I have noticed a lot of misconceptions/prejudice on this board towards Ducati owners. In an effort to dispel the rumors I would like to give you some of my observations on all of the Ducatisti I have met so far. (50 or 60 people.) They seem to share a few qualities with each other.
1. They value interesting and beautiful design over the opinions of magazine editors.
2. They have either a lot of mechanical skill or a lot of $$$. The bikes are easy to work on and fairly cheap to maintain, if you know what you are doing. If you don't you can fork over a lot of cash to someone who does.
3. They are more or less in love with their bike. These bikes have a level of devotion and loyalty that you don't see to any other brand of sportbike.
4. Old bikes with high mileage are just as loved as the latest and greatest due to the fact that the owners have had more time in the saddle with them.
5. Almost all of them have been through several other brands of bike before buying a Ducati.
6. The rare people who buy Ducatis as first bikes are the least likely to keep them for the long term. It's almost like you don't gain an appreciation for what they have to offer until you've lived with the alternatives for a while.
It's not that we as Ducatista aren't impressed with the speed and power of supposedly superior Japanese bikes, we are. We just don't really care (or care to own them.)
For me it has been an absolute joy to finally find a bike that suits me. I don't care if other bikes are faster in magazines, my Ducati has phenomenal handling which gives me confidence and makes me a faster rider.