Why do you ride a motorcycle? That’s not a rhetorical question; everyone has different answers, different reasons, and a whole host of different experiences that led you to make this important choice. As riders, we also look for different experiences from the bikes that we ride, which leads us to make different choices about which bikes those are, and so on.
In this video, YouTube channel Let’s Review It contemplates that extraordinary ‘90s superbike icon, the Ducati 748R—and whether that bike’s pure, undistilled essence makes something like a 2020 Ducati Panigale V2 completely unnecessary. Both bikes are pure Ducati down to the last millimeter, but offer a completely different experience of what that means to anyone who rides either of them. If you’re lucky enough to get the opportunity to ride those two bikes, I mean, who wouldn’t take it?
The 748R is a bike you sit in, not on—and also a bike that makes you feel thoroughly connected to it as you ride it, as well as any roads you’re riding on. Meanwhile, the Panigale V2’s raft of electronics to manage all that power offer a completely different experience. Does a bike like the 748R render the technological advancements that the Panigale V2 has to offer completely meaningless, though?
Obviously not, since not everyone has access to either of these bikes—and even if you’re a person who’s in that position, the debate over mechanical versus ride-by-wire throttles will be ongoing well past whenever most of us leave this Earth. It becomes not just a question of preferences, but also of appreciations for different tools that do different jobs. A spoon is perfectly good at being a spoon, but utterly fails at being a knife. Would you necessarily say that one is ‘better’ than the other? No, they’re both good and useful in their appropriate contexts.
That’s where this review essentially ends up, as well. Riders are always going to have personal preferences, but that doesn’t mean one is more correct than another. As this video concludes, it’s like asking a parent to choose which child is their favorite, when you know you love them all.