Finally rode that sportclassic i've wanted to so bad...

So the 999 was fun a long time ago when I rode that, but definitely couldn’t see myself owning one. Too high maintenance, engine just wanted to go and it was rough to ride around town.

But… it was FUN! It was a great bike!

However, I thought a supersport would be better for my next bike as it wasn’t such a crazy bike and was a 2 valve and what not and had a better look.

Finally… after going through the showroom the SportClassic caught my eye. Right there inbetween an old cafe racer with today’s technology and setup it was one of those bikes that nailed me and made me go “OHHHH… so shiny… I wonder if it fits me?” Sat on one… felt great, fit me, thought “Hmmmmm…”

6 months went by and I kept eyeing the darn thing.

Finally I woke up this morning and decided to go for a ride, it was nice out. Went and visited my wife at work and headed down to the local Ducati Dealership to drool on the bikes and say hi to my friends down there.

I asked them if they had a sportclassic demo, they said “Yep.” and I asked if i could ride it and they said “Yep.”

So we warmed up the bike, checked the PSI and all else, already had my waiver on file because I rode the 999 a while back and they said “Ok, so… this bike isn’t… well, it isn’t stock… so you need to watch out for 1st and 2nd gear.” that right off the bat made me go “Errrrr ok?”

When I went outside the bike was FAR from stock. Open clutch, termi exhaust, ohlins shock and tons of goodies, they said it had a tuned ECU and the whole bit, gears were modified and it even had magnesium wheels… it was definitely NOT STOCK. But I figured “no way this thing is as crazy as the 999 so lets go!”

I got it off the kick stand, killed it right off. Not realizing the clutch was not stock either. HEAVY springs in the clutch, talk about stiff. Finally, after about 10 minutes of riding through town I got it down smoothly and had no issues, however, within those 10 minutes I did manage to pull my first accidental wheelie as I blipped the throttle a bit too much and did not smoothly engage the clutch, resulting in the front tire coming up about a foot off the ground. Not a ton, just enough to make me go “Whoo… ok, we need to go a bit smoother.”

So actually with all these mods the thing was HARDER to ride than the 999.

Now after more riding in town I got the hang of it, no biggie. Got it down, was starting to have fun, then finally got it out on some twisties. The thing transitioned from corner to corner so smoothly it was almost comparible to the 250 in terms of the feeling of lightweight responsiveness, not quite as light, but very very close and so much more smooth. Of course its hard to compare a 250 to a 1000 cc motor but the handling was great on the bike! I was very impressed as I expected it to be a heavy, sluggish twisty bug and be a straightaway bike and i was very very wrong.

I ended up riding it for almost 4 hours. Once I got out there, hit the twisties (and the straights) I was once again laughing like a mad scientist going “MUAHAHAHAHA” as I barreled down the road and into the twisties and hit some straights.

The obvious oddity I was not used to in terms of feeling was that there was NO windshield so at one point I did hit about 120 and it started to pull me back even in a tuck, however, it wasn’t horrible, but definitely a different feeling. Felt good though! I have to say it was quite a joy!

The exhaust on the thing sounded awesome! The whole termi exhaust was pretty loud, sounded like a monster wanting to take my face off as I went down the road and I don’t think i’ve ever turned that many heads in my life. People were turning around i’m sure thinking “What the HELL is so loud?” or “Wow whatever it is, it’s gonna be sweet…”

At some point I stopped to go get a cup of coffee and sort of relax, my butt was hurting after like 2 hours of riding, my neck was kinked because I wasn’t used to that particular riding position and a guy walked up asking where I got it. I said “Dealership, I’m test riding it.” and he said “I didn’t know that dealers carried old bikes like that.” i said “Well, its styled to LOOK old but its really a 2006.” and the guy went off about how it looked so much like those cafe racer bikes back in the day when he saw them and what not, you could tell the guy was pretty into those bikes and seemed to bring back some memory of them for him so that was cool and we continued talking about it and everything and went into what the bike had and how it was made, etc. Then it was back on the bike…

Went back into town to try and figure out how to efficiently ride it, did not kill it, smoothly engaged the clutch from that point on forward. In fact it didn’t take too long to get the hang of it. I figured out the sweet spot for engaging it and the friction zone (even though the clutch for the most part was like “I wanna go!” or “I don’t wanna go” there wasn’t much slipping inbetween) and the throttle. Definitely was an interesting experience but I loved every single part of it, except the wheelie of course as that kind of made me go “Oh yeah, throttle control, dork…” and made me kind of laugh when I was able to ride a 999 with no issues what so ever but that this one actually gave me problems and had less power, etc… but THEN again nothing was stock and set up for different use and different performance altogether so indeed it was a wheelie monster of different proportions than the stock 999 I rode a while back.

My overall feeling of the bike is that I’d definitely want to hop back on it! Now that i’ve been staring at them for 6 months and FINALLY got to try one out and loved it as much as I did I know I want one and know what I want for my next bike.

I was lucky enough to try a few other bikes out of my friends but still out of all of them this one really caught my attention, fit me, and gave me that feeling of it being “The bike” I’ve been looking for.

I definitely am keeping the 250, I basically want a 1000 to enjoy the best of both worlds… one bike small, nimble, with decent power… and another which is not quite exact opposite but with more power, good response and something styled a bit differently. The whole cafe racer look really caught me off guard when i first saw it but even though it looks old and looks like a putt putt bike, it is very deceiving… very deceiving indeed but in such a wonderful, fun, exciting and thrilling way.

If I get one I’d have to slowly mod it up to the bike I rode today: Brakes, wheels, calipers, suspension, exhaust, styling, ecu and more… it was seriously a dreamy bike to ride. I did not bring my camera unfortunately but will be going back there again, perhaps then I can snap some pictures. I felt so at home on that bike once I got the hang of smoothly engaging it in 1st gear and learning to be NICE and very very very light on the throttle.

Word of warning however, anything with springs THAT strong on the clutch is definitely something you wanna be riding OUT of town as it was no fun for my hands to be riding that thing constantly in town holding the clutch back with such pressure. That thing was STIFF! It was do-able but not desirable for city riding… but OH the fun you have once you get out of town!

I hopped on a stock one (didn’t ride it) to feel the difference and the clutch is way softer on a stock one so stock would be easier to ride around town but I’m sure it’d be comparably as fun as they are all set up very well. This one was oversprung for me as the owner who set it up weighs another 50-80lbs more than me…

So all in all, wonderful day! Rode the 250, had a blast, took her out on the backroads and enjoyed it… then hopped on down to the local Ducati dealership and rode my first sportclassic that i’ve been eyeing for 6 months only to find out that indeed it was more bike than i expected in both power, response and also in pleasure and what i wanted. I will definitely be getting one for my next bike :slight_smile: That is for sure!

By the way for those that don’t know what a Ducati Sport Classic looks like here is a picture of one with the EXACT same exhaust setup except the one I rode was in RED.

Is that the same bike Cruise rode in MI2? Looks like it. Very nice.

  • Darron

nice choice Derek! Looks like you had alot of fun riding it around today!

I know your a Ducati fan, but have you checked out any triumph dealers or friends with triumphs?

that thing looks like its all business

^^ Raw indeed. :evil:

there aren’t any local triumph dealers that i am aware of, also, in terms of they’re looks they just aren’t my thing. But they are good bikes.

And yes - That bike is all business :stuck_out_tongue:

Nice dude. Very VERY nice.

They’re similar but that bike is newer styled and that was a Triumph.

Man looks like a modern cafe racer… I’d love one

I’ve actually been looking at the XB9SX lately… Not sure about a vtwin, let alone a 45 degree vtwin, there’s a lot of unbalanced mass in a 45-degree setup, or so i’ve heard

Derek. Look at the Mh900E. I think you might like it.

Went back there today. Took some photos of it (it was all cleaned up), however, parked…

Either way here’s a picture of it parked next to the others in it’s heavenly modified gloriousness.

Sorry for the picture quality but when i resize them to fit on the board here the quality goes to crap, but then again the originals are 3 megs a piece :frowning:

First off here is a pic of the 1098 that was up on the box…

And THIS is the sportclassic I rode…

If you note… the clutch is in the OPEN! Not partially exposed… not “I’m kind of out there showing off” exposed, its FULLY exposed… gotta watch your leg when riding that bike.

I love the way open clutches sound!!! Like a monster with gnashing metal teeth.

Koi…if the Red bike the villian rides in MI2 is a Ducati (and I’m 95% sure it is) then the black one that Tom rode is as well. They were both the same make.

  • Darron

MI2 was a triumph speed triple.

Hmm…coulda sworn they were both Ducati’s…oh well. My bad…still bad ass.

  • Darron