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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 29 Jul 2004
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cagiva experience anyone?

i am a bit amazed that i haven't found a single entry about the 'strongest enduro' and former paris-dakar star; the cagiva elefant!
has anyone been around on one of these? owning one myself and being very happy with it, i do know about the "oh,my god it's a ducati,take a lot of tools..." response, so some reactions with a little more,sensible content would be nice for a change.
or am i pushing it now....;-)
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Old 30 Jul 2004
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Don't know much about Cagiva's except that servicing the Gran Canyon is a PITA. I believe that the rear wheel has to be removed to measure/adjust the exhaust valve clearance on the rear cylinder. There were a few other issues as well that I found on the Adventure Riders site.

Don't confuse race team reliability in the PD with real world home mechanic servicing.
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Old 23 Oct 2004
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I owned one of these for four years. Potentially a great bike, they are better built than a Honda with higher 'spec' components. I own two Africa Twins now so am not just saying that without experience.

However, they are a pain in the ass to maintain, specifically the engine. You just can't leave 'em alone or neglect then like a Honda.

The cam belt broke on me which cost ££££££ to repair. Partly my fault for leaving the inspection too long but even after having it fixed I was only a hairsbreadth from it happening again due to the cam tension bearing wheels almost siezeing solid. I only just caught and replaced them in time.

You could change the plugs in literally four minutes flat which was good because I needed to clean them every week as it always ran rich despite me spending many hours trying to fix the problem.

The other problem was the electrics. (Remember we are talking really of a Ducati 900SS engine) The regulater was notoriously unreliable I had to replace three of them, the last one being the latest one which had supposedly solved the problem, and to be fair it never failed again.

Plus there were other little electrical niggles.

Basically, the high maintenance engine needing constant attention along with some electrical unreliability was its downfall. I was glad to get rid of it in the end.

The Africa Twins are pleasure to own in comparison, easier to ride, very very, reliable with minimal maintenance required.

[This message has been edited by miggy (edited 23 October 2004).]

[This message has been edited by miggy (edited 23 October 2004).]

[This message has been edited by miggy (edited 23 October 2004).]
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Old 13 Nov 2004
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thes bikes have a bad reputation because they need proper maintenance,
you cant "forget" maintenance on a cagiva,
a cambelt is cheap (25 euro) but a broken cambelt usually means a complete top end rebuild.
a broken chain can ruin a set of cases, so you are supposed to adjust the chain.
teh desmo valve train hardly ever needs adjusting, but if it not adjusted properly it can ruin the cam and followers.

If you take proper care of the bike they are amazingly reliable.
I just pulled a 110.000 km engine out of a 750 elefant, and apart from the piston rings and valve guides everything can be reused.
the smaller elefants are even better, the 350/550 engines are unburstable, i know a 120.000 km elefant that has never had anything other than routine maintenance.
despite it being thrashed all the time.

If you can live with such a demanding bike (i couldnt live with a honda) it has its rewards. the chassis is brilliant, it gets better the faster you drive the thing.
its up to you if you want cheap transport (buy the honda ) or a love affair.
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Old 5 Aug 2013
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I just bought a Cagiva elefant 740 1994 with 144'000km on the clock. The engine has never been opened and only standard maintenance has been made (oil, belts and valve clearance).

so I suppose it's reliable if correctly serviced
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Old 13 Aug 2013
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By the way, I own as well a Cagiva Gran Canyon. It's a fantastic road bike. In fact much better than most other bikes like TDM, Super Tenere and Dominator.

Fantastic chassis and brakes, good autonomy with stock 20l tank, and the 900 cc ducati engine has 6 gear and eif, so expect arround 4.5 to 6l for 100km.

I did a 7000km trip last year with it and the only thing I had to do is add 0.2l oil and do once the chain tension.

Not very easy to service, as the front fairing has to be dismounted, and then the take comes off in 2 half parts. I haven't done the valve so far. Changing the belts is quite easy though.

To adjust the rear valves, rear fram and suspension has to be dismounted, but on the elefant as well. And in comparaison with the elefant, the Gran Canyon has easier acces for maintenance.

And for those who don't trust the ducati motors, there is as well the newer Cagiva Navigator, with Suzuki TL 1000 engine.

I had a Cagiva Raptor 1000 in the past, with the same engine as the Navigator.. it's about 106hp, and very torquey. But use more fuel than the Ducati and to my opinion, doesn't look as good.

But then, as people riding VStorm would tell, it's pretty bullet proof with less maintenance than the ducati.
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