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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys,

I have been thinking about buying a Ducati 848 from a private party but was really turned off by the low speed handling when he let me take a test ride. The control inputs just sucked- the bike really wanted me to countersteer even at low speeds- and every dip or bend in the road resulted in the bike wanting to turn. I haven't bought the bike yet- will decide this evening.

-Is this just a suspension tuning issue or is there something wrong with this specific bike? (I'm 5'11" and 170; the guy selling it is 5'5" and ~140)
-I live downtown and will do a lot of my riding on bumpy city streets- is there a way to loosen up the suspension or something?
-Do you get used to the low-speed handling?

FWIW I really liked the high speed handling- the bike knew exactly how much it wanted to lean over. But I'm going to use it on the track or the highway only 10% of the time and the other 90% will probably be commuting to work through city streets and being in traffic on some level. I would much prefer a Ducati to an R6 or CBR, but there's no fun in having a cool bike if the handling sucks for 90% of your riding.

Thanks!
 

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Sounds like the bike is fine. It's not built for slow speed manouvering. It'll do it but it's not natural for it. You get used to the way it handles at slow speeds.
 

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Sounds just like my 848 when I first bought it. It had the original Pirelli on the front and a Bridgestone on the rear. The owner I bought it from was scared of it.....
After I changed over to new Dunlop Q2's it was a totally different bike, steering beautifully fast or slow. Look closely at the tyres on it.......
 

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Do a rider mod. It's ok I need to do one too heh. I still look like an idiot with the panic sticking out the leg to catch myself when trying to u turn quite often.
 

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'12 848evo, '13 Hypermotard SP, '94 CBR600f2 track bike, '06 CBR600rr track bike
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Yeah never had an issue riding my 848 slowly, maybe a riding experience thing ?
 

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IF you have not already, take a riding class. I took the "advanced" riding class in my state and you pretty much just work on slow speed stuff and TIGHT turns in a parking lot for a day. It will teach you alot of good habits and you will get much better and low speed handling.
 

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If you are set on a Ducati and didnt like the handeling of the 848 since you will use it most of it for city; best option is to get a monster.
 
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Personally I wouldn't enjoy riding my 848 in traffic all the time. Its just the nature of the bike. Good advice above about checking tires. I was too hard on the brakes when I first got mine and wore the front tire into an almost triangular profile. It wanted to dive in to the turn all the time as a result. A less performance oriented tire would probably help.
 

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Just realized the bike will be used primarily for city driving, if that's the case i'd advise against an 848 like others have mentioned. You ass is gonna be on fire and the bike hates chugging around under 4-5k RPM, it was made to be driven fast.
 

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I hold the clutch half engaged at anything under like 10 mph, which I found helps a lot. But yes, be wary that this bike doesn't like traffic at all. The other day I was stuck in pittsburgh BS traffic that was very slow moving. The bike got up to like 140 degrees. I had to pull over and let it (and me) cool down.
 

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I hold the clutch half engaged at anything under like 10 mph, which I found helps a lot. But yes, be wary that this bike doesn't like traffic at all. The other day I was stuck in pittsburgh BS traffic that was very slow moving. The bike got up to like 140 degrees. I had to pull over and let it (and me) cool down.
140 degrees celsius? May want to go over your cooing system and check for air and the fans. 140F is low temperature.
 

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When I test ride a bike, I always find low air pressure is the main handling problem.
I carry a TP gauge a just stop at a store and air the tires to the proper PSi then go for my test ride.
Sellers seem to over look the little things when selling.
 

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Dragging the rear break helps control the speed while keeping the engine RPMs up in the range they like to be in
^^This. Only thing rear brake is good for. I didn't used to do it because I thought it would be tricky or I'D F it up and drop the bike but started recently and now do it all the time. Helps a ton.
 

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I initially really disliked the feel of my 848 at low speeds, but I wrote it off to being a new rider. After getting some miles on my ride, I became much more comfortable at low speeds and I don't constantly feel like I need to make corrections and keep my feet out for stability in tighter turns.

I can echo the concerns of others in this thread in that the 848 definitely doesn't prefer to be driven under 4k RPM (shakes like a sumbitch). I have the 14T front sprocket, so that helps, but at low speeds manipulating the clutch is a must. I live in a neighborhood with very tight streets and a certain old woman who has nothing better to do than bitch at passing motorists whom she believes are going too fast. It just takes some getting used to, but I can say that it is well worth it considering how good the bike feels when you've got speed working for you!
 

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I agree with the OP as I just come from Jap bikes, it took me couple of months to get used to the throttle and the steering on my 1198s with Metzeler Racetec's. Low speed throttle at corners is always a challenge to me, I have to engage my clutch half way to ensure I am not spinning my wheel (although it has DSC). If I do low speed city ride more than 15 mins, my hands would get fatigue because you can feel every bump or imperfection on the road and naturally you want to counter steer. Some people in this forum had done a triple offset mod and claimed better steering, you may want to give it a try.
 

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^^This. Only thing rear brake is good for. I didn't used to do it because I thought it would be tricky or I'D F it up and drop the bike but started recently and now do it all the time. Helps a ton.
Well, there's also starting out on a steep hill... it's good for that. Actually I use it lightly sometimes during cornering, too.;)
 

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140 degrees celsius? May want to go over your cooing system and check for air and the fans. 140F is low temperature.
woops..mistyped. I meant 240 degrees F. When I got home I checked that the radiator would come on around 220 and bring the temp down to around 212, which it did. I think the problem was I had to move at like 5 mph continuously for a while, which is only achievable by feathering the clutch, as others have mentioned in this thread. Problem is that means I was running the engine at high RPMs with very little motion, so despite the radiator being on it couldn't do enough cooling.

I think next time I'll just weave through traffic. Worst case scenario I get pulled over I'll just tell the officer I feared that my engine block would get damaged and if he thinks I'm lying he could touch it himself and find out. :naughty:
 
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