Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Hinterlands, MN
Hi! Awesome news about riding again! So I was in your exact position about 2 years ago, except I had a Harley Wide Glide, and my S.O. thought it was so uncomfortable that she wouldn't ride on it, even after I dumped $500 on an allegedly comfy seat. Also the Harley handled like crap, and actually punished you for riding it correctly, but that was due to HD's poor decision to put an 80mm front tire raked out on a 700lb bike. Anyway, when I was looking for a new bike, EVERYTHING was on the table. I took my girl with, and she sat on everything with me, and rated each bike from 1 to 10 on comfort. I test drove them and rated them myself. This allowed us to have talking points on what we would compromise because understandably, no bike would ever be all 10s, particularly when you have a budget of $9k or less! The Monster 796 was almost all 7's except handling was a 9, she rated it as a 7 for comfort. We tried a goldwing just for fun that she was more comfy on... but my ratings were not as good... so it worked out.
The 796: The single sided swingarm is great! 1 nut to get the rear off, can't beat it. Chain adjustments are fairly easy, oil changes are a freakin' breeze! My biggest complaint is the battery location. So within my first 10K miles of riding, my starter died. This is apparently common. Replacing them isn't too difficult, but requires you to open the left side flyweel houseing. My starter died, it seems because my voltage regulator wasn't functioning correctly. The Voltage regulator was a 20 minute job to replace with a MOSfet regulator, which shouldn't run as hot so should theoretically last longer than the stock diode regulator. My regulator was $70 or so. There is an aftermarket starter that is only a few hundred dollars. I would recommend having enough in your toy fund to cover those parts. The valve service intervals are crap though, 7500 miles, my last one ran about $600. The 15,000 mile one will likely be much more. Anyway, the nimbleness, handling, and style are enough for me to love the crap out of the 796, so there are the warnings. It is pretty easy to work on though, and that is something amazing.