My early 999 Bip (Oct '02) arrived August bank holiday, with 18k on the clocks and a full history. That's less than 2k per year. In the 6 weeks since then it has covered 4k, and will carry on at about 2k per month for the foreseable future.
So, what's it like riding a Duke for nearly 4 hours a day?
Ride is very good, with compliant suspension (probably due to age though!) and smooth and stable steering. Can't fault it really.
Equipment is excellent for a bike of this vintage, the only missing feature is a fuel gauge, yet you get a mpg monitor and a lap timer!
Quality? Well, the overall feeling is one of excellent build quality and refinement, but there have been some niggles. These were traced to a corroded earth for the ecu, but considering this bike spent 10 years in Bangor by the sea, I'm amazed it not worse off. Since two trips to duke dealer to sort this, it has been fine, so I think it was more a case of fixing old issues, rather than new ones arising. It has now done 2 years worth of typical duke mileage in a few weeks, so you can't consider it that bad!
Value? £3,700 for a dealer bike with one owner? Brilliant!
Engine? Excellent, but not faultless. There is low down torque in abundance, and it maintains it while it revs to 10k. But there is alot of vibe below 4k, which is where I spend alot of time on my commute, where wing mirrors bounce alarmingly! But that said, it average 45mpg with a 90ish crusing speed cross country, so I can't really complain! Oh, and it really REALLY needs a new pipe, this one is so quiet, I get embarassed by mopeds!
So, overall? Comfort isn't brilliant at low speeds - i'm short, with short arms, so I'm nearly laid flat to reach the bars (a long way off!), and the seat is quite high, but no worse than most. Once moving at speed the comfort is excellent - it makes a surprisingly good grand tourer it seems - if you ignore the 140 mile tank range! (still, the same as a vfr1200!)
In conclusion, buy a duke once, while you're flexible enough to manage it (I'm 25, and on a classic policy with Footman James I have two sorned '96 kwaks and this fully comp for a total cost of... £200! the duke cost just £15 to add on!)
Any questions about long term heavy use of a duke, just pm me!