[OntVFR] FW: Ducati Confessions

KEVIN LEPAPE klepape at shaw.ca
Sat May 18 11:40:11 EDT 2019


I don't get the big "adventure" bike thing. I suppose part of it is that any off-roading I do is within minutes of where I live. But my primary criteria for an off-road bike is weight: I need to be able to pick it up on my own when I dump. And that happens because... one of the major thrills of off-road is no rules and I ride that way. So even if I was touring far afield I'm not going off-road, picking up a 1200GS, Multi or Africa Twin by myself is not possible without permanent damage to me, hell even with a friend of the same vintage as me it could be dicey. Hence my choice of a KTM 250 SX-F. 

My initial love of the VFR has not abated. And it's the motor. It still stirs my soul, albeit mine is a Brian Law built 840 so everything I loved and MORE. Further I modified the chassis substantially so it's the lighter (over 50 lbs), more flickable VFR of your dreams. It's almost an RC45 with more comfort. Speaking of which, I rode Brian's RC45 on a track for a couple of hours years ago, recently rode an Aprilia RSV factory and it's remarkable how similar they are. ThePriller is not much more powerful and the delivery/feel is very similar. Handling is also extremely close: laser-sharp intuitive but not twitchy. Ultimately I was reminded how much it is the motor: V4's rule. And my daily ride is a 1290R Duke which makes more power than... well, than anything that should be sold to the general public or lunatics like me. It's a total gigglefest every minute I'm on it but it's no V4. It's a Hellcat to a Ferrari, although the DukeR handles better than most sport bikes. And it's great lumpy beast of a motor would be a stone killer if it wasn't for all the electronic aids/controls. 

So it ain't Leno's garage but it's not silly: I have three bikes to fulfill my perceived "needs". Truth is if I had Leno's $ I'd have a lot more as want transcends need when $ don't matter. I never met a motorcycle I didn't like. Same goes for dogs and beer. I have 4 dogs, soon to be 7... 

Cheers, 

Kevin in Nelson 



From: "Derrick Csongradi" <derrick.csongradi at gmail.com> 
To: "The Ontario VFR Club mailing list." <ontvfr at vfr.on.ca> 
Sent: Saturday, May 18, 2019 4:20:18 AM 
Subject: Re: [OntVFR] FW: Ducati Confessions 

Last year I had the pleasure of taking a R1200GS for a short demo ride. I can see why it is BMW’s best selling model. The horsepower to torque ratio is perfect and is all any one really needs. The boxer motor’s low centre of gravity makes parking lot speeds a breeze. It has all the electronic comforts. This is a do it all bike and has been luring riders away from the shrinking sport touring market for years. Last year at the VFR WDGAH meet in New Hampshire I counted four which makes it the most current model and second favourite. I came close to buying one but the cost and trying to swing my leg over with the side case on made me hesitant. 

On Fri, May 17, 2019 at 9:25 PM Jim Brown < toastandjam35 at gmail.com > wrote: 



Hmm. I haven't had my vfr for a number of years. I sold it and bought a BMW r1200gsa. I never miss the vfr. I loved it but the BMW does everything that I currently use a bike for better than the vfr ever did. Could I carve a mountain road better on the vfr sure but they are in short supply here. But even if I lived in California again I wouldn't trade in the BMW for a vfr. 

I have a Ducati 999R. It has 150hp built in 2005 before there were any electronics to help you. If you yank the throttle on it. It will change your perception of speed and time. I think the electronics on modern bikes make 160hp seem tame. I can assure you it isn't if you turn them off. 

The VFR is an excellent motorcycle and I'm glad I owned an icon for a while. It does everything well but nothing great and maybe that's it's biggest problem. 

My BMW is a 2006. I think about upgrading sometimes but it does everything I want. They aren't currently building anything that tempts me away. I thought the Africa twin might but it just missed the mark. When someone builds an adventure bike that does all my Gsa does while losing significant weight and comes in a sub 1000cc package for a reasonable price I'll keep riding the BMW and washing the Ducati lol. Speaking of which I should sell that thing insuring two bikes is painful. 

Jim 

On Fri., May 17, 2019, 7:29 p.m. Andrew Carlyle, < carlyle.andrew at gmail.com > wrote: 

BQ_BEGIN

Personal preference, body type, mindset or whatever plays a big part in all this. I am reminded of the discussions about seats. One person will love the stock seat, the next hate it and want to go aftermarket etc. Three people will have wildly different opinions of a particular bike. Its a good thing though because if we all liked exactly the same thing then the world would be a pretty boring place. I think Derrick's right that having a selection of bikes would be the answer. But since that isn't practical for most of us then bikes like the VFR tend to stand out as they can do a number of things and do them well. On my VFR I did everything from long distance touring to track days and it did a pretty good job of all that. I loved all of my VFR's (over the years I had three different generations of VFR) but eventually wanted to move on to something else. What is important is that what you ride puts a smile on your face. All else is secondary. 

On Fri, May 17, 2019 at 6:15 PM Derrick Csongradi < derrick.csongradi at gmail.com > wrote: 

BQ_BEGIN

The solution is a Jay Leno’s garage. The choice is endless but many of are restricted to one choice. Insurance costs are restrictive in Canada. With sadness I sold my VFR recently but most of my riding is long extended trips and the FJR was a compromise for my 60 yr old body. 

On Fri, May 17, 2019 at 5:52 PM David Davidson < did at rogers.com > wrote: 

BQ_BEGIN

It’s funny how this, like many things in life, is all about what’s right for the individual. 
When I rode the GS1200 (which I assume is similar to the duke), I also didn’t really get what the hype was all about. The engine had tons of power and the upright seating position was obviously very easy on the rider; but it’s a big bike and a little top heavy for me. Lots of riding modes and suspension options. Great for some people I’m sure, but just too much for me to think about. I guess it offers something very special for those that prefer routes that offer some off-roading, but is very capable on the pavement as well. 
I’m sure a rider with the right ability gets a ton of fun from both these bikes. 
Not for me though. Different four strokes for different folks. 


---David 

On May 17, 2019, at 4:49 PM, Andrew Carlyle < carlyle.andrew at gmail.com > wrote: 


BQ_BEGIN

I have a 2015 Ducati Multi 1200S and after putting some 25,000 kilometers on it my take is somewhat different. A couple of years ago I rode it to California and back a trip of some 11,000 kilometers door to door. I know everyone is different and each person can have a different experience on the same bike but I found the bike very comfortable when doing back to back 600 kilometer days. These days I am unable to ride a VFR due to back issues (I can't do the sport bike forward lean any more) but I can ride the Ducati just fine. Last fall I rode from WDGAH to home in one day (I think I clocked about 900 kilometers). 
As to the power of the bike and the engine characteristics that depends on which riding mode you are in. There are four modes one being enduro, one being city and the other two being touring and sport respectively. The enduro and City modes limit power to 100 bhp while the other two both are full power modes (160 HP). According to dyno tests I have seen real world rear world horsepower is somewhere in excess of 140 hp (I have seen 146 in a few tests). 
The suspension is automatically adjusted depending on what mode you choose. You can if you want adjust everything manually included the level of intervention. If you want you can shut it all off entirely. 

Not sure what mode you were in but there is a noticeable difference in engine characteristics even between the full power touring and sport modes. Touring is softer and the Sport is much more aggressive. Suspension is noticeably tauter in sport mode. Although I haven't tried it personally I am told that with wheelie control disabled it is very easy to wheelie the bike using the throttle alone. 

As to performance it will eat VFRs, and a lot of other bikes, for lunch. Much sharper handling than a Viffer and although the power may not seem that much different it really is a pretty dramatic difference. You would have to ride a Multi on a twisty road (such as those found in North Carolina or the California mountains) to truly appreciate how much faster it is than a VFR. Around here, as we all know, there aren't many roads that even come close to challenging any modern motorcycle. 

But the bottom line is that if you don't care for it you don't care for it. Not everyone who rides a VFR thinks it is great either. 





On Fri, May 17, 2019 at 11:30 AM Robyn Landers < rblanders at uwaterloo.ca > wrote: 

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[Forwarded for Brad with some image manipulation... -ed] 
________________________________________ 

From: Taylor, Brad [ brad.taylor at tc.gc.ca ] 
Sent: May 17, 2019 10:55 AM 
To: ontvfr at vfr.on.ca 
Subject: RE: OntVFR Digest, Ducati Confessions 

I'm here on a rainy Friday morning to confess that yesterday afternoon, as my trusted VFR languished under its cover (still uninsured), I went for a ride on a 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200S. It's interesting how far things have come since 1991 and yet, despite the huge technological & HP gap between these two bikes, I still wouldn't accept the Ducati as a replacement. Even as I write this, I have a hard time explaining exactly why that is. Perhaps it's the need for Dealer level intervention for every single simple maintenance requirement or maybe it's the tiny lack of throttle response inherent in fly by wire throttle systems. Perhaps it's due to the lack of the V4 symphony, although the Ducati, equipped with its $3k titanium exhaust does make some good noises (perhaps too much actually). The cruise control and backlit handlebar controls are nice, as is the heated grips, which is something I've never experienced outside of sledding. The riding position seems quite comfy but your hands are spread quite wide and my elbows hurt after half an hour for some reason. I couldn't imagine more than an hour in this position, to be honest. Despite the enormous horsepower on tap, it didn't feel super fast and at no time was a shocked at the acceleration or caught over my head with the performance of it. It feels caged and boxed in with all the driver aids ensuring that nothing too exciting happens, like a modern Honda Civic. Ok bad example, but you get the idea. I had to change the settings to remove the wheelie control in order to elicit such and finally had a smile on my face. 

So I operated it for a couple of hours and put it back in the garage with a meh result. My wife wasn't fussed with the rear seat, saying that her bum was sore and that she preferred the old VFR stock seat. She also noted that the saddle bags rubbed the backs of her legs and she wants them off before the next outing. 

So I guess I better get the insurance on my old steed so we can continue our two wheeled romance! 
I bought a 1990 parts bike in NJ last month so I could steal the left exit Two Brothers exhaust of it. So now I need to get busy cleaning that system up and mounting it on my 91. 

That means I'll have a stock header, Vance and Hines SS2R slip-on, center stand and the lower metal fairings available, if someone is looking. Not to mention the 1990 parts bike, which consists of a frame (undocumented) rear sub frame, rear brake system, engine and a harness (cut) but with ignition, front forks and wheel, white fuel tank (small dent) etc . Call or text me at 613-857-3645 if you need something. 

Brad Taylor 

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