saleswise. How come Suzuki, Kaa...waski and Yamaha cannot? Ducati's 1200's have both a weight and restrictor disadvantage.
It's great that BMW, KTM, Aprilia, MV, Triumph, Norton, Ducati, et al are doing very well.