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MCN  says:

You Ask/You Answer: Italian Reliability

"Has the quality of Italian motorcycles really matched the Japanese and Germans now? I'd love something with a bit more character than my Hornet 900, but don't want to have to employ someone to ride behind with a bucket and spade, scooping up all the bits that fall off. I know they've come a long way – but are they...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (19 November 2012 14:26)

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Oct 10

Posts: 185

zoobaz says:

Pretty good I reckon

I don't think there's much difference now - most bikes are so much better than what we had to put up with in the 80s and 90s...

One of my mates has a new 2012 model Blade and it's been back at the dealership virtually the whole summer having new piston rings and con rods - common fault apparantly. the bikes only done a couple of thousand miles!

another friend had one of the first Biposto 916s back in the 90s and he did over 25k miles in the 3yrs he had it with no issues at all.

So buy what you want!



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Feb 05

Posts: 223

Bob_1 says:

No Problem

Over the years I've owned two Ducati's, the older bevel-drive models, a Laverda RGS1000 and recently an Aprilia RSV4 Factory. I can honestly say I never had a breakdown, even though I made trips to The TT Races and rode thousands of miles on these bikes. My old Darmah Sport was one of the best bikes I've owned and I wish I still had it.

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Nov 12

Posts: 1

Perry37 says:

Match BMW

For the last 3 years I am riding Aprilia motorbikes after long 15 years using Honda bikes.

I am not sure if the relaiability can match Honda, but I can say for sure that it is in the same level as BMW.

No issues with my Aprilia so far.

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Feb 12

Posts: 233

Titosfuneral says:

Not quite

I don't think they've matched the reputation of the German or Japanese bikes but there again from what I hear, some of the current German and Japanese bikes don't match their reputation for reliability either. I've heard enough people complaining about their GS's or their Suzi's and Kwakers to think it's a bit of a myth. I've also heard a couple of Multistrada owners waxing lyrical about the bike's reliability. Not so convinced about Ducati sports bikes, but I'll happily admit to not knowing my arse from my elbow about them.

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Stuart Fordyce


Nov 03

Posts: 27

Can only comment on...

I've been the owner of a Ducati Multistrada 1000S for the past three years. It's a 2005 bike, which is my only mode of transport. Put bluntly, it is not reliable. Aside from the consumables (i.e. fluids and filters, battery, head bearings, fork seals and oil), I've had to replace the petrol tank, the regulator rectifier, the rear brake master cylinder, the throttle position sensor, the sidestand has failed twice, the immobiliser (Ducati factory fit) has locked on, and even when it's working the fuel gauge talks crap. That's some of the things I can remember off the top of my head. I won't be buying another Ducati until long after the Audi takeover when they've got their quality control sorted out. My next bike will be Jap or a BMW. I've never owned an Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Benelli or Moto Morini so can't comment on those.

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Nov 02

Posts: 18

stidds says:

I have a Benelli Tornado and all I ever hear is how unreliable they are, well mine has been one of the best bikes I have ever owned.  It never misses a beat.  I went on a memorial ride recently and had the usual jibes about whether I would make it there and back again.  Well the Benelli pulled and rode strong all day, however 2 GSXR1000's, 1 CBR1000 and a GSXR600 broke down on the ride and a CBR600 didn't even start as it broke down on the way to the meeting point.

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Mar 04

Posts: 1

kaizen600 says:

Build quality

I've owned an Aprilia Falcon for 4 years... Build quality was excellent... Much better finish than some Suzuki and Kawasaki I've seen. Overall, and no major issues except it needed a trickle charger to keep that small battery topped up with juice. AS a result, the clocks needed resetting back to mph every time I had a dead battery... Which was 8 times more than I had on my Honda CBR600!.. Build quality seems even better on the new RSV4 and on some newer MV's.... But none come close overall than the king of reliable.... Mr Honda!

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Nov 04

Posts: 6

chris954 says:

Ive had a Ducati 1098 for 2 years now after many years of japanese bike ownership and although it hasn't actually broke down Its spent more time either being fixed or waiting to go in to be fixed than any other bike I have had.The first year was trouble free but after I had it serviced,belts changed and valve clearances checked (£500) I noticed a noise comeing from the rear cylinder,I took the bike back and was told it was the timing belt pulleythat was going,a known problem on early 1098's and 848's so I had all four changed to be on the safe side as if one went it would destroy the engine. (£380 ). the noise was still there so it went back again and the dealer contacted Ducati who told them to loosen the belts off a bit,this sorted the problem straight away.Six months later and I notice a rattle coming from the rear cylinder,dealer diagnosed a valve opener has worn,booked in to be replaced next January at god knows what cost.On top of all the other costs you have to budget £250 every 5-6000 miles for a new clutch,nobody told me about that before I bought it so all in all I think as soon as its sorted I will be selling it and going back to either a jap or a bmw

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May 03

Posts: 17

gavinwilkins says:

The only italian bike I've owned is a Tuono. Build quality was super, and i never had any problems with it, but I always worried that it wouldn't start...

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May 12

Posts: 41

max748 says:


if you want an italian bike, be prepared to either continuously throw money at mechanics or learn how to maintane it yourself.

good maintenance will keep just about anything going. i own, ride, maintane and love a Ducati 748. I do ALL maintenance myself. I am no expert... just an 18yo who bought a workshop manual and has access to youtube.

never in 15,000km have I had a problem that has prevented me from riding. Once my blinkers didn't work, just pulled my fairing off (quick release) took the fuse out and gave it a wipe, 30 second job on the side of the road, put it all back together and all good!

If your bike falls appart, it's your fault (or your dodgey mechanic's). Only get an Italian bike if you fully understand how it works or are prepared to find out.

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