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Hey guys! I was wondering what people thought about the safety of the 797 vs the 821 monsters. The 797 is presented as the entry-level Monster. The 821 is more powerful, but has traction control and the ability to adjust the riding mode to touring or urban. With these riding options to tame the 821 some and the added safety offered by TC, the 821 seems more attractive from a rider safety perspective. To those of you who have ridden both of these: what do you think?
 

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If you are new to Ducati either would be fine. If you are new to motorcycle riding do yourself a huge favor and start with a smaller less powerful bike that won't cost you thousands when you drop it, and you will drop it. Buell Blasts can be had cheap and are great starter bikes. The cost of a used Blast is likely covered by the first Ducati wreck you don't have. Ducatis are not beginners bikes. If you weren't a beginner you'd know that.
 

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Yeah anything over 40HP is a terrible first bike in my opinion. Why not start with a nice corked up DRZ400 or KLR250 or some similar under powered (but amazingly fun) dual sport? Riding a bike that you're scared of is not any fun at all.
 

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Motorcycles aren't safe. Your first crash isn't going to be because of a lack of traction control unless you're riding like an idiot.

My first "accident" happened when I braked while turning at parking lot speeds. I thought I was going to hit a parked car, stopped the bike while leaned over. Dropped it. I knew it was wrong while I was doing it but my hand wouldn't listen to my brain so there you go. I was on a Ducati 907 that was less than 24 hours old at the time.

If you want a brand new Ducati as your first bike than who am I to argue, it's what I did. But something about asking which bike is "safer" rubs me the wrong way. Buy the cheaper one and spend the left over money on better riding gear. Or more riding schools. Those will make ANY bike you ride safer.

How do riding modes make the bike safer? If lowering the power makes it safer, then raising the power must make it less safe. So why have the option of raising the power? I could argue the 797 is safer since it doesn't have that option. Traction control? Ok... maybe it will save you if you hit that wet patch of asphalt, or maybe it won't. The last crash I witnessed was an experienced rider on a bike with almost every electronic gadget known to man on it. He hit sand on the apex of a tight turn, lost the back end, and down he went. He claims the traction control never even activated. Moral of the story: Slippery stuff on the apex will take you down with or without traction control.

As someone who bought a brand new Ducati as his first bike (25+ years ago) and currently has a 1200S Monster, I would say follow the advice already given and buy a used Japanese bike first. If you MUST have a new Ducati, buy the 797. It's a simpler bike. You're a newb. You don't need to be thinking about which riding mode you should be in or feel like traction control is going to be saving your ass from mistakes. It won't. That expensive jacket with the extra features that makes it more likely you'll wear it on hot days or is more effective in a crash (buy a better back protector to replace the one it came with) is a better use of your safety money. Or instead of one jacket for all seasons, two more specialized jackets. Or that advanced riding class. Or those obscenely expensive gloves that have useful armor instead of glued on plastic bits, etc.

I do not see one of these bikes as significantly "safer" than the other.
 

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My opinion has kind of evolved on the starter bike thing. I used to be all aboot getting the low powered, old jap bike, but meow that the used market for starter bikes has went in the tank, you will have a hard time selling these things when you're ready to upgrade. So my opinion meow would be to find a neutral positioned (non clip on ) bike that you can grow into, and the monster fits that bill perfectly. Either one will work, but the added safety features of the 821 will benefit a new rider, especially the ABS. It makes no sense to me to say that the detuned riding mode wouldn't be safer, because that was the exact purpose it was put on for. Understandably, at the end of the day, the final judge is your right wrist, but as a newbie, those features still help.

I would go 821, then go to monsterparts.com for some frame and axle sliders, then get a good armored jacket, pants, and gloves. Then take a riders course, practice the hell out of panic breaking, and enjoy the shit out of your beautiful new bike. Hope this helps OP, welcome to the club.

Meow
 

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It makes no sense to me to say that the detuned riding mode wouldn't be safer, because that was the exact purpose it was put on for.

I never said a detuned mode wasn't safer. I didn't say it was either. I said that IF it were true, then it must also be true that turning it up is less safe. The original post asked if one bike was safer than the other, not if one mode was. In my opinion a 75hp bike that can be turned up to 100hp is not safer than a 73 hp bike that can't be turned up. The point was supposed to be that the detuning argument was flawed and only being used to rationalize a decision. My guess is he really wants the 821 as is looking for reasons why it's the better choice.

Sidebar: A coworker and I used to have discussions about the reasons to buy one bike over another. What we decided was, in the end, bikes are emotional decisions. We go to great lengths to rationalize our choices but when it comes right down to it, buying one because you like the color is just as valid as because the magazines said it's .2 seconds faster 0-60. What is important is your enjoyment. Buy the one that makes you smile. If you don't pause just to look at it sometimes when you walk by it in the garage, you bought the wrong bike.

But getting back on subject.
The original question had to do with the safety of one bike compared to another. Both bikes have ABS so that's moot. It comes down to traction control. You might argue that a 75 with traction control is safer than a 73 without, but that is balanced against the bike being able to put out 100hp, which using a previous argument is less safe than a 73hp bike.

Which brings me back to my last post. I do not see either bike as being significantly safer than the other. A much more significant factor in safety will be riding gear and rider training.

Buy the one that blows your skirt up. That's what I did 25 years ago when I bought the new Duc instead of the used Honda and I have never regretted it. There were a few dips in the road along the way but so be it.

In the end it doesn't matter which one you buy anyway. It's your first, not your last.
 

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Go with the one you like better, forget the small differences and price since they are within reason of each other. Buying one to save a couple hundred and regretting it will cost you more in the end.

As far as IF this is your first bike do yourself a favor and buy a cheap $1500 Ninja 250. Ride it, learn on it and when it's time sell it for $1500 all day! They seem to stay at $1500 reguardless if they are dropped a couple times. Them buy the bike you want!
 

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Both are very poor choices for a first bike. As are indeed, pretty much any Ducati.
Start on a starter bike. You’ll learn to ride better and faster, at much less cost.

PhilB
 

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wow. opinions are like buttholes , everyones got one
If you are planning on riding like a butthole, then it does not matter what you ride. If you plan on riding with your buddies who are buttholes, it does not matter cause all motorcycles can crash and you dont have to be going warp speed to die. Your insurance will replace whatever you ride. Now getting insurance may be an issue.

No one asked about your height and wieght. If you are six footer and 186 pounds DO NOT BUY a used 250 cause it is not going to haul your ass out of the intersection in time before Mr. Lefthandturn smokes you. IMHO riding is about knowledge and confidence, not what bike you are on. So buy the bike that stirs your heart and ride safely. Donuts, burnies stoppies wheelies are what you do on a stolen bike, not your own. If you loved your bike you would not be putting at risk just to show off to your buddies who are not planning on sleeping in the other bed because you broke your shoulder.

If you plan on loving your first bike and will keep it forever and you have the money to buy good gear buy what you want. I like 797 because it is not all gizmos. but if you like the 821 and it fits you and buy that one and enjoy the newer technology. I own the s2r800 and about 55000 miles of experience and no interest in a litre bike. too big and too fast. not even if I won the lottery. anyways dont listen to a bunch of folks who dont know you.

Make sure you take the motorcycle learners course and no, your butthole buddies cannot teach you beyond pull this and push that. Maybe read this book David L. Hough - Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well

I ask only a couple of things of you. always wear your gear. buy mesh gear for when its hot out. think before you get on the bike about the ride and what you are planning. until you can control your bike well .. eyes onthe road and not cheching out the hotties. and remember if you are planning on killing yourself try to not take me out at the same time. show some respect to other vehciles . right of way only counts when you are in your car.
peace
 

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@machinae
I've ridden both and the 821 a lot. Out of the two, I prefer the 821 however, I echo the previous comments that suggest you spend money on a less expensive bike as your first and buy a lot of quality gear that will last you over many bikes with the difference and have lots of cash left over. Moreover, a lower powered Jap is easier to ride and cheap to fix. Not that I'm suggesting a CBR300R but for example, I just replace the left fairing on ours for aprox $150 all factory painted and ready to bolt on. The same on my Panigale would be north of $500.
 
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