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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For anyone interested I just spent two hard days riding the 899 - Ducati's latest offering. My current bike is the F3 675 (not the 800) so bare this in mind.

First off, without a doubt, the 899 is a great bike. Ducati has raised their bar with this machine, there is no doubt. The value for money compared to the 1199 is fantastic. The bike was basically stock, except for flipping shifting to GP and throwing on Tank pads. First let me start with the likes.

The handling is fantastic. It enters the corner as well as the F3, and is more stable mid corner. It's like its on rails. Very predictable. None of the "wavering" mid corner that the F3 can have. That said it has a tendency to drift wide at corner exit compared to the F3 (that "wavering" of the F3 mid corner translates into the ability to adjust corner angle/turning mid corner which no other bike I've ridden lets you do as easily). That tendency of the 899 to drift wide also make it not quite as flickable in chicanes as the F3 (one of the F3's forces no doubt). The wider bars were at first uncomfortable and put strain on wrists, but I got used to it and then liked it. Top end power is great, and the torque at the bottom end is also (as expected) second to none (in the class). It had Pirelli Rosso tires on it so I wasn't quite as willing to push it as my F3 that has Supercorsa 2 on, but still - they're good enough. Riding modes are OK - limited in adjust ability. Wet, race and sport. No customising ability on the stock ecu/map. My GF (who generally disliked Ducati's and loves the triumph tripple) absolutely loved the Bike in wet mode - it had the grunt the Daytona lacks without it being too "Ducati" and she praised the handling too. The steering damper and slipper clutch were nice to have (seriously lacking on the F3 675).

Its VERY predictable, very easy, nimble and powerful. Fantastic.

Dislikes. While the bike as more power and more top end speed than the 675 F3, that power is less accessible mid corner. The all or nothing tendency of the twin means that the slightest twist of the throttle to put slight pressure on the back wheel is more aggressive. This means that the roll on has to be delayed or you get too much too soon. The F3 allows me to crack the throttle as soon as I've dipped into the turn and progressively roll on accelerating through the turn. I just could never get that subtlety on the 899 and had to let the bike "roll through" further before rolling on. In wet mode you can sort of do it, but that defeats the point of having that extra power. As expected with a twin you have to be in the right gear or you have nothing to work with. Too low and you redline before you're ready to shift. Too high and it takes too long for the power to come into play. So more time is spent thinking about shifting into the right gear and less brain power on other things, like entry speed and good lines. This is a fact of life with twins and you get used to it, but I've been spoiled with the F3. The stock seat is garbage. It slides you into the tank and you constantly have to fight it to push back. Someone at Ducati needs to get spanked! The stock rear sets are complete junk. Foot constantly slipping off mid corner. Spank that man too. The limited riding modes/customizing ability is unfortunate but can be lived with.

After day 1 I said "the 899 is every bit as good as the F3". By the end of day 2 I decided that the F3 was still the better bike (for me), and in reality the 899's only real advantage is the power (and damper and slipper), which the 800 solves. Given that they have the same retail price, If I had to choose between the two I'd go for the F3 800 without question, BUT, if the F3 didn't exist, then the 899 would be, by far, the best option going for an aggressive rider who wants a light, predictable, high performance sport bike that out-the-box is fantastic. I made the comment, put the MV F3 electronics and motor in the Panigale and I think you'd have an amazing bike.

Truly an awesome machine, and a very enjoyable weekend.



 

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Nice to hear your views Corran.
Would love to be able to ride either of these and see what I feel, but Ducati dealers around my way aren't too keen on letting a "youth" out on their new toys.
 

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GOOD !!
What about the fuelling and the engine brake ? My F3 uses very few on roads (5.8l/100km last trip with average speed of 100kmh, no highways!)
 

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Seems amazing the 899 is classed as a middleweight nowadays when it's only 17cc down on the iconic 916 :)

I suspect the 899 would be the better bike for 99.9% of 1199 owners?
 

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That's a great write up and comparison Corran. The on/off power delivery of the twin is why I choose the F3. Oddly enough, I find the seat on the F3 complete garbage as it has the same trait as you described on the Panigale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's a great write up and comparison Corran. The on/off power delivery of the twin is why I choose the F3. Oddly enough, I find the seat on the F3 complete garbage as it has the same trait as you described on the Panigale.
Yes the F3 seat does the same thing... its my chief peeve with the bike. I'm putting a race superbike tail on it now that I'll build foam on that doesn't do that

Corran
 

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Thanks for sharing your impressions. Always good to hear reviews from real world riders i.e. owners!

Not that want to buy a Ducati but if I was in the market for a sporty Ducati I'd go with the 899 over the 1199 any day.
 

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That's a great write up and comparison Corran. The on/off power delivery of the twin is why I choose the F3. Oddly enough, I find the seat on the F3 complete garbage as it has the same trait as you described on the Panigale.
The MV Corse neoprene seat will help to stop you sliding forward (or back), if that's the problem. It looks fantastic too.:)
 

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great post.... I was in the same boat regarding super sports... i had a Brutale for a year and was thinking of upgrading then i unlocked the beauty of F3... little pissed off that when i got my 2013 F3 a half a year later the 800 came out... what a bummer... but in the end i am more about precision riding and dont need to much power to have loads of fun..

F3 all the way in my book .... + the fact you can jump around on it like a monkey with leaning back and forth and it feels crazy light for a bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Superb review Corran. Well written and balanced...You're clearly not a journalist! :)

The utube review I also liked but I did take small issue with their conclusion on Facebook. The tester though (Zack Courts) replied and seems like a good egg
 

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I recently took both the Ducati 899 and the F3 800 on test rides around San Diego. I had recently owned the Ducati 1199s and the bike was way to aggressive for my likes and didn't care for the excessive heat produced under the seat. Upon riding the 899, I was impressed with the improvements Ducati made to make this bike more of a street friendly bike. In the lower gears, I still felt that the Ducati was a bit jerky, but far better than the 1199s. I was thinking of purchasing the 899 until I was able to take the F3 800 out. The F3 800 was more equipped to handle my riding style. The ability to ride the bike was just slightly better than the 899 and the throttle response was also more enjoyable in non open riding areas.
Both bikes are amazing and if were track minded would go with the Ducati 899, but since I am out more riding with friends and to work, like the F3 800. Just ordered one and looking forward to getting it.
 

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Saleen, good points you made, which is why I can't stomach the black-or-white review Ari gave on the F3. He decided when he rode the early F3 675 he didn't like it and he hasn't changed his mind. Luckily that's just his opinion and we are all able to make up our own minds.

A watershed moment for me came long ago when I wanted to buy a middleweight sportbike back in 1982. At that time I read (and believed) all of what the magazines said and they pooh-poohed the Ducati Pantah 600, saying how it handled well but couldn't hold a candle, performance-wise, to the GPz 550 and GS 550 bikes. I bought the Duc anyway and decided to go WERA racing that next summer. With no engine mods other than exhaust that Pantah marched down the straights right with the competition. Don't believe everything you read.
 

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The MV Corse neoprene seat will help to stop you sliding forward (or back), if that's the problem. It looks fantastic too.:)
Yep, have recently slapped some techspec tank grip on it and that seat will most probably be the next most pressing upgrade.
 

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Very nice unbiased review.
However the 899 does not have a slipper clutch.
It has some sort of electronic assist (don’t quote me on the term) but it does not have a true slipper.
It would be fine for trackdays and obviously the street but for racing, a slipper is needed.

“As expected with a twin you have to be in the right gear or you have nothing to work with. Too low and you redline before you're ready to shift. Too high and it takes too long for the power to come into play.”

This statement is true for the current Ducati’s (899 / 1199) high revving twins that don’t have much power in the low end / mid-range.
I have a 1098 and it really doesn’t matter what gear you are in. With 90 ft-lb of torque, it picks up hard from 4.5k rpms onwards.

So I am able to easily run it a gear too high and just ride the wave of torque.
The redline comes up quick though at ~10.5k rpm. But between 7-10.5k it pulls like a freight train.
You just have to remember to keep short shifting it and ride the torque. Very different from today’s Ducati twins.
 

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Review of the two bikes here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgnF7Iq_0CQ&feature=share&list=UUoU6dUN9DZfNlMeEK5i8wOA

I mirror their comments - except that my end conclusion is the F3 is better, but they are spot on with the likes and advantages of each.

Never had a problem with F3 TC

Corran
I find it hilarious that everybody thinks they have to have traction control on a mid size bike. They don't make enough torque to make it necessary unless you are just totally ham fisted with the throttle. Would buy the F3 in a heartbeat if I was in the market. Could care less about the traction control. If a street rider is in the traction control a lot of the time, you had better get yourself to the track beforse something really ugly happens.
 

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Hi Guys,

I did also test ride the 899 and the F3 800 last weekend. Here are some observations I made about the Duc:

+ It is very nicely made, cleaner and less visible cables than the MV
+ very good looks, equally pretty compared to the MV
+ the dash is really nicely done, better than the one on the F3
+ tope yoke is CNC machined, very good looking
+ good power

- seat is slippery, I was always struggling to push back
- pegs are slippery, even in the dry
- feels heavier than the MV, less nimble and less crisp when riding
- power delivery is good but not very spectacular, the MV is more exciting
- It is insanely loud with the stock exhaust, you need to wear ear protection or you will end up deaf for sure
- It grills your balls ! Even an 20 degrees celsius it was very hot after riding for 30min. Not accepatable for me.

I found that the 899 is a very beautiful, very loud bike that gets very hot.... No match for the F3 800, which I have now ordered as replacement for my crashed F3 675 : )

Cheers, Mike
 
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