Advice sought. Should I buy this cheap 2015 Multistrada 1200S Touring?

Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by ELB, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. ELB

    ELB Been here awhile

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    Hello and thanks for reading.

    I'm interested in a used 1200 MTS, and I landed on 2015 as the best year because I want cruise control and like the TFT dash, riding modes, etc. and have heard generally positive things about the DVT engine and how it's smoothed out the rev range some.

    There's a white 1200S Touring (so, with the hard luggage w/top case) at a used bike dealer in my area for $11,500, which strikes me as an extremely attractive price before negotiation. And it's got just over 9k miles on it. That said, it doesn't have a glowing history. The same dealer picked it up at auction, and they've told me that this meant it came with no service history. Then a guy, who they say tends to buy and sell bikes with surprising frequency, purchased it from them only to give it back to sell on consignment after just a month. So, not exactly confidence inspiring.

    Appearance-wise, the bike is solid, but clearly used. No signs of any major damage, but a decent number of minor dings and scratches, including some on one side that look likely to be the result of a minor tip-over. They're so small that it's unlikely it was anything more than that, though. The bike wasn't cleaned (don't think the dealer has had time yet to wash it down) and the switchgear, which all appears to function fine, is grimy.

    I took it for a test ride. It was a little hesitant to fire up (though it did both times we turned it on without failure), but otherwise runs well. The ride itself evidenced the bike performs nicely. Gearshifts were positive. Bike tracked absolutely straight, including on the highway. Engine felt strong, if a little choppy at low revs in a few instances. Dash display seemed in fine shape, but I didn't run through the various menus to test everything. Cruise control and heated grips worked perfectly. Seat is way too angled forward for me, and was probably in its lowest position, but I'm guessing that's all stock and I'd have to swap the seat out for what I want no matter what. Tires are near new Michelin Pilots. Didn't sense any issues with the brakes.

    In terms of other changes, looks like someone installed aftermarket, fully adjustable levers. And, oddly, all but two of the allen-head bolts on the gas tank fill surround (no idea what this is actually called) were clearly rusted. So, I'm guessing those aren't stock, but why would anyone change them?

    So, we apparently have a bargain-priced 2015 MTS 1200S Touring with some easy-to-live-with, superficial cosmetic damage, an unknown past and yet solid mechanics (other than a somewhat anemic start). Thoughts? Areas of concern?

    I told the salesman that I wanted some time to think it over and, refreshingly, he applied zero pressure.

    Could really use some guidance here.

    Thanks,

    ELB
    #1
  2. nostatic

    nostatic i drank what?!? - Socrates Supporter

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    I wouldn't touch it with someone else's wallet. On some level with used bikes you're buying the previous owner(s) and sounds like this one was not exactly well kept.

    The "anemic start" actually does fall into the "they all do that" category. Beyond that though, who knows what gotchas are lurking. I'm also not sure I'd own a Ducati without a warranty, at least modern ones, but that's me. When my warranty is up I'll spring for a 4-5 year aftermarket. If you actually ride your bike a lot, it can make financial sense as stuff will go wrong and it won't be cheap. The warranty companies know that most people don't ride them much, so they will make money in the long run.

    You also can pick up a leftover '17 (and maybe even a '16) for a substantial chunk off. I'd rather dump the money in up front than roll the dice on an unknown quantity. There also are other used Multis out there that have been well taken care of that aren't expensive.
    #2
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  3. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    I asked the collective much the same question a day or two ago in the main DVT thread, great advice from nostatic and others. I'm looking at a couple others and not sure where you are located, but nationalpowersports in NH has a nice white one with many goodies that is worth looking at in the same price range, if nothing else for comparison to help you when shopping. Not affiliated (I'm in NC), but have looked at other bikes they have listed and had good feedback on their reputation from members here and they warranty and ship for little cost. Good luck, the Multi is a tempting Italian beauty!

    Cheers
    #3
  4. ELB

    ELB Been here awhile

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    Thanks to you both, nostatic and bobw.

    Yeah, not sure I'm ready to go in on this unit that gives the impression of being "rode hard and put up wet." At the same time, looked at that model at the NH dealer, and it is immaculate — but also $2,500 more. And that's before shipping (which I expect will be at least $500). Proves my point that this one is cheap. But it reflects the level of care as well.

    Perhaps I should approach my local Ducati dealer. Maybe they can find me something closer to the NH model, but ideally for a bit less. Regardless, it'd be nice to have a warranty. That said, since warranties tend to be time limited, it makes no sense to buy now (which I'd waited to do because now is when you can grab the best prices). I may as well wait until riding season starts again to get the most of the warranty.

    Thanks,

    ELB
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  5. Dewtwo

    Dewtwo old trail rider!

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    David's Phone 067.jpg That Multi is a beautiful motorcycle. I had a 2012 Touring.
    It is a complex bike with a wild menu of STUFF for you to switch thru and customize.
    That 2015 generation of Multi should not have any choppy feel at any throttle setting.

    My opinion, if a Multi is the right bike for you, you will love one. Find a beauty, get a warranty, a great Ducati tech. near you, and have the time of your life on 2 wheels.

    But, don't drop it !!!
    My dealer service writer was an old buddy, told me the Multi was the priciest repair after a simple easy drop!
    #5
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  6. Daboo

    Daboo Been here awhile

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    I may have missed it, but how many miles does it have on it? I'd look at the maintenance schedule and see what costly service is coming up. If it is a minor service coming up, I'd go back to the service before that required something expensive like a valve check and have that done as part of the purchase price.

    The previous owner sold it for a reason...and quickly. Why? Even if the dealer can't tell you, there still is a reason. Was it the poor starting and poor running at low revs? If so, it was enough that the previous owner couldn't live with it.

    I had some tires changed at the local Ducati dealer. Above the service manager's counter was a banner showing what the cost was for a service. My jaw dropped. There's a cost to buying...and owning... a Ducati that shouldn't be overlooked.

    Chris
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  7. emidyl

    emidyl Been here awhile

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    There's a lot of signals present here that should have you pedaling backwards. Keep shopping, you'll know when the right one comes along, price should not be the top factor in a used purchase such as a Ducati
    #7
  8. jjjjjjay

    jjjjjjay Been here awhile

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    Familiar with this one, I believe. Have been tempted by the ad a couple times too. Luckily found a different Multi that worked for me.

    Couple things. Good to know the dealer offers test rides. I was wondering. Hasn't been cleaned is a bit of a red flag to me. Had it back for a while, if it's the one I'm thinking of. But anyway, you likely know the dealer better than me.

    There are some amazing deals on Multis, and especially this time of year. Should be time to wait until you are reasonably sure you are getting one you really, really like and for a decent price.

    Then ride the heck out of it! Its getting cold here this week, so maybe I will trailer mine down south over Christmas, just thought of that!
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  9. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    One of my friends and regular riding buddies had one. It wasn't a good ownership experience and that was from new, with full warranty. It seemed to me that the 2015 models in particular, were Beta models and the owners the QA/QC testers for that new fangled electronics package they added that year. When it ran well, it was impressive. But more often than not, it didn't.

    I think it's overpriced by about $11K. And I am not sure I'd get one even if it was free, unless you plan to keep another motorcycle around for when it's down for some unexplained problem Ducati swears it never heard off...

    Gustavo
    #9
  10. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer

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    Those rusted bolts by the gas cap are probably just the result of having a tank lock style tankbag at one time. The slow sounding starter sounds typical, as mentioned already. At 9,000 miles, it may be due for the scheduled oil/filter change, as the valves don't get checked until 18,000 miles. I do my oil and filter at 6000 mile intervals instead.

    The history is what scares me, especially with the story about the most recent owner.
    #10
  11. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    My Italian v-twin is choppy at low revs too. The fix for past bikes has been something called a "fat duc", meaning a trickery device that fattens the fuel curve in low rpms. I don't know if that is common on the 2015 Duc, but it would not surprise me. It could also simply be an aging battery. These things have a lot of electronics, plus fuel injection, plus the e-start. A battery that is considered good for most bikes can have trouble starting these.

    The grimy nature of the bike suggests that it was used as an ADV bike, rather than shined between trips to Starbucks. That might not be a big deal in itself, but I would look at a couple of items.

    1. If it was used as a tool and auctioned off at those miles, chances are its due for an expensive valve adjustment. You should negotiate that work into the purchase, as well as a thorough look over.

    2. The rusty bolts near the gas tank suggest it was used in a salty environment. I doubt they took it out on Pismo Beach (though not impossible), so maybe it's from a coastal area where they get a lot of spray? The other possibility is that someone took it out on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Whatever the cause, you should look into the corners very closely for rust around welds and stuff. If you find pockets of salt packed in there, run away.
    #11
  12. peoples1234

    peoples1234 Adventurer

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    Sounds like a good deal to me. If the dealer knows the guy who bought it for a month, then perhaps they can ask him why it offloaded it so quickly. Perhaps he just didn’t like it, and as someone who buys often it might not be that out of character for him.

    Ducati’s are slow starters. You can get a lithium battery and upgraded cables from moto electric, but even with that it sounds different from an inline four starting.

    As far as rust on the bolts, I bet there used to be a tank ring for a bag and it was taken off before the original owner sold it. If you use an Allen head with even a speck of rust, it can transfer and grow like cancer. Not all stainless is that corrosion resistant.

    If you can live with the small comestic imperfections, there is little wrong with a Duc with 9k miles. Even if the oil was never changed, it is probably fine.

    The bike sounds like it checks out in person, I’d go for it if I was in the market.
    #12
  13. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer

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    Mileage is stated as 9,000 miles. Valve check isn't until 18,000 miles, although it might wise to check the belts.
    #13
  14. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    No check/adjustment at 600?
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  15. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer

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    Oil/filter and the usual check functions and adjustments, check for updates, etc.
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  16. ELB

    ELB Been here awhile

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    OP here.

    Well, I love advrider for all the knowledgeable, thoughtful, good-hearted folks, like you, who make this place the best forums around. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, we have a split of opinion, with some saying it's a great deal that's highly unlikely to have anything fundamentally wrong with it and others saying they'd never touch something that's been somewhat neglected (or, at the very least, not well cared for).

    So, where do I find myself now? A bit torn, but leaning away. It is an excellent price, and it may well be absolutely fine in all the ways that really matter. In addition, the relatively minor bumps, bruises and other wear and tear is likely something I'll do myself after a year or two of ownership.

    That said, I just saw there's a brand new red 2015 1200S Touring with just over 100 miles on it at a dealer a little over an hour away for $13,500. Now, that's still $2,000 over the price of this, which isn't nothing. And I think the warranty may be considered expired (would have to check, but the listing oddly states warranty through July 2017). Plus, as a new bike they'll probably charge $800-$1,000 for "dealer prep and destination/transportation charges," which I think is lousy, if not ridiculous. But the idea of a new bike that'll be all mine to maintain or mess up is undeniably appealing. And maybe I can get the price down a bit from there, if the dealer is hungry enough.

    Maybe that, plus an extended warranty, will be enough to make me feel comfortable and pull the trigger. I think I'll inquire and see what they're willing to do on the price.

    - ELB
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  17. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer

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    The bike was probably a factory authorized demo. The warranty starts as soon as the dealer gets it, so that's why it expired in July. Surprised they didn't bother to update the ad, it's probably the same ad they've been running since 2016. :lol3
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  18. ELB

    ELB Been here awhile

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    Yes, turned out to be a factory authorized demo, so no warranty unless I purchase an extended. On top of that, they want nearly $1,000 in fees. So, a $13,500 bike turns into a nearly $15,500 bike. But, of course, that's before "negotiating."

    I really dislike this practice where the price of a new bike isn't really the (advertised) price of a new bike.

    - Erik
    #18
  19. dmason

    dmason goofball

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    Be patient and keep shopping. You have the season to buy working in your favor.

    With so many fish in the sea, why settle on anything that you don’t feel great about? Your bike is out there and you will find it.
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  20. ELB

    ELB Been here awhile

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    Thanks for this. Gotta keep reminding myself.

    - ELB
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