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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

Due to HOV restriction on I66, I now need to get a motorcycle or a hybrid car for commuting. But since I have 2 cars already, getting one more car is not appealing to me at all, so getting a motorcycle seems to be a right choice.

I have checked out a lot of bikes, and Monster 796 is the one that I plan to purchase very soon, but I have a few concerns, and I hope you guys can help me out.

1. Is monster 796 a beginner bike? I haven't ridden motorcycle before, (btw, I've been riding bicycle competitively for the past 10 years). What do I have to watch out when riding this bike?

2. Is monster 796 a good bike for commuting, which has a lot of stop and go? Will it get over heated easily? And what can I do to prevent it?

3. Do I need any mods if I only use this bike for commuting only?

That's all I have for now.

Thanks
 

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If your set on a Ducati Monster, (which I was) the 796 is great for commuting.
It was my first bike (a month after my MSF Course), Its a step up from the 696(single sided swingarm, oil cooler, and quicker). And not a rocket, which will let me work up my skills.
I commute to work 50miles each way, but not in traffic, more of a steady 65-75mph.
But obviously there are more <commuting friendly> bikes out there.
But i love everything about my Duc. It was a perfect fit for me.
 

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I use my 796 to commute to work, but I wouldn't consider it a beginner bike. It has a significant amount of low-end torque which could get you into trouble in a panic situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I shouldn't get 796 if I am a beginner? And what kind of trouble I might get with a significant amount of low-end torque?
 

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I have a 696 and feel it was/is a great beginner bike. Stepping up to a 796 is not too big a deal imo.

My only concern with the torque is whacking into it in low speed corners, or just lower gears in general when it can spin the rear and send a novice into a highside when traction is regained.

But respect the machine, and I think a 796 would make for a great first time commuter bike.
 

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personally i don't think you could find a better bike for a new rider, either one;
696 or 796.

my 19 yr old daughter is fairly new to street riding. she rode in the dirt (honda CRF 150) with me for a few years before taking the MSF course in 2009.

i started her on a ninja 250, then a yamaha FZ6R and now a 696. she says that the 696 is by far the easiest and most fun to ride of them all.

the 250 was light and had a low seat, but was underpowered...........dangerously so in my opinion. passing and merging into traffic was dodgy on that thing.

the yamaha had nice power, but was a little too tall and way too heavy for her. getting her that bike was a mistake on my part.

the 696 is perfect for her. low seat height, light weight (110 lbs less than the yamaha!), plenty of user friendly power, great handling and awsome brakes.

if you are a normal sized person, i would recommend getting the 796 for the better suspension bits.
 

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When weight and size are very close to the same I would have a hard time recommending a lower powered version with inferior suspension. When my son went to buy his first road bike I convinced him to get the S2R1000 over the 800 somewhat for the suspension but mainly I knew he would soon be wanting more power. It's inevitable. I'm glad he listened because I ended up with the bike. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you guys, how about getting overheat in the stop and go traffic? Anyone have that problem? Is this a good in city commuter bike?
 

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Thank you guys, how about getting overheat in the stop and go traffic? Anyone have that problem? Is this a good in city commuter bike?
I've not ridden the newer Monster so I'm not sure about exhaust heat on tose bikes. You don't need to worry about the air cooled motor though.
 

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#1 As a beginner bike it has a bunch of CC's but not a deal breaker. (a 250 will kick your ass if you let it) And the bicycle experience, just go ahead and throw that out the window cause that ain't applicable here. That is a fact!
 

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If you get the 796 and intend to use it a lot in stop and go traffic, then you should definitely consider changing the front chain sprocket from a 15T to 14T one. Ask the shop mechanic at the place you buy the bike from about this if you don't know what this means. This modification will change the effect of the gearing on the bike and make it much more user friendly in slow traffic, especially in 2nd gear, as the stock gearing is kind of tall, making riding in stop and go traffic rather annoying.
 

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If you get the 796 and intend to use it a lot in stop and go traffic, then you should definitely consider changing the front chain sprocket from a 15T to 14T one. Ask the shop mechanic at the place you buy the bike from about this if you don't know what this means. This modification will change the effect of the gearing on the bike and make it much more user friendly in slow traffic, especially in 2nd gear, as the stock gearing is kind of tall, making riding in stop and go traffic rather annoying.
why not just stay in 1st then?

if i'm doing the math correctly, it's only about a 6.6% difference with the 14 tooth right? so instead of 3000 rpm at a given speed, you'd be doing 3198 rpm. to me that's not really worth the trouble of installing a 14 tooth counter sprocket.

most ducatis are geared tall for sure, i will agree to that. i think i have just become used to it over the years and appreciate a tall first gear for those putt-putt situations we all have to endure in traffic sometimes........less shifting from 1st to 2nd to 1st to 2nd etc..........:D
 

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+1.
The only bike I've regeared is the 999 because it came grossly overgeared with 1'st good for almost 80 mph.
 

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Seriously? You're going to buy a motorcycle just so you can ride in an HOV lane without a slug? Please consider taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course (I'm guessing you're in NOVA)--it's given at almost every community college and other places around here. If not that, the Riders Edge program from Harley Davidson, given at lots of dealers, is just as good. I'd make sure you want to ride before you buy a bike just to shave a few minutes off your commuting time.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you guys.

I need a motorcycle (or a hybrid) to get on I66 (inside the beltway section) because all its lanes are HOV, from 6:30AM to 9:00AM and 4:00PM to 6:30PM. That sucks, doesn't it? And I get BRC next weekend with Apex.
 

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why not just stay in 1st then?

if i'm doing the math correctly, it's only about a 6.6% difference with the 14 tooth right? so instead of 3000 rpm at a given speed, you'd be doing 3198 rpm. to me that's not really worth the trouble of installing a 14 tooth counter sprocket.

most ducatis are geared tall for sure, i will agree to that. i think i have just become used to it over the years and appreciate a tall first gear for those putt-putt situations we all have to endure in traffic sometimes........less shifting from 1st to 2nd to 1st to 2nd etc..........:D
I'm not technical at all, so all this talk about rpm's and percentages is over my head. All I know, is that the bike feels better in traffic and doesn't lug as much in traffic with the 14T sprocket. Also, I've never been fond of riding too long in 1st gear which has always seemed rough on every vehicle I've ever owned-1st just seems to be the gear that gets the bike moving to me.
 

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My 696 was my 2nd real bike (had scooters before hand).

I think it will be fine for a beginner as long as you respect the bike 100% of the time. Getting one solely to get in the HOV lane may be the wrong reason though. You should get one because of all of the other reasons to enjoy a Ducati :)
 

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my 696 was my 2nd real bike (had scooters before hand).

I think it will be fine for a beginner as long as you respect the bike 100% of the time. Getting one solely to get in the hov lane may be the wrong reason though. You should get one because of all of the other reasons to enjoy a ducati :)
+1...
 

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My two cents:

It's unclear whether any 700cc or 800cc sportbike is a "good beginner's bike".

Lots of riders with more experience than me seem to think that anyone starting out should firstly take the MSF beginner's course. It sounds like you're going to do that, so thumbs up to you. Secondly, they say one should get a used Ninja 250R and ride it for a year while you get used to motorcycling.

They are cheap to insure, cheap to fix, plenty of parts available and while it may not stroke your ego as much as a shiny relatively new Ducati would, you won't want to kill yourself if you drop the bike either.

You can sell it after year one for as much as you paid for it and get something else.

Additionally, as a commuter, you will benefit from the improved relative fuel economy versus the Monster 696 or 796.

That said, I think most of us feel the new Monsters are very easy to ride given how capable they truly are. I love how light, agile and responsive my 696 is. It's like a powerful scooter... so responsive, so smooth.

However, it is still a ~400 lb, 700cc sportbike.

There are more practical choices than a Monster. There are safer choices. There are less expensive choices. On the other hand... the Monster is an impassioned choice and nobody here would blame you for wanting one as your first bike. You just need to determine what your ideal practicality:desirability ratio is.

Disclaimer: I took the MSF beginner's course each summer for a few summers in a row because it was the only way I could get on a bike since I didn't own one at the time. And my 696 was my first bike.
 
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