I rode the thing.
Spoiler alert, I’m in love. The bike is playful, although not quite to the degree that a stock Miata is. I suppose it’s a big bike, but it never *feels* big, and while it has more HP than 80% of the cars I’ve owned, it seems like a calm easy ride first and a balls-to-the-wall sport bike second, as apposed to vice-versa.
While I'm still on team red, that liquid Grey paint job is drop-dead gorgeous. If it was anything other than a Monster, I'd get the Grey in a heartbeat.
It’s... Quiet? Don’t get me wrong, it sounds great, but it could really use a bit more volume.
Definitely the hottest bike I’ve rode. Not too bad when it’s 70, but probably not super fun when it’s 95.
Foot controls are a bit tight. My heel hits the rear pegs or the exhaust if I go on the balls of my feet. Seems like a common complaint, with no good solution unless you want to pay like $2k for a relocation kit.
The mirrors suck.
For a 1200cc bike, it’s somewhat rediculous how rideable the damn thing is. It’s not particularly intimidating once you’re going through the gears, and my novice ass felt in control at all times. Which I can’t say for the downright terrifying experience that was the Hypermotard. More on that later. HP figures are up at 150, which is ludicrous. There’s power absolutely everywhere, but it never feels overwhelming. Leave it in the low rev range on urban mode and you’ve got a calm riding experience reminiscent of my old 250 ninja. Put it into touring mode and you’ve got access to all the ponies, but it’s still easily manageable. I’ll admit I did not try sport mode.
I can flat foot it quite easily on both sides.
The quickshifter is pretty trick. I never thought I’d enjoy anything that takes away the shifting experience from me, but hey. What can I say. Lightning fast clutchless up shifts are fun.
The engine is a peach. Now that I think about it, this is the only naturally aspirated engine I’ve ever had the pleasure of driving that was legitimately fast. All the other fast cars I’ve been behind the wheel of had a turbo or supercharger. The linear nature of the Ducati made me giggle like a school girl, and it just pulled like a freight train.
The aforementioned riding modes make a huge difference, and I love that I can customize all of the safety features, choosing levels for abs, traction control, etc.