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Nothing says "motorcycle" like a naked air-cooled sporty bike. They are little more than an engine with a couple of wheels tacked on at either end. No unsightly radiators and their attendant plumbing, and no plastic fairings hiding the mechanical bits – they're the epitome of elemental motorcycling.

But in this slice of moto-dom, there are a few different philosophies. Ducati's Monster 1100 represents an Italian school of thought, with eye-catching styling that befits its country of origin. One of the originators of the naked sportbike movement, this new Monster's abbreviated trellis frame pares down the bike's visible components to a level that an untrained eye might wonder how the thing is held together.

The North American viewpoint is provided by Harley-Davidson's new XR1200, an homage to the most American form of two-wheel motorsport, dirt-track racing. Other than its modern aluminum swingarm and triple-disc brakes, the XR appears as if it could’ve rolled off the pages of a Cycle News race report from the 1960s.

What we have here are two machines that are literally half a world apart in origin, and probably a galaxy apart in styling philosophy. Yet the commonality of simplicity – the simplicity of a no-nonsense air-cooled Twin as a power source – make the Harley-Davidson XR1200 and Ducati Monster 1100 brothers in arms

More: Ducati Monster 1100 vs Harley-Davidson XR1200 Review on Motorcycle.com
 

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a new old fart
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238 Posts
The XR1200 has one problem and that is the butt ugly oil cooler sticking out of the frame, this is the same cooler that autos use and hides behind the grille, the only different is its painted, but other then that its a wonderful bike.
just my take on it. L.A
 

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A Sportster with an aluminum swing arm? Triple disc brakes. How innovative. What will Harley think of next: :rofl:
 

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Ride is Destination
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144 Posts
I prefer the looks of pre2008 Monsters. Great machines. I still keep my original Duke for fulfilling different need + flashback from the past. Although, the need for speed is diminishing rapidly. I pretty much retired few years back after 4 speeding tickets in 2 moinths, which included being stopped by a heli-cop from the freaking skies using megaphone.

Never had Sportster so can't really comment - must say, not a big fan.
 
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