Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Pittston, PA 18640
i rode a then new 98-916 and i have ridden a 01 mille-r (pronounced mee-lay, not millie). the mille is owned by my friend who is an aprilia mechanic. his girlfriend has a duc (so you can say that he is at times a ducati mechanic too, but her bike is a monster, so it's easier to work on than the 916).
both have a nice finish, great suspensions.
the ducati has a lot of sexy appeal. the seat sucks for anything but balls out riding. when you're on it, the seat actually does serve a purpose. there a million reasons to hate ducati's. however, most of them make me like them. the 916 i rode had forza slip-ons. they sound great. stock mufflers don't. of course the worst thing with ducati is service. valve adjustments suck. steers like a truck in the stock position.
the aprilia is best describe as half italian, half japanese. it has the reliability and motor-design of the japanese, with the passion for speed that can only come from italy. i found the bike easier to ride than any other streetbike i have ridden. it pulls everywhere. it's just an awesome bike. service is pretty much the same as a japanese bike. much more comfortable than the 916/996. the biggest downside to me is that it doesn't sound as good. the mille i rode had a full akro (2-1, not the 2-2 corser rode). it's just just exhaust. no dry clutch making its rattle. it sounds like any other twin. like a tl or vtr or rc51. not that they are bad company, but the 996 is different. VERY DIFFERENT.
anyway, i'd still buy the mille.
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