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I've only ever ridden mountain bikes and some small dirtbikes but have wanted a proper motorcycle since college. I've casually followed bikes since I'm a big car gearhead but finally bought a used 2000 M750 early this fall. It has been a lot of fun since there is tons of info on the 1st-gen Monsters so its nice to have a lot of reference, DIY, and mod materials, but its half-fun and half-frustrating to hunt for parts since most of the really good ones stopped being made years ago. I've gotten split reactions to a Monster being my first bike, either it seems logical or you'll kill yourself (because Ducati). I tried to approach it the same way I did when I got my 225 TT - the carb'd 748cc isn't particularly powerful but is plenty quick enough, it is smaller and nimble, and it can't get me into any more trouble than basically any other bike. I constantly read that ~600cc is a good starting point so although the engine is a bit bigger its not like its a liter bike either. I definitely didn't want a heavy bike, nor something with peaky power, and there is just something about the original trellis frame that gets me. I plan to respect it completely while learning and figured this was a good bike to learn on and grow into, it seems like a good all-arounder and I plan for maintenance, new tires, the MSF, and lots of neighborhood practice in spring.

I'm hoping to get some input - I've already bought gear and done a few mods, specifically Dynacoil Greens with NGK 8mm wires, Staintune reverse cone slipons, and a 2001 speedo/tach cluster (plug-and-play!). However, the frame has some corrosion I want to touch up, I want to replace all the timing gear, and I will check the valve spacing and deal with anything else over the winter. Here is the project thread so far, I've since picked up a mint yellow seat cowl and CF seat fairings: Duc, Duc...Goose

  • I found the bronze touch-up paint on eBay for the frame, ideally I'd like to disassemble the bike and send the frame for refinishing, it'd make doing the valves and any other case maintenance pretty easy
  • Should I check the valve clearances before or after I install the new timing stuff? (belts, static tensioners, adjustable tensioners, anything else that's recommended)
  • I'd like to maintain/update the suspension, the goal would be newb-oriented street for my 225lbs, I have the non-adjustable Showas so I figured RaceTechs and new oil in the forks and maybe an ST3 rear shock, both linear springs? The consensus seems to be that getting weight-matched springs, good oil, and an OEM upgrade rear is fine if I don't want to spend $1000 (I definitely don't). If everyone thinks I just need to ride it first that's fine, too, it just makes sense to do big stuff if the thing will be in pieces anyway
  • Am I missing anything obvious or important?
Thanks!

977246
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I tried to get into an MSF class after I got the bike but everything from that September weekend to the end of the year was totally booked, it didn't help that it took a few weeks to get gear together. I could have dropped $350 for a class at a dealer but most any close classes didn't even offer the M license voucher for completion, that doesn't make sense at all! I've probably spent too much time and money already and I blame that on lack of being able to ride, its tough to just stare at it when I want to ride so badly.

I am happy with my gear, RPHA 70 ST, Klim jacket, Alpinestars waterproof boots, and really just want some good riding denims or similar, I'm obviously 50/50 nervous and excited to ride but I'm at least I didn't cheap out on the protecting gear. The weather officially sucks and has for weeks, its December 1st but it first snowed and got crappy around Halloween, I had a few nice days early on to tinker but at this point its collecting parts and know-how to attempt something in a month or two.
 

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The "600 thing" about new riders is in reference to 600cc sportbikes with inline-4 screamer engines. A 750cc air cooled two cylinder doesn't make anywhere near the power an inline-4 600cc sportbike does. In fact, the 750 Monster is a very fine first bike. It's torque is very user friendly, and it has much more useful powerband that doesn't come on like a second engine, which is what most 600cc sportbikes behave like.

Pay little (if any) attention to what mainstream squids have to say about ~this bike or that bike~. You're on a totally different critter ... the air cooled, two cylinder, two valve per cylinder Monster is a perfect first bike. The squids have zero experience with such a machine, they're not aware of the smooth acelleration, useful flatter torque curve, and friendly riding experience that the early Monsters provide. Also, it pays to understand that your 750 Monster probably specs out at around 65-to-70 horsepower .... where a 600cc squidbike .. oops .. sportbike has well over 130hp with a top speed that exceeds 150mph.

Don't sweat it one bit ... you bought the perfect first streetbike! And a Ducati isn't going to "kill you" .... that's just more mainstream squidspeak ... ignore that bullshit.

You're among experienced and knowledgeable motorcyclists here in this membership, there's a shit ton of solid guidance among us .... (I've been riding/racing since 1972, and I'm one of the lesser experienced members, if that tells you anything).

Truck on little brother ... and Welcome Home.
 

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... Any thoughts on what a frame and maybe the exhaust X setup would cost to get painted or powdercoated?
A LOT OF MUNNIES. You're talking major project ... and tearing the bike down to the bare frame often leads to a domino effect of problems, especially after reassembly. Wiring mistakes, lost fasteners, bla bla bla. And during disassembly there's the hassle of (possibly) broken bolts that may require time-extensive and costly extraction. And you can't powdercoat the exhaust ... it will fry into a bubbly crud that looks like ass and is nearly impossible to remove once the power coating is overheated.

I dealt with powdercoating things for nearly a solid decade ... I used to make custom audio processors for guitar players ... probably powdercoated over 300 of them over the course of a decade. The process has it's place, that's for sure.

I'm not a big fan of powdercoating motorcycle parts. It can and will chip ... and once it chips, the entire part must be scorched and then media blasted so it can be powder coated all over again. This means total disassembly (and I mean total) .. scorching, blasting, re-coating, reassembly. Big time, big money, big pain in the ass.

Paint it. Paint is SO SO SO much easier to do, far less costly, mondo-easier to repair ... and if you change your mind about the color along the line it's FAR less costly to repaint in the new color.

All of this is especially true on the wheels.

But these are my own opinions. Everyone has their own ideas of ~good~.
 

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The standard exhaust headers are stainless, granted, they're pretty rough, but they do clean up nice with a good linish if you can do it yourself or find a polisher to do it. I wouldn't fully polish them, they're a pain to maintain....

Paint for the engine and wheels, the Bronze has a few variants so either make sure you get the correct version for your year if that's important to you or choose a colour you like, no rules, it's not a collectors piece so if you're going to the trouble make it how you want it....
It's quite easy to strip a monster, if you get an axle stand to support the front cylinder you take the front end off complete and then unbolt and lift the frame off the engine/swingarm/rear wheel assembly.

The unadjustable forks could be Showa or Marzocchi, not sure what year they changed.... but you can add cartridges and springs with a service quite easily, the rear will be a Sachs or again, maybe a Showa, you may be able to service it, what i can say is sorting the suspension will be the best money you spend on it, worn out stuff with old oil that doesn't suit your weight just makes the learning harder and the riding experience less enjoyable, serviced suspension that suits you, even if you just do springs and oil, will be so much nicer, i highly recommend it.

The timing belts are easy to change on 2 valve bikes, plenty of you tube tutorials and good on line help (Bradthebikeboy) that will point you in the right direction, check your tensioner and idler bearings while it's apart and if you're up for it check the valve clearances too, make sure you have access to the shims you need if you're going to do them yourself, most shops will exchange for a fee.

Make sure your tyres are good, if you're not sure check the date on them, if they're past 5 years, they're past it, replace them.

Good luck mate, the 750M is an awesome bike and i'm sure you will really enjoy it!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the kind words and advice, the comments about the linear power totally echo what I was thinking, my main problem is I've done too much reading and parts shopping since I didn't get the license done in time for fall. I also appreciate the paint comments, my tank and fender could use a little touch-up so that means I get to take all the stuff to the same place. I was thinking of getting the headers heat-coated, I got the downpipe on my Outback coated the shop does a really nice silver 1200* finish, I know hotter exhaust helps with scavenging and also thought it might offer some scorch protection. Whatever, thousands of bikes do without.

Anyway, it seems like maintenance, suspension, and new tires are the primary things to focus on this winter, I'll update once I get a nice day to do some work.
 

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Congrats on that bike, my first Ducati was a M750 carb'd Monster, 01 I believe. There is no better Ducati entry point than an Air Cooled 2V'r!! The bike looks REALLY clean in the single photo, and it sounds like your gonna do more to it than it probably requires. I'd do belts, check the valves and be done with it....ride and upgrade as things break!

It's missing the side panels, I took mine off as well, but I no longer would do that. M750s.....i don't think they are worth shit in ANY regard, so your free to totally fuck with and enjoy this beauty!!!!!!

p.s. I found low speed throtle controll on my M750 left a LOT to be desired, coming from a zx6r. You can chill that out with a smaller front sprocket, highly recommended...I think you go to a 14 tooth? And you can/should also upgrade your clutch slave to something new, I like Oberon....those 2 things will make low speed control MUCH easier.

Honestly, at first blush I thought I had made a mistake. I was young..I saw Italian 750 as a massive lifestyle upgrade from Japanese 600! I was super wrong, not only was low speed throttle a nightmare but I had yet to learn about the difference between a low revving V-twin torque machine, and the high revving RPM HP beast I had come from. It's been about 18 years, and I've not yearned for a Japanese inline 4 even ONCE.

I hope you have the same experience.
 

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It has been a lot of fun since there is tons of info on the 1st-gen Monsters so its nice to have a lot of reference, DIY, and mod materials, but its half-fun and half-frustrating to hunt for parts since most of the really good ones stopped being made years ago.
This is true of many of the classic Ducatis. A good way to go about things is to research the part number on Mornington Ducati (it's an Australian site). Get the part number from there and use Ducati Omaha to order it here in the US.
I've gotten split reactions to a Monster being my first bike, either it seems logical or you'll kill yourself (because Ducati). I tried to approach it the same way I did when I got my 225 TT - the carb'd 748cc isn't particularly powerful but is plenty quick enough, it is smaller and nimble, and it can't get me into any more trouble than basically any other bike. I constantly read that ~600cc is a good starting point so although the engine is a bit bigger its not like its a liter bike either. I definitely didn't want a heavy bike, nor something with peaky power, and there is just something about the original trellis frame that gets me. I plan to respect it completely while learning and figured this was a good bike to learn on and grow into, it seems like a good all-arounder and I plan for maintenance, new tires, the MSF, and lots of neighborhood practice in spring.

I'm hoping to get some input
Like Rex wrote below, the whole 600cc "starter" thing is pure bull shit. A CBR600RR or R6 is hardly a beginner bike. Honestly, who cares what the displacement is? There's a huge difference between a 600cc L-twin and a 600cc inline 4. Not only the relative amount of power, but also the way in which that power is delivered. A 750cc Monster is closer to the 600cc L-twin in both departments than it is to an inline 4 600cc bike.
The "600 thing" about new riders is in reference to 600cc sportbikes with inline-4 screamer engines. A 750cc air cooled two cylinder doesn't make anywhere near the power an inline-4 600cc sportbike does. In fact, the 750 Monster is a very fine first bike. It's torque is very user friendly, and it has much more useful powerband that doesn't come on like a second engine, which is what most 600cc sportbikes behave like.

Pay little (if any) attention to what mainstream squids have to say about ~this bike or that bike~. You're on a totally different critter ... the air cooled, two cylinder, two valve per cylinder Monster is a perfect first bike.

Don't sweat it one bit ... you bought the perfect first streetbike! And a Ducati isn't going to "kill you" .... that's just more mainstream squidspeak ... ignore that bullshit.
I'm in full agreement here. I'd say, you got a perfect first bike. Something like an EX500 is equally good to start on. There's enough power there to keep things entertaining for a good while. You'll know when it's time to move on...if you get to that point.
The standard exhaust headers are stainless, granted, they're pretty rough, but they do clean up nice with a good linish if you can do it yourself or find a polisher to do it. I wouldn't fully polish them, they're a pain to maintain....
Also agree with this. I'd just clean them up with some steel wool, and then maybe hit them with some sort of medium grit sand paper or sanding belt. Just keep the sanding action going in one direction so it comes out looking like it was meant to be finished that way.

As was already point out, this forum is a wealth of knowledge. The fact that very, very experienced mechanics willingly share their experiences is not something to be taken lightly. I also want to point out, there are some very, very experienced riders here too. I've been around bikes my whole life. I didn't get started riding my own, until around 30 years ago though. I'd count myself on the lower end up the experience spectrum as well if that tells you anything about the resource that this forum is. Welcome aboard........sean
 

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Valves and belts arent hard, but still way easier to do with the engine out. If you want to touch up the frame, fix the suspension, and fix other little things, then it's probably worth it to separate frame and engine. I would.

No special tools are required, all you need is an engine stand that bolts to the cases right where the kick stand is mounted (and on the other side). Google Ducati engine stand, buy one, or if able make yourself one with some square tubing and scrap metal for $20.

With the engine supported thusly on the ground, you can then remove the forks, rear swing arm, then undo the 4 or 5 wires attached to the engine, the two engine bolts, and the frame will lift right off. Now you can fix just about anything you want.
 
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