- This topic has 87 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 12 years ago by Anonymous.
August 19, 2008 at 2:31 pm #10759
Of course there are people happy with their bikes. All I’m saying is that there’s a reason these bigger bikes sell so well, and that’s because the majority of riders do eventually feel the need to upgrade. And if I’m going to try to give someone who I don’t know advice, I’m going to do it based on the assumption that they’re in the majority rather than the minority. Most riders who stick with motorcycling eventually do keep upgrading until they eventually find themselves on a bike thats at least 750cc. Even Ben apparently felt the need to upgrade from his GS500 to a ZX-6R Ninja. Also, I’ve noticed that anytime someone brings up the concept of needing/wanting to “upgrade” from their beginner bike, you act like the the mere mention of it is personally insulting to you. You may be happy with your ninja 250 and plan on sticking with it forever and even upgrading it, and that’s cool. But you need to understand that you are in the minority there.August 19, 2008 at 3:15 pm #10761
I don’t think he is against upgrading, but upgrading peramturely can be just as bad (or worse) than starting off on a bike that is too big. Actually I think Matt was saying that the monster is a great bike with lots of personality.
“I am the best there is at what I do, and what I do ain’t nice.”-WolverineAugust 19, 2008 at 5:13 pm #10769MattParticipant
“Also, I’ve noticed that anytime someone brings up the concept of needing/wanting to “upgrade” from their beginner bike, you act like the the mere mention of it is personally insulting to you.”
No, or well, not the intention at least.
What I find annoying is the line of thinking that says “you’ll grow bored with a bike unless it has more power”. I think there is a definite want for more power than a starter bike. But I don’t think most people actually out grow the power of a middleweight (in this case, 600cc-800cc since the definition always changes).
I definitely think people want change and thus move to a different bike. I think North American culture has a huge bias that says “Bigger is better” so when people change bikes and upgrade, bigger is the overriding direction. Most guys I’ve talked to who own a litre bike travel above the speed limit and accelerate hard, but never take the bike into performance realms beyond what a 600cc could do. Usually they say the like the torque because it lets them shift less, but really it is a nice toy, and they like having “The best”.
I think telling anyone who is getting into motorcycles that they’ll probably want to change bikes within the first few years is the right thing to do (since many people seem to think that their first bike will be their last, and that just isn’t the case for the majority). I think that telling them they’ll want to upgrade because they’ll get bored with the performance of a bike is wrong. It says “The amount you enjoy your bike is proportional to the displacement”. It reinforces false logic.
I’ve got no problem with recommending the SV as a less expensive entry into the motorcycle world that is, as you say, mechanically a very similar bike. Saving cash at the expense of the little things that go with being a Ducati owner is certainly good advice. Saying that the person will be bored with the Ducati because of the engine performance, not so much.
I was, as Budd points out, also defending the Ducati as a pretty darned good street bike that, while never having the performance crown in its category (or best value) has endeared itself to tens of thousands of people. And should not be dismissed because its defining characteristic is the undefinable “personality”.
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”August 19, 2008 at 6:19 pm #10773AndrewParticipant
The Monster is a nice bike and I could see owning one down the track if I had the cash. The Italians do have a knack for designing pretty bikes. That being said I can’t imagine buying a Monster for my first bike due to the cost and the amount of displacement and torque it has for a noob. Step one is to acquire riding skill. Step two is to get the shiny bike when you have the skill to keep it shiny.August 19, 2008 at 6:41 pm #10780
The Monster is the most desireable bike in a market segment that I find particularly attractive; that is, naked sportbikes/standards. I was not bashing the bike at all. But I have already begun to experience the shortcomings of my SV (most notably stability on the highway) and I’m already looking into purchasing a bike that doesn’t experience these shortcomings.August 19, 2008 at 6:45 pm #10781MunchParticipant
erm…. Each point of view was given, everyone comes to a different conclusion and the person that asked got well enough information to make up HIS/HER own mind. Why not leave it at that? I love this site because its full of good and varying information. Please don’t turn it into a forum full of flaming and “debates” that get personal. I’d hate to see the nonsensical banter go on here that drove me away from the Off-road forums i used to frequent.August 19, 2008 at 6:56 pm #10783
What kind of stability issues are you having?
“I am the best there is at what I do, and what I do ain’t nice.”-WolverineAugust 19, 2008 at 7:10 pm #10787megaspazParticipant
Wind issues? If so, you’ll probably want to get fairings and a windscreen.
Traction issues? check the manufacture date on your tires. Old tires that haven’t been ridden for a while before you got your bike can harden up. Also, get your suspension tuned for you. The stock SV suspension is basically set up for someone weighing around 150 lbs. and having the suspension not set up correctly for you can also result in some stability/traction issues.
California highways aren’t the bees knees anymore, but I have had no issues sticking to the pavement riding the flow of traffic (and sometimes beyond) on the highways/freeways.
Please be more specific in what you mean stability issues you’re experiencing.
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…August 19, 2008 at 7:24 pm #10792
First of all, for some reason, when I use this site thru my work computer I can’t use the reply feature to reply to individual posts.
Secondly, the stability issues I’m having I believe are mostly wind related. I’ve been looking into fairings (and possibly motard-style handgrip shields–they look cool!) from Givi and I do plan on getting one EVENTUALLY but I don’t know enough about the way they slice through wind to be able to shop around correctly. There are smaller flyscreen-style fairings and then there are quarter-fairings. Some people I’ve been asking say the small flyscreen-style fairings do just as much as the quarter fairings and that makes no sense to me.
My SV has a GSXR600 rear shock that the previous owner tuned for his own bodyweight. He weighed 210 lbs. I haven’t yet retuned it for myself but I don’t really know what I’m doing with that and am afraid of messing things up. Everything else about the bike is still stock.
Riding on the highway IS fatiguing when your body is acting as a parachute.
I have plans for the SV to add a whole bunch of mods (mostly visual but nothing too out there like flourescent lights) to the SV to make it a better commuter/tourer without sacrificing handling.
The front tire checks out fine as far as air pressure goes, but the rear tire I cannot check because the valvestem is damaged in a way that prevents a tire gauge from being able to get a reading off of it (at least, my cheap $3.00 tire gauge). I figured it wouldn’t be too much of an issue because in approximately 3 weeks I’m taking it in for a major service and a new rear tire and they’ll address the valvestem issue when putting on a new tire.August 19, 2008 at 8:52 pm #10799megaspazParticipant
Nah, you don’t want to do the suspension yourself. Take it to a moto suspension specialist. You’ll have to google for your area or something since I don’t know who you’d go to in your area. Here in cali, there’s a few places that do suspension for road, track, and racing. But as far as windscreens go, you don’t want to go with what the stock windscreen size would be for the sv. Too dang small to do any good unless you’re in a full tuck.
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…August 19, 2008 at 9:20 pm #10807BoOZe P-ti MotardParticipant
uh jk2..do some effort by urself, if ye no wot i mean..and try some ktm….
Solomolo RiderAugust 20, 2008 at 1:26 am #10817
I would go with a double bubble windscreen. I have only heard good things about them. Or if you can find someone to make a custom you could go that route.
Tuck and roll, baby! Tuck and Roll!
“I am the best there is at what I do, and what I do ain’t nice.”-WolverineAugust 23, 2008 at 4:04 pm #11027rtParticipant
I’m sure everybody is looking forward to totaling their’ new 696, not exactly a PC thing to say around motorcyclists FYI.
Maybe a better choice of words would be that a newer rider is more likely to “drop it”. We don’t want to jinx anybody
I’m not a beginner, I have three bikes now ranging from a 800 intruder to a VTX1800.
The motorcycle world is upside down a bit. Usually folks start with a quick, light sporty type bike which can perform like a pistol and go to a lumbering cruiser later. Cruisers are much tamer and easier to ride in my opinion and I think folks should start with a middle weight cruiser first then venture into the “sporty” territory later. But that’s just my two cents.
I’m adding a Monster 696 to my stable because I’ve just got to have it !! I want that style and performance that I can actually use on the street not track. I want that Desmo!
The 696 would be a poor choice for a first and only bike simply because of the expense and it’s pretty limited in what it does.
If your’ still looking for your’ motorcycle “identity” a $10,000 naked middle weight bike would be a tough pill to swallow if you decided it’s not for you. A SV650 would be much more suitable in that case.
I see the 696 as a “second” bike for riders with a bit of experience, into the “exotic style” and who plan on keeping it around for a while.
Also, as we learn more about the 696, that L-twin 696 comes to life when you “kick it” with a top end of 130 mph and a faster 0 to 60 (about 3.2 seconds)than even a (stock) 600 sport bike. So that “entry level” tag they put on the 696 would more accurately be described as a “entry level Ducati” as opposed to a “generic entry level” motorcycle.August 25, 2008 at 4:39 pm #11130
Double Bubbles are aftermarket windscreens for faired bikes. My bike is an unfaired naked. Thanks for the suggestion though. It looks like I’m going to be going with the Givi 240A. Heres a link to a picture of one on a newer model SV.
As you can see it’s not all that big but according to what experienced riders are telling me that small windshield makes a HUGE difference and is all you need, provided you don’t try to sit perfectly upright while moving at highway speeds, something you shouldn’t be doing on a bike like this anyway.
So, this screen + those motard handguards. I like.September 1, 2008 at 6:56 am #11499WangGuest
I’ve got a Monster 696 and have a couple pieces of input, even though I’m assuming in the two months’ time since jk2’s last post he’s already gone on and bought a bike.
My riding background has been scooters and shitty 250cc clunkers from when I spent time in Taiwan. After re-adjusting to life in the States after a few years, I wanted to get a bike but wouldn’t really be able to get around on anything small across SoCal. I couldn’t find any new 695s, so I went with the 696 and have no regrets. To note:
-This is not a “beginner bike”
If you don’t have experience, you have no business riding the 696 because it is almost certainly new. The cards are stacked against you to drop the bike or do worse damage to it. It is forgiving, but with the power behind it there’s way too much room for error.
Someone mentioned two versions. Actually, the North American release is the “696+” which includes a bikini front fairing and a seat cowl. You can take the seat cowl off. There’s also a touring seat that’s flatter and has a gel pad in it. My male version of a ghetto booty negates the need for a gel-padded seat, though.
-Maintenance is expensive?
Ducati has made efforts to reduce maintenance costs over previous models; I can’t speak for owners of previous models, but the service is pretty reasonable so far. We’ll know more once folks put more miles on their 696s.
-Air-cooling on the bike means it overheats too easily
It’s really not that bad. The temp gauge looks like the bike is about to burst into flames when it starts getting to the top, when in reality that’s the norm. You will cuss ass your thighs start to feel hot after waiting more than five minutes for that left-turn light to change, though.
-It’s no good on the highway due to crosswinds
Not to bash other riders, but I tend not to veer too far over the speed limit. You can lane split at 80mph in SoCal and it’s not going to feel like you will get knocked off the bike. As usual, be more careful around semis.
If you have the money, this bike is great fun. Save for completely new riders, almost everyone could enjoy the Monster 696.
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