- This topic has 87 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 12 years ago by Anonymous.
September 25, 2008 at 3:29 am #12714AnonymousGuest
I fell in love with the Monster 696 when I saw it but for a first bike I decided to choose between the SV650SF and 650R. I liked the SV650SF because of looks and the Ninja 650R for comfort. Then I just saw the 2009 model 650R. It has the visual improvements that I was wishing for as well as some other tweeks. This has totally sold me on the bike. Great looks, comfortable riding position and only a $200 difference than last years model – which is still less then the SV650SF and thousands less than the 696. I hope to enjoy this bike for years and then possibly move to the Monster 1100 that Ducati is about to release in the near future. Of course by that time I’m sure there wil be many others to consider. Check out the new 2009 650R before you buy a 696 or SV!!!September 25, 2008 at 3:53 am #12716BuddParticipant
The new 650r is smoking hot. I could see trading in the baby ninja for one of those in the future. Have to pay off the car and save to take the kids to Disney next year before I can even think of a new bike. With gas prices, I may just keep the 250 for commuting and use the 650 for fun.
“I am the best there is at what I do, and what I do ain’t nice.”-WolverineSeptember 25, 2008 at 1:02 pm #12730
Yes, all three of the new 650s look pretty good. Ninja, Naked and Versys. Not sure that they have the same character as the Ducati, but that is wholly personal. Biggest problem with the Kawasaki bikes, is that you probably won’t see one for sale anytime soon. I have this itch to enjoy the next 4 weeks before the weather turns awful. If you live in CA, you are lucky.September 25, 2008 at 10:09 pm #12762
Very close. Rode one again today. Really do need a light touch to feather clutch (small friction zone), but really smooth up and downshifts. Power is manageable and the bike is well mannered at low speeds, but at high revs, can see why some think it isn’t a beginners bike- there is a certain amount of power available;-) Breaks are great, but again you need a feather touch. Practice would be mandatory, but bike handles wonderfully.
I’ll let you know.
Question, put on the Termi pipes for health of engine? Smooth out low rpms? Just more power which this bike needs like a hole in the head?
Favorite colors?September 26, 2008 at 2:53 pm #12790ranetteParticipant
Hey Rupmisc, figured this was the best place to catch your attention. Since this board doesn’t have a PM function please email me at [email protected].September 26, 2008 at 3:03 pm #12791
Ok, it did indeed get my attention.September 26, 2008 at 4:46 pm #12803ilnamParticipant
Ben said he was going to get PM up again. I have never know this board to have it, but I want it NOWSeptember 27, 2008 at 1:37 am #12841
I wanted a little instant gratification before winter. Getting the 696 next week. Time will tell if I should have waited to see the new Kawasaki 650s (or other 2009s) in the spring. So many bikes, so little time, so little space.
Well, I’ll report back. I am not, however getting rid of the nighthawk. I am very glad that I bought the Nighthawk. As I have noted elsewhere, I do wish that the Nighthawk had disk brakes. Believe it or not, it is brakes, not throttle, that I feel are a bigger jump. I will practice. I hope that the 696 will, because of its handling, become a good next step bike. It may be fun, too.
As always, thanks for all the input. This is a great site.October 8, 2008 at 8:53 pm #13546AnonymousGuest
You won’t be sorry.
my 696 is my first bike, and before all i’d done was three times riding dirt bikes with friends… and the MSF course.
You really have to punch it to feel all the power. I have no desire to wheelie, and feel i’m in no danger of finding myself in one accidentally.
The small friction zone is a small hiccup. The clutch pull is so light… and the slipper clutch is so forgivable. The engine has no problems chugging along at low RPMs so i pretty much use the clutch as a on/off switch… and from 2nd to 6th gears, you don’t even need to use it for shifting.
Had her four months or so now, and love her more each day. No drops yet. Knock on wood.
And for those of you thinking that she’s too much bike for beginners… um, no. Not once have i felt like she was going to take off out from under me.
One last thing… the wind issue- isn’t. Fairings are great for slipping through the speed-generated wind… but act like sails for any gusts from the side. Naked is actually better at slipping those. I like the wind at highway speeds… it holds my body up, so i can really relax my arms.October 9, 2008 at 1:09 am #13563
Was 20 miles into an 80 mile trip today when my shifter “skipped” a “stop” [??] and became frozen in the down position. The 696, with just over 200 miles, is at the dealer’s. The dealer was very responsive, got truck to me within 1.5 hours, gave me a lift home, and then took the bike to be double checked an hour away. Sad event, great dealer so far (I have yet to meet a Ducati dealer I haven’t found to provide superior service.
My friend Anonymous is right about having to watch the throttle. He’s right about the clutch. I do find that the handle bars are low for me, and fully turned are very close to the tank. Although the bike is flickable and light, it isn’t blissfully easy at slow (road test) speeds because of the forward upper body, and longer reach. Come the spring, I may add risers, or even trade the 696 for something with a more upright position.
After the Nighthawk, the 696 is so secure on the highway. Anonymous is also right about the fairing. At highway speeds, the wind actually supports your body in its forward position (which is, I understand, not uncommon on sport bikes).
After the 696, the Nighthawk (which I still have) is so great in bumper to bumper, or in those 25-30 mile an hour zones. After the 696, the Nighthawk is just so easy to ride, I started appreciating it all over again. So many bikes, so little time.
To be honest, though, sometimes I wish I had gone for a more upright touring bike, even if it had slightly higher HP, and might be harder to ride. I think when things settle, I’m a standard kind of guy, naked or faired.February 1, 2009 at 12:24 am #16191Ronster696Guest
I am nauseated at the number of internet experts who refer to the Ducati Monster 696 as a beginner’s bike.
I got my first motorcycle at age 5 – A Suzuki RM50. Then at age 11 a Honda CR80. Age 14 a Honda CR125, 17 a Honda CR250…
Then on the glorious day I turned 18 I bought a brand spanking nw Honda V65 Magna. Rode the snot out of it for a few years then bought a Yamaha V-Max. Then another Max. Then 2 GSX-R1100’s, then an R1.
So, I have some experience under my belt when I say: “The 696 is NOT a beginner’s bike.” Yes it is tame when treated gently, but tap into it’s engineering and it is truly a world-class motorcycle. It may be the “entry-level” Ducati but definitely not an entry-level bike.
My M696 is the most enjoyabel all around performer I have ever owned.February 5, 2009 at 3:47 am #16287
696 has proved to be great in a number of ways. I’m not sure that it’s a great beginning bike, but I have been happy riding it, at least until the snow started in December.
Problems, if any, are the ergonomics. I think all of the monsters, even the new big one, are built for people shorter than 6 feet. Even with the supposedly flatter touring seat, I find myself a little too up against the tank. Otherwise, totally sweet.February 18, 2009 at 7:10 am #16583AnonymousGuest
wow, did anyone read the specs? The new duc has 4 valves and is water cooled. If money isn’t an issue, why are you even hesitating?
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