A couple of guys that I rode with offered me their crotch rockets to try out. The R6 was 2004 with full Yoshimura system and tuned Power Commander, and the 996S had Ferrodo brake pads fitted coupled with Termignoni pipes. First of all, I gotta say that thank God for the Aprilia Tuono!!! My neck and back were hurting so bad after a mere 30-minutes on each of those bikes that I felt like I was a victim of the Spanish Inquisition. All that crouching over is for the dogs. The Ducati is, well, a Ducati. Ride one, ride all. The dry clutch is either on or off. I like it. It's an easy transition from the Beemer which also has a dry clutch. Abundant torque from down low and revs quickly. The engine feels lumpier than the Aprilia's engine but otherwise feels similar in the power band department. The Ferrodo pads require some warming up before they stop chattering, and the rear brake was non-existent until it warms up and even then I don't think that I could have used it for trail braking. I wouldn't fit these pads on a street bike, personally speaking. Handling is superb. It's not nimble per se but very precise and direct. You think it and it happens. But ouch my back and my neck!!! The R6 was a bit of a disappointment. I am not holding anything against the engine. I knew that it doesn't have the torque of a liter bike and that it's an I4, so I took that as what it is. The suspension was well set up (the rider weighed about the same as me). It reminds me of my Brutale at high speed - difficult to change directions. Maybe it's just me not feeling comfortable sprawling on the tank like that, but it seems like I need a lot of effort to lean the bike over. What disappointed me the most was the transmission. The throw was extremely long. I kept hearing about how bad BMW tranny is (vague, clunky, et al) and how wonderful Japanese trannies are, and well, I ain't impressed. Maybe I need to go find another Japanese bike and try it out, but if this tranny is typical of the Rising Sun bikes, then I ain't too impressed. I need to find somebody who would let me take a Jap liter bike around and compare. But I can see why Ducatis are highly prized with the sport riders. They are confidence inspiring. You feel like you know it right away. The learning curve seems to come quicker for me. Maybe it's because I'm used to the V-twin power delivery. The only true conclusion I came away with is that the crotch rockets ain't for me. Maybe if I were to lose 40-lbs and beefed up on the physical exercise or something. But the humanity of it all, it was torture riding those things!!!;m So now, I'm thinking what would happen if I were to get a 999 and fit it with bar risers and Renthal dirt bike bars, and yank off the plastics? Hmmm... Wanna kill these ads? We can help!